Originally published 4/23/18. Updated 6/21/19.
Everyone always says your life changes after you have kids.
From what I can tell as an aunt, they’re not wrong. Gone are the days where you and your spouse could eat a decent meal for under $30. Although most parents will tell you that they’re kids are the best thing that has ever happened to them, they’d also tell you that they’re simultaneously the worst thing to happen to their wallets.
So if you want to take the whole gang out for dinner without going broke, check out the information below. You’ll find “kids eat free” options as well as “kids eat cheap”.
Every Day Deals
Every day of the week, Rusty Bucket offers free dining for children. If they participate in the Buckateer Bookworm program, your child can receive a free meal after they finish 5 books! Old Bag of Nails also offers a coupon for any day of the week. You can get one free kids meal with the purchase of an entree $6.99 or higher.
Sunday is a very popular day to eat out, so it’s not surprising that the options for free dining are limited. But don’t worry! There are a couple of places you can take the kiddos. Steak n’ Shake offers free dining for kids ALL weekend long, with parents getting one free kids meal for every $9 spent.
If you aren’t feeling the patty melt/chocolate shake combo, head over to Iron Grill BBQ & Brew. The “best pulled pork” in Columbus has free dining on Sundays for kids! Las Margaritas Steltzer Rd. and Reynoldsburg locations offer Kids Eat Free dining options as well! Children must be under the age of 12.
Monday Funday! If you’ve had a rough start to the week and don’t feel like cooking, take advantage of the mad discounts you can get! When purchasing adult meals, kids can eat for just $.99 at Texas Road House from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For more free meals, check out Las Margaritas (Dublin, Canal Winchester, and Westerville Locations) and Carsonie’s in Upper Arlington. Carsonie’s in UA even has a balloon artist who makes their way from table to table!
Every Tuesday you’ll find the most options for free food. With the purchase of adult meals, kids can eat free all day at Taco Loco. Giant Eagle Market District, the Dublin & Upper Arlington locations, have free dining from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for kids under 12.
After 4 PM, kids can dine for free at Bob Evans, and Smokehouse Brewing Company. Max & Erma’s, Miller’s Ale House, Carfagna’s, Smokehouse Brewing Co., and McAlister’s Deli all offer free dining all day Tuesday with no time restrictions. Some locations require the purchase of an adult entree!
On the second Tuesday of each month, Hofbrauhaus in Grandview offers face painting, live entertainment, balloon animals, and kids eat free!
Perfect for “way back Wednesday”, one of my favorite childhood haunts, Culver’s (Hilliard), offers their kids meal option from 5-8 PM. When you buy a dinner or value basket, you get a kids meal for free!
Also with the purchase of an adult meal, Skyline Chili at Polaris has “Kids Eat Free” from 5-9PM. At Yabo’s Tacos, 2 kids under 12 eat for free as long as an adult spends more than 6 dollars.
As we move toward the end of the week, it may be a good time to hit up the grocery store! The only option for free kids meals is at Quaker Steak & Lube at Polaris. The restaurant has free kids meals for children 10 & under with the purchase of an adult entree.
Steak n’ Shake comes to the rescue on Saturday’s. Kids eat free all day as long as the grown-up’s purchase a meal that costs $9 or more! Culver’s also repeats their Wednesday deal from 5PM-8PM, where buying a dinner or value basket will earn you a free kids meal!
Kids Eat Cheap
While these deals may not be completely free, they are super cheap.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, kids eat and drink for just $3 at bd’s Mongolian Grill. Children must be 11 and under and an adult meal must be purchased. At Villa Nova Ristorante and Spaghetti Warehouse, kids can eat for just $1.99. MELT Bar and Grilled offers a deal where kids eat for $2 every Tuesday!
Lastly, Wednesday has a few solutions for cheap eating. Applebee’s offers kids meals for just $.99 (Hilliard and Morse Rd). Not to be outdone, Roosters (Polaris and New Albany) allows kids to eat for just $.99 from 6-8PM.
So who’s hungry?
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