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Family Friendly Dining

The Scoop on Where Kids Eat Free in OC

Where Kids Eat Free in the OC 1 Our family loves having meals together…and I especially love when I don’t have to always cook it for them!  Read here for my tips on where kids eat free in Orange County.

Yum!  Check Out these Kid-Friendly Restaurants…

Denny’s Restaurants (Mission Viejo location): Two days of fabulous kid meal deals!  Your kids can eat free every Tuesday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10p.m. at participating Denny’s..I know the location in Mission Viejo honors this promotion…so if there’s a Denny’s closer to you, just call ahead and check first. Up to two kids can eat free per one adult entree purchase – sweet!

Farrell’s (Mission Viejo Mall location)Ice cream sundaes for dessert, anyone?  Pop on over to Farrell’s on Wednesdays…because kids eat free all day off the kid menu (with the purchase of one adult meal and one adult beverage, counted per child). 

Fred’s Mexican Cafe (Laguna Niguel location): Every Sunday evening from 4-9 p.m. your kiddos can eat off the kid’s menu for half price (there are a variety of items).  Valid with one adult meal per child’s meal.

El Torito (Irvine  location, MacArthur Blvd.): Munch on chips, salsa, guacamole…and order some delicious kids meals for your kiddos!  Your children can eat free on Wednesdays, with every regular adult entree purchase. (ages 12 and under).

IHOP Restaurants (Orange location): Select IHOP locations have “Kids Eat Free” afternoons – this one in Orange honors this promotion everyday after 4 p.m., when you buy an adult entree and an adult beverage. Since this great deal is restaurant specific, always make sure to call ahead and confirm if you are visiting another location.

Pasta Pomodoro (Newport Coast location): Feel like some pasta?  Visit Pasta Pomodoro, and your kiddos (12 and under) will receive a free kid’s meal on Tuesdays (all day!) with the purchase of an adult meal.

Ruby’s Diner (most locations – call ahead):  What’s better than red vinyl booths, burgers, fries and shakes?  Kids 12 and under eat free from the kids menu every Tuesday evening after 4 p.m – one free kid’s meal per one adult entree purchased.

Stadium Brewing Company (Aliso Viejo location): Start your week off right…every Monday after 5 p.m., kids 12 and under eat free with each adult entree purchase.

TGI Friday’s (Costa Mesa location) - I’m excited to share that this location offers TWO days of kids eat free!  You kiddos will enjoy a free kid’s meal every Monday and Tuesday (all day!), per purchase of an adult meal.

Z’Tejas (South Coast Plaza location):  If you’re doing a little shopping at South Coast, keep in mind that kids eat free on Sundays from 4 p.m. to closing  (per one adult entrée off of their regular menu).

*Note – Different chain restaurant locations may vary their promotions, so please always call your closest location ahead of time to confirm!

Where do you take your kids to eat?  Any other places that you know of where kiddos eat free in Orange County?

If so, share in the comments below!

Sidecar Doughnuts

Sidecar Doughnuts, a specialty doughnut store in Costa Mesa, opened its doors this month to the delight of Orange County doughnut aficionados everywhere.

First off, I love that they use the spelling of doughnut vs. donut, which after a quick Google search, is in fact the grammatically correct spelling. Who knew? I guess they did, and the spelling was only the first of many things they got right with their new business!

Dare I say, they really did score a hole in one. Sorry, couldn’t help it.

I was invited to a media sneak peek before it opened to the public and was able to meet the owners and find out more about their offerings.

We were also given this sampler plate of doughnuts along with a freshly brewed Stumptown latte. By the way, Sidecar is the only location in Orange County where you will find Stumptown coffee. AAAAMMMAAZING!

Now I am going to be honest: typically I eat a donut about once a year at a garage sale ~ a decision I usually end up regretting after when I get that “blah” feeling.

Not so with these yummy confections!

Sidecar Doughnuts is revolutionizing the doughnut world with doughnuts made from real ingredients.  We are talking doughnuts made fresh from scratch on the hour, using the finest ingredients and no preservatives.

Their speciality doughnuts include real yeast-raised, cake, and buttermilk varieties dressed up with fun extras to make unique flavors like Maple Bacon or Birthday Cake. Think your kiddo might like that one? You guessed right.

It was love at first taste for me. You can really taste the difference. My favorite? Maple Bacon hands down. It was an entire breakfast experience in one bite.

 Gluten-free Fridays! Avoiding gluten these days? Every Friday you will find gluten-free doughnuts; and even vegan options from time to time. Follow Sidecar Doughnuts on Facebook to find out when.

They are pricer than your typical donut, but worth the upgrade for the fresh ingredients and hip location. Plus, where else would you find a fresh, hot doughnut topped with crispy bacon?

[Disclosure: I was provided scrumptious bites and a latte complimentary; along with a doughnut box filled with some goodies. Glad they spotted me on the corner with my sign, "Will work for doughnuts.']

Our Medieval Times Buena Park Experience [+ Giveaway]

When Medieval Times Buena Park contacted us to share about their new show and September SoCal resident special along with an offer for my family and Susanne’s to come and check it out firsthand for review, I thought, “Why not?! It would be something different.”

But I have a confession to make: I am a girly girl and I am the mother of two girly girls, so a visit to Medieval Times probably wouldn’t have occurred to me. My girls are not into swords or things of that nature so I honestly wouldn’t have thought of it as something they might enjoy. But oh, how WRONG I was!

Because the experience was AWESOME! The type of fun that makes your cheeks hurt from smiling and the type of joy that comes from seeing your kids in complete awe. Like when the show opened with this magical horse entering the arena…

Medieval Times brings you back to an age of bravery and honor with a dinner and spectacular tournament.

When we checked in, we were given seat assignments along with a special crown denoting our team (black & white) and the knight we would be cheering for.

Before the show we were able to enjoy a pre-dinner drink (a $6 glass of wine  - loved the reasonable price) and our kids were able to look around the gift shop and cruise around the garden.

Then we entered the theater in the round…WOW!

Our jovial waiter introduced himself, and let us know the food would be coming out in four courses, and a bar waitress would be coming around for any drink orders if we wished to partake.

It was nice to not have to order specific food (there is only one menu), which consisted of: tomato bisque, focaccia bread with olive oil, oven-roasted chicken, BBQ spare rib, herb-basted potato quarters, apple strudel. The food was delicious!

And then it begun!  A spectacle of beautiful horses and noble knights. As the show progressed, it was a sword fighting game of elimination where the knights competed in duels and the winner went on to the next level.

Unfortunately Mr. Black & White knight was knocked out the first round, but that was OK, because we were still able to cheer for our next favorite knight, the one my daughter picked based on outfit color.

Susanne’s daughter picked her favorite based on the amount of sparkles. What did I say about our girly girls? Here is Susanne’s cute family before the show…

For information on Medieval Times Buena, click HERE. Please also note that for the month of September 2o12, local Southern California residents can SAVE BIG with this special offer.

Our Medieval Times Tips!

Here are some of the things we would recommend if visiting Medieval Times with your family…

~ Arrive at least 30 minutes prior.  Probably 30 – 60 would be ideal. Seating is first come first serve. But there really is no bad seat in the house.

~ Come hungry. It’s a lot of food and it is so good you will want to keep eating the gluttonous sized portions. When in Rome, right?!

~ Bring a pack of baby wipes! In keeping with the theme of the times, you eat with your hands!  Yep, no utensils! Kids love this. And I thought it was fun too, but it is messy. The wipes will come in handy. Thanks to my Facebook fan for this tip.

~ Consider ordering one vegetarian meal when you check in. I ordered my one daughter the vegetarian meal, which included hummus and pita chips, grilled veggies and a stuffed pepper. The girls liked the hummus & pitas and my husband liked having some veggies too. Plus, there will be enough chicken to last you for days!

~ Don’t worry about all the leftover food – you can take it with you!  They are great with giving you take home containers and bags, so we ate the yummy leftover chicken throughout the whole next week.

~ If celebrating a special occasion, add on the Celebration Package for +$16pp and includes preferred seating, framed group photo, knights cheering banner, personalized announcement during the show, slice of cake, “Behind the Scenes” DVD and a commemorative program. I kept thinking what an awesome birthday party idea this would be for a small group of kids.

~ Take the kids potty before the show.  Once the action starts, you don’t want to miss a minute!  And after the show, there was a long line inside, but we found an open restroom outside that was vacant. Yay.

~ Be ready to CHEER! My oldest daughter was screaming so loud she got hoarse the next day. The more you get into it and cheer for your guy, the more fun it is.

Overall, we just had a blast, it was completely fun for everyone! And the food was DELICIOUS!

Family four pack ticket giveaway!

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Disclosure: Our families received complimentary tickets to the show to facilitate this review. Thank you Medieval Times! 

Photo credit: Medieval Times. Except for the personal pictures of course!

Kids Eat Free at Chipotle Weekends in April!

I LOVE Chipotle Mexican Grill!  It was one of my biggest cravings when I was pregnant. I have memories of standing in line with my big ole’ belly dreaming of the options to put in my burrito!  But pregnant, or not, it is one of my favorite family friendly places to go out to eat!

I fell in love with this restaurant even more last year when Oprah did a feature on their company and their Food with Integrity philosophy which is all about using  fresh ingredients, sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. Talk about a “fast food” restaurant you can feel good about taking your family to!

So, when I got this press release, I had to share the info with you because they have rolled out a NEW kid’s menu AND are offering a free kid’s meal on weekends in April with the purchase of an adult meal. Here are the details…

Chipotle recently announced its new Kid’s Menu in Los Angeles and Orange County. As part of the launch, Chipotle will give kids a free Kid’s Meal every Saturday and Sunday in April, starting Saturday, April 2nd and running until Sunday, May 1st, when parents purchase a burrito, salad, burrito bowl (a burrito without the tortilla) or order of tacos.

All of the items on the Kid’s Menu adhere to Chipotle’s commitment to using only the best-tasting ingredients from more sustainable sources that is the hallmark of Chipotle’s food.  Chipotle developed the Kid’s Menu with pint-sized fans in mind, from the actual menu items to the portions and prices. Options include:

Small Cheese Quesadilla ($2.95) – a classic favorite with kids – is served with a side of rice, choice of beans,  small bag of chips and a choice of organic plain milk, organic chocolate milk, apple juice or a soda.

Small Meat & Cheese Quesadilla ($3.50) – a small meat and cheese quesadilla served with a side of rice, small bag of chips and a choice of organic plain milk, organic chocolate milk, apple juice or a soda.

Single Taco ($3.50) – a single crispy or soft taco filled with three items from the line (one naturally raised meat or guacamole, and two other ingredients from the line, like salsa and cheese) served with a small bag of chips and a choice of organic plain milk, organic chocolate milk, apple juice or a soda.

Taco Kit (they build it) ($3.95) – With this unique twist, Chipotle invites children to get creative with their food.  Kids choose any three ingredients (one naturally raised meat or guacamole, and two other ingredients from the line, like salsa and cheese) and two crispy or two soft taco shells.  From there, it’s up to kids to construct and enjoy their tacos. This option also comes with a small bag of chips and a choice of organic plain milk, organic chocolate milk, apple juice or a soda.

So if you are looking for a family friendly restaurant to take the kids to eat this weekend, consider giving the new Chipotle Kids Menu a try!

Awesome Wahoo’s Deal Today on Plum District!

This is a two post kind of day when I saw this deal come through on Plum District! Only $5 for a $10 gift card to Wahoo’s Fish Taco.

If you live in OC my question is…who DOESN’T love Wahoo’s!?  It’s one of our favorite family-friendly, casual spots to take the kids.

Click here to buy it….hurry, you don’t want to miss this Wahoo’s coupon deal!

{Disclosure: Tiny Oranges is a Plum District affiliate}