Military discounts abound in Hampton Roads
As flags wave and the red, white and blue is celebrated, it's a good time to highlight the bargain perks that are included as a part of military service. Local businesses, national chains and leisure attractions in our multi-branch town know the value of the military discount. Here are some of the retailers and venues that offer a service-related deal.

Local attractions

Kings Dominion offers free admission to military members, including active duty, retired and former members of the military of all branches on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4. Coast Guard, National Guard and reservists are included in the offer. Family members will pay the military rate, $34.99.

Busch Gardens participates in the Here's to the Heroes program, which offers free admission to active duty military members once a year. Busch Gardens' sister park, SeaWorld also participates in the program. Register at herosalute.com.

Colonial Williamsburg offers several discount options. As part of the Blue Star Museums program, admission to the art museums is free to military members and their families through Labor Day. The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News are also a part of the Blue Star program. The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia also is participating in the free admission program.

There is a 10 percent discount on tickets for the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area at the visitor center, but the best deal is the 30 percent discount offered at the Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) offices.

New this year, all active duty and veteran military members will receive free admission to all Virginia state parks through the end of the year.

Many local attractions offer $1 off admission every day for military families, including Nauticus in Norfolk, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk and the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach.

On October 16, military members get free admission to the Virginia Zoo.

Most shows at the Hampton Coliseum include a military discount, says marketing manager Crystal Breede. Right now, military members can get $5 off Monster Jam tickets, which are regularly $20.

Retailers

Each of these discounts were confirmed with a store in Hampton Roads, but some retail chains leave the discount up to individual managers' discretion.

Aeropostale offers a 10 percent discount. Express and Hot Topic also offer 10 percent off.

New York & Company offers a 15 percent off discount.

On Mondays, the Old Navy at Patrick Henry Mall has a 10 percent off discount for military families. Patrick Henry Mall has a complete list of military discounts on its website, shoppatrickhenrymall.com, and participating merchants also have signs in their store display windows.

On Tuesdays, Walgreens offers a 15 percent off discount, or 20 percent off of Walgreens branded products. Many Goodwill stores also offer a military discount one day of the week.

At the Williamsburg Premium Outlets, military members can get a free VIP coupon book from the customer service desk (regularly $3).

Restaurants

The Happy Belly in Poquoson offers a 10 percent discount to military diners every evening. Dairy Queen also offers a discount.