Veteran's Day is one of few days a year that many American establishments honor service members and their families for their sacrifice & service, so you'll want to be sure to do something to celebrate. But making Veteran's Day a success requires careful planning, so knowing what's available is important. Keep reading for a listing of the best Veteran's Day happenings in travel, activities and dining the whole family can enjoy to celebrate their very own hero.
Please be sure to call before you go to verify that your local businesses are participating, and be prepared to show a military ID or discharge papers. Most offers are for both veterans and current active military personnel. Please be sure to tip and pay any other taxes/fees.
B&B Stay: Select B&Bs are offering a free night's stay to veterans around Veteran's Day. isn't that just the sweetest? Click HERE to find one in your area and see if they have availability.
Complimentary Bus Ride: Jefferson Lines is offering both one-way and round-trip tickets to veterans and active military personnel through Nov. 22. Trip locations include Duluth, MN, St. Paul, MN, Billings, MT, Fargo, ND, Rapid City, SD, Sioux Falls, SD, Mason City, IA, Des Moines, IA, and Fort Smith, AR. More info, here.
Haircuts: Walk into a participating Sports Clips for a free haircut on Veteran's Day! Not a vet? Sports Clips is donating a $1 from every haircut through Nov. 11 to the Help a Hero Scholarship Fund. More info, here. Veterans can also get a free haircut or can opt to receive a card good for a haircut between Nov. 11 and Dec. 31 at Great Clips! Not a veteran? Get your hair cut on Veteran's Day at Great Clips then pick up a free haircut card to give to a veteran you know. More info, here.
Oil Change: Meineke is offering their Basic Oil Change (valued at about $19) for free to veterans and active military personnel on Nov. 11. More info, here.
Workout: UFC Gym is granting vets and military service members VIP gym access Nov. 11-13 and also providing a special bootcamp workout on the 12th. More info, here.
Veteran's Day Parades/Ceremonies: There are so many parades and ceremonies to choose from that I'm going to link to a great roundup on military.com, here, for your reference.
Knott's Berry Farm Admission: Veterans, service members and dependents with valid ID receive 2 free admission tickets and can purchase up to 6 discounted tickets for other family members at a special $27 rate when visiting between Nov. 1-18. Knott's also has Military Tribute Days Nov. 28- Dec. 16 which allows for up t o2 free tickets and up to 6 additional tickets to be purchased at a $32 rate. (Side Note: They also have Fire & Law Days for active full-time law enforcement, fireman and EMTs to receive 2 free admission tickets with valid ID Nov. 28 - Dec. 16 and Jan. 9-31!) More info, here.
National Park Admission: Everyone gets in free at over 400 parks throughout the US. More info, here.
Queen Mary Admission: Free First-Class Passport to active military and vets, plus discounted admission for up to 6 family members on Nov. 11. More info, here.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort Admission: All non-active duty military personnel get free admission and up to six 50% off additional admission tickets from Nov. 1-20. More info, here.
9/11 Memorial: Veterans and service members can get free admission plus half-off admission for up to two more tickets during the Salute to Service program that's honoring service members from Nov. 9-13. During this time various family activities and special events will take place to pay tribute. More info, here.
Museum Entry: Veterans & active military personnel will receive complimentary admission to the Harley Davidson Museum for themselves, one other adult and up to four children under age 18 on Nov. 11. More info, here. The Newseum is also offering complimentary admission for vets and service members plus one guest Nov. 11-13. More info, here. The Natural History Museum of Utah is offering free admission for a vet/service member plus one guest on Nov. 11. More info, here.
Colonial Williamsburg Admission: Spend the day immersed in another time with free admission to veterans, active military, and military dependents Nov. 11- Nov. 14. More info, here.
Zoo Admission: Veterans and active military receive one free admission ticket to Riverbanks Zoo on Nov. 11. More info, here. Zoo Atlanta offers free general admission for vets and service members then $4 off admission for up to six guests. More info, here.
Aquarium Admission: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is offering free admission to active military service members and veterans, plus half off admission for family members on Nov. 11-13. More info, here. Aquarium of the Pacific is also offering free admission to vets and service members. More info, here.
Starbucks: Start your morning with a free 12-ounce coffee! Veterans, active duty personnel, and spouses can all get a free tall coffee to fuel the day (at participating stores).
Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut and small coffee to active military and veterans. More info, here.
IHOP: Free red, white & blue pancakes from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 to vets and active military at participating restaurants. More info, here.
Denny's: Many websites are saying that active military and veterans can get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam from 5 a.m. - noon on Nov. 11 but I could only find a Denny's press release from 2015 when verifying this info, so check with your local restaurant before heading in.
Texas Roadhouse: Vets and active military personnel can pick a free meal from the special Veteran's Day lunch menu and choose their own complimentary non-alcoholic drink. More info, here.
On The Border: Veterans receive a free lunch combo plate or entree while dining in. More info, here.
Chili's Grill & Bar: Complimentary entree from a special menu for service members and vets on Nov. 11. More info, here.
TGI Fridays: All active military and veterans receive a free lunch from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Nov. 11. More info, here.
Mimi's Cafe: Vets and active military get a free entree with purchase of a non-alcoholic beverage on Nov. 11. Mimi's Cafe is also offering discounted $6 meals from a special menu to veterans on Nov. 12 and 13. More info, here.
Menchie's: One free 6-ounce soft serve at all U.S. Menchie's locations on Nov. 11. More info, here.
Applebee's: Not only will veterans and current military personnel get a free meal from a special Veteran's Day menu, but Applebee's is handing out $5 discount cards for the next visit! More info, here.
California Pizza Kitchen: Vets & service members get a free entree from the special Veteran's Day menu on Nov. 11. More info, here.
BJ's Restaurant: Free entree under $13 to vets and active military personnel. More info, here.
Red Robin: Free Red's Tavern Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries for vets and active military personnel on Nov. 11. More info, here.
Claim Jumper: Don't know which restaurant to choose for your Veteran's Day meals? Claim Jumper makes it easier by offering their Veteran's Day meal on Monday, Nov. 14 instead. Veterans get to choose a meal from Claim Jumper's special Veteran's Day menu. More info, here.
Photo courtesy of Danielle Lormand
Have a fantastic Veteran's Day!