Free Things to Do for Military Members This Memorial Weekend

San Diego’s relationship with service culture is longstanding and significant. Not only is the city the location of several active U.S. Naval installations, we’re also home to historic attractions like the USS Midway Museum and San Diego Veterans Museum. Even Liberty Station — a popular shopping, dining and entertainment hub — was built on the site of a converted Naval base! So it’s no surprise that we’re known for accommodating folks in uniform. In honor of our city’s strong military presence, we’ve also got special offers and events for military members this Memorial Day Weekend. Here’s a guide to what’s discounted, or even free for military members and their families in “America’s Finest City”.


Veterans Museum at Balboa Park (4.2 miles)

In honor of those who served, Balboa’s Veterans Museum houses both permanent and traveling exhibits that aid us all in remembering the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. The museum itself also serves as an exhibit, having chosen the former home of San Diego Naval Hospital’s chapel as its home. The Veterans Museum offers free admission to active-duty service personnel and their families (with valid military ID).

2115 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 


San Diego Air & Space Museum (4.3 miles)



The San Diego Air and Space Museum is a treasure trove of exhibits, all geared toward aviation and exploration. Active-duty personnel are welcome to explore the spacecraft and aircraft collections, film and audio archive, and special exhibitions at the San Diego Air & Space Museum completely free of charge any day of the year. Additionally, retired military members are also eligible for a discount on museum admission year-round.

2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA


San Diego Padres Military Appreciation at Petco Park (4.5 miles)

A group of 3 Padres players celebrating Military Appreciation event

(Photo: @padres)

The Padres have deep roots in San Diego, so the team has always honored the sacrifices of their friends and neighbors who serve. Every Sunday home game (as well as Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day) for the entire duration of the season is designated as a Military Appreciation event. During these special games, active duty service members, veterans, and their families receive a 25% discount off tickets. In addition, The team commemorates service personnel with a special fourth inning stretch featuring a performance of the Marine Hymn by the team’s organist, and the players wear military-style camo uniforms. Even the whistle that plays after every Padres home run is a recording of the ship’s whistle from the USS Ronald Reagan Nimitz-class aircraft carrier! 

100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101


San Diego Zoo (4.8 miles) and Safari Park (29 miles) 

Black monkey San Diego Zoo Safari Park

(Photo: @sandiegozoo)

Every day of the year, the world-famous San Diego Zoo offers complimentary one-day passes to members of the U.S. Armed Forces presenting valid ID. Spouses and children visiting with or without their family’s service member may also enjoy 10% of Zoo and Safari Park passes. Military veterans and retirees may also contact their local base’s ticket office to inquire about additional discounts. 

San Diego Zoo: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

San Diego Zoo Safari Park: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027


SeaWorld San Diego Memorial Weekend (4.9 miles)

If you plan to visit SeaWorld San Diego over Memorial Day weekend, you can look forward to a wide range of activities in honor of our armed forces. From May 27-May 30th, the park will hold a daily flag ceremony to honor our veterans and military members, as well as a nightly fireworks salute 10 minutes prior to the close of the grounds. In addition, SeaWorld offers the Waves of Honor military discount program — which includes complimentary admission for service members and their families year round. If you’re serving overseas but would like your children to visit, you may feel free to contact the Guest Relations Department to make necessary arrangements.

500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109


USS Midway Museum (5.4 miles)

(Photo: @ussmidwaymuseum)

The decommissioned aircraft carrier the USS Midway may have seen the last of her battles, but the impressive craft has wowed thousands as one of San Diego’s top museums. Active-duty military personnel and reservists are welcome to complimentary admission to the USS Midway Museum year round with valid ID. Veterans also enjoy highly discounted tickets. It’s a must-see for anyone with an interest in Naval history. The USS Midway Museum’s “Legacy Week” is known as the heart and soul of all Memorial Day celebrations here in San Diego. This occasion also features a live stream of all events, including their annual blood drive, Remembrance Wall and other ceremonies honoring our country’s service personnel.

910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101


Cabrillo National Monument (10 miles) 

As a federally operated recreation site, Cabrillo National Monument’s military pass is available to those serving active duty. The primary stipulation is that military personnel need to enter the site in a private non-commercial vehicle. All passengers in the same vehicle may also visit the memorial at no extra cost. So stop up to the site, enjoy the incredible panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and ocean, and enjoy your day. 


Birch Aquarium (11.1 miles)

(Photo: @birchaquarium)

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is a must-stop for anyone with an interest in marine biology. This public education center offered by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography features interactive displays, a tide-pool exhibit, and 60-plus habitats housing a variety of fascinating and colorful sea life. They also offer discounted admission for any service personnel with a valid military ID. 

2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037


Days is Your Stay For Memorial Day

Heading into town for the holiday weekend? You couldn’t ask for a better stay than at Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle. We’re centrally located, provide a wide array of guest amenities for the whole family, and always afford competitive rates for your stay. In fact, our Military Appreciation Rate offers discounted rates for both active and retired military personnel year-round.