When you're a kid, your birthday is the most special day of the year. You are showered with gifts and love and made to feel like a little queen or king for the day. There are also many celebrations with family, friends and even in school. But if a child's birthday falls on a different day than his or her party, there are many things parents can do to help make it an extra special day -- for free. Here are 20 places on Long Island to help make your child's birthday a little sweeter -- some, you just pop in; others, you register for on a national website. (If you have privacy concerns, check the site's policy.)
AGES All WHERE Visit website for locations INFO krischs.com Sign your children up for Kirsch's Birthday Club and they will receive a special surprise on their birthdays.
AGES All WHERE Visit website for locations INFO pfchangs.com Bring your children to P.F. Chang's on their birthdays and they will receive a complimentary slice of cake.
Barnes & Noble
AGES 12 and under WHERE Bay Shore, Carle Place, East Northport, Huntington Station, Lake Grove, Manhasset, Massapequa, New Hyde Park INFO kids.barnesandnoble.com/kidsclub Sign up for the free Kids' Club and enter your child's birthday. You'll receive an email coupon for a free cupcake from the Barnes & Noble cafe on your child's birthday. You'll also receive a free digital book created by your child on Tikatok.com.
AGES All WHERE Visit website for locations INFO panerabread.com Register your children with Panera Bread's My Panera rewards program and they can receive a free drink, meal or dessert on their birthdays.
AGES All WHERE Click on "Find A Store" to locate one in your area INFO baskinrobbins.com Join the Birthday Club and your child will receive a 2.5-ounce scoop of his or her favorite ice cream. Keep an eye out for an email about five days before your child's special day; you'll also receive a discount on a birthday cake.
AGES 12 and under WHERE Manhasset and Westbury INFO benihana.com/kabukikids Hibachi is a fun experience for the whole family, so sign your kids up for the Kabuki Kids Club. Fill out the form on the website with your child's information to receive a postcard with a special treat. During the birthday month, present the card so your child can choose a free souvenir mug with the purchase of any kid's meal.
AGES 12 and under WHERE Search for the 15 Long Island locations on the website. INFO Bostonmarket.com Sign your kids up for the VIP club and receive a birthday coupon for a free kid's meal, drink and dessert.
California Pizza Kitchen
AGES 10 and under WHERE Lake Grove, Huntington Station, Westbury INFO cpk.com, click on kids' photo Add your children to the CPKids Birthday Club and they can enjoy a free CPKids meal during their birthday month. You'll receive an email coupon.
AGES 12 and under WHERE Enter ZIP code on the site to find a Friendly's in Nassau or Suffolk. INFO friendlys.com Enjoy a free Happy Ending Birthday Sundae when you join the BFF Club.
AGES All WHERE Click on "locations" to find an IHOP near you. INFO ihop.com Free full stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh N’ Fruity Pancakes to kids (and adults) on their birthdays. Parents need to register ahead of time with IHOP's Pancake Revolution.
AGES All WHERE 125 Old Country Rd., Carle Place INFO redrobin.com/eclub/br> Join the e-club and receive a free burger on your birthday.
AGES All WHERE 1380 Deer Park Ave., North Babylon INFO sonicdrivein.com Sign up for the birthday club and your child will receive a free Wacky Pack Kids' Meal on his or her birthday.
AGES All WHERE 895 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville INFO 631-271-1180; bowlmor.com On the website, enter your email for special offers. About a month before your child's birthday, you'll receive an email for one free game and shoe rental for the birthday child.
AGES 6 and up WHERE 2407 Grand Ave., Baldwin INFO 516-223-8980; baldwinbowl.com Register your children at kidsbowlfree.com and they can bowl one free game on their birthdays.
Boomers! Family Fun Centers
AGES 14 and under WHERE 655 Long Island Ave., Medford INFO 631-475-1771; boomersparks.com/site/medford Enter your child's birthday on the Boomers website and receive a printable free day pass.
Bouncers and Slydos
AGES 5 and under WHERE 1835 New Highway, Farmingdale INFO 631-752-2324; bouncersandslydos.com Enjoy free open play for the birthday child with more than 10 indoor inflatables and slides. Open play is offered on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon during the summer.
Paint A Piece
AGES All WHERE 6126 Jericho Tpke., Commack INFO 631-486-6969; paintapiecepottery.com If you head to Paint a Piece on your child's birthday, you'll be greeted with balloons on the table; plus, the birthday child will receive a 4-by-4-inch tile to paint and a small gift to have as a memory of his or her special day.
The Children's Safari
AGES 12 and under WHERE 6 Rockaway Ave., Valley Stream INFO 516-872-2600; thechildrenssafari.com With one-time membership fee ($35), your child will have free admission during his or her birthday month to the Children's Safari. Here you'll find an 8,000-plus-square-foot facility with arcade games, two play areas, a sand pit and a mini-rock-climbing unit with slides and tunnels.
Toys 'R' Us
AGES 10 and under WHERE Check the store locator section on the website to find a store in your area. INFO birthdaysrus.com Join Geoffrey's Birthday Club and your child will receive a bounty of birthday freebies. Each year Toys R Us will mail out a birthday greeting card and a special gift, plus a birthday phone call from Geoffrey (if you choose this option). Bring your child into the store and he or she will get a birthday crown, a Geoffrey balloon and an in-store announcement letting everyone know it's his or her special day.
AGES All WHERE Find a location near you on their website INFO shopyourway.com/birthdayclub Register your children with the Kmart Shop Your Way Birthday Club to receive a free $5 certificate to spend toward a gift for their birthdays. You’ll also gain access to party planning tips and gift ideas.