Getting Free Goodies
Birthday goodies from restaurants and retailers abound, even in a tough economy, and they’re not just for kids.
There’s plenty of free food, free stuff and great deals for adults and kids on their special days, though, like senior discounts at restaurants, you may have to ask for them wherever you go.
We’re not saying you should pretend it’s your birthday to take advantage of these deals, but if it really is your birthday, here are some ways to celebrate for free or on the cheap. And be sure to check with restaurants and retailers for complete details on the deals.
Photo Credit: The Birkes
Unless you’re a vegetarian or allergic to beef, you can’t go wrong with a free steak dinner at Black Angus for your birthday. The deal is good for the two weeks before and the two weeks after your birthday. It is for dine-in orders only, you’ll have to show identification, and you've got to be a member of Black Angus' Prime Club, which you can sign up for online. You can use the deal at any U.S. Black Angus or Cattle Company Steakhouse location. For more details, check out the restaurant's web site.
Age limit: 16 or older.
Photo Credit: FotoosVanRobin
Denny’sKids enrolled in the Denny's Birthday Club will receive a birthday card entitling them to a free kids meal and sundae at a participating Denny’s restaurant as long as they’re with an adult paying for a regular-priced adult entrée.
Age limit: Kids 10 years and under accompanied by an adult.
Photo Credit: House of Sims
Red RobinRed Robin patrons who join the restaurant chain’s eClub get a free gift for signing up as well as a free birthday burger (in addition to regular e-mail newsletters). When you register, you’ll have to fill out a survey asking what you order most often at the restaurant, when you go there, who you tend to go with and how often you go.
Age limit: None
Photo Credit: goldberg
Firehouse SubsBy adding yourself to the Firehouse Subs mailing list and selecting your favorite sandwich on the restaurant’s menu, you can get a certificate for a free sub during your birth month.
Age limit: None
Photo Credit: firehousesubs.com
ColdstoneWhat’s a birthday without ice cream? Thankfully, ice cream chain Coldstone understands the importance of this frozen treat on birthdays, so you can get “the sweetest birthday possible,” according to the company.
You’ll have to create an account on the company’s Web site and sign up to receive other promotions.
Age limit: None
Photo Credit: Dennis Hsuan
Baskin RobbinsBaskin Robbins is another chain of ice cream shops with a birthday club. It entitles members to a free 2.5-ounce scoop of ice cream and discount on a birthday cake, that is, if you’re in charge of buying your own cake.
You’ll have to create an account at baskinrobbins.com, but you can opt out of e-mail newsletters and other offers unrelated to your free birthday ice cream and cake deal.
Age limit: None
Photo Credit: TheDeliciousLife
Olan MillsProfessional portrait studio Olan Mills offers free baby portraits for parents who want to record their child’s growth in pictures during their early years. Portraits can be taken every year on your kid’s birthday up to age 3, and one 8-by-10, one 5-by-7 and four wallet-sized prints are free. In additional you can get 20% off any additional portraits, the company says.
Age limit: Kids age 1 to 3 years old only.
Photo Credit: rutlo
Toys “R” UsToys “R” Us offers a small celebration for children who visit a store on their birthdays. Kids can get a balloon, a crown, a gift and even a birthday announcement to the whole store. Geoffrey the Toys “R” Us giraffe may even send you a birthday card.
Age limit: Kids 10 years and younger.
Photo Credit: anarchosyn
Bob EvansBirthday boys and girls can get a free Bob Evans kids meal when a parent signs up for the restaurant chain’s birthday club online. Menu options include mini cheeseburgers, a grilled cheese sandwich, Kraft (Stock Quote: KFT) Mac & Cheese, chicken strips and spaghetti with meat sauce.
Age limit: Kids under 12 only.
Photo Credit: bsabarnowl
California Pizza KitchenKids can enjoy a free meal at California Pizza Kitchen during their birth month by having their parents join the CPKids Birthday Club. The kids menu includes pizza, pasta, chicken or salad with a drink and free refills. Pizza toppings include some of the more adventurous options, including cheeseburger and honey chicken.
Age limit: 10 and under.
Photo Credit: perry_marco
Pizza RanchYoung pizza lovers in the Midwest can get a free certificate for a meal on their birthdays at Pizza Ranch. The restaurant’s menus vary by location, so the kids meals available to you may vary, but if you’re lucky, the location near you has a day where kids can eat free there as well.
Age limit: 11 and under.
Photo Credit: davef3138
TGI Friday’sFree food at Friday’s may vary depending on your location, but some patrons of this restaurant chain have reported getting a free appetizer and a free dessert on their special day. Call ahead or ask your server what goodies you can get, and if they won’t give you free food, at least you’re likely to get a free birthday song out of it. If you’re 21 or over, you can get a “Give Me More Stripes” rewards card, which entitles you to a free appetizer or dessert once you join, an $8 coupon for free food for every $100 you spend and other benefits.
Age limit: None for the birthday deal.
Photo Credit: deansouglass
AvedaSkin care and cosmetics company Aveda is offering a free gift for those celebrating a birthday when they visit one of its stores. Aveda will send you a postcard for your gift, and if you make of purchase of $50 or more, you can get a free sample of its Caribbean Therapy Body Crème.
Age limit: 18 and up.
Photo Credit: ianmalcm
The Children’s PlaceParents can get a coupon for this kids clothing retailer on their children’s birthdays and their own birthdays by registering for the Children’s Place Birthday Club. And there’s enough space to enter five kids’ names.
Age limit: Parents signing up have to be 18 years of age or older.
Photo Credit: isafmedia
My Little PonyToy maker Hasbro (Stock Quote: HAS) offers a birthday club for parents with kids who love My Little Ponies. By joining, parents can get special deals on My Little Pony products and help planning a My Little Pony-themed birthday party, and kids can get pony-themed wallpaper for their computers and a special birthday e-mail.
Age limit: None listed.
Photo Credit: dreamcicle
Vermont Kids Birthday ClubKids living in the state of Vermont have a birthday club all for themselves and can be entered to win a prize from Zachary’s Family Fun Center in South Burlington and get their pictures in Kids VT Family Newspaper. Zachary’s birthday packages include pizza and soda, private seating, birthday cake and ice cream, goody bags, game tokens and balloons. Games include air hockey, mini basketball and video games, plus there’s a ball pit for the little ones.
Age limit: None listed.
Photo Credit: Marlie Kanoi
Burger KingBurger King birthday parties weren’t just all the rage among children of the ‘80s. Kids today can celebrate their birthdays at the fast food restaurant, too. And by joining the BK Kids Birthday Club, children can receive a coupon for a free kids hamburger meal.
Age limit: 13 and under, but we hope that creepy king won’t be there to scare away the kids.
Photo Credit: Sister72
GolfLucky golfers celebrating their birthdays may be able to get a free or discounted round of golf on the anniversary of their birth at various golf courses nationwide.
Talon’s Cove in Saratoga Springs, Utah, offers a free round on your birthday. And Apple Moutain Golf in Belvidere, N.J., Lost Creek Golf in Aledo, Texas, Rolling Acres Golf in Beaver Falls, Pa. and Mount Si Golf Course in Snoqualmie, Wash., offer discounts and deals for birthday revelers.
Photo Credit: dMap Travel Guide