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17 Restaurants Where Kids Can Eat Free or Cheap This Spring

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Kid eating meal at IHOP

Tired parents, rejoice!

Dining out can get expensive really fast when you have growing kids at home. But, with a little research and planning (don’t worry – we’re here to help!), the entire family can eat out without breaking the bank and mom can enjoy a break from meal planning, cooking, and cleaning up. 🙌🏻 It’s a win-win for everyone!

Because we love saving you money, check out these 17 restaurants that offer free or discounted kids meals so that you can enjoy eating out as a family, without worrying about the bill. Keep in mind that many restaurants may actually have unadvertised specials for kids, so don’t hesitate to ask!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to call the restaurant you plan on attending to verify details before packing up the kiddos and making a special trip as these promotions may vary greatly by region and franchise.

Restaurants that offer free or cheap kids meals:

1. Applebee’s

Kids can eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée on a select day of the week at participating locations. The day of the week will vary by location, so be sure to follow your local Applebee’s on Facebook or call your local restaurant before heading over there.

Bob Evans kids eat free pig pancake

2. Bob Evans

Every Tuesday, kids can eat free at Bob Evans restaurants after 4PM with the purchase of an adult entrée. Visit the Bob Evans website for more details.

3. Bruster’s

Ice cream for dinner? Yes, please! At Bruster’s, kids up to 40 inches tall (that’s almost 3.5 feet) can get a free Baby Cone – no purchase required. There are more than 200 locations, so check out the Bruster’s website to find one closest to you.

4. Chevy’s Fresh Mex

Every Wednesday, kids can get a kids meal for just $1 with the purchase of an adult entrée. Plus, kids can get their own tortilla dough ball to play with, and they can also take home an avocado pit to grow their own avocado tree! Head on over to the Chevy’s Fresh Mex website for more details.

5. Denny’s

On Tuesdays from 4PM to 10PM (may vary by location), kids can eat free with an adult entrée purchase at participating locations. This offer is valid at participating restaurants for up to two free kid’s entrées from the kid’s menu per one adult entrée purchase of $6 or more. Head on over to the Denny’s website or call your local location for more details.

Dickey's BBQ pit sandwich

6. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Every Sunday, get one free kids meal (for children 12 and under) per $10 paid adult meal, valid for dine-in only. This offer is not valid with other offers or promotions. Visit the Dickey’s website for more details.

7. Famous Dave’s

On Tuesdays at participating locations, kids ages 8 and under (OR anyone named Wilbur) can get a free Lil’ Wilbur Meal with purchase of an adult entrée, valid for dine-in only Check out Famous Dave’s website for more details.


Usually every spring (and at other times of the year), IHOP features their “kids eat free” promotion where kids 12 and under can enjoy a free dinner with the purchase of an adult entrée. This offer will vary by location, but it’s usually valid every night of the week, from 4PM to 10PM. Check the IHOP Facebook page for the latest news.

9. Luby’s

At participating Luby’s locations, kids ages 10 and under can get one free kid’s meal per adult meal purchased on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Kids meals include one entrée, two sides, Jell-O, and drink or Three-Veggie Plate, Jello, and drink. Check out the Luby’s website for more details.

10. Marie Callender’s

On Tuesdays and Saturdays, get one free kids meal (excluding drink) with each adult entrée purchased for dine-in only, valid at participating locations. Visit the Marie Callender’s website for more details.

Moe's free kids meal with chips and a drink

11. Moe’s Southwest Grill

On various days at select locations, kids can eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée (limit one free kids’ meal for each adult meal purchased). Be sure to follow your local Moe’s on Facebook to see participating times and locations.

Choose from Power Wagon (hard or soft taco), Mini Masterpiece (cheese quesadilla), or Moo Moo Mr. Cow (burrito). Each kids’ meal includes a cookie, beverage, plus free chips and salsa.

12. O’Charley’s

Participating O’Charley’s restaurants gives kids 10 and under a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entree — all day, every day. Visit the O’Charley’s website for more details.

13. Piccadilly

Kids 12 and under can eat for just $1.99 all day on Thursdays and 11AM-4PM on Saturdays at participating Piccadilly locations. Kids meals include your choice of entrée – like Chicken Tenders, Fried Fish or Small Chopped Beef – plus two sides, a kids drink, and dessert (limit two kid’s meals per adult meal purchase). Visit the Piccadilly website for details.

14. Ruby’s Diner

Every Tuesday night for from 4pm until close, kids ages 12 and under can eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée, valid at participating locations only. Limit one free kids meal per adult entrée purchase. Visit the Ruby’s Diner website for more details.

Ruby Tuesday store front

15. Ruby Tuesday

Every Tuesday from 5PM to close, kids can eat free at participating Ruby Tuesday locations with the purchase of an adult entrée (limit one). Visit the Ruby Tuesday website for more details.

16. Ryan’s (HomeTown Buffet or Old Country Buffet)

Kid’s ages 4-11 can eat at Ryan’s for only $1.99 on Thursdays from 4PM to close (up to 2 children per regular priced adult or senior buffet purchased). They’ll also get to enjoy treats like cotton candy, soft serve ice cream, and more. Visit Ryan’s website, the HomeTown Buffet site, or Old Country Buffet site for all the details.

17. Steak ‘n Shake

Kids can eat free at Steak ‘n Shake any time on any day of the week with a qualifying purchase at participating locations across the country. There is a limit of one free kids’ plate to children 12 and under for every $9 spent, valid for dine-in only. Visit the Steak ‘n Shake site for more details.

Kids Plates which are served with a choice of fries or applesauce, include: the Original Steakburger, Mini Corn Dogs, Macaroni & Cheese Steakburger Minis, Hot Dog, Grilled Cheese or Chicken Fingers.

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Join The Discussion

Comments 12

  1. Nicole

    We eat at MCL cafeteria for free kids meals Mon-Wed. It used to be unlimited but now my local MCL has a policy of 2 free kids meals per 1 adult entree. Still a great deal!

  2. ElleS

    Cracker Barrel allows adults to order from the kids menu! We found that out one time when my sister (age 50) wasn’t hungry enough for a full vegetable platter … and the waitress recommended that she order a Kids Country Vegetable Plate (can’t recall price, but it was probably around $3.99 for 2 veggies and a drink). We asked her, “Are you sure adults can order that?” She said, “Yes, the kids menu is for kids of ALL ages … even adults!” The kids menu has Chicken Tenderloins, Country Fried Shrimp, etc.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh wow! Thanks for the tip! Good to know!

  3. JS

    Chili’s has 99cent kids meals on Tuesdays. We brought seven kids this week 😳…

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      YUM! Thanks for sharing, JS! My kiddos LOVE Chili’s!

    • MimiBerry

      Is it as long as you order 1 Adult entree or did you have to bring seven adults?

      • JS

        I don’t think there was a restriction. There were four adults with. I got the 3 for $10. The 3 for $10 margarita chicken was a great deal.

  4. Kristen

    Pyros has family nights on Monday 3-kids pizza per adult pizza.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SWEET! Thanks for the heads up!

  5. JW

    Our local Texas Roadhouse has $1.99 kids meals on Tuesday evenings. Also our Wendy’s has $1.99 kids meals after 4pm daily. Our local UMI is kids eat free on Sundays. Our local Shoneys don’t charge for kids under 4 and neither does our Cicis. Worth looking into if you have these in your area! We have 2 under 4 so we try and keep tabs on things like this, so thank you for this post!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh awesome! Thanks a bunch for the helpful comment, JW! We’ll have to look into those offers too!

  6. mamsweetpea

    Our local steak n shake in MO – kids eat free is only on the weekends (Sat or Sun); it has been that way for a few years. unfortunately, many of our area steak n shakes are closing though

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