Family bonding time is important for all families, but when you have a military mom or dad, it can matter even more. Finding fun activities to do with your family is a way to bring everyone together and alleviate the stress that often accompanies a military lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many great perks to being in the military, such as discounts and even free admission to national parks. Here are a few ideas you and your family can check out.
Try the YMCA
Did you know the YMCA is a great resource for military families? Many military personnel — and that includes deployed individuals in the National Guard — are eligible for a free membership at the YMCA. That offer is good for both spouses and children, which means your whole family can take advantage of everything the YMCA has to offer.
If you haven’t checked out the YMCA lately, you might be surprised to see what you can do. It’s a great place for swimming and exercise programs as well as shooting hoops on the basketball court. Special family nights offer activities like mixers, pool games, arts and crafts, games, and more to let you have some “down time” in a fun environment.
Enjoy America’s Theme Parks
Theme parks are a fun way to spend time with family, but they can get pricey pretty fast. However, there’s great news for military members, who can get great deals on some of the best amusement parks in the country.
Disney offers the Armed Forces Salute Program, which provides discounts to all military members. That means whether you’re a spouse, active duty, retired, or reserve, you can enjoy these benefits at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and even on Disney Cruise Line.
And that’s not the only place to get theme park discounts. Through the Waves of Honor program, you can get free admission for yourself and up to three dependents at theme parks like Busch Gardens, Sea World, Adventure Island, and more.
When you’re planning a getaway, keep in mind that you have many options available to you, such as one of the many military campgrounds where you and your family can enjoy a getaway with great accommodations. If you’re going to Walt Disney World, you can stay at Disney’s Shades of Green Resort, which is designed specifically for members of the military.
Enjoy America’s National Parks
Going to a state or national park is an experience you can enjoy for a day or for a full-length vacation. As a member of the military, you get access to National Parks Service parks, Fish and Wildlife Service parks, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation sites with the America the Beautiful pass. This pass covers entrance fees at these sites and is free to U.S. military members.
Take Them Out to a Ballgame
Sporting events are fun activities for the whole family and are a great way to build deeper family bonds. Vet Tix provides free tickets to active and retired military service men and women through its Tickets for Troops program. All that’s required (after providing proof of service) is that you pay the delivery fee for the tickets. In addition to sporting events, Vet Tix also offers tickets to concerts, performing arts events, educational events, and family activities. The tickets are offered for events across the nation, so you always have plenty to choose from.
Visit a Museum
Museums and art exhibits make for fun family times together, and there are several programs that offer free and discounted admission to military members. For example, Blue Star Museums is a program that provides free admission to service members and their families to more than 2,000 museums, art centers, and exhibits. The program runs every year from Memorial Day to Labor Day and includes destinations throughout the U.S.
Many other museums, galleries, and art centers offer free or discounted admission to active and retired military service members and their families, including the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Aquarium, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum. In fact, you might be surprised to learn how many other museums offer similar discounts.
When it comes to family bonding activities, military members have plenty of opportunities at their fingertips all over the country. When it comes to making your temporary military house feel like home, CORT Furniture Rental is ready to help.