Precisely two weeks ago the emails started. Businesses informing me I had a birthday approaching. I don't know how it all started; or who came up with the idea first, but its common place now for most major businesses (and a lot of smaller local ones too) to provide something free on your birthday.
Every year I've capitalized on this, some years even doing a tour to see how many places I could hit up in one day for these free birthday treats. I dunno, I guess it's the frugal side of me coming out. When you have never had extra money laying around, and when going out for dinner is a luxury item that's only budgeted for once or twice A YEAR, you plan out your day of freebies months in advance!
But I had to wonder... how many people know about this? When I went to search for ideas, nothing local turned up; and the ones that did were either out of date, or not applicable. So, I decided to publish the first ever guide to Birthday Freebies in Kelowna. A growing list of places that offer free food, free drinks and other free items on your birthday. Now while this list is specifically tailored for those who live in Kelowna, BC or the immediate surrounding area, a lot of these places are national franchises, so its likely they will offer similar birthday freebies for you in your location too.
Lets start things off bright and early with some free birthday breakfast items
"We got you a cake... a pancake"
Who doesn't' love starting their day off with a free full stack of world famous pancakes from iHop? If you're subscribed to "MyHop" then you'll get the email a week before your birthday and it doesn't expire until a week after. You've got two weeks to use this birthday freebie. And that's not the only rewards you get throughout the year from being subscribed to this pancake club. It's well worth it!
If you're looking for more than just pancakes on your birthday, then how about a Grand Slam? Denny's would love to host you for this free birthday breakfast. No email list to sign up for, and no coupon needed, however this deal is only valid on your actual birthday and it's for dine in only. Don't forget to bring a piece of valid picture ID.
A regional favourite here in British Columbia (and now its first one in Edmonton, AB), this pancake house straight from the Netherlands has been around since 1975. If you've got one close by, then you'll want to be part of De Club. Not only will you be able to bank points for every dollar spent, that you can eventually redeem for $10 rewards... but on your birthday you get a meal up to a $14.95 value completely free.
This place is a local secret and unanimous favourite. They have been voted the best breakfast in the Okanagan more times than I can count. They have also been featured on "You Gotta Eat Here!" on the Food Network. While they are only open for breakfast and lunch, if you go on your birthday you'll receive a free piece of homemade deep dish Apple or Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
Located in Lake Country, Norman's Diner is the newest place on the list having just opened in 2019. Featuring quick service and a home-style meal, things get even better if you go on your birthday. If you bring in your photo ID showing your date of birth, you will receive 50% off breakfast OR a free slice of pie for dessert. If it's your kid celebrating their birthday, they can choose from kids pancakes or kids waffle for completely free!
After all that free breakfast... we probably need to take a break and grab a free coffee, or four... right?
As a Starbucks Rewards member, you get a Birthday Reward. On your birthday, you will receive one (1) complimentary handcrafted beverage OR one (1) complimentary food item OR one (1) complimentary ready-to-drink bottled beverage.
To qualify for your Birthday Reward, you must join Starbucks Rewards at least seven (7) days prior to your birthday, provide your birthday in your Starbucks Rewards account information, and make at least one Star-earning transaction prior to your birthday each year.
Keep in mind that over the years the redemption period has changed, and your birthday reward is now only valid on the exact day of your birthday.
I need to be honest here, I've gotten different answers and responses every time I've asked, at each different location. I have personally received "any drink, any size" for free before (at the 2823 Pandosy St. location) but more frequently I've heard and witnessed that they give a small hot beverage for free on your birthday. Send me an update with your experience.
Not everyone is a coffee drinker. There is at least one person - me! So it amazing that David's Tea has joined the list of great places that offer free birthday treats. If you sign up for the "Frequent Steeper" program, you will open the doors to all sorts of perks, rewards and exclusive items; one being a free cup of any tea on your birthday!
As they say, "all good things must come to an end". The free birthday reward from Booster Juice is a perfect example of this.
A free smoothie coupon is no longer sent to new Booster Nation newsletter subscribers on their birthday. The Birthday Smoothie Program closed as of Dec 31, 2018.
If you were subscribed to the Booster Juice newsletter prior to this date, you should have still received a free smoothie coupon on your birthday in 2019. However, as of January 1, 2020 no Booster Nation subscribers will be eligible for a free smoothie coupon for remaining subscribed.
Alright... enough drinking. It's time to eat again. There are some great places to stop for lunch that offer free items on your birthday.
For those french fry and poutine addicts out there just like me, this is a must. If you are a member of the NYF Fry Society and have loaded money onto your card online, then you are eligible for a free regular fries on your birthday. This membership is definitely worth it, because it's not just on your birthday. Free fries on national french fry day, free coke, discounts, exclusive previews and more await you
Who doesn't want a free burger on their birthday? If you are part of the Red Robin Royalty Program, "your appetite shall be rewarded". For your birthday freebie, choose from any of your favorite fire-grilled burgers (valid once during the month of your birthday)
Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters is 100% Canadian owned and operated and has been around for 50 year. They use only local Canada Grade A chicken and farm fresh potatoes as they prepare every meal with care. Every month, Mary sends an email newsletter with special offers and info you need to know. What’s more, if you register for this newsletter, you’ll also receive a free Big Mary (their signature chicken sandwich) two days before your birthday.
When you sign up for the Arby's email list, you will immediately receive a coupon for a free signature sandwich with any medium soft drink purchase. From there the deals keep coming including a free snack shake or cookie with any purchase on your birthday.
Now while this may be more of a dinner place, seeing as they are open late, you may need to fit this place in earlier to leave room for the bigger dinner options still to come. Bin 4 has a fabulous, flourless chocolate torte topped with almond praline, caramel and fresh whipped cream that they will serve up free of charge to you on your birthday.
Barcelos offers a trendy, fun place to have great food in a social environment. Serving up dishes with fresh ingredients and peri flavored Portuguese style cuisine, this family restaurant specializing in a combination of fast hot grilled chicken meals, sandwiches and salads is not to be overlooked. If you go on your birthday, they will cover your dessert by giving you a free piece of pie.
Your grandma can get you a card... but Subway gives you a cookie! All you need to do to receive this small free treat is sign up for their "MyWay Rewards" program. Not only will you score this birthday freebie, but with the program you will also get to treat yourself to tasty surprises by earning tokens with every purchase.
But lets be honest here... its going out for DINNER on your birthday that most people look forward to. And there are MORE than enough options here...
For over thirty years, Kelly O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Restaurants & Pub's have celebrated your Birthday! As of November 2016, they have celebrated more than 1,000,000 birthdays with our customers. In 2006 they started giving back, with $1 from every birthday they celebrate going to local charities. With special focus on the Food Bank and the Salvation Army! To date, Kelly & Carlos O'Bryan's has donated over $499,795 to local Food Banks across BC.
To claim your FREE Birthday Meal - $20 off one menu item before 4PM & $30 off one menu item from 4PM until close, you must: Come in on the day of your birthday. Bring at least one friend. Spell your name correctly. And of course, prove it’s your birthday* * If they are closed on your birthday, you can go in on any day within one week of your actual date.
For over 30 years, Mekong has been serving Kelowna fresh Asian cuisine. With 67 items on the menu, I'd be surprised if you didn't find something you'll love! For your birthday dinner, if you come in with two other people, they will apply a $12.95 discount to your birthday meal. If you choose to stop in at lunch time, a $7.95 discount will be given.
Award-winning, ravenously delicious, authentic southern BBQ that you’ll want to eat with your hands! Memphis Blues would love to host your birthday party and will help you with the bill by giving a 15% discount on any platter. This translates into $10.50 - $31.50 depending on how big of a platter you order.
Swiss Chalet is one of the most well know Chicken & Ribs restaurant, and they are even more famous for their dipping sauce. But have you tried their pies?
On your birthday, they will treat you to a slice of pie. Apple Pie just like grandma makes, velvety smooth Lemon Meringue Pie, light and fluffy Coconut Cream Pie or the delicious sweet, caramel and nutty Pecan Pie.
Thinking of going out for Pizza or Pasta on your birthday? Boston Pizza should come to mind as a possible option. When it comes to a sweet dessert menu, BP is second to none.
You will need to sign up for MyBP to receive your free dessert reward, but you get so many other freebies by joining, it would be crazy not to. When it comes time to ordering that dessert, good luck! But you can never go wrong with the Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake, can you?
Love BBQ? The only answer is YES. When you join the Montana’s Grill Lovers Club, you’re signing on for great BBQ and so much more. You’ll also get access to exclusive member perks and benefits including a free dessert on your birthday while the entire staff comes out in attempts to make your day the most memorable one possible. Make sure you have your camera ready!
Born on the West Coast and growing across Canada, Cactus Club Cafe offers the best in global cuisine using local, fresh ingredients served in a vibrant, contemporary setting. With Canada's first Iron Chef champion as the Executive Chef, the food here is second to none. For your birthday, you will be served a small portion of Rob Feenie's signature dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar.
At Milestones, they believe you can have your cake and eat it too! When you sign up for Milestones e-Newsletter, not only will you instantly receive a complimentary appetizer, but you'll also get delicious deals, exciting events, and exclusive Milestones recipes. Then on your birthday, you'll get an email will your free birthday dessert coupon that is valid for 2 weeks beyond your birthday.
At Earls you don't need to sign up for the newsletter or join any club (they don't ask you for your birthday even if you do!), so here you just need a good friend to inform the server or manager that it's your birthday. Once you do, a free birthday dessert will be brought out to you. I recommend asking for the Sticky Toffee Chocolate Pudding.
Since 1928, White Spot has proudly served BC. Yep, almost a century. White Spot Restaurants has become a British Columbian legend with a passion for using fresh, quality, local ingredients. For your birthday, not only will you receive a complimentary dessert... but if you're lucky the staff will come together and sing "Happy Birthday" at the top of their voices to alert the entire restaurant.
If you haven't tried the White Chocolate Brownie at Moxie's before, you're missing out. Trust me, I know! I've literally made them before - and ate far too many of them. So, what better way to give it a try than to show up on your birthday. No signup required, just inform your server and they will bring by a Bite of Brownie free of charge for your birthday!
Got anything left in you? Or maybe you've got TOO MUCH in you after this incredible day of Birthday Freebies. But we're not done yet. You've still some got late night treats to claim.
For those who enjoy the ice cream treats, Dairy Queen also offers a small treat for your birthday. To begin, you must be a member of the DQ Blizzard Fan Club. From there, you will receive an email one week prior to your birthday with TWO special treats included.
The first is a BOGO Free Blizzard Treat Coupon. The second treat is $3 OFF any 8" or 10" Blizzard or DQ Cake.
These coupons (which must be printed off to redeem) are valid for one week past your birthday - for a total of 14 days.
Two weeks before my birthday the email arrived. A coupon code for a free Ultimate Hershey's Chipits Cookie was attached. All you need to do is place a minimum order of $10.99 online and enter the code, and a free birthday cookie will be added to your order.
Now to be clear, this is FAR from an exhaustive or fully comprehensive list of all the birthday freebies available and it won't surprises me at all if you know of others. So, while I will continue to add items to this list throughout the year, please feel free to email me and let me know which ones you about too.
In the meantime, Happy Birthday, and I wish you all the freebies you can manage to cram into the three weeks surrounding your birthday!