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Abingdon, Virginia and a Few Steps Back in Time

15 Feb

Abingdon is one of Virginia’s best kept secrets.  Unfortunately, our most recent trip didn’t last nearly long enough to fully enjoy all Abingdon has to offer.

First of all, I recommend splurging and staying at “The Martha” aka The Martha Washington Inn.  This historic inn was built in 1832 and has been a private residence, a women’s college and a civil war-era hospital as well as it’s present use as an inn.  The inn’s library, with it’s fireplace and overstuffed leather couches and chairs, is a perfect place to curl up and read one of the many wonderful volumes available.   The staff was very attentive and kid-friendly.

One of the highlights of Abingdon is the Barter Theatre, established in 1933.  The Barter Theater is the State Theater of Virginia and puts on many performances for children.  Reserve your tickets in advance as many shows sell out.  If you are not able to get tickets in advance, I was told by a local that if you show up at the box office 15 minutes before the show starts, they will release tickets for those who have not shown up.

We had a wonderful dinner at The Tavern.  Again, reservations are recommended.  The Tavern is the oldest building in Abingdon and well worth a peek inside.  They do not have a children’s menu, but are happy to accommodate children with smaller portions of menu items or chicken fingers.  The owner’s attentiveness was most impressive.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to see all that Abingdon has to offer.  We look forward to going back and checking out the museums, festivals and more of the hidden gems here.


14 Places Kids Eat Free –

1 Oct

grandparents.comThis just in from

Restaurants throughout the country are feeling the sting of the slow economy, just like you. In order to improve their bottom line and get families to eat out more often, many have initiated programs where kids eat free with the purchase of adult entrees. National chains, such as Bennigan’s, TGI Friday’s, and IHOP are promoting these deals, and local mom-and-pop restaurants are starting to do the same.

The specific times and dates vary from restaurant to restaurant, including those of the big chains so call your local favorites directly and find out if they have any kids-eat-free specials. Usually, these deals take place on off-peak days, like Tuesdays and Wednesdays; if you can find a deal, it’s a good excuse to  spend time with the grandkids. Treat them to a special dinner, give their parents some downtime, and save money at the same time.

Here is a short list of national chains that have kids-eat-free deals at some locations*:

*Note: These specials vary from restaurant to restaurant and are subject to change at any time. The sample deals are real listings, but may not apply to the specific restaurants in your area. Sometimes, the deal in your area might even be better.

Sample deal: Get one kid’s meal free when you buy one adult meal. Additional kids eat for $1 each.

Sample deal: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée, on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Captain D’s
Sample deal: Thursdays, kids eat free. Get two free kids’ meals with any adult entree purchased at regular price, dine-in only.

Chevys Fresh Mex
Sample deal: All day Tuesday, get one free kid’s meal with one adult entrée, dine-in only.

Sample deal: Get a free kid’s meal with purchase of a combo deal, Tuesdays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

Sample deal: Tuesdays from 4pm to 10pm, up to two kids’ entrees are free with the purchase of one adult entrée.

Firehouse Subs
Sample deal: Kids enjoy a free meal from the kids’ menu with the purchase of a combo meal.

Sample deal: From 4pm to 8pm every day, kids get one free kids’-menu item with the purchase of an adult entree.

Jason’s Deli
Sample deal: All day Sunday, kids eat free from the kids’ menu.

Marie Callender’s
Sample deal: All day, Tuesday and Saturday, receive one free kid’s meal with the purchase of one adult entrée.

Sample deal: Kids, 12 years old and younger, eat free every night of the week (up to two per paying adult).

Red Robin
Sample deal: Tuesday nights, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée.

T.G.I. Friday’s
Sample deal: Mondays and Tuesdays, kids younger than 3 years old eat free.

Tony Roma’s
Sample deal: Tuesdays, kids 12 and younger eat free.

There’s No Place Like The Home Place!

4 May

The Home Place in CatawbaWhat do you think of when you think of southern cooking the way “grandma” makes it?  Meals that take all day to prepare?  Vegetables that are fresh from the garden?  Breads that are made from scratch?  Meats that are purchased from the farmer down the road?

You will find all of that…..and more at The Home Place in Catawba, Virginia.

The Home Place sits on the top of a hill in a renovated colonial farmhouse.  Flanked by big trees and a huge front lawn perfect for playing – it is reminiscent of the quintessential “Grandma’s house”.  Be prepared to spend some time out front too….reservations are not accepted and it’s not unusual for the wait to be over an hour for a table.

But, you don’t go to Grandma’s to eat and run and you don’t do it here either.

Dinner is a family event at The Home Place.  It’s not unusual to hear a call for “Brown – party of 25!” while waiting for your table.  Families bring frisbees and footballs to play on the lawn until “called” to come in for supper.  While the young kids play, the adults visit on the benches or in the gazebos out front.

When you finally sit down for dinner, you’re hungry and ready!

Prices current as of May 3, 2009

Prices current as of May 3, 2009

The menu here is simple…2 or 3 meats?  Choose from country ham, roast beef or fried chicken.  Then the vegetables:  corn, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, pinto beans…..yum!  And then the biscuits…..the best biscuits in the word with homemade apple butter.  Best of all, you get refills of whatever you like.

For dessert, homemade fruit cobbler with or without ice cream.

The Home Place is open Thursday through Sunday.  Located about 7 miles from I-81 and Roanoke and a 30 minute drive from Blacksburg.  Don’t worry about driving the country roads, no alcohol is served at The Home Place so you will be fine for the drive home.

Tina’s tips:  Wear elastic pants!  Bring a few toys or things for the kids to do while waiting for the table.  Don’t be in a rush.  Bring a camera and some friends!  For drinks, The Home Place offers tea, coffee, lemonade, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi.  If you want the kids to have something else, be sure to bring it with you.

The Home Place directions

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