Kids Eat for Free at these Sacramento-Area Restaurants

Days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler and school is officially back in session.  For most families, that means homework, sports practice and endless school events.  As our days get more hectic, we tend to find ways to make our lives a little easier.  Dinner sometimes get’s pushed off to last minute and instead of spending a ton of money on fast food, why not check out some of our local restaurants that offer a Kids Eat Free day.

Every few months, we update our Kids Eat Free page…this page is always a work in progress so, if you happen to know of your favorite local eatery that holds a promotion, please let us know.
Currently I have compiled a list of some of our family favorites:

Macaroni Grill
2010 Douglas Blvd. Roseville
(916) 773-6399
What kids doesn’t love Italian?  Spaghetti, tortellini, macaroni…most kids love pasta, and every parent loves a free meal.  Kids receive a free meal on Monday and Tuesday with a paying adult.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Locations throughout Sacramento, Dickey’s serves up some authentic BBQ – from Ribs, brisket and tri tip to chicken, there is something for every meat lover in your family!  And on Sundays, Kids eat free! The best part? Every meal comes with a make-your-own soft serve ice cream cone.

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant
6049 Madison Avenue Carmichael
(916) 344.3177
Authentic Mexican food at great prices!  On Sundays, with the purchase of an adult meal, kids eat for only .99 cents.

Riverside Clubhouse
2633 Riverside Blvd.  Sacramento
(916) 448-9988
Pizza, burgers, soups, salads, Riverside has something for everyone.  Kids eat free on Tuesday with an adult entrée purchase.

These are just some of our family favorites that offer free kids meals.  You can check out the entire list on our Kids Eat Free link.  As always, this is a work in progress as restaurants end or change their promotions. Please feel free to let us know of any changes or additions.

By Heather Crivellone




11 Surprising Ways to Immerse your Kids in Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Culture this Fall

What makes Sacramento the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the world? A year-round growing season and ideal climate for, oh, just about 1.5 million acres of farms and ranches growing over 160 crops! But did you know that there’s a cornucopia of ways in which families and kids can dig into all this Farm-to-Fork fun? And the time is ripe since September is Farm-to-Fork month!

1. Explore Farms at the Crocker

The Crocker Art Museum is hosting several events in celebration of all things Farm-to-Fork. One particularly youth-focused affair is the Kids & Company Gallery Adventure, which is a museum tour where farms are discovered and explored through art. (They might not even notice how educational it is). Dates are: Sundays, September 3 & 17, 2017, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

2. Attend the Farm-to-Fork Festival: September 23

The Farm-to-Fork Festival brings us face-to-face with the people who are feeding our region and beyond. Meet farmers and ranchers, enjoy interactive booths from local grocers, and check out live cooking demonstrations. Sample some goods, sip some local beer, and listen to live music. A kids’ zone rounds this one out quite nicely. Capitol Mall.

3. Eat Out During Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Week: September 8-18

Is your kid a foodie in the making? Well, here are 10 days of special menus, deals, and events at restaurants within and around Sacramento. Meet local chefs, learn where the food comes from, then indulge in the final product. A portion of all proceeds is donated to ProStart, a two-year culinary arts and hospitality management program for California high school students.

4. Head to Apple Hill

The farms within the foothills of apple country are loaded with fun things to do for kids of every age!  You’ll find tractor rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, pony rides, craft stands, farm tours, you-pick farms, gold panning, gold mines, rubber duck races, nature trails, farm animals … and, well, Christmastime is charming too. Think holiday shopping and crisp air, hot cider and baked goods, Santa sightings and Christmas tree farms.

5. Watch a Film About Food and Family: Tampopo, September 7 *Sorry everyone, apparently this Japanese film is not as family-friendly as we thought, but great for grownups!

Tampopo is a funny film about food for the whole family that’s also been dubbed “one of the best food movies of all time.” It is co-presented with Slow Food Sacramento in honor of farm-to-fork month at the Crocker Art Museum.

6. Shop at Neighborhood Markets

Corti Brothers retains the old-fashioned corner grocery charm with sandwiches and ravioli that are legend among locals. In fact, true to the original recipe, their ravioli are the oldest continuously produced food product in Sacramento.  5810 Folsom Blvd.

Selland’s Market Café has been committed to the principles of Farm-to-Fork cuisine for 20 years, with many of their products and ingredients sourced locally. Monthly specials showcase pizza, salad and sandwiches. East Sacramento, Broadway and El Dorado Hills locations.

Taylor’s Kitchen features a seasonal menu with a focus on the fresh local foods found at Taylor’s Market. Desserts are created in-house by their own pastry chef and reservations are accepted. 2900 Freeport Blvd.

7Go on a Farmers Market Picnic

The Wednesday farmers’ market at Cesar Chavez Park downtown is a one-stop shop for lunch al fresco. Purchase some fruit, nuts and bread for a Mediterranean-inspired picnic near the fountain. Still hungry for more? There are plenty of cafes nearby, including Farm-to-Fork bar & restaurant, La Cosecha, which is in the park itself. 10th & J.

8. Try Some Comfort Food

Dad’s Kitchen in Land Park is family friendly and locally sourced with organic chicken, grass-fed beef, homemade mac ‘n cheese, local greens, and craft beers. Pick your poison and grab a seat on the patio. Fun Fact: Dad’s was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives! 2968 Freeport Blvd.

9. Tour and Taste Some Old-Fashioned Ice Cream  –  Sundae FunDay

Old fashioned ice cream parlors are still beloved around these parts, and include Vic’s, Gunther’s, Burr’s, and Leatherby’s. Bonus: You can schedule a tour of Leatherby’s cream room and deep freezers where they make and store all of their ice cream and sauces. Arden Way, Citrus Heights and Elk Grove locations.

10. Take a Scenic Drive – Sacramento River Delta

If you have a hankering for exploration, cruising the Sacramento River Delta (along Highway 160) truly overflows with sensory delights. Wineries and breweries abound, as do olive oil and vinegar sampling stops, swimming and fishing spots, historic towns, bridges and farm equipment. How about Farm-to-Fork eateries, family farms and produce stands, pumpkin patches, and just general all-around gorgeous scenery?! Get a super handy and detailed map at

11. Play Chef – Family Recipes

Want to take home a little slice of the proverbial Farm-to-Fork pie? Find family friendly recipes here:

Bon Apetite!

By Melanie Noel Light

Our Top Three Picks for Cold, Sweet Treats to Help you Cool Off During the Sacramento Heat

Summertime in Sacramento is hot, hot and hot!  We have been seeing double digits on the thermostats and everyone is trying to find ways to stay cool.  One of my favorite ways to stay cool is to enjoy super sweet, super cold and icy ICE CREAM!  Whether it’s Fro-Yo, from a carton, on a cone or in a sandwich…our family loves ice cream of all varieties!

Here are our top three favorite spots to get a sweet, cold treat and cool off in the Sacramento heat:

  1.  Vampire Penguin located in Downtown Sacramento, Natomas and Elk Grove. Not your average ice cream shop as they specialize in shaved “snow”.  With flavors like Green Tea and Smores, it’s not your typical “snow cone” from the little league baseball field.
  2. Smoosh Ice Cream Factory located in Folsom and Rocklin. Ice cream sandwiches made fresh to order… and these are not your ordinary sandwiches!  Choose your fresh-baked cookie (chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, red velvet… to name a few).  Then pick your flavor (too many to choose from) and then whatever toppings you would like them roll your sandwich in.  This is seriously a sandwich from heaven!
  3. The Devil May Care Ice Cream and Frozen Treats located at 322 3rd Street in West Sacramento. New to the area, this sweet shop is gaining serious popularity among the locals and River Cats fans.  New flavors are always emerging and you are never truly sure what you may find when you visit.  Besides ice cream, they have unique floats that are truly worth the visit.  Apple Pie and Pineapple Nutmeg have caught my eye, but my kids prefer good old Root beer.

So go ahead and treat yourself to an icy cold treat this month…after all, it is National Ice Cream Month!

Sacramento’s Raley Field Overhauls Food and Kids Zone for the 2017 Baseball Season

The 2017 baseball season officially kicks off here in Sacramento this Thursday, April 6 at 7:05 pm at Raley Field. If you are thinking of treating the family to a night out at the game, here’s some motivation. Raley Field has overhauled their concessions and kids zone to make the Sacramento baseball experience top-notch for the whole family. First, when you enter the stadium, you’ll notice right away the new restaurant storefronts. River Cats management wanted to take eating at Raley Field to a whole new level in America’s Farm-to-Fork capital, so partnered with RS3/Ryan Sanders Sports Services to create a unique culinary experience at the ballpark. In the mood for Mexican food? Head over to Oso’s Cantina for fresh tacos. How about a gourmet hot dog with buffalo sauce topped with fresh blue cheese? You can grab that from the 50’s-style Cadillac Diner. There’s also Coop & Kennel, an Irish pub, the railroad history-themed Golden Spike for burgers, Raley’s for specialty sandwiches, and the old-fashioned Sweet Spot where you’ll be able to get your favorite frozen dessert like ice cream, root beer floats and even spiked shakes for the adults.

Once you’ve enjoyed your farm-to-fork dinner and watched a few game innings, the kids will probably get antsy. Head over to the new Down on the Farm children’s Area, located behind third base. While the old Raley Field kids zone required a fee for entrance, this new one is FREE. Your little ones will love to climb atop and slide down the one-and-only Tower Bridge play structure or climb all over the gigantic baseball and glove. Don’t worry, the bounce houses will still be available, in addition to a new misting pad to stay cool (yay!)

While the Sacramento River Cat’s Raley Field was already a state-of-the-art baseball stadium, it just got better. So, head across the river to enjoy a spectacular 2017 baseball season in Sacramento. For the 2017 River Cats baseball schedule, click here.

The 50’s-style Cadillac Diner was named after the 1989 movie Pink Cadillac, which was partially filmed her in Sac.

The Clint Eastwood dog at the Cadillac Diner.

Head to the Sweet Spot for a good, old-fashioned root beer float.

The new Down on the Farm children’s area.



Top Family Friendly Restaurants in Sacramento

Many families come to Sacramento on business, stop in for dinner on their way to the mountains or just live in our wonderful capital city.  Whether you are visiting Sacramento from out of town, live in the area or are just passing through, we have plenty of family friendly eateries to choose from so you can get those kids fed and back on the road.

Downtown has so many wonderful options to choose from, especially if you are not wanting to go to a typical chain restaurant.  Of course, when you think of “kid friendly”, some may instantly have nightmares of a giant mouse, loud video games and screaming kids.  We do have those more entertainment options in the area, but if you are searching for a nice evening out, we have you covered!

Downtown Sacramento offers a wide variety of options.  From farm-to-fork local eateries, to quick order-and-go stops, to the typical chain restaurant.  I took a poll of the best family friendly restaurants in the area and this is the list we came up with.  You may have your own family favorite, and please feel free to let us know where and why.

My family likes to try new places, so we have been to several on this list. But there are a few are new spots we are excited to try. So, next time you are in the area or you just want a break from cooking, check out one of our local hot spots:

For those who love Italian:

 Paesanos in Midtown has been voted as the best Italian Pizzerias!  Located at 1806 Capital Avenue, they have a menu that is sure to please everyone in your family. Pizzas, pastas, salads and they even have a gluten-free menu for those with diet restrictions.   The last time we were there, my kids were given a ball of dough to play with… they were kept busy and happy until the food came!

Old Spaghetti Factory in Downtown and Roseville is a unique dining experience.  Kids will feel comfortable with the colorful decor and can even request to sit in one of the old trolley cars!  My kids always find something on the menu to keep them satisfied and the price is perfect for families.

Pizza Rock

Pizza Rock located at 1020 K Street in downtown Sacramento is definitely a place to visit if you haven’t been there.  With a large semi truck hanging from the ceiling, a loud and fun atmosphere to distract the kids and great food… it’s worth searching for parking downtown to have dinner here.   They are one of the few restaurants that I have found that really believe in getting the kids dirty in the kitchen.  Every first Saturday of the month, they host Kids in the Kitchen where kids can make their own pizzas and the money raised goes towards charity.  What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

California Pizza Kitchen has several locations throughout the Sacramento area.  They are very kid friendly, have great food and offer a selection of gluten-free menu items to keep those with specific restrictions enjoying dining out with the family.

Skipolinis, located at 6600 Lonetree Blvd in Rocklin is definitely a kid friendly option!  They have an indoor play area that the kids can climb through while waiting for the meal.  Plenty of televisions playing all the latest sports games and they have a great menu to choose from.  This is one of our favorites when we want to go out for a “family night” but would rather have more “adult” time talking while the kids play.

For those who prefer good old American fare, we have plenty of options:

Red Robin, yes, it’s a chain restaurant but they definitely are kid friendly, have plenty of menu items to choose from and have always been fast in getting us in and out when we are in a hurry.   Kids love the decor and who can’t complain when you are served bottomless French fries?

Chili’s, yes another chain that has several locations throughout the Sacramento valley, but they offer one thing that not all the other restaurants do… kiosks at the tables, loaded with games to keep the kids busy! Even if you don’t want your kid to sit and stare at a screen all dinner long, it is nice to have that option until the food arrives.

Empress Tavern located at 1013 K Street in Downtown Sacramento.  This may seem more like a date night spot, than a family friendly location, but don’t let the appearance fool you.  They are very family friendly and offer a menu that can be served family style with some of the freshest ingredients around.

Now, if you have more adventurous palates, then check out some of our local sushi and seafood restaurants. My 7-year-old is always begging to go to sushi – it’s his favorite meal!  We have tried many restaurants in the area and have found a couple that really are our favorites in terms of freshness and cost to take out a family of four.


Mikuni can be argued as the best sushi is Sacramento.  We love the atmosphere and that they are very kid friendly (as long as you don’t go at 8pm on a Saturday night). They offer a kids menu, chop stick “helpers” and gave my kids fun goodies to play with at the table even though my son doesn’t order off the kids meal anymore. While it can get expensive, the food is great!

Raku is an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant located in West Sacramento and Rocklin.   The thought of all-you-can-eat sushi seemed a bit disgusting to me at first, but once we tried it, we were hooked! Great prices for the amount you get, the fish is fresh and the rolls were tasty.  Kids were in heaven when we told them they could continue to order rolls after they thought they were done.  They have special pricing for kids vs. Adults, so it’s worth checking out if you have a sushi loving family.

There are so many more dining options than this in our wonderful city, but I’m hoping this gives you an idea of some new places to visit with your family. Bon Appétit!

By Heather Crivellone


Where Kids Can Eat For Free Around Sacramento

imagesoyjuw3z5By Heather Crivellone

School is back in session, soccer season has started and moms across Sacramento are frantically trying to find fast and easy meals to prepare for their kids.   Eating out can be costly (especially if you have a large family), but luckily there are many local restaurants that offer FREE or reduced meals for kids on certain nights of the week.

During the month of September, Denny’s is offering FREE pancakes everyday to kids between the hours of 4pm-7pm.    Why not have breakfasts for dinner?  My kids love pancakes, so we will definitely be dining out after a long soccer practice this month!

Chipotle is also offering free meals to kids all day on Sundays this month.   Burritos, tacos or quesadillas- no cooking on a Sunday… sounds good to me!

Here is a list of local restaurants that also offer free or reduced prices for kids on certain days of the week:

Dickey’s Barbeque Pit (several locations throughout the Sacramento area)  Fresh BBQ and soft serve ice cream… this is my kids most requested location!
Hoppy Brewing Company (6300 Folsom Boulevard), check out the Sunday football games and let your kids eat for only $1.

Paesanos (8519 Bond Rd, Suite #101 in Elk Grove), Enjoy some of the best Italian food in Sacramento on Sundays and kids eat free all day.

Strings Italian at 1900 Douglas Boulevard in Roseville offers free kids meals all day on Sunday and Monday.  Great Italian food that’s quick and easy-  perfect for a busy school week!

Chevy’s on the River (1309 Garden Highway), kids eat free all day on Tuesday.  Who doesn’t love Chevy’s chips and salsa? And on the river- it’s like being on vacation on a Tuesday afternoon!

IKEA  in West Sacramento offers free meals all day to kids  Get some shopping done,  feed the kids and have a great night out.

El Torito (1598 Arden Way) offers free kids meals all day.  Everyone loves Mexican food… why not have some tacos, quesadillas and nachos on a Wednesday?

Woody’s (2316 Watt Avenue), enjoy hamburgers, French fries and all the best American food. 

Ihop (locations throughout Sacramento), kids eat free every night after 4pm.

To find more restaurants that offer a “kids eat free” program, check out our page for updated listings.
Restaurants change from time to time, so we do our best to keep this updated.  If you find your favorite isn’t mentioned, please feel free to contact us and we can add them.
So take a break from cooking and enjoy a night out with your family!

Ice Cream-filled Donuts: The Newest Summertime Treat in Sacramento

Ice Cream DonutIce cream is a staple summertime treat for kids of all ages, and recently I took my kids to enjoy the newest hot spot for the cold, sweet dessert.  The Parlor on Eureka Rd. in Roseville serves ice cream-filled donuts – this takes ice cream desserts to a whole new level! It was an experience for my taste buds. Two of the sweetest treats combined together into an ice cream-filled fried puff…and oh my, was it delicious!

We didn’t quite know what to expect when we first arrived and were surprised at the options. I was thinking they would have only a couple of flavors to choose from, but much to my delight,  the flavors offered were exotic (not the typically chocolate and vanilla) and you could choose between a glazed or plain to be filled with your choice of ice cream. It was a hard decision between Nutella and Green Tea,  but we agreed on Birthday Cake inside a glazed donut.   We could choose a variety of toppings along with whipped cream to finish off this incredible sweet treat. My kids instantly had a sugar rush and it was the perfect end to a 100-degree day.

The Parlor has two locations: 1490 Eureka Rd. #170 in Roseville and  2620 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacramento

If you aren’t looking for something so glutenous, and just want to enjoy a good old-fashioned scoop, then visit one of the local favorites:
Vic’s Ice Cream in Land Park (3199 Riverside Ave)

Gunthers Ice Cream, located at 2801 Franklin Blvd. in Sacramento.

Leatherby’s Family Creamery, with 3 locations in the Sacramento area (2333 Arden Way, Sacramento, 7910 Antelope Rd. Citrus Heights and 8238 Laguna Blvd. Elk Grove).

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor– 1625 Watt Avenue in Sacramento.

And if you need extra reason to treat yourself to some good ice cream this summer, July is National Ice Cream Month –  so, go out and treat your family to a cone, shake, sundae or an ice cream filled donut…isn’t that what summer is all about?

By Heather Crivellone

the parlor