FREE books – Read It Forward Promotion

While supplies last, The Crown Publishing Group is offering readers a chance to get a free copy from a choice of three new titles: Something Missing by Matthew Dicks, The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha, and Where the River Ends by Charles Martin.

One book per email address. No purchase required.

FREE Baja Fish Taco at Long John Silvers

On Tuesday, July 14, from open until 2:30 p.m., you can get a free Baja Fish Taco at participating Long John Silvers. Limit one per customer, no purchase necessary.

FREE Mocha Mondays at McDonalds

Starting TODAY and running through August 3, 2009, you can visit McDonalds between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for  a FREE iced or hot mocha. Limit one per person per visit.

Roundup of Places Kids Eat FREE or On The Cheap

I’ve been adding these a few at a time, but I am putting them all together in one post for convenience. Here are some places in WNC where kids eat FREE or for a reduced price.

Applebees offers kid’s meals for 99 cents after 4 p.m. on Tuesdays. The good part: you can get TWO discount kid’s meals per paying adult! Choices include mini burgers, mac ‘n cheese, pizza, and chicken tenders. Served up with choice of side and beverage.

Locations in WNC:

115  Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805   828-251-9194

275 Smokey Park Highway, Asheville, NC 28806 828-670-9101

1655 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803 828-274-5300

1635 Four Seasons Blvd., Hendersonville, NC 28792 828-692-3006

Atlanta Bread Company offers free meals for kids ages 12 and under after 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and all day on Sundays. Sandwich, chips, drink and cookie. One FREE kid’s meal per paying adult. There are three locations in WNC:

633 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804   828-259-3675

484 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803    828-274-2323

147 Highlands Square Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28792     828-692-7553

Deerpark at Biltmore Estate – Kids under the age of 9 always eat FREE.

Fuddruckers, 130 Charlotte Street, Asheville, NC 828-254-2161. Kids ages 12 and under EAT free after 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. One free kid’s meal per paying adult. Choices include a burger (you will pay 75 cents if you order cheese even on the free nights), hot dog, chicken tenders or grilled cheese. Served up with a drink (free refills), fries, and choice of a cookie from the bakery.

IHOP provides FREE meals for kids ages 12 and younger after 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. One free meal per paying adult.

Locations:

275-B Smokey Park Highway, Asheville, NC 28806  828-665-9390

245 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805  828-255-8601

229 Airport Road, Suite 1, Arden, NC 28704  828-684-2828

Lonestar Steak House – According to the corporate website, Kids ages 12 and under eat FREE all day on Tuesdays! Two free meals per paying adult! I don’t know if every Lonestar participates in this promotion, so it’s good to check ahead. Dine-in only. Choices for kids include hot dog, grilled cheese, macaroni & cheese, grilled chicken sandwich, chicken tenders and steak medallions. Includes choice of a side item and a beverage.

341 Rockwood Road, Arden, NC 28704 828-684-5506

Moe’s  Southwest Grill — The offerings are different at the one in Biltmore (1 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803, 828-225-6637) and the one at 300 Airport Road in Arden (828-684-4452).

In Biltmore, kids ages 12 and under eat for 99 cents on Thursdays and Saturdays. Three discounted meals for each paying adult.

At the Arden location, kids eat FREE on Tuesdays after 5 p.m.

Ryan’s Steak Houses are currently offering kid’s mega bar buffet dinners for 99 cents each after 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Includes all-you-can-eat hot bar, salad bar, fruit bar, dessert bar, and unlimited beverage. Two discounted kid’s meals per paying adult.

1053 Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC 28806 828-258-3761

1000 Brevard Road, Asheville, NC 28806  828-665-9963

Shoney’s offers 99 cent meals on Tuesdays after 4 p.m. for kids ages 10 and younger. Two discounted meals per paying adult. Kids younger than four eat FREE every night.

425 Smokey Park Highway, Asheville, NC 28806 828-667-0108

379 Long Shoals Road, Arden, NC 28704 828-684-5097

**NOTE: As with everything in life, these special deals are at the discretion of the participating restaurants and always subject to change. It’s wise to call ahead and find out if the deals are still available.

60th Anniversary Party at Asheville Art Museum

On Sunday, July 12, 2009, celebrate the Asheville Art Museum’s 60th Anniversary!  Admission is FREE the the museum from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The offerings include a variety of hands-on activities for all ages led by artists. Refreshments and supplies provided.

Kids Get in FREE at Southern Highland Handicraft Guild Fair

This is a personal favorite – the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild Fair. The 62nd season of this bi-annual fair takes place at the Asheville Civic Center on  July 16 – 19 and October 15 – 18.

I promise you will NOT be disappointed as you wind your way among a myriad of booths offering quality hand crafted goods. It’s also a great way to see some of the artisans doing demos and to actually talk with them about their craft. Here’s a list of July exhibitors.

Price of admission is $7, and it’s FREE for kids under the age of 12!

Also, to keep up with fair information follow @folkartcenter on Twitter!

Kids eat FREE at Atlanta Bread Company

Thanks to my wonderful friend Sophia Ungert for reminding me to post this Kids Eat FREE offering. I take my kids often to the Atlanta Bread Company on Merrimon Avenue in Asheville for FREE meals.

Here’s the deal: You get one free child’s meal (ages 12 and under) per paying adult. The offer is good after 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and all day on Sundays!

FREE day at the WNC Nature Center

Asheville City residents will be admitted FREE of charge (with ID) to the WNC Nature Center on Saturday, July 25, 2009. For directions and other info, check the Nature Center’s website.

Gem Mining at Emerald Village

This morning my kids and I headed off on a rock hunting adventure. We had heard that the Crabtree Emerald Mine in Little Switzerland is open (for a fee) to anyone who wants to come in and dig around to see what they can find.

We headed to Emerald Village where I signed waiver forms for the three of us and paid the fee. It is $20 a day per person, BUT it’s FREE for kids 12 and under. Since my kids are 9 and 11, I was able to get a bargain! Of course, I didn’t think to bring tools, so I wound up renting a set for another $20. The set included a bucket, goggles, shovel, pick axe, hammer, two trowels, a hand rake and a pick.

The women at the counter cautioned about copperheads in the area and also advised me that the mine site, while only about 4 miles away, was truly out in nature — no bathroom facilites or food services out there.

We spent about 2 hours digging around the pit to no avail. A seasoned rock hound who was digging at the site showed us some emeralds he had found in order for us to see what we were looking for. The kids got hot and tired before we found any. I think their enthusiasm waned the longer we went without finding anything.

So, we headed back to Emerald Village and bought salted buckets of gemstones to sift and wash in the flume. Now, this was really fun! My kids found a wide range of gemstones in their bucket: amethyst, sodalite, rose quartz, smoky quartz, garnets, rubies, emeralds, tourmaline, adventurine, rainbow moonstone, jasper, sunstone, and others that I can’t recall at the moment.

My 9-year-old daughter wanted to find a tiger’s eye stone. And she did. It’s small, but it’s her prized possession of the trip.

I found the act of sifting through the stones truly relaxing and it put me into the “now.” I became focused on the act of searching for stones and any other thought (or worry about deadlines, etc.) simply dissolved.

The sky was an amazing lapis lazuli color. The weather can only be described as the ultimate summer day — not too hot, not cold, not humid, not buggy. Just bliss. Simply bliss.

I rank the day as one of our most fun ever, and it gave me a top ranking from my kids who said: “You’re the best mom in the world for bringing us here.” :)

Can You Say “Moo” For FREE Food at Chick-Fil-A?

Get your hooves on! Chick-Fil-A is offering free food to folks who come to their restaurants dressed in full cow garb. That’s right — dress like a cow and you’ll receive a free meal on Friday, July 10, 2009. They also have a download for a cow costume starter kit on their Cow Appreciation Day website.

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