Happy National Ice Cream Day! Favorite Ice Cream Places Around Columbia (+ Freebies!)

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You may not realize this but July is National Ice Cream month. A whole month to celebrate the cold drippy goodness that is ice cream! 

In an effort to bring you, our valued readers, a list of some of the best ice cream spots in our fair city, I made the HUGE sacrifice of testing out some places around town. It was rough, let me tell you. So rough. But my waistline and I muddled through just for you. 

So here it is.

Oh, and be sure to check the bottom of this post for places you can get free or great deals for National Ice Cream Day on July 18!

Sweet Cream Company

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First, let me just say that this place is so stinking cute! I love the setup. It’s a small quaint little shop on Main Street just a few steps away from the Nickelodeon. When I stepped into this shop and saw the ice cream flavors, I knew I was in for a real treat.

Sweet Cream Co. offers unique flavors like Earl Gray, Lemon Poppyseed, Cherry Coke, and Whiskey Pecan. They also have a variety of delicious sorbet flavors including honey lemon ginger and strawberry basil (with local strawberries from Cottle Farms!).

I sampled both Earl Gray and Lemon Poppyseed. Besides having the most amazingly rich flavors, it was also the creamiest, smoothest ice cream I have ever had! So, next time you’re on Main Street, be sure to stop at Sweet Cream Co. for an ice cream experience like none other!

**Note** Sweet Cream Co. sells pints of ice cream as well! You can take your favorite flavors home with you. 

The Baked Bear

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Located in Five Points, this magical ice cream store allows you to make a dream-worthy ice cream sandwich.

You can choose from a variety of cookie flavors or brownies (or you can even do one of each!) and then you choose your ice cream flavor. They also have toppings, if you want to add a little something extra. Then, it’s all put together in one large yummy sandwich. They’ll even warm the cookies up if you want.

Anyone else drooling right now? If you don’t want an ice cream sandwich, don’t worry, they’ve also got cones and brownie bowls. You can’t go wrong at The Baked Bear!

Sweet Pea’s Ice Cream and Cafe

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Sweet Pea’s is a cute little place tucked away in downtown Blythewood serving up some yummy goodness. They proudly serve Hershey’s ice cream and offer a variety of super fun flavors your kids will love!

My son especially enjoyed the Crazy Cookie Dough flavor (colorful cookie dough ice cream!). Here you’ll also find fun ice cream inventions like ice cream nachos and the Awful Waffle (ice cream) Taco. Mmmmmmm!

As a bonus, Sweet Pea’s sells pints of Columbia-born Epworth ice cream (all proceeds from pints go to support the Epworth Children’s Home). Not only do they serve up delicious ice cream, but Sweet Pea’s also offers a variety of café foods like sandwiches, wraps, hot dogs, and soft pretzels. 

Manny’s Shaved Ice

My youngest with his ice cream and my oldest with his shaved ice and Mexican Wagon Wheels. Something for everyone!

I saved this one for last because while they do offer ice cream, their specialty is actually shaved ice. But, shaved ice is also a delicious summertime treat, so I decided to include Manny’s on my list. Trust me. You’re gonna thank me.

Located in a small plaza on Augusta Road in West Columbia, Manny’s Shaved Ice offers 60 different shaved ice flavors. Flavors vary from Classic/Natural (cherry, bubble gum, strawberry, etc.) to Mixed (Mango Strawberry, Berry Lime, Pina Berry, etc.) to Creamy (Vanilla ‘n cream, Coconut, Chocolate, etc.) to Spicy (Mango Diablo, Chamoyada Tamarind, Pina Diablo, etc.). I tried the Guava Mango flavor. It was amazing! It even had small chunks of mango in it.

Manny’s also offers Frapps and Milkshakes (more ice cream!), plus a variety of traditional Hispanic snacks and treats (Flavored corn, Corn bowls, and Mexican Wagon Wheels). A crazy bonus to this place is that it’s super cheap! Shaved ice prices start at just $2 and go up to just $4. Manny’s is a place you MUST check out! 

Now that I’ve given you the low down on some outstanding ice cream joints around Columbia, let’s get to the deals for National Ice Cream Day (July 19).

National Ice Cream Day Free Deals (July 18)

7-Eleven

Though it’s not technically ice cream, the convenience store chain is celebrating its birthday for the entire month of July by dropping a free small Slurpee into every 7Rewards account this month. Customers can sign up any time before July 31 to be gifted a free Slurpee that’s redeemable throughout the month.

Baskin-Robbins

With a $10 or more purchase Sunday, get free ice cream-scented Kinetic Sand in chocolate mint or strawberry banana scents. Also from Sunday through July 24, get $5 off delivery orders of $20 or more from Uber Eats, DoorDash or Postmates.

Blue Bunny

Check Blue Bunny’s website on Sunday: They will announce the ice cream parlors where they’re treating customers to $1,000 worth of ice cream through July 25, 2021.

Breyers

Get $2 off of Breyers Cookies & Cream ice cream with coupon when you sign up for their free “Cookie Coverage” insurance, which will guarantee the ideal cookies to cream ratio.

Burger King

Get a free vanilla soft serve cup or cone with $1 purchase and an offer from the chain. Find deals on the app and at Bk.com/offers.

Cold Stone Creamery

The chain said in a tweet that it will unveil its Ice Cream Day special Sunday on its social media channels.

DoorDash

Order from The Ice Cream Shop on DoorDash Sunday and get a free pint of ice cream on orders more than $20. To qualify, add any pint of ice cream to your grocery or convenience store order more than $20 and use promo code ICECREAM at checkout.

Enlightened 

Get 20% off your purchase from Enlightened for National Ice Cream Month with code “ILOVEICECREAM” through July 18.

Insomnia Cookies

Through Sunday, get a free scoop of ice cream with any purchase in-store or online for delivery with code ICECREAMDAY.

Instacart

Spend $20 on Dreyer’s ice cream products and get $5 off your order or free delivery through July 31.

KIND 

Get $1 off of KIND FROZEN Pints or KIND FROZEN Bars for National Ice Cream Day when you upload your receipt to KIND Snacks.

Lidl

The grocer is giving away a year’s worth of free ice cream to three lucky customers in honor of National Ice Cream Day. For details on how to enter the giveaway, click here.

Marble Slab Creamery

Slab Happy Rewards members get BOGO regular ice cream for Ice Cream Day. The chain also has a coupon for $5 off ice cream kits through July 31 with code ICECREAM5.

TCBY

Download the chain’s app and register for the loyalty program to learn about deals. The chain told USA TODAY that new TCBY Insider members will “receive special perks” now through July 31.

Wendy’s 

Through July 31, the chain is offering a small Frosty-ccino or brewed coffee with a purchase and an exclusive in-app offer through its Wendy’s Rewards program. There also are other deals on the app.

Whole Foods Market

Through July 20, get 35% off all ice cream and frozen treats, plus Prime Members save an extra 10%.

Happy National Ice Cream Day! Where is your favorite place around town to grab this cold treat?

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