Disclosure: Diary of a First Time Mom is proud to partner with Denny’s as a #DennysDiners Blogger Ambassador. Stay tuned for exclusive content and menu news. Although we’re being compensated in some form, all opinion remain our own. Dear Diary, Last night, I ran into an old friend who asked to see a picture of my daughter. I proudly pulled out my cell phone, and she swiped through countless images. She looked up and gasped, and said she can’t believe Caitlynn was turning four this month. I couldn’t believe her children were in high school and college. The last time I saw them, they weren’t much older than Caitlynn. Every year, it gets a little harder to accept my baby is growing up. I keep telling myself that I’m not going to plan a big birthday bash, but here I am, ordering a face painter and a character visit for a princess themed celebration. Since I can’t freeze the hands of time, I can spend quality time with my little girl. And that time doesn’t have to cost much money, especially since this party is burning a hole in my pockets. One free activity we’re planning is a trip to Denny’s. On your birthday, customers get a free Original Grand Slam® when you dine in at select Denny’s locations. Yep, you get free pancakes just for being born! And who doesn’t love pancakes, especially with chocolate chips. Kids get to build their own Jr. Grand Slam and select three items from a long list of options, including healthier options like egg whites and turkey bacon. And if you’re the birthday person’s chaperone, you can still save by ordering off Denny’s $2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu. A Strawberry Pancake Puppies® Sundae is only two bucks! Over the meal, we party planned. Caitlynn listed her the friends from preschool and camp she wanted to invite, called my sister to order a Sophia the First princess cupcake cake and asked her cousin to be in charge of the temporary tattoo stand. In addition to the royal birthday bash, I took a week of vacation time. Since I’m splurging on the party, I’m planning to celebrate her big birthday for little to no money throughout the week. Here’s are a few free birthday party ideas. Monday: Play at the Park! Walk off those cake calories. And celebrate your child growing up. It’s OK that she’s no longer in the baby swing and doesn’t need you to push her. And it’s OK if you shed a tear! If there’s a fountain like the one at our park, be sure to bring a bag of pennies to make lots of birthday wishes. And grab a bottle of bubbles. If you’re in Pittsburgh, check the listing for Citiparks Movies in the Park. Grab a blanket and watch one of the kid-friendly blockbusters on lawns across Steel City. Tuesday: Make a Splash! Pittsburgh is home to several soak zones and spray parks. These free activities are great ways to stay cool in the summer. We’ll probably check out the Water Steps and Canal Square. Wednesday: Pet a Goat! Be on the lookout for free community festivals with petting zoos. Round Hill Park and Exhibit Farm is a popular local attraction. It’s a cheaper alternative than zoos and aquariums. And it’s a shorter excursion if the sun is sweltering. Be sure to pack your hand sanitizer! Thursday: Get Your Game On! Unplug the TV and other electronics, and dust off your board games. Weather permitting, head outdoors and teach your kids how to play games you grew up on, like freeze tag, hide-and-go seek, duck, duck, goose and hopscotch. Friday: Have Fun! To round out the week, have some fun! We’ll probably head to Fun for All, which houses miniature golf, bumper boats, ballocity, batting cages and kiddie rides. Hey DFTM Fam–How are you celebrating summer on a budget? Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.