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All the places where kids can eat free during the summer holidays

As part of The Big Issue’s Summer Survival Guide, here’s a list of places where kids can eat for free during the school holidays this year.

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For many parents, finding places where kids can eat free over the summer holidays will be an incredible help.

Child poverty levels are through the roof, with more than 4.3 million children living in destitution before Covid-19 hit, while the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have pushed tens of thousands further below the breadline. 

According to the Resolution Foundation, around 500,000 more children will be living in poverty by April 2023.

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The government is not directly funding free school meals this year. So having somewhere to go to where children can eat for free, or at least cheaply, will undoubtedly help thousands of families to cope through the summer holidays.

Whether it’s for a money-saving treat or help to get through the week, these are the places kids eat free or cheap this summer.

Asda Cafe

From 25 July until the end of this year, kids can eat at any time of day at Asda’s cafes for just £1. Crucially, there is no need for adults to purchase a meal in order to get the offer, meaning families don’t have to incur any extra financial burden. Asda is the only venue removing the need for adults to purchase a meal for the kids to eat free.

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The deal was originally only on offer for the school holidays, but Asda has announced it will be extending the scheme for the entirety of this year as part of the government’s Help for Households scheme.

IKEA

Up until September 3, all kids can get one meal from the IKEA children’s menu for just 95p, or a combination meal including jelly, a drink, and fruit for £1.50, according to the website. Neither offer is available at the store in Aberdeen unfortunately, and the combo isn’t available in Hammersmith.

As an extra note: it’s always worth checking in with the website for the different store or restaurant before you go just to make sure you’re not disappointed.

Morrisons Cafe

During the summer holidays, children aged 16 and below can get one free meal with every adult meal. In addition, every day from 3pm Morrisons discounts their daily special meal to £4.99, meaning a parent and child can be fed for less than £5.

Bella Italia

The Italian chain restaurant is offering three courses plus a Cawston Press fruit water for children for just £1 during the summer break. However, this offer is only available with every adult main meal purchased, and can only be claimed between Monday and Thursday, from 4pm to 6pm.

The cheapest adult main courses are the margherita pizza and the pasta with tomato sauce and mozzarella, both of which are priced at £10.29 – though these prices go up to £10.99 at some London and Center Parcs branches.

The children’s dishes are only suitable for children up to 11-years-old, too.

Cafe Rouge

Kids can choose two or three courses from the children’s menu for just £1 with every adult who purchases a main course off the A La Carte menu. The offer is available from July 22 to August 31 and excludes Saturdays. It is not available on arena or stadium event days at Café Rouge O2 and Café Rouge Cardiff St Davids, and it excludes Centre Parcs.

Beefeater, Table Table, Brewers Fayre, Premier Inn and Whitbread Inns

Whitbread, the company that owns brands including Table Table and Beefeater, is giving out free kids breakfasts with every adult breakfast. The all-you-can-eat adult breakfast buffet is priced at £9.50 for cooked items and £7.50 for just continental items. With every adult breakfast purchased, two children aged 15 and under eat whatever breakfast items they like for free, and this offer is available every day.

Dunelm

Many of the furnishing brand’s branches have an in-store eatery, the Pausa Cafe. Over the summer, kids can get a ‘mini main’, two snacks and a drink for free, as long as an accompanying adult spends £4 or more.

Hungry Horse

The pub restaurant chain is offering free kids’ breakfasts up to the cost of £2.49 with every adult breakfast costing £3.49 or more (the breakfast wrap, for example, is priced at £3.49). The offer is available every day from 8am to midday, with a maximum number of two children’s breakfasts for every adult breakfast.

Dobbies

Kids eat for free every day from midday at national garden centre Dobbies, with one meal and drink available for every adult main purchased. The cheapest adult main, the chicken caesar salad, comes in at £7.25.

YO! Sushi

YO! Sushi is running an “after school club” every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3pm to 5:30pm, up until 29 September. 

For every £10 spent by an accompanying adult, one child under the age of 10 eats for free.

The Real Greek

For every £10 spent by an adult, one child under the age of 12 can eat for free at the Greek chain restaurant. The offer includes one meal from the child’s menu as well as an ice cream or sorbet, but is only available on Sundays. For adults, hot mezze dishes are priced from £5.75 to £7.95 each.

Sizzling Pubs

There’s more than 200 branches of Sizzling Pubs across the UK, and throughout the summer holidays, kids can eat for free at every one. One adult main meal must be purchased for the offer to be valid, and it’s only available during weekdays. Breakfast and other set menus are also excluded.

The cheapest main for adults is the superfood salad, which costs £4.99.

If you’re heading to a Sizzling Pubs branch outside of the summer holidays, kids still eat for free — as long as it’s between 3pm and 7pm.

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SA Brain Pubs

Welsh pub chain S.A Brain & Co. is another pub chain handing out kids meals for just £1. This offer is available all day every Wednesday, and must be purchased alongside a full price adult main meal. The cheapest adult main is the chicken and bacon salad, which is priced at £8.

Angus Steak Club

One child under the age of 10 can eat free alongside a full paying adult at Angus Steak Club restaurants across London. It’s available from 12pm to 5pm. It’s not valid in conjunction with other offers.

Here’s our Summer Survival Guide, which we will update regularly with new articles and tips on making sure your kids have a fun summer without breaking the bank

Get involved with the conversation on social media and share all your tips and advice for families using the #SummerSurvivalGuide

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