Growing bodies eat more calories than you would think. All the food that children and teens consume make the food budget one of the biggest expenses for families today.

Of course, there are many things parents can do to reduce food costs — good budgeting, buying sale items, and excellent meal planning, for example. But it isn’t easy staying on top of it all.

Yes, you read that correctly. While many restaurants offer free food for kids on weeknights, a few places let kids eat free on weekends — or even every day. Stop by at one of these restaurants to fill the kids up between soccer practice and ballet.

Many of these national chains only offer their “free food for kids” deals at select locations. So before you get the kids in the car, call ahead to make sure that the location closest to you participates. It’s also good to remember that other coupons and discounts usually aren’t accepted on the day of the deal.

On those days when meal planning was a bust and you don’t have the energy to cook, try going to one of these places where kids eat free.

Many places define kids as under 12 years old, while others have even younger age limits. Check with the restaurant before you go. You will often need to purchase an adult entrée or spend a certain amount in order to receive a free kid's meal. Typically, kids can then choose from a short list of options for their own meal.

Places Where Kids Eat Free

1. Applebee’s

Kids eat free on Tuesdays when an adult purchases a full-price entrée.

2. Baja Fresh

Kids under 12 eat free with purchase of an adult meal and drink on Sunday.

Save Money on Family Night: 18 Places Where Kids Eat Free! So you want to treat the family, but you're on a budget. No worries – there are plenty of places where kids eat free!

3. Chick-fil-A

Kids eat free with each adult purchase, 5 p.m. to close on “Family Nights,” which vary by location.

4. Chili’s

Kids under three eat free on Mondays and Tuesdays when you purchase an adult entrée.

5. Cici's Pizza

Kids under three eat free every day.

6. Denny’s

With the purchase of one entrée, you’ll get up to two kids’ meal free on Tuesdays 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

7. Dickey’s Barbeque Pit

One free kid's meal for kids under 12 with $10 purchase per adult on Sundays.

8. Hooter’s

Many locations let kids under 12 eat free on Sundays with the purchase of $10 or more per adult.


Kids eat free each evening when you purchase one adult entrée. However, the offer only occurs for a limited period of time during the year – usually for about a month in the spring.

10. Ikea

Tire the kids out by letting them explore Ikea, and then get free food for kids under 12 all day on Tuesdays when you purchase an adult entrée.

11. Marie Callender's

Kids eat free on Tuesdays and Saturdays at most locations. Some have the deal on Wednesdays.

12. Moe’s Southwest Grill

One free kid’s meal with adult purchase on Tuesdays after 4 p.m.

13. Qdoba

Kids eat free on Sundays in most places.

14. Red Robin

Kids eat free on Tuesdays when you buy one adult entrée.

15. Ruby Tuesday’s

Every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to close, you’ll get one kid’s entrée with the purchase of each adult entrée.

16. Shoney’s

Get a free kids’ meals for children age four and under with each adult meal.

17. Steak ‘n Shake

Kids under 12 eat free every weekend, with one free Kids Plate per $9 spent.

18. TGI Friday's

Kids eat free when you purchase an adult entrée on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Final Thoughts on Places Where Kids Eat Free

Don't forget to check with your local restaurants, as well. True, you probably won't be covered every night of the week. But finding a few places where kids eat free in your area can be a good way to get the family out of the house every once in a while without busting your budget.