Veterans Day freebies: From food to theme-park tickets

Veterans Day deals for Florida veterans and active duty members in 2018.
There are a number of discounts and freebies for veterans, active duty members of the military and their family members this weekend. Cherie Diez | Times
There are a number of discounts and freebies for veterans, active duty members of the military and their family members this weekend. Cherie Diez | Times
Published November 9

With Veterans Day upon Tampa Bay, there are numerous businesses around the state offering discounts and freebies to veterans, active duty members and their families this weekend.

With the actual Veterans Day being on Sunday this year, deals range anywhere from free theme-park tickets to LEGOLAND Florida, to a free dinner at Golden Corral.

Here is a list of deals — including those some for non-military members as well — to celebrate the holiday.

Food

Applebees

Applebees is offering a free, full-size entrée from a special menu with eight selections to active duty and other veterans on Sunday. All military members, current or former, are eligible with proof of service such as military ID, DD-214, or a membership card from a veterans organization. Applebees says it hopes to dish out over 1 million free meals to veterans.

Applebees has more than 20 locations throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties.

Chipotle

Chipotle will offer buy one, get one free burritos to veterans, active duty members and their families on Sunday to celebrate Veterans day.

Veterans, active duty members and their families can buy one item and get one of equal or lesser value for free all day at Chipotle locations across Tampa Bay. The offer applies to burritos, bowls, salads and taco orders. There is a limit for one free item per military ID.

Dunkin Donuts

Active duty members and veterans can receive one free donut at any of the Bay area’s 140-plus Dunkin Donuts' locations.

Golden Corral

Available to active duty, National Guard, military reserve members, retirees and other veterans, Golden Corral is offering a free dinner buffet with a beverage from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday (not Sunday!). The restaurant says no military ID is required.

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel says it will offer veterans a complimentary Crafted Coffee, a traditional espresso beverage (available iced or hot) or a slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake at all locations on Sunday. It did not specify if an ID was required.

Little Caesars

Active duty and other veterans are eligible to receive a free $5 Hot-N-Ready Lunch combo, which includes four slices of pizza, with a 20-ounce drink, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Proof of service such as military ID, DD-214 or an ID card with veteran designation is required.

Red Lobster

Red Lobster’s Lobster and Langostino Pizza and Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms are two options from a variety of appetizers and desserts being offered for free as part of its special Veterans Day menu. [Courtesy of Red Lobster]

Active duty, Guard and Reserve and other veterans are eligible to receive a free appetizer (six choices) or dessert (five choices) from a special menu on both Sunday and Monday, with proof of service.

Red Lobster says the appetizer choices will include its sweet chili shrimp, mozzarella cheese-sticks, parrot isle jumbo coconut shrimp, seafood-stuffed mushrooms, lobster and langostino pizza and shrimp cocktail. The dessert choices will include vanilla bean cheesecake, key lime pie, apple crostada, chocolate wave and brownie overboard.

WingHouse Bar and Grill

Free meal from a select menu for veterans and active duty members, which includes boneless wings, 10 original or buffalo-style wings, all-american burger, buffalo chicken sandwich and crab cake sliders.

Texas Roadhouse

Veterans who have proof of service can receive a free lunch from special menu at Texas Roadhouse, which will include sides and a soft drink, coffee, or tea. The offer is for dine-in only.

Texas De Brazil

Two veterans can dine complimentary at Texas De Brazil and receive 20% off for up to six additional guests on Sunday and Monday.

Starbucks

Starbucks is offering veterans, active duty service members and spouses a free tall (12oz) hot brewed coffee for free on Sunday.

Outback

Free Bloomin’ Onion and a non-alcoholic beverage. Available to Military Personnel and veterans with ID, Outback is offering a free bloomin' onion and a non-alcoholic beverage.

Ruby Tuesdays

Free appetizer (up to $10) at area locations to veterans who can provide proof of service.

Olive Garden

Veterans and active duty military can receive a free entrée from a special menu on Sunday at Olive Garden. Entrées will be served with unlimited soup or house salad and garlic breadsticks. Proof of service is required.

Chili’s Bar and Grill

Active duty members and veterans are eligible for a free meal from a select menu at Chili’s on Sunday if they have proof of service. The offer is dine-in only.

Places

Florida Aquarium

All active duty military (includes Guards and Reserve), dependents and veterans can receive one free general admission ticket to The Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa on Sunday.

Additional guests (up to 4 people) can receive a discounted $15 general admission ticket, which are only redeemable at the Aquarium ticket office.

Those wishing to access offer must show Military ID DD-1172, Retired ID DD-2, Dependent ID, or copy of DD-214 w/ photo ID or state issued ID/drivers license with the veteran designation to The Florida Aquarium ticket booth.

LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND [Luis Santana | Times]

During the month of November, LEGOLAND Florida says it will offer U.S. veterans and active military personnel with free theme park admission, free standard parking, 50 percent off tickets for up to six guests and up to 25 percent off overnight stays.

To receive free admission and parking, U.S. veterans must present valid military ID or proof of veteran status at the theme park ticket windows and parking toll plaza on the day of their visit.

On Sunday only, LEGOLAND says it will offer veterans and active military personnel a 10 percent discount on retail purchases, food and beverage items.

LEGOLAND is located in Winter Haven.

United Skates of America

Free admission for active-duty and retired military member and families on Monday from noon to 4 p.m.

Florida State Parks

Hillsborough River State Park. OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Free park entry for everyone at Florida state parks on Sunday.

State parks in the Tampa Bay area include:

Hillsborough

  • Alafia River State Park - 14326 South County Road 39, Lithia
  • Fort Foster State Historic Site - Hillsborough River State Park, 15402 US 301 North Thonotosassa
  • Hillsborough River State Park - 15402 U.S. 301 North Thonotosassa
  • Little Manatee River State Park - 215 Lightfoot Road, Wimauma
  • Ybor City Museum State Park - 1818 Ninth Ave., Tampa

Pasco

  • Anclote Key Preserve State Park - Found about three miles northwest of Tarpon Springs in the Gulf of Mexico, accessible only by boat; postal addres: No. 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698; 727-469–5942
  • Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park - Found west off of U.S. Hwy. 19 at Cinema Drive in Port Richey; postal addres: P.O. Box 490 Port Richey, FL 34673; 727-816-1890

Pinellas

  • Egmont Key State Park - Found in the mouth of Tampa Bay, accessible only by boat or ferry; postal address: 4905 34th St. S., No. 5000, St. Petersburg, FL 33711; 727-893-2627
  • Honeymoon Island State Park - One Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698; 727-469-5942
  • Skyway Fishing Pier State Park - The Skyway Fishing Piers are located on the north and south sides of the Skyway Bridge on I-275; postal address: 4905 34th St. S., No. 5000, St. Petersburg, FL 33711; 727-865-0668
  • Anclote Key Preserve State Park - No. 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698; 727-469-5942
  • Caladesi Island State Park - No. 1 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698; 727-469-5918

Hernando

  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park - 6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606; 352-596-2062


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