Memorial Day honors the men and women in America’s armed forces who died while serving their country. Many stores, restaurants, entertainment outlets, car dealerships and other businesses offer special deals and discounts to active and retired military members over the holiday weekend.
If you are serving in the military or have served, make a habit of asking whether discounts are available when you go places, and keep your military identification with you.
Don’t have a military ID? Visit Vets.gov, click on “Apply for Printed Veteran ID Card” on the bottom of the page and sign in or create an account.
Check out some of the best deals for service members and veterans this Memorial Day weekend.
A full plate of restaurant discounts
Leave the cooking and cleanup to someone else over the holiday. There are scores of special deals, discounts and freebies at chain restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese’s, Applebee’s, IHOP, Perkins, Denny’s, Chick-fil-A, Longhorn Steakhouse, Hooters and many more.
Texas de Brazil, an upscale Brazilian steakhouse chain known for its charred meats, is giving active-duty military and veterans a 50 percent discount on Memorial Day and extending a 20 percent discount to a limited number of guests in the party. McCormick & Schmick’s, a seafood and steaks chain, is giving veterans and active-duty military a complimentary lunch or dinner on Memorial Day.
Military discounts at restaurants are very common, so ask or call ahead to get the details.
A great weekend to buy a car or motorcycle
Long, holiday weekends have always been good for car shopping. Memorial Day is especially good because it’s at the end of the month, when the salespeople are scrambling to reach their monthly goals.
Many car dealerships offer huge discounts and deals over Memorial Day weekend, and most dealerships offer year-round discounts to active and retired military personnel, though the details often vary according to geographic area. Among the automakers offering military discounts:
- Toyota is giving a $500 rebate on new car purchases.
- Hyundai will cut $500 off the purchase price of a new Hyundai.
- Ford is giving $500 bonuses toward the purchase of a new Ford or Lincoln.
- Harley–Davidson waives the down-payment requirement for active-duty personnel and offers reduced interest rates and flexible term options on motorcycle purchases.
- Acura offers active-military, reserve personnel and some veterans $750 off the purchase or lease of a 2018 or newer vehicle.
Get in shape, then go shopping
- Exercise your rights: California-based 24 Hour Fitness, which has over 400 gyms in 13 states, is offering free workouts to military members on Memorial Day. The gym also has discounted memberships.
- Shop till you drop: Sherwin-Williams, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Under Armour, Banana Republic and many other retail stores are giving military members and veterans 10 percent or more off merchandise.
- Save on smartphones: T-Mobile recently rolled out T-Mobile One Military, a program that offers 50 percent off a second or third family phone line. Through May 31, anyone on the military plan can get 50 percent off a variety of Samsung’s newer smartphones, such as the Galaxy S9 and S9+. AT&T and Verizon also give military discounts on certain monthly phone plans.
Visit museums, national parks and more
Many entertainment hot spots offer free or discounted admission to military members and their families for Memorial Day weekend. Examples include:
- Museums: The Blue Star Museums program kicks off this holiday weekend, offering active-duty personnel and their families free admission to over 2,000 museums of all kinds. The program is a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense, the nonprofit Blue Star Families and the museums. Museums offering free admission are in all 50 states. The deal continues through Labor Day.
- Movies: Veterans, active-service members and their families can get free or discounted movie tickets through Blue Star Theatres, a program of Blue Star Families. These deals are available at 170 participating movie theaters in 42 states.
- Theme parks, zoos: Many theme parks, including California’s Great America in Santa Clara, California, and Kings Island near Cincinnati, are offering free admission to active or retired military personnel over Memorial Day weekend. Active-duty military families get in free at SeaWorld in Orlando, the Cincinnati Zoo, Birmingham (Alabama) Zoo, and other animal parks. Some parks, such as Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and nearby Legoland, offer year-round ticket and hotel discounts to military members. Contact the ticket office at your closest military base for details.
- National parks: Kick off summer with some fun outdoors. Current military personnel and their dependents are eligible for a free annual pass that covers admission to National Park Service sites and other federal parks that charge admission. The pass doesn’t offer a discount on expanded amenities such as camping or boating.