Travel Freebies for Military Members and Families
I love freebies — don't you? It's especially nice to receive free admission to an attraction or park because the owner/operator wants to thank military members for their service. It turns out that many museums, parks and attractions around the U. S. offer free admission to active duty military members, and some also include family members in their free admission offers.
A Sampling of Military Travel Freebies
Waves of Honor: Free Tickets for Sea World, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place
InBev, the parent company of Anheuser Busch, offers free admission through its Waves of Honor Program. This program gives free admission once per year to active duty military members and up to three of their dependents to one of the following theme parks: SeaWorld (San Diego, Orlando, San Diego), Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, Tampa) and Sesame Place (Langhorne). (Tip: Plan ahead! You must sign up and print out your tickets for this freebie before you arrive at the theme park you have selected.)
The Georgia Aquarium's Military Mondays
The Georgia Aquarium currently celebrates Military Mondays by offering active duty military members free admission every Monday. You must present your military ID card at the ticket booth to get your free admission ticket.
Free World Wrestling Entertainment Tickets for Active Duty Military Members
Active duty members of the U. S. military are eligible to get a free same day ticket to a WWE RAW or WWE SmackDown Live event by going to their local WWE box office on the day of the event and showing their military ID card to the ticket agent. WrestleMania events are excluded from this offer.
Free Legoland Florida Resort and Water Park Tickets for Active Duty Military Members
Active duty members of the U. S. military are also eligible to receive a free ticket to Legoland Florida Resort & Water Park. To get your free ticket, bring your military ID card to a Legoland Florida Resort ticket window. Military discounts are available for family members, too. (Tip: Legoland California does not participate in this program.)
Free San Diego Children's Discovery Museum Tickets for Active Duty Military Members, Veterans, First Responders and Families
Many military families find themselves in the San Diego area, thanks to transfer orders. The San Diego Children's Discovery Museum offers free admission to active duty military members, military veterans, first responders and their families. Bring your military ID card to the front desk to receive your same-day tickets.
Free Spectator Tickets to Golf Tourneys
If you love watching golf and are or were career military, you're in luck. THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, offers active duty, reserve, military retirees and their dependents free tickets to this week-long golf tourney. In 2016, THE PLAYERS gave away 30,000 tickets to career military members and their families. Special events created just for military members including a free hospitality tent and a job fair, take place throughout the week.
Active duty, reserve and retired military members can also get free tickets for themselves and one guest to the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament in Arizona. Each ID card holder can get two free tickets per day. If you go, you can enjoy free food and beverages at a special hospitality tent overlooking the golf course.
Birdies for the Brave sponsors the hospitality tents at these golf tourneys, and also partners with nine other organizations to offer free tickets to military members, retirees and reservists to several other PGA TOUR golf tourneys, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Birdies for the Brave maintains a list of these tourneys. Some tourney tickets are processed through the Sheer ID system and require payment of a $1 verification fee before you can receive the free tickets.
Free Admission to Blue Star Museums for Active Duty Military Members and Their Families (Summer Only)
Blue Star Museums provide active duty military members and their families with a summer of free fun. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, you can visit any or all of the museums that participate in this program - for free. You'll need several summers to see them all, though, as over 2,000 museums participate.
Free Admission to all U. S. National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands for Active Duty Military Members and Their Families
The U. S. National Park Service offers a free America the Beautiful pass to active duty military members and their families. All you have to do is show a valid ID card at any national park or federal recreation site that charges admission. The ranger will issue you your America the Beautiful pass, which is good for one year and covers entry fees for the active duty member and up to three family members age 16 and older. Children under 16 do not have to pay park entry fees. All of you must enter the park in the same vehicle. The pass does not cover other fees, such as camping fees or boat launching fees.
Free Zoo Tickets for Military Members in San Diego, California, and Syracuse, New York
Active duty military members can visit the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo for free. The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park also offer complimentary tickets to reservists and service academy cadets, while the Rosamond Gifford Zoo offers free admission to veterans and up to three family members as well as active duty military.
Free Admission for Active Duty Military to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum
If your travels take you to New York City, reserve a free active duty military ticket to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum online before you leave home. You will need to show your ID to pick up your ticket at the Will Call window. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to complete this process.
Free Admission for Active Duty Members to Select Military Museums
While some military museums admit everyone free of charge, others do not. Of those that charge admission, a few military museums offer free admission to military members. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City and the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California, are just two of the military museums that admit active duty members free of charge. Veterans can also visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for free, and the USS Midway Museum extends its free admission offer to reservists as well as active duty members.
Special Free Admission Days for Military Members and Families
In addition to year-round free admission offers, military members and families can take advantage of special free admission days around the U. S. Often, these free admission days take place on holidays connected with military service, such as Veterans Day or Memorial Day. Check with the park, museum or attraction you would like to visit to see whether they offer free admission on select days.
Image courtesy of the USS Midway Museum.