Where do kids eat free near me? 18 places children can get free food this May half term

Save some money and fill those tummies

Kids eat free - mother and daughter eating pizza in a restaurant
(Image credit: Polina Lebed/Getty/Future)

Where do kids eat free and how can you get your hands on free food for your little ones? We've found lots of restaurants and eateries offering free food or meals for £1, throughout the May half term in 2023.

Families are looking to save extra pennies and pounds where they can, and finding places where kids can eat free is more important than ever. In light of the current energy crisis which has seen rising gas and energy prices at an alarming rate with many looking to save money on their electric bills , cheaper ways to feed children over the school holidays is one way to lighten the financial load. 

As May half term approaches, it's not only rising food and energy costs weighing on the mind of parents and carers, but the cost of living in general has skyrocketed, meaning keeping the kids entertained when they're not at school, just gets harder too. To make things easier and ensure children can be fed at reasonable prices, check out our handy guide to the many great kid's dining deals you need to be aware of when schools take their mid-term break. This will help to squeeze a little extra out of the weekly shop, and assist parents to bag themselves some extra cash in the process. 

Where do kids eat free?

  1. Barbican Kitchen, London - At London's Barbican Kitchen, children under 10 can get a free kid’s meal from the children's menu with every adult meal over the value of £10 purchased. For more: barbican.org.uk/your-visit/eat-drink/barbican-kitchen
  2. Beefeater - Two kids under 16 eat breakfast for FREE with every adult breakfast purchased. For more: Beefeater.co.uk/school-holidays 
  3. Bill's restaurants - From May 29 - June 2, up to two children can eat a free meal all day at Bills, if one adult orders any main dish (breakfast, lunch or dinner). For More: bills-website.co.uk/events/kidseatfree-2/
  4. Bodean's BBQ - Available all week at Bodean's BBQ in Fulham and Clapham, children can enjoy 3-course BBQ feast for free, with every adult meal purchased. For more: bodeansbbq.com/kids-eat-free/
  5. Brewers Fayre - For every adult purchasing the £9.99 All-You-Can-Eat buffet breakfast, TWO kids under 16 can eat breakfast for free. For more: brewersfayre.co.uk/en-gb
  6. Dobbies Garden Centres - With an adult main meal, one child can choose from their kids lunch menu or pick ‘n’ mix meal, which all come served with a drink. The offer is available daily from 12 noon. For more: dobbies.com/tasty-treats
  7. Dunelm - For every £4 spent in the Dunelm Pausa Cafe kids can eat one mini main, two snacks and a drink for free. This offer is available after 3pm. For more: Dunelm/Pausa-cafe
  8. Future Inns - At Future Inns in Bristol, Cardiff and Plymouth, under 5's always eat for free with any meal purchased by an adult. This includes breakfast, lunch and evening dinner. For more: futureinns.co.uk/special-offers/kids-eat-free-at-future-inns/
  9. Gordon Ramsay Restaurants - Kids aged 8 and under can eat free when ordering a main meal from the Ramsay kids menu.  Available at selected UK restaurants only – Heddon Street Kitchen, all Bread Street Kitchen & Bars, Bread Street Café, Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill and York & Albany. For more: gordonramsayrestaurants.com/whats-on/kids-eat-free-at-gordon-ramsay-restaurants/
  10. Heathrow - If you're flying between May 26 - June 4, then remember that kids eat free when an adult chooses an item from the main menu. Participating restaurants include Leon, YO!, Big Smoke, Giraffe, Pilots, and Vagabond. For more: Heathrow.com/at-the-airport/restaurants-a-z/kids-eat-free
  11. Morrisons - Kids eat free at Morrisons cafe when an adult spends £4.50 or more on a meal. This is an ongoing offer. For more: Morrisons.com/kids-eat-free---tscs/
  12. OK Diners - For every adult purchasing a main course from the a la carte menu, a child under 10 can eat free from the children’s menu. This offer is available all day every day at all OK diners except those on the A1. For more: okdiners.com/kids/
  13. Premier Inn - Interesting fact, you don't have to be staying to tuck into breakfast at a Premier Inn. Which is just as well as up to two under-16s can eat breakfast for free when one adult orders a full Premier Inn Breakfast or a Meal Deal. For more: PremierInn.com
  14. Preto - This Brazilian restaurant has an ongoing offer that kids eat free everyday, with a maximum of one child for full-paying adult. There are Preto restaurants in Chelmsford, Colchester, the West End and Enfield. For more: Preto/children-eat-free
  15. Purezza - For every full-paying adult at vegan Purezza pizzerias in Brighton, Hove, London, Bristol and Manchester, one child under 10 can choose a free mini pizza. For more: purezza.co.uk/kids-eat-free/
  16. Table Table - For every adult purchasing the £9.99 breakfast, TWO kids under 16 then eat for free, for a brilliant way to start the day. 
  17. The Real Greek - Kids eat free every Sunday - a meal, drink, and ice cream or sorbet - for every £10 spent by an adult. For more: therealgreek.com/offers/
  18. Travelodge - Available in all hotels with an open onsite Bar Café, kids aged 15 and under eat completely free for every adult purchasing a full price breakfast. For more: travelodge.co.uk/about/breakfast/

Kids eat free illustrated by a grandparent eating with a kid

(Image credit: Getty images)

In addition kids can eat for £1 at the following places:

  1. ASDA cafe - Asda's Kids Eat for £1 will continue into May half term. To find your participating cafe: Asda.com/cafe
  2. Bella Italia - Kids can eat for just £1 at Bella Italia with the purchase of any adult main from 4 - 6pm Monday - Thursday. Kids can enjoy three courses as well as a Cawston Pressed Fruit Water for just £1, with meals are suitable for ages 2-11. Some restaurants are exempt, and it's advised to check before visiting. For more: bellaitalia.co.uk/kids
  3. Hungry Horse - Kids can eat for £1 - £1.50 on Mondays at Hungry Horse. £1 meals include chicken burger and lasagne, while £1.50 meals comprise tacos, chicken strips, battered fish, beef burger, large chicken burger, chilli, and chicken wings. Fore more: hungryhorse.co.uk/deals/kids-eat-for-1/
  4. IKEA - Pasta and tomato sauce and a soft drink for 95p or any other kids meal for £1.50. Available every day from 11am in their restaurants. For more: ikea.com/gb/en/campaigns/ikea-food-pubd6e61051
  5. Sainsbury's cafe -  Kids eat for a £1 with every purchase of a hot adult meal. For more: sainsburys.co.uk/help/terms-and-conditions/sainsburyscafe
  6. Sizzling pubs - Choose from kid-friendly favourites like fish fingers, pasta, chicken wraps, pizza and veggie nuggets. For every adult 'sizzling meal', you’ll also get a kid’s main meal for £1. This offer ongoing offer is available Monday to Friday, between 3pm and 7pm. For more: Sizzlingpubs.com/offers

Alternatively, if you can't afford to eat out there are some great meal-saving ideas below that will help you shop well for less this summer.

How to feed the family for less

1. Make a list of household items you have

While making a list tells you what you need to get, it doesn’t tell you what you don’t need. You can shave a little off your shop each week by checking what you’ve already got at home. If you’re looking for a cheap food shop, this is also a good way to plan your meals. Rather than going for something that will require you to buy a whole host of new ingredients, take a look at what’s in the cupboard, fridge, or freezer, and base your meal plans around your existing ingredients.

2. Plan out meals for the week

Planning your meals is a must if you’re trying to shop on a budget, try money-saving store cupboard meal recipes and look up clever food hacks to keep our food fresher for longer. Making these changes means you can buy only what you need and make sure you’re not wasting money on food that will end up in the bin or uneaten. It enables you to focus on the items that you actually need rather than browsing the aisles and picking up whatever takes your fancy.

You can also add up how much the shop will be online and make adjustments if needed to manage your money using a spreadsheet, budgeting current account or app.

3. Stock up on the cheap basics

Most supermarkets now do their own brand or cheaper version of essential items such as tinned tomatoes, beans, rice and pasta. You can often buy them in bulk or in much larger quantities, meaning that you can use them as staples for your meals for many weeks to come. Frozen fruit and vegetables are a cheaper alternative to fresh, and can be just as nutritious, as well as less wasteful. 

Spices and dried herbs are another good shout when it comes to keeping your costs down, as they are relatively cheap and can save you from having to buy more expensive sauces or marinades. For an even cheaper shop, look for versions of these essentials in the world foods aisle.

4. Try to batch cook

Batch cooking is a great way to save money at the supermarket. Many people find this to be the case as batch cooking uses more individual ingredients, which tend to make for a much cheaper shop than ready meals. Ingredients will also stretch further in batch cooking with just a few simple additions, check out these best batch cooking recipes.

Sometimes batch cooking can mean that you end up eating the same meal over and over again. If you want to avoid this, try freezing some of your portions to have another week. It will also save you time, giving you more chances to explore the great outdoors.

5. Search for money off coupons online

Weekly food shops can be very expensive no matter how much you budget and plan. To try and reduce the costs, have a search for any coupons or discounts for supermarkets in your area. Vouchercloud often has a list of the discounts available for the week ahead, and there are loads of other websites offering similar coupons or advice on how to get supermarket groceries for free.

6. Use reduced sections in supermarkets

If you aren’t too fussed about what you’ll be eating in the week ahead, the reduced section could be your best friend when it comes to saving on your shop. Larger supermarkets will often have plenty of reductions on items set to expire, and so you can pick up a few things to last you the week at a fraction of the cost.

The times supermarkets place the yellow "reduced" stickers on food can vary - although it is usually early in the morning, or into the evening just prior to closing. It's best to research when your local supermarket is likely to add the stickers, to enable you to go in at an optimum time and pick up the best bargains.

7. Try one meat-free day a week

Reducing your meat consumption can be beneficial for your wallet as well as your health and the environment. By switching out meat just one day a week, you could halve the price of one of your meals and reduce overall shopping bills by 1/3. This is another money-saving option that is also good for the planet, reducing emissions, deforestation and soil degradation. 

Eat seasonally

Eating seasonally doesn't have to be difficult, and looking for the well stocked fruit and vegetables in the supermarket will indicate the seasonal ones - they'll be the most reasonably priced too because they won't have travelled very far to reach the shelves.

This handy fact sheet from Love British Food, has plenty of information regarding which meats, fruit and vegetables are in season. Not only will seasonal eating result in fresher and more nutritious meals, it will also reduce energy and O2 emissions, and support the local economy - a win all around. 

Related features:

Video of the Week:

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life with more than 16 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including baby news, weddings, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.