By Brad Tuttle
May 25, 2016
The Washington Post-Getty Images

Restaurants, theme parks, and museums are saying thank you to members of our armed services with loads of freebies over Memorial Day weekend. In most cases, all you need to do is show a military ID verifying your status as a veteran or active-duty military member in order to get a free meal on Memorial Day, free admission to theme parks throughout the weekend, and free entrance to museums for the entire summer. Discounts sometimes extend to family members as well.

Here are the deals we could confirm, and we’ll add to the list as we come across more.


Firebirds Wood Fired Grill: Bring a veteran or active-duty member of the military to lunch or dinner on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) and the individual with military ID eats for free.

Hooters: Present military ID at Hooters on Memorial Day and you’ll get a free entrée—a burger, buffalo chicken salad, or 10-piece wings, among other options.

McCormick & Schmick’s: Active-duty military and veterans are welcomed to a free entrée for dinner or lunch on Monday, May 30. The options include buttermilk fried shrimp, parmesan crusted chicken, tender beef medallions, or beer battered fish and chips.

MOD Pizza: Show military ID and you’re entitled to a free salad or 11-inch pizza on Memorial Day.

Ninety Nine Restaurants: Veterans and active military get a free entrée off the $9.99 menu on Memorial Day, with the purchase of any meal.

Pie Five Pizza: With military ID, you’ll get a free personalized pizza on Memorial Day.

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Shoney’s: One All-American Burger with fries is available to each guest with military ID on Memorial Day, while supplies last.

Twin Peaks: All vets and active military get a free meal from a special menu on Memorial Day.


Museums: Thanks to a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, more than 2,000 museums around the country are giving free admission to active-duty military and their families from Memorial Day weekend all the way through Labor Day weekend in 2016. Search for participating museums here; among many others, the list includes the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Zoos: Check your local zoo to see if admission is free this weekend, and what the rules are—some are free all weekend long, while others waive admission just on Monday. Zoos in Portland, Oregon, Birmingham, Alabama, and Cincinnati, Ohio, are among those with free entrance for visitors with military ID.

Theme Parks: Theme parks such as Kings Dominion: King’s Island, and Knott’s Berry Farm (all owned by the same company) get free admission with military ID throughout the weekend, and discounted tickets are also available for family members. Colonial Williamsburg is free for military families from May 27 to 30 as well.

Walt Disney World doesn’t offer free admission or have any Memorial Day-specific deals for veterans, but does have a special $196 price for four-day admission passes—which normally cost up to $394. Universal Studios parks also have military discounts, but in both cases specially priced tickets must be purchased through special vendors and not at the park itself.