Just about every day, my daughter Sloane turns to me and asks, “How many days until my birthday?”
So we ask Alexa, who tells us we’ve got something like 87 days to go, and Sloane turns to me with her eyes wide and her mouth agape.
“Is that a lot?!” she asks, hoping it’s not.
Remember when we used to look forward to our birthdays all year long? We used to dream about the cake, the presents, the fun with our friends and family. When we got older, we had milestones to look forward to, like getting our driver’s licenses and being able to vote. Once you turn 21, however, the excitement kind of fizzles.
But there’s still plenty to look forward to on your birthday. Instead of dreading another year older, why not start your “free stuff” countdown instead? Take it from my cousin, Susan. She turned her husband Brian’s birthday into a daylong party of freebie hopping fun with friends and family. Here’s how you can do it, too. All you need is identification to prove that it’s really your big day.
• Dwyer’s Irish Pub. It’s noted for having some of the best wings in Western New York, with an extended menu of sauce flavors like raspberry barbecue and wasabi plum. Go on your birthday and you’ll get a free wing for every year of your life. If you’re 30, you’ll get 30 free wings, if you’re 60 you’ll get 60 free wings, and so on.
The restaurant is located at 65 Webster St. in North Tonawanda.
• Sunset Bar and Grill. This restaurant, at 3 O’Connell Island in Wilson, also does the birthday chicken wing promotion. You can pick two different sauces.
• American Grille. Join the restaurant’s birthday club at AmericanGrille.net and you’ll receive a burger on your birthday, with the purchase of an entree. You have up until three days after your birthday to cash it in. The restaurant is located at 7901 Seneca St. in East Aurora.
• Sephora. Sign up for its Beauty Insider club at Sephora.com and you’ll get the gift of free sample-sized product “minis” during your birth month.
Right now, you can choose from the “Beauty Bite,” which includes two mini lipsticks, a lip balm and a lip scrub; “GlamGlow,” which includes a mini clarifying mask and a mini facial moisturizer; or “Bumble and Bumble,” a mini shampoo and conditioner set.
• Dairy Queen. Sign up for the Blizzard Fan Club at DairyQueen.com and you’ll get coupons for special treats on your birthday, your half birthday and right after you first sign up. In the past, the free birthday treat has been for a free Blizzard.
• Barnes & Noble. Sign your children up for the BN Kids Club online and they’ll get a voucher for a free cupcake on their birthday. They’ll also get a coupon for 30 percent off the list price of any toy or kids’ book when they first sign up and $5 in rewards for every $100 spent on kids stuff online and in stores.
It’s open to kids ages 12 and younger.
• Denny’s. You’ll get a free Grand Slam on your birthday, you might as well kick things off there at 12:01 a.m.
• Auntie Anne’s. Download the Pretzel Perks app and you’ll get a free pretzel on your birthday. You’ll also get a free pretzel as soon as you sign up (once you spend $1).