National Ice Cream Day is ready to cool us down (just as we're starting to melt)

Smorgasburg LA, Old Pasadena, and the OC Fair will wave their chilled spoons high in the air on July's third Sunday.

Liliya Krueger

What to Know

  • National Ice Cream Day is the third Sunday in July
  • Ice Cream Alley will return to Smorgasburg LA on July 16
  • Old Pasadena's sweet shops will celebrate with July 16 giveaways and specials (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

There are so few words that can both describe a sensation that occurs on an especially hot afternoon as well as what happens to a delicious dessert when we don't keep tongue-track of all its fast-moving drips.

The word, of course, is "melting," and while we are not too keen to find ourselves in melt-inducing circumstances, the sort of situation that frequently arises on a searing July day, we don't mind the second spin on the term all that much, especially if there are two melty scoops involved.

And July 16, which is National Ice Cream Day, should be a real melt-meets-melt mash-up: It is going to be extremely warm around Southern California, for sure, but a number of dessert destinations will be honoring the holiday with fantastical flavors, gooey giveaways, and more.

Smorgasburg LA is the place if you'd like to explore Ice Cream Alley, a blissful byway lined with luscious choices created by artisanal ice cream makers from around the region.

But wait: This isn't a one-day-only kind of thing.

Ice Cream Alley's July 16 return to the ROW DTLA food market heralds more tasty times soon to come.

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In fact, the ice creamy scene will stay hot — er, cool — through Sept. 3, the final day of Ice Cream Alley's 2023 run.

What cheerful choices might you spy along this lickable lane of cone-topping confections? Creamo will be there, and Kinrose Creamery, too, and McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, the Santa Barbara-born frosty favorite.

And this is as sweet as a yummy scoop: Smorgasburg LA is free to enter.

Scooping around Old Pasadena on that very same day?

Prepare to melt over this tempting news: A number of shops around the area will offer giveaways — the first 150 people to call upon 21 Choices will enjoy a complimentary small — while Sage Vegan Bistro & Brewery is offering a 25% discount on ice cream.

And July 16 just happens to be the first Sunday of the 2023 OC Fair. So many offbeat ice cream selections will add a "sprinkle" of cold fun to the Costa Mesa event, including the quirky Double Trouble Ice Cream Cone.

Keeping track of when National Ice Cream Day will return is as easy as catching that errant ice cream drip before it splats on the sidewalk (or your hand): It's always the third Sunday in July.

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