Government Shutdown Freebies


There are well over 100,000 government employees being put on furlough without pay right now. Luckily, there are a fair number of Washington area businesses and restaurants helping out. A dear friend of mine over at Inspiration in Creation is one of them, and this post is dedicated to her. I hope, for your sake and others, this nonsense stops soon.

I’ll continue updating this list as I find more information, but look here if you are a federal worker in the DC area. There are also some non-worker events for anybody who needs a distraction.

Check Twitter hashtags #shutdowndeals #furloughfreebies as well

(List updates from CNN, Lansing State Journal, NBC affiliates, and WTOP Washington)

  • Z-Burger locations in Arlington, Columbia Heights, Southwest and Tenleytown will offer free burgers for furloughed federal government and D.C. government workers every day of the shutdown from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and then again from 5-7 p.m. Just show your government ID.
  • The National Geographic Museum will be open with free admission for all on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
  • Furloughed federal workers who buy a hoagie or salad at any Taylor Gourmet location will get “A 10% discount, career counseling & a cookie.”
  • Some of Jose Andres’ restaurants will offer a free sandwich for furloughed workers when they show a government ID from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. everyday until the shutdown is over. The restaurants include Jaleo locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia; Zaytinya in D.C. and Oyamelin D.C.
  • The National Zoo may be closed, but the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is open Tuesday and is free for all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday is free burrito day at California Tortilla’s location at 1470 Northpoint Village Ctr. in Reston, Va. Anyone can stop by for a free burrito from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sophie ‘s Cuban DC will give you three free empanadas with any purchase when you show a government ID on Thursday, Oct. 3.
  • Sixth and I Historic Synogogue will transform into “Shutdown Central” for the duration of the shutdown. It will offer free food, coffee and wifi to not just federal workers, but everyone. They’re planning some fun stuff such as a “The West Wing” marathon, and games of “Political Ping Pong”.
  • If you’re a federal government employee, show your ID at Mockingbird Hill for a free glass of sherry each day as long as the shutdown lasts.
  • The National Museum of Women in the Arts will stay open as usual and offer free admission to federal employees who show ID.
  • D.C. Reynolds will offer buy one get one free drinks for everyone from 11 a.m. To 9 p.m. every day the federal government is shut down.
  • The Philips Collection will be open and offering free admission for everyone to their permanent collection from Tuesday through Friday.
  • Potomac Pilates will offer two free classes to furloughed federal employees. Here’s how to claim: Create an account at, then email and let her know your government job title and department. They will then verify your account and add the classes, allowing you to schedule them.
  • On Tuesday, The Daily Dish in Silver Spring will give all government workers a free cup of regular coffee, no purchase necessary.
  • Beltway Plaza Mall in Greenbelt will give furloughed workers a free lunch and a free movie. Now through Oct. 31, bring your furlough notice to the box office to get coupons for a free lunch, fruit or cookie at participating mall restaurants, as well as a free movie coupon good at the Academy 8 Theaters. Restrictions apply.
  • Fibre Space in Old Town Alexandria will offer free “intro to knitting” classes (normally $75) for government workers or contractors with ID. The classes will take place from 1-5 p.m. on every workday that the federal government is closed. Bring your own needles and yarn, or buy some at the session.
  • Kangaroo Boxing Club will offer $3 screwdrivers from 12-5 p.m., and your first one will be free with your federal ID.
  • All furloughed government employees (except members of Congress) can get one free pulled pork sandwich per day of the shutdown at Pork Barrel BBQ Restaurant in Alexandria. Show your government ID.
  • Federal employees affected by the shutdown: Get a free cupcake from Cupcake Boulevardfrom 1-3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday when you show your federal government ID.
  • Chef Jose Andres has a treat for furloughed federal workers. Get a free sandwich every day of the government shutdown between 3-5 p.m. at Jaleo locations in D.C., Bethesda and Crystal City as well as at Zaytinya and Oyamel.
    • Pork Barrel BBQ is offering all government employees — well, except members of Congress — a free pulled pork sandwich each day of the shutdown. You must have a government ID.
    • Furloughed federal government and D.C. government workers can get a free burger at  Z-Burger locations in Arlington, Columbia Heights, Southwest and Tenleytown. The burgers will be offered every day of the shutdown from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and from 5 until 7 p.m. You must show your government ID.
    • The Daily Dish in Silver Spring is offering free cups of coffee to all government workers throughout the shutdown; no purchase required. But members of Congress pay double.
    • Show your government ID at Sprinkles for a free cupcake Tuesday.
    • Sixth and I Historic Synagogue is opening “Shutdown Central” for the duration of the shutdown. Anyone can come in for “Political Ping Pong, bipartisan board games, reading materials, constant streaming of The West Wing.” Free coffee, food, and WiFi will also be provided.
    • Mockingbird Hill is offering a free glass of sherry to federal employees who show their ID as long as the shutdown lasts.
    • Anyone with a government ID can get three free empanadas with any purchase at Sophie ‘s Cuban DC on Thursday, Oct. 3.
    • Taylor Gourmet is offering furloughed federal workers “a 10 percent discount, career counseling and a cookie” with the purchase of any hoagie or salad.
  • On Tuesday starting at 7 p.m., Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar at National Harbor will have $3 Coors Light Drafts and $5 Well Drinks. Shutdown-fueled deals will continue Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. There’s no cover for the dueling piano show through Friday.

3 thoughts on “Government Shutdown Freebies

  1. Pingback: Government Shut-Down | Inspiration in Creation

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