Columbus Day Freebies

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Columbus Day freebies are free offers and discounts provided to consumers in celebration of the National holiday. Numerous retail stores such as Best Buy offer special Columbus Day sales and offers, while attractions like the Shedd Aquarium offer free admission to all Illinois residents. In addition, cities across the United States celebrate on Monday and during Columbus Day weekend with free parades.

Columbus Day is a national holiday, which means all government offices, public schools, and the U.S. postal service are closed.[1] Although the holiday was celebrated by many beginning in the 18th century, it became a federal holiday in 1937.[2]

Flickr: NYCMarines
Celebrated on Second Monday in October
Offered by Numerous stores, attractions, museums, restaurants, including IKEA, The Gap, and the Body Shop
Types of freebies Free admission, storewide sales, free parades
Limitations Offers are typically only good Columbus Day, Columbus Day weekend, or the week following or prior to Columbus Day
Coupon required? Some offers require a coupon, but most do not
Author Allison Hughes

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About Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a time to celebrate the day when Christopher Columbus landed in the New World on October 12, 1492. Although Americans celebrate the holiday to honor Columbus and his many achievements, the day is also a time for Italian-Americans to celebrate their heritage, as Columbus was Italian-born. Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Columbus Day a national holiday after the Knights of Columbus continued to lobby for one. From 1937 until 1971, the holiday was held on October 12 each year. Since 1971, the holiday has been observed on the second Monday in October each year.[2]

2012 Columbus Day Freebies, Coupons, and Discount Offers

  • Sometimes museums, aquariums, and other attractions offer free admission on Columbus Day. For example:
    • The USS Anzio, which is typically based out of Norfolk, Virginia, is in Boston during Columbus Day weekend. The ship will offer free public tours throughout the entire weekend.[3]
    • The Shedd Aquarium offers Illinois residents free admission on Monday, October 8.
  • Each year on Columbus Day, numerous stores offer online and in-store Columbus Day sales. These sales usually begin the weekend before Columbus Day, and may extend into the week after as well. Some Columbus Day sales include:
    • Through Columbus Day, October 8, IKEA is offering a free meal at their on site restaurant to all customers who purchase $100 or more at the store. In order to get the offer, customers need to eat at the restaurant, get a coupon and save their receipt, and present both when they are checking out with their purchase of $100 or more. The price of the meal will be deducted at the store's register.[4]
    • Best Buy is offering a Columbus Day Sale through October 13, good for 10 percent to 20 percent off major appliances. Customers who pay with a Best Buy credit card will receive an additional 5 percent off.[5]
    • Through October 14, OrthoMattress is offering special Columbus Day printable coupons on its official website. Offers include 50 percent off select Sealy and Simmons mattresses (with a purchase of $999 or more), and free sales tax deals on purchases of $999 and more.[6]
    • The Gap offers 30 percent off online purchases when shoppers enter the code: GAPCOLOR. The store also offers 40 percent off in store purchases through Columbus Day.[7]
    • In honor of Columbus Day, The Body Shop is offering buy three, get three free deals and buy two, get two free deals on select products.[8]
    • Through Monday, October 8, the Entertainment Coupon Book is on sale through the coupon book's official website. Customers who buy one book at the regular price receive a second book for only $14.92. The offer includes free shipping.[9]
  • One of the biggest Columbus Day freebies are the parades. Numerous cities offer these free parades, as well as free festivities after the parade, some of which may include food, drinks, and entertainment. Some of the cities offering free annual parades include:
    • Chicago - the parade takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, October 14, 2013, and starts at Columbus Drive, and goes from Balbo Ave to Monroe St.[10]
    • New York City - the parade takes place on Monday, October 14, from 11:25 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fifth Avenue, heading north, from 42nd Street to 72nd Street.[11]

History of Columbus Day

A Columbus Day fireworks display from the Oregon Coast in 2011

Also See: 4th of July Freebies, Back to School Freebies, National Cookie Month Free Offers, Military Freebies, Veterans Day Freebies


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