Veterans Day 2019: Freebies and deals

As America honors service members who served and sacrificed, there are a number of freebies and deals for veterans and active-duty military this Veterans Day.

What’s open, what’s closed on Veterans Day

Things to do

Colonial Williamsburg: Free admission for all active-duty military, retirees, veterans and their immediate dependents Friday Nov. 8 through Monday Nov. 11. There will be special events including a march and ceremony honoring America’s veterans over Veterans Day weekend on Sunday, Nov. 10.

Hylton Center: Celebrating Veterans and the Arts at the Hylton Center is a Saturday afternoon of interactive activities for Vets and their families with hands on and interactive, guitar workshops, songwriting with performers, vendors, food and more.

Monticello: Veterans get free admission Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 9 – 11. Admission is for the regular daily House Tour and Grounds Tickets. The discount does not apply for special or after-hours tours, such as Behind-the-Scenes Tours and Evening Signature Tours, and tickets must be purchased in person. Admission for active-duty military personnel is free year-round.

Mount Vernon Salutes Veterans: Mount Vernon is honoring U.S. veterans Nov. 11. All active-duty, former and retired military service members get free admission as well as a 10% discount at the Food Court Pavilion, Mount Vernon Inn and Shops at Mount Vernon. There will be performances by the Harmony Heritage Singers, a concert by the United States Air Force Strings Orchestra and guests can write a thank-you letter to an active-duty service member.

National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum: Veterans and active-duty military get free admission on Veterans Day.

National Park Service: The National Park Service invites all visitors to remember U.S. veterans by visiting any National Park Service site for free on Veterans Day. Free for all.

Newseum: Free admission to veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. military plus one guest. Starts Saturday, Nov. 9 and continues throughout Veterans Day weekend, including Monday, Nov. 11.

Food and drinks

Applebee’s: Applebee’s restaurants nationwide have served free meals to veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day for 11 years. This year is no exception.

Bob Evans: Veterans and active-duty military members eat for free Nov. 11. The options are: country biscuit breakfast, brioche French toast, the mini sampler, stack of hot cakes, soup and salad combo or dinner bell plates.

Brew’d Coffee Bar: Veterans and active-duty service members get free coffee all day. On Nov. 11, Brew’d will be open 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Chili’s: Veterans and active-duty military get a free meal. The options are: Chicken Crispers, Margarita Grilled Chicken, Bowl of Chili or Soup & Salad, Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas, Just Bacon Burger, Oldtimer with Cheese or Cajun Chicken Pasta.

Cracker Barrel: Veterans get a slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola cake or Pumpkin Pie Latte. And from Oct. 28 through Nov. 11, Cracker Barrel will offer $25 off all U.S. military branch-themed rocking chairs and 25% off all other military licensed products in its retail stores and online, including clothing, home furnishings and drinkware.

Denny’s: Veterans and active-duty military get a free Build-your-own Grand Slam from 5 a.m. until noon on Veterans Day.

Doukenie Winery: The 400-acre Doukenie Winery in Loudoun County, Virginia, will offer veterans and active-duty service members complementary tastings of their wines.

Famous Dave’s: Veterans and active-duty service members get a free “2-Meat Salute” this Veterans Day. It’s dine-in only and ribs may be excluded from the offer, depending on location.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill: Veterans and active-duty service members get a free lunch or dinner on Veterans Day.

Golden Corral: At all its restaurants nationwide, Golden Corral will serve free dinner buffets with beverage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 11 to any person who is serving or has served in a United States Military branch, including the National Guard and reserves — identification is not required.

Le Diplomate: Service members get a free All-American “Burger Americain.” And the proceeds from all Burger Americain sales on Veterans Day will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Osteria Morini: Osteria Morini is serving up a $12 Yellow Ribbon Apple Pie Parfait from Nov. 10 — 17. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Yellow Ribbon Fund.

The Palm: Veterans receive half off any entree at the restaurants 20 locations, including Tysons Corner and D.C.

Pilot Flying J: All active-duty and retired military veterans get a free breakfast from Nov. 8 — 11. That includes a free Pilot coffee of any size and a choice of one free PJ Fresh breakfast sandwich, breakfast pizza or breakfast grill item. Pilot Flying J is also donating $100,000 to the Call of Duty Endowment Fund.

Red Lobster: Veterans, active-duty and reservists get a free appetizer or dessert on Veterans Day. The appetizers are: Sweet Chili Shrimp, Mozzarella Cheesesticks, Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp, Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms, Lobster and Langostino Pizza, Signature Shrimp Cocktail, Langostino Lobster-Artichoke-and-Seafood Dip. The desserts are: Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Warm Apple Crostada, Chocolate Wave or Brownie Overboard.

Red Robin: Veterans and active-duty service members get a free Tavern Double Burger with Bottomless Steak Fries.

Sheetz: Veterans and active duty military get a free meal and a car wash.

Sweet Fire Donna’s: Free pulled pork sandwiches for veterans and active-duty military all day.

Texas de Brazil: From Nov. 11 — Nov. 13, veterans and active-duty military get 30% off their meal. Offer valid for up to eight veterans or active-duty military per table/reservation.

Services and stores

Goodyear Auto Service and Just Tire: From Nov. 8 – 16, Goodyear and Just Tire locations will offer active-duty service members and veterans free car care checks and tire installation. The free car checks include checks on tires, brakes, alignment, battery, wiper blades and shocks and struts.

Mr. Car Wash: Mr. Car Wash is providing a free Lava Wax Car Wash with Interior Cleaning to all veterans and active duty personnel at their seven locations in Arlington, Alexandria (2) and Falls Church in Virginia and in Kensington and Silver Spring in Maryland and in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The offer is valid from Nov. 9 – Nov. 11.

Kohl’s: Veterans and active-duty service members will have double their regular military discount and get 30% off in stores nationwide. Kohl’s has “Military Mondays” in which it gives military members, veterans and their families 15% off every Monday throughout the year.

PenFed Credit Union: PenFed, which has a primarily military membership, is giving away a Lowe’s gift card for all mortgage and HELOC applications taken from Nov. 8 — Nov. 15. VA loans will receive a $1,000 gift card and non-VA loans will receive $500.

Target: Offering a 10% military discount on a purchase made in-store and online at from Nov. 3-11.

Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring: The non-profit wedding gown boutique hosts its annual bridal gown giveaway from Nov. 10-12 for those on active duty, brides of those in the military or immediate family members of those serving. Gowns are always 10% off for those who qualify.

Travel and lodging

B&Bs for Vets: About 500 inns and bed-and-breakfasts nationwide are offering veterans at least one free night on or around Veterans Day.

Choice Hotels: Choice Hotels’ “Choice Salutes” is running throughout Veterans Day weekend and will be thanking military families for their service with family travel and reunion opportunities, and various regional events and celebrations. Travelers who book direct on between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11 will receive 15% off stays through December 30, and a portion of the proceeds from reservations made will go to Operation Homefront to help serve America’s military families.

smarTours’ Battlefields of WW1 & WW2: Veterans and active-duty military members who want to tour the battlefields of World War I and World War II get a 5% discount for this 13-day tour from smarTours. The starting tour price is $3,999/$308 a day and includes airfare. Tours depart April-October 2020.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts: Active-duty military members and veterans can save 15% or more on stays through Dec. 6 at participating hotels across the U.S. and Canada.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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