Kids love birthdays. And kids can also be pretty easy to impress. That’s why, as tempting as it can be to load on with amazing toys to celebrate, there’s really no need. There are lots of low-cost ways to make another year around the sun (and another candle on the cake!) feel really special. Many retailers offer freebies and discounts on birthdays that make what would have otherwise been a $2 pretzel or $3 scoop of ice cream feel celebratory. Taking advantage of bday freebies is also a great way to have fun while de-emphasizing gifts during a birthday. We found the best kid-friendly freebies and discounts: Sign up for one or two things your kids will like or make it a family challenge to hit up as many as possible during your child’s birth month.
A note on how these programs work: Because it is 2019, most require an email address or cell phone number to participate. Many programs allow a parent or guardian to create an account with an email and then add children to their accounts (no email required for kids). Others don’t have age restrictions or are for ages 13 and up but do require an email address. This method requires a little ingenuity if you want to sign up multiple children or take advantage of the birthday offer for yourself. If your kids don’t have their own email, many servers will allow you to create new accounts for free. You can also decide if you’re comfortable having older kids get email marketing from these companies.
Keep in mind that plenty of birthday freebies (but not all) are parts of larger rewards programs, though you can set email preferences to minimize marketing emails you receive. No companies included here require you to spend money to qualify for the birthday gifts, though some of them are only free with purchase. We’ve noted all places where kids have to be 13 and older (or 12 and under) to participate, as well if the gift is free or requires a purchase (like an adult meal). And hey, if you want to get in on the fun, check out some of the best birthday freebies for adults as well.