Where children can eat free or cheap during the summer holidays

With school summer holidays around the corner, here's how to cut the cost of eating out with the family

Girl eating meal at table
(Image credit: Getty images)

The cost of entertaining the kids over the summer can run into hundreds of pounds, and this year could really hit household budgets amid the cost of living with high food, fuel and energy prices

To help keep costs low (and keep the little ones busy), we’ve found the top places in the UK where your little ones can either eat for free or cheap, with a paying adult.

From supermarkets, restaurants and even garden centres - here’s where you can enjoy some family time and cut the cost of eating out with the kids.

Morrisons - kids eat free

Children under the age of 16 can eat for free at any Morrisons café (opens in new tab) when you buy an adult meal worth at least £4.99. Children get a piece of fruit and a Tropicana kids drink or bottle of water with their meal from the cafe’s kids menu. The meal deal can’t be used with any other offer.

Find your nearest café with Morrisons’ online store locator (opens in new tab).

Asda - children can eat for £1

Children in England and Wales can eat for £1 at any time of the day in Asda cafes from 25 July until September. Baby food is even available: they can munch on a free pouch of Ella’s kitchen baby food. And, the really good news is there isn’t a minimum adult spend in order to get the £1 meal deal.

Find your nearest café with Asda’s online store locator (opens in new tab).

Yo! Sushi - free meals for children

Japanese restaurant chain Yo! Sushi is offering children a free meal at its restaurants throughout the UK. Children under 10 can sit down to something from the kid’s menu on Monday to Thursday between 3pm and 5.30pm when you buy an adult meal worth at least £10. The meal deal includes a drink and a maximum of three children per table can eat for free.

Find your nearest Yo!Sushi with its restaurant locator (opens in new tab).

Ikea - children’s meals from 95p

Children can eat from between 95p and £1.50 at any time of the day in Ikea from 11 July until September. Children get a hot meal, jelly, a piece of fruit and a soft drink.

Find your nearest Ikea with its online store locator (opens in new tab).

Bella Italia - kids can eat for £1 this summer

Children up to the age of 11 can eat for £1 at Bella Italia during the summer holidays. The date the offer begins will vary from restaurant to restaurant so you need to check your local by calling to find out.

The £1 meal deal is available Monday to Thursday between 4pm and 6pm when you buy an adult main dish. The meal includes three courses and a Cawston fruit water drink and a maximum of three children per table can eat for free.

Find your nearest Bella Italia with its online restaurant locator (opens in new tab).

Angus Steakhouse - kids eat free

Children under 10 can eat free at Angus steakhouse (opens in new tab) from the children’s menu when an adult orders a meal. Children can choose from a minute steak, crispy chicken strips, salmon fish fingers or macaroni cheese.

This deal is available every day 12pm – 5pm during the school holidays. This meal deal is not available in conjunction with any other offer.

The steakhouse has five branches in London (opens in new tab).

The Real Greek - children under 12 eat free on Sundays

Children under 12 can eat for free on Sundays at the Real Greek (opens in new tab) when you spend £10 on an adult meal. A kid’s meal includes a main, drink and dessert of ice cream or sorbet. 

The Real Greek has 21 restaurants in England (opens in new tab)

Beefeater, Table Table and Brewers Fayre - free breakfast for children

Children under 16 can eat breakfast for free at any Beefeater (opens in new tab), TableTable (opens in new tab) or Brewers Fayre (opens in new tab) during the school holidays.

Buying an £9.50 adult breakfast will allow you to get two free kids breakfasts.

Find your nearest restaurant via its online locator (opens in new tab).

Hungry Horse - free breakfast for children

Children can get a free breakfast when an adult buys an adult breakfast for at least £3.49. The deal is available on any day from 8am to midday from 22 July to 4 September. The really good news is two children can eat for free for each adult breakfast purchased.

Find your nearest Hungry Horse with its online restaurant locator (opens in new tab).

Dunelm - free food for children

Children under the age of 16 can eat for free at Pausa cafes at Dunelm when you spend just £4. Children get a small main, two snacks and a drink. buy an adult meal worth at least £4.99. Children get a piece of fruit and a Tropicana kids drink or bottle of water with their meal from the cafe’s kids menu. The meal deal can’t be used with any other offer.

Find your nearest Dunelm via its online store locator (opens in new tab).

Dobbies Garden Centres - children eat for free

If you’re visiting a Dobbies Garden Centre, children eat for free any day during the school holidays (opens in new tab) for every adult main meal purchased in its restaurant. The deal includes a meal from the kids lunch menu plus a drink.

Restaurants open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm while opening times vary on Sundays. 

Find your nearest restaurant via its online store locator (opens in new tab).

M&S - free food for children

Children can get a hot or cold meal worth £3.95 completely free of charge when an adult spends £5 in a M&S cafe between 25 July to 12 August. 

The deal includes hot breakfast meals before 11am and lunches from 11am until the close of day. Breakfast options include dippy egg with soldiers and pancakes with blueberries and honey alongside a free drink. Lunch options include cheesy tomato pasta, jacket potato with sausages and baked beans.

Find your nearest cafe via its online store locator (opens in new tab).

Katie Binns
Katie Binns

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.