Restaurants where kids can eat free

Don't Waste Your Money

Taking a family of four to a family-friendly restaurant can cost a very unfriendly $50 or more these days.

You may be interested in a way to cut that cost almost in half, if you go out to eat on a certain day each week.

"It adds up really fast," said Becky Vanderpool, a busy mom from Fairfield Township, Ohio. "I have three boys, so for the five of us to go out to dinner, the bill for the five of us adds up really quickly."

Vanderpool is a "mommy blogger" with the site Savings, who has put together a list of restaurants offering kids meal deals.

She says sticking to kids menus is a good start, but even that gets pricey.

"When you think about a kids meal that can range anywhere from $2.50 to $6 apiece, times multiple children, it certainly can add up," Vanderpool said.

So she now tries to take advantage of as many kids eat free offers as she can, where children under 12 get a free meal as long as mom or dad pays for their meal.

Vanderpool says most deals are early in the week.

Among the bigger ones...


  • On Monday, kids eat free at many Quaker Steak and Lube locations.
  • Hofbrauhaus in Newport, Ky.
  • Most Buffalo Wings and Rings.


  • On Tuesday, kids eat free at many Chili's restaurants.
  • Most Max and Erma's, all day long.
  • Many Lonestar Steakhouses: You'll find them in Mason and Middletown in the Cincinnati area.
  • IHOP, after 4 p.m. Yes, IHOP serves dinner.


  • Wednesday means kids eat free at many Applebee's. Some offer this on Tuesdays, however, some don't at all.


  • Free meal offers thin out after Wednesday, but on Saturday, most Steak n Shakes offer kids meals free.
  • And on Sunday, if you have a Tumbleweed near you -- there's one in Florence, Ky. -- kids get a tex mex dinner free.

Click here
for Vanderpool's full list of kids meal deals.

One caution: Vanderpool says the days vary at many chains. She explained that "at Chick-fil-A, each location has their own date and time of the week, so it varies by location, but most Chick-fil-A's in our area have a kids eat free each week."

Also, not every restaurant in a chain will offer these days: Some TGI Friday's let kids eat free, but most don't. So Vanderpool says always call ahead.

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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