Happy Birthday Song…Every Kids’ Dream

Every year we give our children the choice of what they want to do for their birthday. Several choices are available, such as birthday party with their friends, dinner with the family, dinner with mom and dad, or a sleepover. Each one of them has a different idea of what they think would be a good birthday. This year, one of our girls chose to go to dinner with mom and dad (always an honor for us). While we were sitting at Applebee’s I was trying to think of the best places to take a child for their birthday. Mostly, I was thinking about this because Applebee’s no longer sings happy birthday. Apparently, someone complained (several years ago) because they overheard someone’s Happy Birthday song and said that it was against their religion. Hhhhmmm…what’s a birthday dinner without the Happy Birthday song from a bunch of strangers, singing off-key, and embarrassing the crap out of you in front of a restaurant full of strangers who are now staring at you? By the way, this is exactly why I choose NOT to go out to eat on my birthday!



So, a few good choices (in my opinion) on restaurants who WILL sing to your kid and make some wonderful memories for your family:




  • IHOP
  • Denny’s
  • Sizzler
  • Buca de Beppo
  • Old Spaghetti Factory
  • Bubba Gump’s
  • Joe’s Crab Shack
  • TGI Friday’s
  • Chili’s
  • Olive Garden
  • Hooters (okay, I have to admit that my son went there with his uncle and a friend of his…he had fun, but apparently couldn’t look up from the table the whole time)

What is your favorite restaurant to take your kids to? Do they sing the Happy Birthday song?


  1. I can't believe Applebee's stopped singing happy birthday because someone complained?! Seriously, how ridiculous is that…this is a family restaurant!!!!…and to indulge a complaint involving a totally harmless celebration? Ok, I better stop…

    Well, my kids love Japanese and Thai food, so for their birthdays, they'll usually ask for either one of these. If we're going out with their friends, then it's burgers at Five Bros., sometimes Red Robin or crab cakes at a restaurant close by called Brio, not sure if it's a chain or not. We also sometimes go to P.F. Chang's…they've been having happy hour treats, really yummy and decently priced. The kids beg me not to have a birthday song, but it's nice when the staff brings a little treat with a lit candle, and if there's singing, nobody around ever seems to mind, and people usually applaud.

    Which brings me back to Applebee's…can I have the manager's number? lol

    1. Joanna,

      I was appalled myself. Yes, I even made a comment about it to the waiter, but as a company policy, they can’t do anything about it…ridiculous in my opinion. What happened to freedom of religion? You can’t push your religious beliefs on me, and I can’t push my religious beliefs on you; however, this one person who complained pushed their beliefs on the entire company, which is then pushed on all customers who want to have Happy Birthday sung to them. My kids usually don’t mind getting sung to (I think they like the attention). They did give her a nice little desert, though…but there’s nothing like having them sing to the kids!

      1. I'd really like to know in what religion celebration of someone's birthday (thus expressing gratitude for life, and love) is offensive. Besides, it's not like there's some sort of ritual that might make some people uncomfortable…it's what has been done forever in restaurants, which is sing happy birthday on occasion for like 3 seconds! and to a child! Seriously, people (and companies) need to get a grip.

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