National Free Slurpee Day is on July 11 and we can’t wait to get our sugar fix while beating the heat, for free. 7-Eleven began celebrating the day back in 2002, but the beloved frozen treat has been around since the late 1950’s. With more than 300 flavors —ranging from sweet (Vanilla, 7-Elemon), to sour (Warhead, Sour Apple), to the exotic (Mango, Lychee)— there’s a Slurpee for every palette.
*Please note that National Free Slurpee Day 2020 was cancelled by 7-Eleven because of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
History of National Free Slurpee Day
The Slurpee, created by Omar Knedlik, was first known by the name ICEE. Like many great inventions, it was discovered purely on accident. Knedlick got the idea after one of his soda fountains broke down, forcing him to put his sodas in the freezer to keep cool. The resulting soda slush was a hit with Knedlick’s customers prompting him to create a machine that would freeze carbonated drinks.
Realizing the success of the ICEE, 7-Eleven made a licensing deal with Knedlick in 1965 to sell the product under a different name; one that would only be sold in its stores. In 1966, the Slurpee was officially born. The name was coined by an advertising executive referencing the sound made when drinking it.
By the spring of 1967, every 7-Eleven store in the country had a Slurpee machine. To fuel the rising Slurpee fanfare, 7-Eleven would introduce eye-catching —if not, risqué— names for its new flavors. Novelty names like Pink Fink, Moonshine, Sticky Icky, Gully Washer, and Adults Only were added to the growing list of flavors.
On July 11, 2002, 7-Eleven celebrated its 75th birthday by giving customers a free Slurpee, marking the first official National Free Slurpee Day.
As the name of the day implies, you go to a participating 7-Eleven, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and receive a free, 12-ounce Slurpee (while supplies last). Get there early since everyone in the know will undoubtedly want a free Slurpee, too. We’re not suggesting you camp outside a 7-Eleven, but do you really want to miss out on a FREE Slurpee?
National Free Slurpee Day timeline
7-11 celebrates 75 years by giving everyone a free Slurpee.
The single record “Dance the Slurp” is released and given away with each Slurpee purchase.
As part of an exclusive licensing deal, 7-Eleven begins selling Knedlick’s creation under the name “Slurpee”.
Omar Knedlick discovers the slushy treat —originally called the ICEE— on accident.
National Free Slurpee Day FAQs
How do I find out which 7-Elevens participate in National Free Slurpee Day?
Every 7-Eleven store in the country (about 7,800 nationwide) participates in National Free Slurpee Day. However, be prepared to wait in line.
Can I bring my own cup to National Free Slurpee Day?
Because the offer is only limited to small size Slurpees (8 ounces) you can’t bring your own cup.
Do 7-Eleven Loyalty Program members get anything extra?
Yes. Loyalty Program members who scan their app, card, or enter their phone number on National Free Slurpee Day will receive a free Slurpee —of any size— to redeem July 12 through August 12.
National Free Slurpee Day Activities
Go out and get one
This is a no-brainer. All you have to do is walk, run, bike, or drive to your nearest 7-Eleven, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and receive a free Slurpee. It literally costs you nothing.
Try a new flavor
With a growing list of flavors —more than 300 and counting— there’s bound to be a Slurpee for even the most discerning of tastes. This year, why not forgo your usual Coke or Cherry for a Purple S-cream or a Slurpucchino? Variety is the spice of life.
Indulge your inner nerd
7-Eleven has partnered with your favorite movies, comics, and pop culture to produce flavors like Kryptonite Ice and Darth Dew. Beat the heat this summer with a StraberrWii Banana or Wonka Laffy Taffy Slurpee and satisfy the fanboy/girl in you.
4 Fun Facts About Slurpees
They’re big in Canada
Canadians purchase an average 30 million Slurpees a year, making them the world leader in Slurpee sales.
They’re big in Springfield, too
As part of a promotion for 2007’s “The Simpsons” movie, 7-Eleven renamed Slurpees “Squishees” (their equivalent in the Simpsons universe) and sold them in special collectors cups.
They advanced straws
7-Eleven commissioned the spoon straw because customers had such a hard time slurping up the last bits of Slurpee at the bottom of the cup.
Brain freeze is trademarked
Though “brain freeze” started as a casual term, 7-Eleven saw the marketing potential and trademarked the phrase.
Why We Love National Free Slurpee Day
Something about the sugary, icy elixir invokes memories of childhood summer days spent scrounging up change and heading to 7-Eleven. Luckily, you won’t have to pay a cent on July 11. Speaking of price...
Outside of National Free Slurpee Day, Slurpees are relatively cheap. A large Slurpee (22 ounces) will set you back about $2.50. That’s cheaper than some bottled waters and better tasting.
They keep you cool
With summer in tow, there’s no better way to beat the heat than with America’s most popular frozen drink. Enjoy at a leisurely pace to avoid brain freeze. Unless you’re into that.
National Free Slurpee Day dates