Monday, August 6, 2012

Kids eat free at IKEA

Monday, August 6, 2012
My Cost: $3.99 + tax for my lunch

600 N San Fernando Blvd

Today I decided to take a break from all the long-distance, lengthy time-commitment outings and just take the kids to the Burbank IKEA for the afternoon. IKEA was always a favorite destination for my brother's kids, plus there were several things I thought we could do:

1. I had some other errands to do beforehand, so I didn't want to worry about making lunch. I know the IKEA restaurant is tasty and cheap, and also knew there was a chance the kids meals would be free.

2. Now officially 18-months-old, Vivi is more and more interested in activities that improve her dexterity, so I wanted to see what cheap educational toys they might have for her. Maybe some beads to string or pegs to hammer?

3. I thought we could possibly kill some time out of the oppressive heat by letting Vivi explore and climb on the furniture in the display area, (plus, then she's not wearing out the furniture at home!)

4. CHOCOLATE! I know they have great big $.99 bars of chocolate, and I wanted some.

Our trip to IKEA started as planned. We went straight to the restaurant and I even beat the rush so the line was short! I got a meatball plate for myself ($3.99) and turns out, (at the Burbank location at least,) KIDS EAT FREE Mon-Wed-Fri from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Tuesday from 11:00 am to close! So basically that means you can get a free lunch for your child (under 12) any day during the week except Thursday! (I do not know if it is "free with purchase" or just free outright. The food is so yummy and cheap there that I can never resist making a purchase for myself.)

There are lots of high chairs available in the dining room, so that's great for families with little ones. I didn't seen any booster seats though. You'll notice I didn't get a beverage for myself - that's because I didn't want it to spill!

After eating, (their mac and cheese is really tasty, but my picky eater didn't want much of it,) we went over to the toy area where they have some things on display. Vivi enjoyed trying out all the different chairs, and I think she liked the abacus too!

I picked up some stacking cups for $2.99, a hammering toy for $5.99, a pop-up storage container for $4.99, and some plastic plates and bowls (they come in multicolor sets of 6 for $1.99). Vivi was having a great time climbing into the toddler beds, and she especially liked this little doorway they have that's just-for-kids:

At this point I would have been happy to lazily wander through the display area and watch Vivi climb around on the inexpensive modular furniture, then go get my chocolate, but Alex had a different plan. He had patiently sat in the stroller the whole time we were there, and he finally decided enough was enough. If it's one thing I've learned having kids, it's that plans have to be flexible. When it's time to go, it's time to go!

I knew Alex was hungry, and with all the other family-friendly amenities they have (you can leave your kids at the SmÃ¥land play area for 60 minutes free of charge if they are ages 4-10 and potty trained, the restaurant is kid-friendly, and there are small play areas just past checkout near the IKEA Bistro and at the Returns waiting area) I wondered if there might be a mother's lounge for nursing. But since I had never seen one in the past, I just went to the car.

Lucky for me, Alex fell asleep on the way to the park, so I didn't have to feed him after all!

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