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 some 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.)
Long Island Aquarium
AGES All WHERE 431 East Main St, Riverhead INFO 631-208-9200, longislandaquarium.com THE DEAL: Guests can get free admission within seven days of their birthdays. (Tickets must be purchased at the aquarium, proof of birthday required.)
AGES All WHERE Click " Locations" on the Chili's main site to find a restaurant near you INFO chilis.com THE DEAL: Guests who sign up for "My Chili's + Plenti Rewards" score coupons in the mail, including one for a free dessert on their birthday.
Cold Stone Creamery
Jersey Mike's Subs
AGES All WHERE 371 Old Country Rd., Carle Place; 143 Deer Park Ave., North Babylon; 255 Centereach Mall, Centereach INFO dennys.com THE DEAL: Guests can get a complimentary original Grand Slam -- two pancakes, two strips of bacon, two eggs and two sausage links -- on their birthday. (Proof of birthday is required.)
AGES All WHERE 1504 Old Country Rd., Westbury; 160 Walt Whitman Rd, Huntington Station; 476 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove INFO pfchangs.com THE DEAL: Bring your children to P.F. Chang's on their birthdays and they will receive a complimentary small banana roll.
Barnes & Noble
AGES 12 and under WHERE Click "Find a Store" for location information INFO barnesandnoble.com THE DEAL: 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.
AGES All WHERE Click on "Find A Shop" to locate one in your area INFO baskinrobbins.com THE DEAL: Join the Birthday Club and receive a 2.5-ounce scoop of your favorite ice cream on your birthday. Keep an eye out for an email with a $3 off a cake coupon (minimum $15 purchase) about a month before the birthday.
AGES 12 and under WHERE 2105 Northern Blvd., Manhasset and 920 Merchant's Concourse, Westbury INFO benihana.com/kabukikids THE DEAL: Fill out the form on the website with your child's information to receive a postcard that entitles them to a free souvenir mug with the purchase of any Kabuki Kids meal.
AGES 12 and under WHERE search for the Long Island location near you on the restaurant chain's INFO Bostonmarket.com THE DEAL: Sign your kids up for the VIP club and receive a birthday coupon for a free kid's meal.
AGES All WHERE Click on "locations" to find an IHOP near you INFO ihop.com THE DEAL: Sign up on the restaurant chain's website for a free stack of "Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity" pancakes on your birthday.
AGES All WHERE 125 Old Country Rd., Carle Place; 2405 Merrick Rd., Bellmore; 1035 Montauk Hwy., West Babylon INFO redrobin.com THE DEAL: Join the e-club and receive a free burger on your birthday.
AGES All WHERE 895 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville INFO 631-271-1180; bowlmor.com THE DEAL: On the website, enter your email for special offers. About a month before your birthday, you'll receive an email for one free game and shoe rental.
Paint A Piece
AGES All WHERE 6126 Jericho Tpke., Commack INFO 631-486-6969; paintapiecepottery.com THE DEAL: If you head to Paint a Piece on your child's birthday, the birthday child will receive a 4-by-4-inch tile to paint.
Toys 'R' Us
AGES Nine and under WHERE Check the store locator section on the website to find a store in your area INFO rewardsrus.toysrus.com/gbc THE DEAL: 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).