8 Free and Discounted Activities for Military Families
August is National Family Fun Month, so it’s time to squeeze in every bit of summer excitement your Military Family can muster before school picks up and the daily grind of school-year activities begin again.
That means plenty more barbecues, craft days, and staycations ahead, but how about venturing out to one of the many free and discounted activities available to the Military Community? We’ve rounded up the 8 best deals your family can score to spend quality time together this month.
1. MWR Events
The easiest place to start looking for free activities is at your local installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office. MWR puts on dozens of events each month for the Military Community, most of which are completely free. From block parties to cook-offs to classes and more, there is plenty to keep your family occupied right in your neighborhood. Plus, the MWR office has information about other discounts and freebies specific to your area, so check them out!
2. Blue Star Museums
Whether you have a family of amateur Einsteins, budding zoologists, or history buffs, Blue Star Museums helps you satisfy their curiosity. The program, which is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and thousands of museums across the U.S., offers free museum admission for Active Duty families from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Visit their website to find participating museums in your state.
3. Waves of Honor
Prepare to cheer, scream, and laugh your way to a great day at any of the Anheuser-Busch theme parks across the country. The Waves of Honor program offers free admission into any of the parks once a year for active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsmen, as well as discounts for Veterans. The free admission is good for SeaWorld® Orlando, SeaWorld® San Antonio, SeaWorld® San Diego, Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Sesame Place® Langhorne, and Aquatic Orlando. Visit the Waves of Honor website to choose a park and claim your free tickets.
4. National Parks Passes
A weekend at a national park is the perfect escape for an adventurous family. The majority of national parks don’t have an entrance fee, but those that do have four designated free entrance days a year. Additionally, Active Duty Military members and their dependents are eligible for the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass for free. The pass, which is normally $80, allows free admission for a year to the sites that charge an entrance fee.
5. A Story Before Bed
Military Families undergoing or soon-to-be-undergoing deployment can still get together for bedtime stories. A Story Before Bed is a service that allows you to record a children’s book online with audio and video for your kids to watch again and again, and they’re giving away free subscriptions to members of the Military who are deploying or already deployed.
6. Operation: Love Reunited
Turn your family fun into a lasting memory with Operation Love Reunited. The organization connects Military members who are ready to deploy, already deployed, or coming home with a local photographer for a free photography session. The photographers will also provide some free photos and albums at no charge.
7. Veteran Tickets Foundation
Take your family to see their favorite sports team or musician for free with help from the Veteran Tickets Foundation. Individuals and organizations donate tickets to sporting events, concerts, performing arts, and family activities in all 50 states to Activity Duty, Veterans, and their families. Visit their website to see what tickets are available in your area.
8. Blue Star Theatres
Blue Star Theatres works similarly to Blue Star Museums. The program is the result of a partnership between Blue Star Families and the Theatre Communications Group and offers free and discounted admission to over 130 theaters across the country. Visit their website to find participating theaters near you.