Welcome spring with free ice cream.

Today's dreary weather isn't exactly ideal for the first day of spring. But two ice cream chains are brightening the day with free treats.

Participating Dairy Queen locations are offering customers a free small vanilla cone March 20. The shops will take donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Last year, the effort collected more than $200,000.

Meanwhile, Rita's will hold its annual First Day of Spring promotion. Each customer can receive a free Italian ice at any Central Ohio location from noon to 9 p.m. March 20.