Tips and Advice

Nine Places Kids Eat Free

Planning to dine out? There are a growing number of national, chain restaurants that offer free meals with purchase. Here's where kids can eat for free.
kid eating spaghetti
By Susan Barnes
Updated on: November 11th, 2022

kid eating spaghetti Eating out with the family doesn’t mean that you have to empty your wallet just to fill their bellies. There are a growing number of national, chain restaurants that offer free meals and free food and beverages with purchase.

Make sure you call or check with your neighborhood location before you go to find out days and times and to get the scoop on any other deals and specials they might be running.

The Run Down

  • There are a growing number of national, chain restaurants that offer free meals and food items.
  • Not every restaurant location offers the same deal, even if it is a chain. Call ahead to make sure.
  • Certain specials run only one day a week or during set hours.
  • Some free offers are for the first child’s meal, with discounts on additional kids’ meals.
  • Most restaurants have a loyalty program. Consider joining to cash in on the savings.

Which restaurants treat kids to free eats? Here’s a list of only some of the familiar names that offer freebies and discounted meal items.


At participating locations (remember to check ahead), kids eat for free on certain weekdays. For these locations, you can buy one adult meal and receive one kid meal free. Do you have more than one child in your family? No problem. Additional kids are one dollar per meal. Applebee’s serves American fare, including children’s favorites like cheeseburgers and macaroni and cheese.

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Boston Market

Are you a member of the Boston Market VIP Club? When you join, you and your children receive free dessert on your birthdays.


On the subject of birthdays, Chili’s is another restaurant that offers kids free dessert on their birthdays. Go for a Southwestern birthday fiesta and top it off with a free and delicious treat.

Cici’s Pizza

Children three years old and younger can eat for free from the Cici’s Pizza buffet every day. Certain Cici’s Pizza locations even have nights were older kids can eat for free – check your nearest location to find out when.


It’s a staple in practically every neighborhood. On Tuesdays from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM (and on Saturday at certain Denny’s locations), you can purchase one regularly priced adult meal and get two kids’ entrées for free.


Many restaurants have a loyalty program and Friendly’s is no exception. Their Best Friends of Friendly’s “BFF” program gives members coupons for free kids’ meals with purchase of an adult entrée. As a reward for signing up, , and just for signing up you’ll earn a three-scoop sundae. Even without the coupon, kids’ meals are always a good value, complete with a drink and dessert.

Golden Corral

Buffet dining is a great option for families with picky eaters (as well as a great place to extend your dining dollar). At Golden Corral, kids under three eat free every day (there is a maximum of two children per each adult). Children under twelve eat for only $1.99 from from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

International House of Pancakes (IHOP)

This offer is an everyday deal and for children twelve and under. Kids can get one free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased between 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM (the drink isn’t included). This deal can vary from one IHOP location to another, however, so call ahead to be sure you and your family can take advantage.

Lone★Star Steakhouse

It’s Two for Tuesday (all day) at Lone★Star Steakhouse. Here, kids can eat free (12 and under). This is limited to 2 children per each adult entree purchased and is dine-in only. The Lone★Star Steakhouse kids’ menu includes favorites such as hot dogs, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and more.