Where America’s service members can find freebies and meals this Veterans Day
Nov 11, 2021, 6:16 AM
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(CNN) — This Veterans Day, restaurants, businesses and entertainment venues are offering freebies and deals for America’s active military personnel and veterans.
Although many of these deals are available only on-site, there are a handful valid online this year and others that can be saved and used at a later date. Most of these are eligible for those with proof of service.
Here’s a list of some of the best Veterans Day giveaways this year.
Applebee’s: For the 14th consecutive year, all active military, veterans, Reserves and National Guard are eligible for a free entrée at participating locations. The offer also includes a $5 bounce back card to redeem within three weeks.
BJ’s Restaurants: Free meal from a select menu — plus a free Dr. Pepper — with proof of service. Alcoholic beverages and gratuity not included.
California Pizza Kitchen: Free meal and beverage with proof of service, as well as a card for a buy one, get one free redeemable from Nov. 12-20.
Chili’s: Free meal from a list of preselected options, including chicken crispers and Cajun chicken pasta, dine-in only.
Cici’s Pizza: Free adult buffet with proof of service, valid for dine-in only and does not include a drink.
Denny’s: Free “Build Your Own Grand Slam” breakfast for dine-in only between 5 a.m. and 12 p.m.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Free pulled pork sandwich for veterans who use the code VETFREE. Between Nov. 11 and Dec. 31, Barbecue at Home by Dickey’s will take 15% off all veteran orders with code VETERAN15.
Dunkin’: Free doughnut, with no ID required. There is a limit of one per guest while supplies last, and the deal is available in-store only.
Golden Corral: Free “thank you” meal from 5 p.m. to close on Military Appreciation Night. The offer is only available for in-person dining.
Hard Rock Café: Free Legendary Steak Burger topped with applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, a crispy onion ring, lettuce and tomato. The free burger comes with a side of fries.
Hooters: Free meal from a selection of five most popular entrées with purchase of beverage and proof of service. Hooters also invites guests to purchase 2022 Hooters Calendars which will be shipped to active-duty personnel.
IHOP: Free pancakes with a choice of two limited-time menu items. With proof of service, veterans and active personnel can order free Red, White and Blue Pancakes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. when dining in.
Joe’s Crab Shack: Free meal at select locations up to $15. Joe’s Crab Shack will also hand out a $5 bonus card that can be used from Nov. 12 to Dec. 31.
Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut and free small brewed coffee, iced or hot. The offer is available in shops and the drive-thru.
Little Caesars Pizza: Free HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo at participating stores from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring four slices of Detroit-style DEEP!DEEP! Dish pizza alongside a 20-ounce Pepsi.
Menchie’s: Free 6 ounces of frozen yogurt with proof of service.
Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onion and Coca-Cola. Outback Steakhouse will also offer 10% off to all service members, nurses, doctors, firefighters, medical staff and police officers.
Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert from select Veterans Day menu.
Red Robin: Free Tavern burger with Bottomless Steak Fries at participating restaurants through Nov. 14 for dine-in or to-go. Active or former military and veterans must register for Red Robin’s Royalty Program to receive the offer.
Starbucks: Free tall 12-ounce hot brewed coffee. Starbucks will donate 25 cents per cup of hot brewed coffee sold on Veterans Day to Headstrong and Team Red, White & Blue to support the mental health of military communities.
Wawa: Free coffee of any size.
Wendy’s: Free breakfast combo from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The offer is good for the Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant, Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit or Breakfast Baconator combo.
White Castle: Free Combo Meal #1-6 or Breakfast Combo.
Businesses and experiences
Amusement Parks: A handful of amusement parks across the country are offering free admission this Veterans Day. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is giving away complimentary tickets for military members following a morning ceremony. Until Nov. 20, military personnel can receive free admission to Legoland Florida Resort and can purchase theme park tickets for up to six guests at a 60% discount on the same dates. Discounted admission will also be offered at parks such as Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.
Aquariums: Aquariums across the US including Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, Long Island Aquarium in New York, Georgia Aquarium, and the Aquarium of the Pacific in California are extending their gratitude to military personnel this year with free admission. Some offers also extend to military spouses and family members.
Bed & Breakfasts: Across the country, a number of bed & breakfasts will offer one free room night on Nov. 11. Although some hotels have fully filled their Veterans Day reservations, some are still offering free nights or heavily discounted prices. A full list can be found at B&Bs for Vets.
Car washes: Over 1,700 car wash companies at over 4,700 locations in the US and some international locations give free washes to vets on Veterans Day. Grace for Veterans compiles participating businesses each year.
Haircuts: On Thursday, veterans and active military members can receive either a free haircut that day or a free haircut card. Non-military customers who get a haircut on Veterans Day at Great Clips will also receive a free haircut card they can give to a veteran or active service member. Many Sport Clips locations will also offer free haircuts with proof of service.
National Park Service: Since last year, Gold Star Families and US military veterans can receive free access to over 2,000 national parks, national forests, and wildlife refuges. Before heading over, eligible people must download and print a voucher to present to park staff or put on a vehicle dashboard.
Zoos: To honor military personnel across the nation, zoos such as the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, NEW Zoo in Wisconsin, Zoo Atlanta in Georgia, Zoo Miami in Florida, the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos in Massachusetts, and the Omaha Zoo in Nebraska will offer free admission to zoo grounds.
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