Veterans Day will take place this Saturday, Nov. 11, and as a way to honor members of our armed services, destinations across the nation will be offering a variety of freebies.
While some of these free offerings are for active or retired military personnel only, others also apply to the family and friends of veterans. Some attractions, like the Aerospace Museum of California, are even offering free admission to all guests that stop in on Veterans Day.
Whether you’re looking to visit a national park, head to a museum or aquarium, hit the slopes for some skiing, enjoy a nice meal, or even induldge an overnight stay, here are some of the places where you can do it all for free this weekend.
Free activities for Veterans Day
Spend the day exploring both art and history at noted museums across the U.S. New York City’s 9/11 Memorial and Museum will offer veterans free admission Wednesday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 12, as part of its five-day tribute honoring service members through a series of talks and events.
The Aerospace Museum of California is offering free admission to all guests on Veterans Day, giving you a chance to get a close-up look at historic military and civilian aircrafts. Meanwhile, both active and retired military personnel will get free admission and 50% off of three tickets to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida all weekend long.
You can also scope out vintage motorcycles at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI, which is offering free entry for all active military, veterans, and their families throughout the weekend with a valid military or veteran’s ID. Sports fans can catch up with their favorite athletes at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Ohio, which is free for all active military, veterans, and one guest throughout the entire month of November.
Delve into marine life at California’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and Aquarium of the Pacific, both of which will offer free admission to all active military members and veterans with a valid service ID on Saturday, or get up close with animals at the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama. The zoo will be free of charge on both Nov. 11 and 12 with a valid identification card or driver’s license with a veteran’s designation.
California’s Knott’s Berry Farm also offers active members and veterans free admission to the theme park for themselves and a guest anytime between Nov. 1-16, or Nov. 27-Dec. 15 with a valid military ID card or a DD214.
Free places to travel on Veterans Day
From hotels to ski resorts, those looking to travel on Veterans Day can also snag savings.
All active duty, retired, and honorably discharged members of the military can hit the slopes at the Killington ski resort in Vermont for free on both Veterans Day and Memorial Day with a valid ID, copy of a DD214 form, or a discharge certificate. Veterans and active military personnel can also ski or ride the lifts for free on Veterans Day at California’s Mammoth Mountain Ski Area with a valid military ID.
Westgate Resorts is offering military personnel and their families free stays in either Orlando or Las Vegas. The hotel brand will be giving the first 1,500 service members who complete its online military application form a complimentary vacation in one of those cities, with applications opening at 9 a.m. (E.T.) on Friday, Nov. 10. Those who don’t make it on time for the application, you can still get 25% off any of Westgate’s resorts.
For a charming stay, the website bandbforvets.org has a selection of bed and breakfasts across America that offer veterans free stays on or around Veteran’s Day. Choices range from historic buildings in Louisiana to a variety of inns in North Carolina.
The National Park Service will also be offering free admission to anyone — even if you’re not a veteran or active military member — at all its parks on Nov. 11-12 in honor of Veterans Day, giving veterans the chance to spend the day exploring natural sights like the geological formations of Grand Canyon National Park or the ancient Sequoia trees of Yosemite National Park.
Deals and freebies at restaurants on Veterans Day
When it’s time to eat, veterans and active-duty members can get everything from free burgers and fries to free breakfasts and pizzas on Veterans Day.
For breakfast, Denny’s will offer a free build-your-own Grand Slam Breakfast from 5 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 10, while IHOP will give retired and active duty military members a free stack of three red, white, and blue pancakes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at IHOP restaurants across the U.S.
You can also grab a free doughnut at Dunkin’ Donuts nationwide, or stop into California Pizza Kitchen on Saturday, Nov. 11 to enjoy a free entrée from a curated Veterans Day Menu.
Applebee’s will offer free meals for military personnel on Saturday, while TGI Fridays will offer a free lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you’ve got a burger craving, head to Red Robin, where all veterans and active duty military members can get a free Red’s tavern double burger with a side of bottomless steak fries on Veterans Day.
Several other restaurants are also offering free deals throughout the weekend.