Looking for Places Where Kids Eat Free? Here Are 10 Restaurants to Try

Let's face it: children are expensive. Here are 10 restaurants where kids eat for free. Enjoy family time, save money, and leave with full stomachs.

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Mar. 28 2023, Updated 12:19 p.m. ET

Applebee's, Chili's, and IHOP have deals for kids meals
Source: Facebook

Let's face it: children are expensive. Kids are costly as it is, and when it comes to taking them out to eat, even the cost of a kid's menu prices can seem like it's adding overpriced fees for the most basic of meal options.

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The serving sizes are significantly smaller and tailored to satisfy a younger pallet. Unfinished food feels like a waste of money, and the cash spent dining out can start to add up. Here are 10 restaurants where kids eat for free.

1. Chili's

chilis
Source: Facebook

Chilis food

Those who are enrolled in the "My Chili's Rewards Program" can opt into their free meal program for children. Registrants will be given notification from the franchise about when they can score a free meal for children ages 12 and under. You must also purchase an entree at the menu price in order to score this discount.

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The Chili's Children's Menu offers Burger Bites, Chicken Dippers, pizza dishes, pasta, and a dessert option on a bite-sized level.

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2. Denny's

dennys
Source: Facebook

Denny's sign

Denny's offers a similar program for children and the meals are free of charge, but the dates may vary based on your local Denny's location. The company has advertised this deal broadly and uses it as one of its most recognizable marketing standpoints. A free kid's meal can be redeemed with any entree purchase of $6 or more. The Denny's Kids Menu greatly reflects its traditional breakfast offering for those in need of a morning meal.

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The Denny's Kids Eat Free days extend all day long. The kid's menu allows children to choose from pancakes, mac and cheese, and more.

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3. IHOP

ihop
Source: Facebook

IHOP pancakes

Kids Eat Free deals from IHOP aren't exactly a constant, but they do come and go often. The meal deals can be found on a location-by-location basis and have a tendency to pop up frequently.

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The IHOP Kid's Menu is reserved for children ages 12 and under, and their selection is safely similar to Denny's Kid's Menu.

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4. Bob Evans

bobevans
Source: Facebook

Bob Evans food

Bob Evans celebrates Family Day on a weekly basis, and on Tuesdays specifically, entitles diners to a free children's meal with a purchase of a full-sized entree. Free Kids Meals can also be claimed when spending $15 or more through the Bob Evans mobile app. The Bob Evans Family Day begins on Tuesdays after 4:00 p.m., though free children's meals can be added to orders on the app any day of the week.

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The Bob Evans Kids Menu includes fun and exciting farm-themed plates geared toward younger children, from barnyard pancakes to gravy-drizzled turkey plates.

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5. Steak 'n Shake

steaknshake
Source: Facebook

Steak n Shake food

Steak 'n Shake has become a beloved diner chain across North America known for its sizzling steakburgers and signature milkshakes. Steak 'n Shake offers free children's meals on both Saturday and Sunday with any purchase of a $9 adult meal. Children 12 and younger are able to receive one free meal, though the discount does exclude the chances of a free kid's shake.

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This offer is eligible at different Steak 'n Shake locations, but it's wise to look ahead to see when the promotion is currently at play. The Steak 'n Shake Kids Menu gives a few options for children to choose from, including the famous burger that gives the brand its namesake.

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6. Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe's Southwest Grill emerged as a challenger to Chipotle, and leveled the playing field of made-to-order Mexican-influenced fast food. With the popular phenomenon, came a need to beat out successful competitors.

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Moe's Southwest Grill offer one deal that its rival has yet to introduce — free meals for children. Kids 12 and under are able to snag a free kid-size burrito, quesadilla, or taco in addition to receiving a free cookie and drink. This offer only runs on Sundays and works in conjunction with an adult purchase.

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7. Applebee's

On select days, kids can eat for free at Applebee's when they're in the company of someone who plans on purchasing an adult entree. These deals vary due to the location of each Applebee's, but it's common to see these limited-time opportunities promoted through the franchise's social media pages or other forms of advertising. It's recommended to call ahead and confirm with your desired Applebee's to see if there are any upcoming Kids Eat Free Days on the horizon.

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The Applebee's Kids Menu is fairly limited in both portion sizes and diverse choices. Much like other chains mentioned previously above, there's going to be a redundancy in what meal options kids will have — both free of charge and at a reduced rate. Applebee's Kids Menu features much of the same including burgers, tenders, and grilled cheese. If you have a picky eater on your hands, Applebee's Kids Menu has you covered.

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8. Fogo de Chao

fogo de chao
Source: Facebook

Fogo de Chao

It's a little unusual that an upscale steakhouse known for its finer dining experience would offer any form of discount, let alone promote free meals at its many establishments, but Fogo de Chao is an exception to this assumption.

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The Brazilian steakhouse does offer free meals — for children ages six and under. Those who are within the age bracket are able to dine without charge for lunch and dinner hours. While children are welcome at Fogo de Chao, there isn't a designated kids' menu for smaller guests to order directly off of.

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9. Cafe Brazil

cafe brazil
Source: Facebook

Cafe Brazil

Cafe Brazil is another non-traditional choice for places to offer discounted dining opportunities for children, but to many's surprise, they tap into free meals for kids as a part of their promotions. Cafe Brazil features South American cuisine touched with Tex-Mex influence for a diverse, flavorful, and vibrant menu. Originally based in Dallas, Texas, Cafe Brazil celebrates the eclectic appeal of Brazilian food on an everyday level.

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Like Fogo de Chao, there isn't a kids' menuat Cafe Brazil. However, kids eat free from Saturday to Thursday, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. when an adult entree is purchased.

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10. Dickey's Barbecue Pit

dickey
Source: Facebook

Dickey's Food

Once any $10 purchase is made at Dickey's Barbecue Pit, sliders or chicken nuggets can be added to any order for children ages 12 and under. This free kid's meal can be included redeemed in individual locations, or applied to pickup or delivery options using the code KEFOLO. The Dickey's Barbecue Kid's Menu includes one-meat, ribs, and wings meal packages.

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