Veterans Day 2021: Deals, discounts and freebies

To honor the men and women who’ve served in the U.S. military, businesses and organizations are offering a variety of specials, discounts and freebies on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day.

Many promotions apply to both veteran and active-duty service members, who in most cases will need to provide proof of their service.

Here are some highlights:

Experiences

Capital Wheel at National Harbor: All veteran and active-duty service members ride for free. Accompanying family members receive a military discount.

Colonial Williamsburg: America’s largest outdoor educational living museum, located in Virginia, is offering free-admission to all veteran and active-duty service members and up to three of their immediate family members from Nov. 11 to 14. Admission includes access to historic sites, two art museums and complimentary shuttle service.

Monticello: All veteran and active-duty service members receive free admission to Thomas Jefferson’s estate that includes a self-guided pass, the gardens and grounds pass or the Highlights Tour. Admission for active-duty military personnel is also free year-round for select tours and passes.

Montpelier: Veteran and active-duty military service members receive a free Highlights of Montpelier tour and museum shop discount. James Madison’s estate includes a mansion, gardens, historic buildings, exhibits, archaeological sites and eight miles of trails.

Mount Vernon: The home of George Washington is offering free admission to all veteran and active-duty service members. Throughout the day, veterans are also invited to place a floral tribute at the Mount Vernon Tomb.

National Parks: All U.S. National Parks that normally charge entrance fees will be free to everyone.

National Archives: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. To mark the occasion, on Nov. 10 at 11 a.m., children’s book author Jeff Gottesfeld tells the story of how the Tomb came into being. He’ll be joined by a Tomb guard who will explain the rigorous process of being selected as a guard and the 27-hour shifts of their duty. Discussion can be attended in person or viewed online.

On Nov. 23 at 1 p.m., author H. W. Brands discusses how the American Revolution forced neighbors to choose sides between Loyalist or Patriot.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A yearlong series of events marking the Tomb’s centennial culminates on Veterans Day with a wreath-laying at 11 a.m. that will also be livestreamed online. A full honors procession on Memorial Avenue begins at 9 a.m., along with a flyover of 17 aircraft.

Also, for the first time in nearly 100 years, the public will be able to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and lay flowers in front of the Tomb on Nov. 9 and 10. Registration is required and can be made online here.

Food and drink

7-Eleven: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free coffee or Big Gulp drink. You must download the 7-Eleven app, create an account and connect it with the Veterans Advantage membership.

Applebee’s: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free full-size entree from a menu created especially for them. Dine-in only.

Bar Louie: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free craft burger or flatbread of their choice.

BIBIBOP Asian Grill: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free bowl at the chain’s four Maryland locations, plus its location in D.C.’s Dupont Circle.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse: All current and former military members receive a free entree from a select menu, along with a Dr Pepper beverage. Dine-in only.

Bob Evans: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free meal from a special menu of seven homestyle favorites. Dine-in only.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free order of 10 boneless wings and fries. Dine-in or takeout (online ordering excluded).

California Pizza Kitchen: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free entree and beverage. Dine-in only. In addition, all veterans who dine at California Pizza Kitchen will receive a BOGO (buy one, get one offer), redeemable from Nov. 12 through 20. Several restaurants will also feature a “fallen hero” table to honor those who lost their lives during their service.

Chili’s: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free meal from a select menu. Dine-in only.

Denny’s: Veteran and active military personnel get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam from 5 a.m. to noon on Nov. 11. Dine-in only.

Dunkin’ Donuts: Veteran and active military personnel receive a free donut of their choice. No purchase necessary.

Einstein Bros. Bagels: Veteran and active military personnel receive a free hot or iced medium coffee. No verification needed. Available at all stores except license stores inside of colleges, airports, hotels and hospitals.

Golden Corral: For Military Appreciation Night on Nov. 11, veteran and active military personnel receive a free meal from 5 p.m. to close. Dine-in only.

IHOP: Veteran and active military personnel receive free Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes at participating locations. Dine-in only; one per customer.

Mission BBQ: Veteran and active military personnel receive a free sandwich.

Red Lobster: Veteran and active military personnel receive a free appetizer or dessert from a special menu. Dine-in only.

Red Robin: Red Robin Royalty members who have a military designation will receive a free Red’s Tavern Double burger, available for dine-in or to-go, for two weeks starting on Nov. 1.

Sheetz: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free half-turkey or ham sub and a regular-size fountain drink, along with a free car wash at stores that have car washes.

Smoothie King: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free 20 oz. smoothie.

Starbucks: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive, along with military spouses, receive a free tall (12 oz.) order of hot coffee.

Wendy’s: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free breakfast combo offer.

Texas de Brazil: The churrascaria steakhouse, which has three Virginia locations, is offering veteran and active-duty military personnel a 25% discount on dinner. Dine-in only.

Retail

Bed Bath & Beyond: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a 25% discount on their entire purchase, online or in-store, from Nov. 11 to 13.

Dollar General: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a 20% discount on both in-store and online purchases from Nov. 11 to 14.

Great Clips: Veteran and active-duty military personnel can receive either a free haircut on Nov. 11 or a free haircut card. In addition, nonmilitary customers who receive a haircut on Veterans Day at Great Clips salons can pay it forward with a free haircut card they can give to an active service member or veteran. The cards can be redeemed for a free haircut from Nov. 12 through Dec. 10, 2021.

Home Depot: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a 10% discount on in-store purchases on select items.

Mr Wash Car: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free car wash from Nov. 11 through Nov 14 at all nine of its area locations.

Staples: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a 25% discount on all in-store purchases from Nov. 7 to 13.

Target: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a 10% discount that can be used on two separate transactions and applies to all in-basket items, online and in-store, until Nov. 13.

Walgreens: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a 20% discount on eligible store items at any Walgreens or Duane Reade drugstore from Nov. 11 to 14.

ZIPS Car Wash: Veteran and active-duty military personnel receive a free car wash at any of 220 ZIPS locations nationwide.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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