Birthdays only come around once a year, so it’s important to go all out when celebrating your little one’s big day. Thankfully, you’re not responsible for all the presents: a handful of local spots, from ice cream parlors to restaurants to mini golf courses, offer fun freebies to kiddos (or big kids, in some cases) on their birthdays. So check out our list below and see how many you and your little party animal can scoop up on their big day!‚
Photo: Pizza My Heart
Pizza My Heart
Pizza My Heart knows that the way to a kid’s heart is with a slice of pizza. And the way to a parent’s heart is with a FREE slice of pizza. Whether your little one is a cheese freak or a more adventurous eater, Pizza My Heart has all the taste buds covered with single slices available for lunch and dinner. Head to your closest PMH and sign your little one up for the Birthday Club. Kids will receive a postcard on their birthday that they can turn in for a free slice of their choosing.
Pizza My Heart has over a dozen Bay Area locations from Burlingame all the way down to Monterey!
Old Spaghetti Factory
Pasta, cheese and giant meatballs—what’s not to love? The Old Spaghetti Factory is a destination worthy of a celebration for kids and parents alike. The menu is packed with tons of kid-friendly options (including the festive cotton candy limeade) that are sure to please even the pickiest eater. Sign the birthday kid up online and she will eat an entire meal for free!
There are three Bay Area Old Spaghetti Factory locations: Redwood City, San Jose and Concord.
Can’t take your Gremmie (translation: a young or inexperienced surfer) to the Big Island for her big day? Head on over to Islands Restaurant and you will be instantly transported to a tropical oasis. Tons of big TV screens entertain young diners with videos of surfers catching killer waves. If you register for the Tiki Link online, let them know your Gremmie’s birthday and you will receive a coupon for a free junior sundae during their birthday month. (Insider Tip: Unofficially, most servers will comp the Chocolate Lava or Kona Pie for the table to share when you mention a birthday.)
20750 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Going out to eat with the under 10 crowd can be challenging at best (and horrifying at worst). Benihana provides not only some tasty eats, but entertainment at the same time. Watch the talented hibachi chefs flip shrimp tails, make onion volcanoes and more—all at your table! Kabuki Kids members will get a postcard which entitles them to a complimentary Benihana mug with the purchase of a Kabuki Kids menu item during their birthday month.
Benihana has four Bay Area locations: San Francisco, Burlingame, Concord and Cupertino.
Photo credit: Subpar Miniature Golf by Kristian R. via Yelp
Subpar Miniature Golf
Need to beat the heat or avoid one of our rare Bay Area rainstorms? Subpar Miniature Golf is your indoor destination for birthday fun. Each hole depicts a local landmark like Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge. Best part of all, the birthday child gets to play all 18 holes for free.
1511 Park St.
This historic theatre offers not only some great popcorn and 1920s nostalgia, but free movies on your birthday. Most of the shows are better for parents than the younger set, but they do offer some retro classics (like E.T. the Extraterrestrial) as part of their Popcorn Palace showings on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.
3630 Balboa St.
San Francisco, Ca
Photo credit: Michael Dunn via Flickr creative commons
Cold Stone Creamery
It’s not just any old scoop of ice cream over at Cold Stone—it’s a Creation. Join the Cold Stone Creamery eClub and you (or your birthday child) will receive a coupon for buy one Creation, get one Creation free during your birthday month. Try one of their signature Creations (highly recommended: the Mud Pie Mojo) or let your birthday kid’s creativity run wild by letting them create their own, with all sorts of mix-ins available from blueberries to white chocolate chips.
Check out all the Bay Area locations here.
What birthday freebies are your favorites? Let us know below!
— Kate Loweth