Eating out with kids can be a bit of an adventure at the best of times, so a well-priced children’s menu is always a bonus. Here’s a round up of the best places to eat out with children, the best deals – and where kids can eat free in Derby and Derbyshire during the school holiday this summer in 2022. Click here for a landing page of all the summer holiday content: from great days out to perfect picnic spots.
The aim of Lovely Local Indie is always to support independent and small businesses so the independents are getting prime billing. However, I’ve been more flexible and have included some chains this time. Times are tough – and eating out with kids can be challenging enough.
However, times are also tough for small businesses – and if you’re looking for a great value day out there are plenty of lovely independents who offer good value eating out (if not the dirt cheap deals that the big chains can afford to do), so do keep reading for those.
Terms and conditions apply to all of these. Please double check before making a special journey.
Lovely, Local, Independents where Kids Eat Free (or very cheaply!)
Kids Eat Free at The Wheatsheaf, Bakewell
Kids eat free all day every day at The Wheatsheaf in Bakewell. It’s an ongoing offer that applies to children under 8 years old. One free child’s main meal with an adult main meal ordered, which start at £12 for ham egg and chips, but most meals are around £14 to £16, so it’s not necessarily the cheapest way to eat out – but you’re getting chef prepared fresh food, most of which has been locally sourced in a family friendly, nice pub environment. It’s also dog friendly.
Kids Eat Free at The Robin Hood, Baslow
Owned by the same people who own The Wheatsheaf in Bakewell, it’s a pretty similar deal and ambiance at The Robin Hood in Baslow. Food is freshly prepared by chefs using locally-sourced produce where possible.
The Robin Hood in Baslow is a family-friendly pub. The children’s menu is packed with freshly prepared options. Children under eight years old eat free. One free child’s main course is available per adult main course ordered. Most of the adult main courses are priced at around £15.
Kids Eat Free at Dubbin Good Food, Buxton
One free kids meal with every main meal ordered. I ate here recently and the food was amazing! Offer lasts for the duration of the school summer holidays.
Kids Eat Free at Binary Bar & Restaurant, Mickleover
Under 12s receive one free children’s main meal per adult main dish ordered. Read my review of Binary.
£1 Kids Breakfasts at The Stables Coffee Shop, Staunton Harold
Buy one of the Stables breakfasts (Full English, Eggs Benedict or Smashed Avocado) and receive one kids breakfast and squash for £1. Maximum of two kids per adult. Child is classed under 13 years old. Must be ordered before 10.30am.
Kids Eat for £1 on Sundays at Harpur’s of Melbourne, South Derbyshire
Sundays only, children eat for £1 when an adult pays full price. Terms and conditions apply.
Kids Eat for 10p at The Honey Pot Tearoom, Rosliston nr Swadlincote
This pretty tearoom in South Derbyshire has a great deal for families. From now and for the duration of the school holidays kids eat for just 10p with every adult meal priced £4.99 or more. Kids meal is a sandwich and plain Hula Hoops and glass of squash. Kids under 16, with one discounted kids meal for every paying adult.
Kids Eat for £1 at Hilton House, Hilton, Derby
Child’s main course for £1 with each full paying adult’s meal. Available seven days a week, until the end of the school holidays
Kids Eat for £1 at The Royal Oak Long Whatton (lunchtimes only)
Just outside the Derbyshire border, but just a 20 minute drive from Derby, is the pretty village of Long Whatton. Here is The Royal Oak, a gastro pub serving up really delicious food. This isn’t the dirt cheap deals you can get elsewhere but if you fancy trying somewhere really lovely with a small discount it’s a great option. You do need to order two courses, from either the lunch or the a la carte menu to qualify for the deal, but if you do, kids can have a main course for £1 and a dessert for £1. Booking essential.
Free Kids Meal from Vegan’s Way (Takeaway only), Derby
Vegans Way is a Caribbean kitchen serving soulful, vegan food A free kids meal with every meal purchased until 2nd September. Open every Friday and Saturday, 5pm to 10pm on UberEats or order via their website.
Kids Eat Free at Chain Restaurants this summer holiday
Kids Eat for £1 at Asda
It’s been widely reported that Asda will be running an offer starting on 25th July throughout the summer holiday where kids under 16 can eat a hot or cold meal for £1, with no minimum spend for adults.
Kids Eat Free at Yo Sushi
Birmingham Selfridges, Leicester High Cross, Nottingham, Sheffield Meadowhall
Yo Sushi have run similar deals before that didn’t run at local restaurants – but their kids eat free for the summer holidays deal runs at all their restaurants. Offer is valid Monday to Thursday, between 3pm and 5.30pm only. Children must be under 10 years old and order from the children’s menu, a maximum of three children eating for free per table. Offer includes bento and a drink, add a dessert for an additional £1.50 per child.
Kids Eat Free at Dunelm Pausa Coffee Shops
Derby, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Sheffield Woodseats
Kids eat free in Dunelm’s Pausa coffee shop. The kids meal includes one main, two snacks and a drink, for every £4 spent in the cafe. Offer starts 27th June, subject to availability.
Kids Eat Free at Tesco
Kids eat free all day every day this summer with any purchase at Tesco Cafe when you show your Tesco Clubcard or App.
Kids Eat Free at M&S Cafe
This summer M&S are only doing the kids eat free deal until 12th August. One free kids’ ‘munch menu’ when you spend £5 or more. Kids meal includes a main meal, a drink and a snack.
Kids Eat for 95p at IKEA
From now until the 3rd September 2022, all kids can get a meal from the children’s menu for 95p, or add a jelly, piece of fruit and a soft drink for £1.50 total, subject to availability.
For the best deals make sure you have an IKEA Family card.
Kids Eat Free at Morrisons supermarket café
This is an ongoing offer, applies every day but only after 3pm (until the café closes). Kids meals are free when you buy any one adult meal with a value of £4.99 or over. Kids meal includes piece of fruit and Tropicana Kids Orange or apple drink or bottle of water. Cannot be used with any other offer except Teatime Meal Deal – but does apply for anyone under the age of 16.
Kids Eat Free at Dobbies
Chesterfield (located between Barlborough and Clowne), Derby, Leicester
Kids eat free at Dobbies when an adult main course is bought. Choose from the kids lunch menu or a pick and mix meal deal. Daily from noon.
Kids Eat Free at OK Diner
OK Diner has an ongoing offer where kids under 10 eat free from the children’s menu when an adult purchases a main course from their a la carte menu. Available all day, everyday at the Derby location on the A38.
Kids Eat for £1 at Bella Italia
Burton upon Trent, Mansfield, Leicester, Sheffield and nationwide
Kids meals for £1 with the purchase of every adult main course, from 4pm to 6pm, Monday to Thursday. Double check the restaurant’s social media to ensure the offer is on.
Kids Eat for £1 at Sizzling Pubs
Derby – The Argosy, The Oak & Acorn, The Stenson Fields; The Plough Inn, Sandiacre; The Highfield, Chesterfield.
Monday to Friday from 3pm to 7pm, get a kids main eat for £1 with the purchase of an adult meal. More details here.
If you ever dine at Pizza Express sign up for their loyalty programme. After 11 visits (or you can also collect rewards by scanning their supermarket products) you get free kids meal on every visit Mon-Thurs.
Independents that offer Great Value Family Dining
The Carnavon, Teversal
This is technically in Nottinghamshire but it’s about a twenty minute drive from Chesterfield. A similar menu and offers also runs at The Risley Park in Risley which is not far from Junction 25 of the M1, and The Plough Inn in Normanton on Soar near Loughborough.
It offers great value family dining. There’s a ‘Young Diner’s Menu’ which is predominantly aimed at kids, but also for those with smaller appetites where main courses start at £4.25. My daughter tends to have the pizza twist which is a really quite generous size for a young child, and comes with chips and either peas or beans.
They also run a good value early bird menu for adults which is £9.95 for one course, £13.95 for two or £17.95 for three. This runs from 12 to 5pm every day except Sunday. I’ve had the Cajun chicken a few times and it’s really lovely. There also very accommodating about swapping things – eg if you fancy chips instead of a jacket potato. (On their website the early bird menu is on the reverse of the main menu.)
It’s also worth noting that on their a la carte menu (the regular menu) all the main courses are served with very generous servings of chips and vegetables. And they’ll ask you if you want complimentary salad and new potatoes too! I think they’ll even refill these if asked. Main courses start at £11.25.
You can also get a free pudding by signing up to their newsletter/email mailing list (see their website).
Other great options for family friendly dining
The next few places don’t offer the dirt cheap deals listed above – but are otherwise great options for dining out with kids.
Café bar at QUAD Derby
Most of the kids meals are priced at £4.95 but it’s a really welcoming, inclusive place – and really easy access with pushchairs etc. The art exhibitions are also free to explore! Read my previous review here. And there are plenty of free things to explore in Derby city centre – read more here.
QUAD also offer places on workshops (including activities and lunch) for people who access free school meals. Get in touch with QUAD for more information.
Dunston Hall Bistro
I can’t find a children’s menu online but Dunston Hall is a good option with kids because the play area is so nice. Read more here.
Teashop at Lea Gardens
Get there early on a sunny day and there is nowhere finer in Derbyshire to eat al fresco. You do need to pay for entry to the gardens but the season tickets are really great value. Read my previous blog post.
Church Farm Anslow
Just into the Staffordshire border, Church Farm is a children’s farm and lovely tearooms. I think it’s a great value day out. Read more here.
Cafe bar at The Showroom, Sheffield
Welcoming and inclusive, and just a few minutes walk from Sheffield train station, the cafe bar at The Showroom is a great option for family friendly dining.
Please let me know if you see any other places where kids eat free or other great deals or fabulous independents that are great with kids and I’ll try to keep this post updated.
Summer holiday landing page: All the most useful posts on Lovely Local Indie for entertaining the kids this summer holiday. Keeping the kids entertained over the long summer can be a job in itself. Make life easy by bookmarking this page. I’ll keep it updated with the best family days out, family friendly dining and…Keep reading
You might also be interested in this great travel hack to get FREE hotel stays.