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Planning Your Veterans Day? Get an Early Start With These Destination Deals

Planning Your Veterans Day? Get an Early Start With These Destination Deals
Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., is one of several tourist destinations offering free or discounted admission on and around Veterans Day. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

By Maryann Hammers

We’ve rounded up an eclectic assortment of freebies — everything from overnight stays at B&Bs and inns to admission at museums — for Veterans Day, and other deals throughout the month and year.

Buena Park, Calif.

Many theme parks and attractions are honoring military members with free admission and upgrades in November and December. Find a full list of discounts, including the following:

Knott’s Berry Farm offers active duty and retired military personnel and one guest free admission Nov. 3–21 and Dec. 2-19. Show your valid military or veteran ID at the ticket booth. Call (714) 220-5200.

On Nov. 10 and 11, past and present military members get free admission with a paid adult admission at Pirates Dinner Adventure. Use code PDAVET19 when booking online. Call (714) 690-1497.

Get free military admission with a paid adult admission Nov. 8-10 at the vaudeville show Teatro Martini. Use code TMVET19. Call (844) 249-7865.

At Big Air Trampoline Park, military members jump free and up to four guests each receive $2 off. Call (844) 550-5867.

Bowers Museum (714-567-3600) offers active duty and retired U.S. military personnel free admission Nov. 10, and active duty U.S. military personnel receive free admission year-round. Heroes Hall (714-708-1613) features exhibitions, performances, and educational programs. Knott’s Independence Hall (714-220-5200) is an exact brick-by-brick replica of the original, including a replica of the Liberty Bell and presidential artifacts.

San Francisco

Top of the Mark — the legendary 19th-floor lounge at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel — was the place where World War II servicemen would meet for a “good luck” toast before shipping out. To this day, the lounge, which opened in 1939 in the historic Nob Hill neighborhood, is a destination for servicemembers and veterans who are treated to a free shot from the “Squadron Bottle.” As the World War II tradition goes, servicemembers are invited to enjoy a free drink; the servicemember who finishes the bottle buys a new one to leave behind for the next servicemember. A collection of accompanying journals preserves the stories, toasts, and tributes left by servicemembers to their fellow comrades during World War II and those who since stopped by to visit. For Veterans Day this year, Top of the Mark also offers 20% off their total check and waived cover fee to veterans with valid ID. Call (415) 392-3434.

Atlanta

The College Football Hall of Fame, with inductees from the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy, is one of the nation's premier sports shrines. Active duty and retired servicemembers get free admission year-round. Exhibits include historic college football artifacts and interactive multimedia exhibits. Call (404) 880-4800.

Chicago

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library in downtown Chicago features books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Programs include a lending library, archives, recorded TV shows, podcasts, oral histories, and museum exhibits. Admission is free to active duty military members and veterans. The museum was founded by Col. Jennifer N. Pritzker, ARNG (Ret). Call (312) 374-9333.

St. Louis

Jefferson Barracks Telephone Museum features an extensive and nostalgia-inducing collection of telephones manufactured from the early 1900s, telephone equipment and memorabilia, and military telephones from World War II through the Vietnam War, plus hands-on displays. Active duty military members get free admission. The museum is located directly across the street from the entrance to the Jefferson Barracks Military Post, the oldest operating military post west of the Mississippi River, now used as an Army and Air National Guard base. Call (314) 416-8004.  

Cooperstown, N.Y.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum boasts 40,000 artifacts, such as bats, balls, gloves and uniforms, and more than 250,000 baseball photos. Admission is free for active duty and retired military. Call (607) 547-7200.

Columbus, Ohio

The National Veterans Memorial & Museum offers free entry for U.S. military veterans, active duty military members, and Gold Star families. The museum includes exhibits focused on the journeys of soldier and their families through personal artifacts, imagery, and videos, plus a rooftop sanctuary and a surrounding 2.5-acre Memorial Grove. Call (614) 362-2800.

Milwaukee

The Harley-Davidson Museum honors its military ties with a weekend-long Veterans Day celebration. Veterans and active duty military members and their families get free admission. Can’t make it for Veterans Day? The museum offers year-round military and senior discounts. The museum’s restaurant and merchandise shop also offer a military discount to active duty and retired servicemembers. Call (877) 436-8738.

The Milwaukee Art Museum offers military members and veterans free admission on Nov. 11. (Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, active duty servicemembers and veterans also get free admission.) With more than 25,000 works, it’s one of the nation’s largest museums. Call (414) 224-3200.

Nationwide

Veterans and active duty military members can stay in a B&B free for one night on or around Nov. 10. It’s part of the popular B&B for Vets program, sponsored by the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals. Find a list of participating inns and B&Bs, and contact the property directly to reserve your room. Anyone with a valid U.S. military ID qualifies, including active duty servicemembers, National Guard and Reserve members, and honorably discharged veterans.

Enhance your next getaway with a luxurious free flotation therapy treatment at True Rest Float Spa, which has 34 locations throughout the country. On Nov. 11 — and the 11th of every month of the year — U.S. active duty military members and veterans with ID or DD Form 214 get a free 60-minute stress-busting, pain-relieving float session. Just book your appointments in advance, and mention your military status.

Maryann Hammers is a freelance author who regularly contributes to MOAA. 

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