During the summer season, many amusement parks, sports teams and entertainment venues say thanks to our military members by offering deals and discounts for the family. Several of Ohio’s top venues for family fun are participating this summer! If you’re a veteran or service member, here are a few activities you and your family can enjoy in the upcoming months.
1. Kings Island From Saturday, July 2 – Monday, July 4, Kings Island is offering free admission to active duty service members, veterans, National Guard members and Reservists. You must present a valid military ID at the front ticket window to receive this offer. Discounted tickets may also be purchased for up to six family members at a price of $29.99 each.
2. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Military Family Appreciation Week is returning to the Columbus Zoo this summer from Saturday, July 2 through Friday, July 8. During these days, current and former military service members and up to six immediate family members may receive free admission to the Zoo when proof of service is presented at the front gate. The $10 parking fee will still apply. If you’re planning on a trip for July 2, make sure to stop by the Columbus VA’s special Welcome Home event at the Water’s Edge Pavilion (toward the back of the Zoo). It will include lunch, family activities and a resource fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3. Zoombezi Bay The Columbus Zoo’s waterpark, Zoombezi Bay (located next to the Columbus Zoo), is also participating in Military Family Appreciation Week. From July 2 until July 8, active military members, veterans and immediate family members can receive discounted admission tickets at a rate of $22.99 each. Proof of service must be presented at the Zoo’s front gate to receive this offer. The $10 parking fee will still apply.
4. Cedar Point Veterans, active duty service members, and members of the National Guard and Reserves can receive free admission to Cedar Point from Friday, July 1 until Monday, July 4 when proof of service is presented at the ticket window. Immediate family members can also receive a discounted admission rate of $43 each.
5. Columbus Clippers Are you a family of baseball fans? Columbus’ minor league baseball team, the Columbus Clippers, has upcoming Military Appreciation Nights on Tuesday, July 5 and Thursday, July 19. Present a valid military ID at the ticket window and receive up to four Reserved seat tickets for $5 each.
6. Cincinnati Reds Baseball fans in Cincinnati should take advantage of the Cincinnati Reds’ upcoming Military Appreciation Days. On August 4, August 19 and September 2, current and former military service members and their families can receive $5 tickets. The Reds also offer a military discount on other select games.
7. Birdies for the Brave Spend a day with the family on the green! The Birdies for the Brave program offers free and discounted tickets to current and former service members to select PGA Tour events. The next program is available this Thursday, June 30 through Saturday, July 2 at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron. Active, reserve and retired military and their dependents receive free admission by showing their military ID at the gate, along with a military ticket voucher, which can be claimed at the Birdies for the Brave website. Non-retired veterans may receive one complimentary ticket and purchase one guest ticket for $40. Get your tickets here.
8. Blue Star Museums Program This program offers free admissionto active duty military personnel and their families to participating Blue Star Museums from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Several museums in the Ohio History Connection participate in the program.
9. ONG Family Readiness and Warrior Support Programs The Ohio National Guard’s Family Readiness and Warrior Support Program hosts youth and family programs throughout the summer for military families, including camps, family activities and special overnight events. All programs take place in different cities throughout Ohio, are low-cost, and are a great way to have fun with the family this summer!
Many more places in Ohio and across the nation (think Disney, National Parks, etc.) offer military deals and discounts to families, so spend some time checking for discounts before heading out for your family activities. As the summer continues, we will continue updating this list, so stay tuned!