The kids are out of school. The weather is getting warmer. Spring break is here, but you’re stuck on ideas. You could head to the nearest city or beach. Maybe try a new amusement park. You could just stay local. There are more than enough options for things to do. Many even offer military discounts so you don’t have to break the bank.
1. Zoos and aquariums
Head to your local zoo or aquarium. These provide entertainment for a wide variety of ages. Zoos such as Montgomery Zoo, Nashville Zoo and Jacksonville Zoo offer military discounts. These discounts range from free for active-duty members to a percentage off your tickets.
Georgia Aquarium has Military Mondays. This includes free admission for military members and their families on Mondays. Dallas World Aquarium offers a discounted rate for the military member and one guest.
Be sure to check ahead on their websites or call before your visit for details.
Not wanting to travel far, but want to get away while the kids are out of school?
Try booking one or two nights at a local hotel. Use the pool and check out some restaurants or local spots. It’s possible to have all the excitement of a trip, with less hassle of flying or driving. Hotels generally have a section when booking online on government travel rates. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Give them a call!
Did you know you can stay on military bases anywhere in the country, even if you aren’t stationed there? Most military installations offer temporary and affordable lodging. These include Inn of the Corps, Navy Lodges, Air Force Inns and Army Lodging.
Availability varies, so be sure to call ahead for rates and vacancy information.
3. Learn something new
Try spending time off school learning something new. Visit a painting studio to take a pottery class. See if your local botanical garden or florist offers classes. Many museums, like the DoSeum and World of Coca-Cola have military discounts and opportunities. Check out the Blue Star Museums program for discounts as well.
4. Visit an amusement park
Maybe you’re lucky enough to be stationed by amusement parks like Disney, Hershey Park, Busch Gardens or Six Flags. If you don’t like roller coasters, there are still plenty of things for all ages. Each of the parks usually has its own military discount programs. As well as many others across the country. Be sure to check the amusement park’s website.
The Waves of Honor program offers discounts at places such as Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens Parks, and Sesame Place, as well.
5. Embrace nature
Hiking, beaches and national parks, all offer the chance to get outside! With little kids, it’s easy to feel limited on things to do outside safely. Try camping in your own backyard or hiking somewhere local. Fishing is fun for parents and kids. Some states even offer licenses at a discounted rate for veterans.
National parks across the country offer a free annual entrance pass to military members and their families. All active duty, veterans, and Gold Star families have access to the Interagency Lifetime Pass. This is accessible with no application required. Active duty and veterans can go to the National Park Service website for more details.
You don’t have to travel to experience nature. Pack a picnic lunch and take it to the park. Do some arts and crafts in your backyard! Paint the fence with washable paint. Or make an extravagant mural with chalk art.
6. Have a ‘yes day’
Not sure what you want to plan? Try asking your kids! They’ll likely have some ideas for you. Customize their day or week specifically for them. With reasonable adult supervision and rules, of course. You can check out a movie at a Regal theater at a discounted price in some locations for active duty.
7. Help others
Serving others is an important attribute to instill in children. They can practice showing compassion to others, even on spring break! Try volunteering at a local veteran’s home, animal shelter or soup kitchen. There are always several opportunities to volunteer on base, too.
No matter where you go or what you do, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime.Read comments