Recently I was visiting the Rosamond Gifford Zoo (or Syracuse Zoo) and I received an unexpected surprise when I found out that I could get in for free because I was a veteran. This was great because we were trying to watch our money at the time and this helped. This also made me wonder which places in the Syracuse area may offer free or discounted services for veterans.
Now while I do not know every place in the area, I did find some of them that list such information on their website or elsewhere. The following is what I found but if you know of more, I will gladly put together another post to help add those as well. You can also view some on Military.com as well for more national companies. This list is in no particular order except starting with the one that gave me the idea and you can find the links by clicking the titles.
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
So as I noted above, during our trip to the zoo recently, I was informed that I would receive free entry to the museum. Not only that but you can receive this for 3 more additional family members/spouse. This benefit applies to active duty as well as veterans. An adult ticket generally costs $9 and children 3-12 plus seniors 62+ would pay $5 (children 2 and under are free).
Onondaga County Parks
If you go to the website for the Onondaga County Parks, you will see a list of 5 parks (and the zoo listed above), that you can receive free entry to if you are a veteran or active duty member. Each park has different guidelines but for all (including the zoo), the veteran must be present and show military ID or some form like DD 214 that shows proof of service.
Syracuse University Athletics Military Pass
Are you an active duty military member or veteran who loves Syracuse University football? You can receive TWO complimentary tickets to their games against UNC in October and Louisville in November as well as FOUR tickets to the UConn game for Military Appreciation Day on September 22nd. There are some things you need to do in advance to make it easier so here is the link to ensure you have the proper amount of time ti get your tickets.
Elite Personal Fitness
If you or someone you know is a veteran and not familiar with Clear Path for Veterans, you should learn about them, which you can view their site by clicking here. They have some great programs for veterans and recently I saw this one featured on their Twitter feed which offers a free strength training program for veterans in association with Heroes's Movement. You can click the link in the title or if you prefer to call, their number is 315-882-2463 to schedule a Discovery Call to set up a free membership.
Get Air Syracuse
If you like trampoline parks, Get Air located in Cicero offers discounts for military as well. According to their website, they have some good daily deals plus military members and their immediate families can receive a 10% discount off jump time. They also have group rates and you can often find deals for them on Groupon as well.
Just to show I am not playing favorites, I am listing one that I have utilized myself and one of my favorite places in Syracuse in the middle of this post. Melissa and the entire staff at Armory Massage provide one of the best massage experiences I have had. They also offer discount packages if you want to purchase more in advance as well as military/student discounts with valid ID, which you can see all listed at the link in the title. This is a great thing for those who are dealing with stress, need a moment to yourself to relax or maybe if your work or personal life is wearing on your body as well and this staff is well equipped to handle whatever it is you need in regards to a professional massage experience.
Museum Of Science & Technology (The M.O.S.T.)
While we are talking about Armory Square area, how about the MOST? The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum Of Science & Technology is a great way for people to have fun and learn more about science while doing so. It is also a great place to catch some IMAX movies and great deals as well. Military members and veterans can receive free exhibit admission (you may still have to pay for IMAX or other features but exhibit admission is free) with valid ID (this deal also applies to current NYS teachers and personal care attendants accompanying a MOST visitor). They also offer group rates and if you are a Bank Of America customer, you can receive free exhibit addmision on the first full weekend of the month by showing your card.
Discount Dumpster Rental
Don't just dismiss this as a trashy idea or garbage post filler....I added Discount Dumpster Rental because I saw on their website that they offer senior and military discounts and because you never know when you may need this service. Things happen in life and sometimes you may need to clean up some space or your home and need more than your trash can and recycle bin. They also advertise no hidden fees, no delivery or pickup fees and unlimited weight allowances.
Most people who are into home improvement probably already know this one but adding it for those who may not. Lowe's stores offer a 10% discount to active duty military as well as veterans. You can also set up a MyLowe's account to make it easier to use this discount online as well, which you can find by clicking the link in the title.
Penske Moving Truck Rentals
If you are a veteran or military personnel in the process of a do-it-yourself move, Penske offers a 10% discount or 12% if you also have AAA at over 2200 convenient locations. They also have a specialized call center for US military moves that you can contact by calling 1-844-4TROOPS (1-844-487-6677).
Visit Oswego County
While doing some research, I saw that the Visit Oswego County page had a list of merchants offering discounts. Please read the list carefully as some apply to active military only and some veterans. I would also advise you to, as with any deal listed here, double check with the company themselves to be sure they still honor it as often times companies change their policies or it was only a short term deal. This is a very cool list though worth sharing especially if you like the outdoors as many of them are outdoor or fishing related activities but not all so if you are more the indoor type, it is worth checking out anyway.
If you are looking to travel, why not consider a train ride? Active-duty personnel, their spouses and their dependents are entitled to a 10% discount rate (please read the link above to see as restrictions do also apply). If the child is between 2-12 years of age, they may actually be entitled to 60% off a ticket (10% for military and 50% for children's rates). Also the video above is almost a year old but I do know one advantage to train travel is less fees for baggage as the airline industry continuously adds more and more charges or changes the rules.
DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Syracuse
Looking for an overnight stay near East Syracuse that is not far from the Carrier Dome or the thruway? DoubleTree By Hilton is right off Carrier Circle and though they do not state the amount on their website, they do have a Military Family Rate for active duty and retired military as well their family. They also have indoor and outdoor pools, shuttles and other special offers worth looking into as well.
Looking to buy a car? Sun Automotive aka The Used Car King offer a Police, Fire & Military Discount that may help. Show the sales professional before the time of the sale proof that you are in law enforcement, fire department or active duty or military veteran and they will make the first payment for you up to $300. They have locations in Cicero, Chittenango and Cortland and be sure to ask about the VIP Program as well.
Now I know this last one is not for everyone and while I respect your choice if you dislike them, I also know many do like establishments like Diamond Dolls and they do allow free cover to military members with valid ID so I felt it deserved to be added. I know when I served and for a couple years after I got out, I used to visit these types of bars myself and I enjoyed it. I do not see the harm so long as both the dancer and the customer are of legal age and consenting.