This is a great way to beat the heat.  In honor of National Ice Cream Day, McDonald's will hand you a free vanilla cone this weekend, and all you have to do is show up at a participating location. You'll have a chance at winning free ice cream for life too. 

If you close your eyes and stick out your tongue and think real hard, can you practically taste the ribbons of that cold, almost thirst-quenching, sweet, thick vanilla?  Yes!  And maybe some of us think about these things too much.

McDonald's says it will give a free vanilla soft serve cone to anyone that wants one this Sunday, July 16th, in honor of National Ice Cream Day.  You'll have to download the McDonald's app first and then you're good to go.

AND, they're giving away free ice cream for life to one lucky winner, which works out to one vanilla cone each week for 50 years.  You have to be 13 or older to win free ice cream for life, and you can see all of the official rules on the McDonald's website.  It might be better to win free cones for life at age 13 than it would be at age 60, right? Just in case ice cream stops tasting good after age 105 or something.  USA Today says the odds of winning free cones for life are about 1 in 13,898.

Scoring a free cone on Sunday is easy though. Just walk in or go through the drive-thru, and show them the coupon on the McDonald's app.  You'll find it under "Deals." The coupon is good anytime on Sunday between 2 and 5pm.  Oh, and know that McDonald's stores inside Walmart store, gas stations, amusement parks, airports, and other businesses and attractions are not participating.

McDonald's announced recently that they've dropped the artificial ingredients from the ice cream and if you haven't tried it since, this might be the perfect opportunity.  For free.

There are 11 McDonald's locations around Boise, and at least five more between Eagle and Meridian.  Expect some lines on Sunday afternoon.