|Getting Free Goodies
Birthday goodies from restaurants and retailers abound, even in a tough economy, and theyâ€™re not just for kids.
Thereâ€™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.
Weâ€™re not saying you should pretend itâ€™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.
Unless youâ€™re a vegetarian or allergic to beef, you canâ€™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, and youâ€™ll have to show identification. You can use the deal at any U.S. Black Angus or Cattle Company Steakhouse location.
Age limit: 16 or older.
Kids enrolled in the Denny’s Birthday Club will receive a birthday card entitling them to a free kids meal and sundae at a participating Dennyâ€™s restaurant as long as theyâ€™re with an adult paying for a regular-priced adult entrÃ©e.
Age limit: Kids 10 years and under accompanied by an adult.
Red Robin patrons who join the restaurant chainâ€™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, youâ€™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
By adding yourself to the Firehouse Subs mailing list and selecting your favorite sandwich on the restaurantâ€™s menu, you can get a certificate for a free sub during your birth month.
Age limit: None
Whatâ€™s a birthday without ice cream? Thankfully, ice cream chain Coldstone understands the importance of this frozen treat on birthdays, so you can get â€œthe sweetest birthday possible,â€ according to the company.
Youâ€™ll have to create an account on the companyâ€™s Web site and sign up to receive other promotions.
Age limit: None
Baskin 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 youâ€™re in charge of buying your own cake.
Youâ€™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.
Professional portrait studio Olan Mills offers free baby portraits for parents who want to record their childâ€™s growth in pictures during their early years. Portraits can be taken every year on your kidâ€™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.
|Toys â€œRâ€ Us
Toys â€œRâ€ 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 â€œRâ€ Us giraffe may even send you a birthday card.
Age limit: Kids 10 years and younger.
Birthday boys and girls can get a free Bob Evans kids meal when a parent signs up for the restaurant chainâ€™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.
Kids can also get a free meal from Taco Time on their birthdays. Each meal includes a taco, burrito or quesadilla plus fries, a small drink and either cinnamon and sugar Crustos or a toy.
Age limit: 12 and younger.
|California Pizza Kitchen
Kids 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.
Young pizza lovers in the Midwest can get a free certificate for a meal on their birthdays at Pizza Ranch. The restaurantâ€™s menus vary by location, so the kids meals available to you may vary, but if youâ€™re lucky, the location near you has a day where kids can eat free there as well.
Age limit: 11 and under.
Free food at Fridayâ€™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 wonâ€™t give you free food, at least youâ€™re likely to get a free birthday song out of it. If youâ€™re 21 or over, you can get a â€œGive Me More Stripesâ€ 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.
Skin 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 CrÃ¨me.
Age limit: 18 and up.
|The Childrenâ€™s Place
Parents can get a coupon for this kids clothing retailer on their childrenâ€™s birthdays and their own birthdays by registering for the Childrenâ€™s Place Birthday Club. And thereâ€™s enough space to enter five kidsâ€™ names.
Age limit: Parents signing up have to be 18 years of age or older.
Red Lobster promises a birthday surprise for those who join its Fresh Catch Club. Youâ€™ll also be entered to win a trip to â€œone of the world’s great seafood destinationsâ€ or another seafood-related gift.
Age limit: none
|My Little Pony
Toy 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.
|Vermont Kids Birthday Club
Kids living in the state of Vermont have a birthday club all for themselves and can be entered to win a prize from Zacharyâ€™s Family Fun Center in South Burlington and get their pictures in Kids VT Family Newspaper. Zacharyâ€™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 thereâ€™s a ball pit for the little ones.
Age limit: None listed.
Burger King birthday parties werenâ€™t just all the rage among children of the â€˜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 wonâ€™t be there to scare away the kids.
Especially appropriate for the child who is fascinated by the construction industry, Ace Hardware has a birthday club promising a surprise coupon at participating locations. Visit your local Ace Hardware to sign up and find out more about rules and age limits.
Lucky 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.
Talonâ€™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.
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