Wichita on the Cheap

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2023 Veterans Day Events and Deals in Wichita, KS

Veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. military are worthy of our respect and gratitude every day (see Military Discounts in Wichita), but on Veterans Day we can do one better and take them out for a free meal, attend an event that honors them, visit one of the Wichita attractions that offer free admission on Veterans Day, or share this list of Veterans Day deals around Wichita 2023 to save them a few bucks.

Veterans Day is November 11th every year. In 2023, that’s a Saturday! In this list of 2023 Veterans Day events and deals in Wichita, we’ll start with the parade and other local events to honor veterans. Then keep scrolling because you’ll find free doughnuts and free meals for veterans and active-duty military, free and discounted services (like car washes and haircuts), retail discounts, and more! (Yay!) I’m always adding to this list as I learn of more freebies and deals, so be sure to check back often as the day approaches. 

We are thankful for your service!

Veterans Day Events in and around Wichita

Thankfully, we do have several ways to celebrate Veterans Day in Wichita this year!

The Wichita Veterans Day Parade will be held in downtown Wichita on November 11, 2023. It begins at 11 a.m. sharp in downtown Wichita. The parade route will begin at Main & Central.

Veterans Memorial Park will hold its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on November 11, 2023. The park walkway will be lined with flags and the program will include a keynote speaker, presentation of colors, National Anthem, playing of Taps, and a rifle salute. The program is open to the public but seating will be limited, so bring your own lawn chair to enjoy this annual ceremony.

Old Cowtown Freedom 5K Run  Get a personal best running through streets of the Wild West, then through the Museum District, and along the Arkansas River. Registration is $45 including a commemorative t-shirt (or $30 without the t-shirt) and only $10 for Lil Buckaroos.

Veterans Day Reception in Colwich On the morning Nov 10th at 10am, students will honor our local veterans with a ceremony. Afterward, HSO will provide a small reception with coffee and pastries in the concessions area. Colwich-area military veterans and their families are invited.

El Dorado, KS Celebration of Freedom includes events Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday in Gordy Park, at the Oil Museum, and various other places in town. Here are scheduled activities for 2023:

  • Saturday, November 11th Veterans Day Events
    • 8 a.m. Biscuits and gravy breakfast at the VFW
    • 11 a.m. Salute to Veterans will be held at the Performing Arts Center, 500 W. Central Ave. in El Dorado, Kansas, with a guest speaker and music program.
    • 12 p.m. (noon) WWII Reenactment at the Kansas Oil Museum, 383 E. Central
    • 1 p.m. Free Hot Dog Feed & Activities in the Park at Gordy Park, 300 S. Gordy
    • 3 p.m. El Dorado, KS Veterans Day parade beginning at Gordy Park
    • 4 p.m. Never Surrender movie at Kansas Oil Museum Energy Education Center
    • 5-7:30 p.m. 
    • 5:30 The Book Thief movie at Kansas Oil Museum Energy Education Center
    • 8 p.m. The Lost Battalion movie at Kansas Oil Museum Energy Education Center
  • Sunday, November 12th Veterans Day Events
    • 11 a.m. Elks Chicken & Noodle Dinner
    • 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Kansas Oil Museum guest speakers
    • 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dinner at Kansas Oil Museum Energy Education Center; veterans eat free
    • 7 p.m. Butler Bands Musical Salute to Veterans at the Butler welcome center at 901 S. Haverhill Rd.
  • Tuesday, November 14th Veterans Day Events
    • 7 p.m. Elks Essay Contest and EMS Concert, Ice Cream Social

Veterans Day Freebies and Deals for Wichita:

Here is a list of Veterans Day freebies and deals available in the Wichita area, and more will be added throughout the week. (Please be prepared to show proof of service if requested.)

Do note the dates and times the offers are available; some are before or after Veterans Day, some are for breakfast or lunch only, etc.

Although I’ve confirmed these deals nationally, participation may vary at each location. Call ahead if you have any doubts. And thank you for your service!

Veterans Day Attractions Discounts

Botanica announced in an email and on social media – free admission for veterans and military personnel, plus their families, on Veterans Day! 

Exploration Place Veterans Day deal includes free admission for veterans and their families after the parade on Saturday, November 11. It will be convenient, since this is where the parade ends up this year, and lots of activities will be taking place in the Exploration Place parking lot! Should be a fun Saturday. 

Kansas Cosmosphere Veterans Day Deal  On Saturday, November 11, 2023, veterans are invited to receive a FREE All Access Mission Pass, which includes:

  • unlimited access on the day of your visit to the Hall of Space Museum and CosmoKids
  • one Carey Digital Dome Theater documentary
  • one show in Dr. Goddard’s Lab
  • one ride on the Navigator Flight Simulator

You need to mention you’re a veteran at the box office to receive the offer.

Veterans Day at Sedgwick County Zoo All military personnel, both active duty and veterans, along with their immediate families, can get FREE zoo admission from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To receive free admission, present valid military ID or proof of active deployment. This deal does not include admission to the Wild Lights show later that evening. 

Wichita Veterans Day Restaurant Deals

Some things to keep in mind as you go through this list of special Veterans Day meals and other deals:

  • Most of these specials apply to active duty or veteran military personnel only on Veterans Day and won’t apply to spouses.
  • Several of these restaurants offer an ongoing military discount to active duty personnel, veterans and their spouses so you can extend the savings on other days.
  • Nearly all special deals require some sort of proof of service; generally, a valid military ID is that proof.
  • Most restaurants on the list are national chains, so some specials or even menu options may vary with specific or individual locations. Be sure to confirm any special with the location you plan to visit.
  • Some places are collecting donations for select organizations that serve military personnel, vets and/or family members. The donations can be provided by any guest.

Applebee’s For the 16th consecutive year, Applebees will honor veterans with a FREE meal from a special menu on November 11. Not only do veterans eat free, they also receive a $5 Bounce Back card good for a future visit within a 3-week redemption window.

Casey’s is offering any size complimentary coffee or fountain drink to all veterans on Veterans Day, November 11, 2023. Casey’s is extending the same offer year-round to active duty military personnel and on-duty, uniformed first responders – including law enforcement, fire and EMS.

Chili’s is offering a free meal for vets and active military again this year on Veterans Day. Choose from one of four different entrées.

Cicis Pizza will invite veterans and active military to eat free this Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2023. This FREE buffet at Cici’s is announced on the Cicis.com/deals page. Just scroll down. Wichita has one Cici’s Pizza location at 8320 W Central Ave, Wichita, Kansas 67212.

Denny’s is offering a free Grand Slam for military and veterans, but it’s from 5 a.m. (or store open) to noon on FRIDAY, November 10, 2023. Just show military ID or DD214. Dine-in only. 
Free meal for veterans at Dennys 2023

Dunkin wants to honor current and former military members on November 11, 2023 with a FREE DONUT! The company said in a press release, the special donut freebie is a small token to those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country. I can get behind that sentiment.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard continues to appreciate its namesake’s military background by offering all veterans and active military personnel a FREE Freddy’s Original Double with Cheese combo meal card on Veteran’s Day in 2023. You do need to pick it up on November 11, but you can redeem your free combo card through November 30, 2023. 

Golden Corral will once again host Military Appreciation Night on the Monday night following the Veterans Day holiday. From 5 p.m. to close on Monday, November 13, 2023, active and former military members will receive a free “thank you” meal. Family and friends can join you, but only the servicemember recieves the free thank you meal. Other guests will pay regular dinner menu pricing.

IHOP will have its famous Red, White, and Blueberry Pancakes on the house for active military and veterans from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2023. Dine-in only; proof of service required; some locations will offer free breakfast combos as part of the promotion so check with the IHOP near you to confirm.

Krispy Kreme brings back its FREE doughnut for Veterans Day in 2023. You can get a free small hot or iced coffee too. Stop in at the location by Central Dillons and show proof of service to receive the deal. 

Lamars Donuts is clear enough about its plans to celebrate veterans with a free 12 oz coffee and a donut with a hole, but not really clear about what the actual date of their offer is. It *could* be happening on Thursday, November 9, 2023. (See the post on Facebook or Twitter/X)

Little Caesars is giving away free $5.99 HOT-N-READY Lunch Combos and a 20 oz Pepsi product on November 11, 2023 to each veteran or active member of the United States military who comes into a participating store between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time and mentions this offer. Limit one; present proof of service. Here are more details at the Little Caesar website. 

Red Robin (YUM) will bring back its very nice Veterans Day deal. Veterans and active military who dine in on Saturday, November 11, will receive a complimentary Red’s Big Tavern Burger. 

Scooters Coffee will thank our nation’s veterans with a free handcrafted drink of any size on Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11, 2023. This includes holiday drink offerings like Peppermint Mocha, Praline Carmelicious, and Sugar Cookie Latte. Scooter’s Coffee also serves fresh Brewed Coffee, Fruit Smoothies, SCOOOT! Energy™ Infusions and more. To receive the free drink offer, veterans simply need to present their valid military identification at a participating Scooter’s Coffee location. The offer is only valid one per veteran, while supplies last, and is not available for Order Ahead through the Scooter’s Coffee Mobile App. Veterans can view a full list of delicious drink offerings and find their local store on the Scooter’s Coffee website.

Scooters Coffee Veterans Day offer 2023 - Praline Carmelicious
Scooters Coffee Veterans Day promotion includes the specialty drinks. Yay, Scooters!

Starbucks is honoring those who have served with a free tall (12-ounce) hot or cold brewed coffee for veterans, military service members, and military spouses who visit participating stores on November 11, 2023. Offer valid at participating U.S. stores. Offer valid 11/11 on café and drive-thru orders only. Cold brew is not included in this offer. Limit one per customer.

Texas Roadhouse will honor veterans and active military this Veterans Day with free lunch.

To express our sincere appreciation for the members of our armed forces, we will offer free lunch to our nation’s heroes on Saturday, November 11, between 11am – 2pm.

Proof of service is required, which includes military or VA card, or discharge papers.

Veterans and active military can choose from one of 10 meals, including a 6-ounce sirloin with two made-from-scratch sides, plus all meals include a choice of any Coca-Cola product, sweet tea/iced tea, or coffee. For details, contact your local Texas Roadhouse. [Editors note: I confirmed this deal via email with Texas Roadhouse corporate.]

TravelCenters of America invite active-duty military, veterans, and reservists to enjoy a complimentary meal at participating quick-service or full-service restaurants on Saturday, November 11, 2023. Provide proof of service before you order.

Service, Retail, and Misc. Deals for Veterans Day

Academy Sports & Outdoors is giving veterans, service members, and first responders a 10% discount on their entire purchase online or in store from October 22 to November 11, 2023. This deal has already started so be sure to share this article with friends who are eligible. 

Great Clips annual Veterans Day deal is back! On November 11, veterans and active military members can visit a U.S. Great Clips salon and receive either a free haircut that day or a free haircut card to use at a later date. Non-military customers can purchase a service at a U.S. Great Clips salon and get a free haircut card to give to a military service member they know.

Goodyear Auto Service and JustTires are offering FREE Car Care Checks for Vets from November 10-14, 2023, as well as a 10% discount on tires and services which CAN be combined with all current offers for tires and services. Do schedule your appointment by November 14 or you’ll miss out on the deal. 

Kroger will host a virtual career expo for veteran and military family members on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Kroger will also honor active and former military members and their dependents with a 10 percent discount in stores nationwide on Veterans Day. On Saturday, November 11, all service members, veterans and their dependents with a valid military ID are eligible for the promotion. Kroger veteran associates can take advantage of the savings on top of their 10 percent Our Brands discount, saving 20 percent on Veterans Day. *

National Parks are offer FREE admission to all on Veterans Day, November 11. The National Park Service invites all visitors to remember our veterans by visiting any National Park Service site for FREE on Veterans Day.

Pilot/Flying J will give service members and their families who are verified through ID.me in the myRewards Plus app a free meal credit valued up to $12 on Veterans Day weekend this year. The nearest location is probably Newton. While Wichita doesn’t have any locations, this is a nice perk for travelers and truck drivers who have the app.

Sam’s Club is saluting the men and women of the military with an ongoing membership offer of $20, plus $5 off your first in-club purchase. This one isn’t just for Veterans Day.

The Big List of Military Discounts in Wichita, KS

Sport Clips will offer free Veterans Day haircuts for veterans and active duty service members this November 11, 2023. 

Tractor Supply will honor active and former military members and their dependents with a 15 percent discount in stores on Saturday, November 11 this year. Valid military ID of proof of service will be needed to participate in the promotion.

Walgreens Veterans Day Discount  From November 10-13, 2023, veterans, military, and their families receive 20% off eligible regular price items with myWalgreens membership and proof of service. The deal is valid on in-store purchases only and does come with restrictions and limitations, so be sure to see the link for details.  

Walmart will host a live concert in a salute to service members on Nov. 11, Veterans Day. You can stream the first ever Heroes & Headliners concert free at Walmart.com/Live or via various social media platforms. More info

Zips Car Wash will offer a FREE Premier car wash to all U.S. veterans and active military personnel this Saturday, November 11, Veterans Day. Enter wash code 1123 to redeem the offer Saturday at over 280 participating locations around the country.

Honorable mention…

White Castle will have a special offer for Veterans Day. Oh wait — Wichita doesn’t have any White Castle locations! (IYKYK: The first fast-food hamburger chain in the United States, White Castle, started in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. According to an article in the Eagle, that building was at 201 N. Main. But alas! We don’t currently have any White Castles in Wichita. If you have out-of-town friends though, the famous burger chain really does have a deal for Veterans Day.)

Please keep checking back because I’ll update this list frequently as new deals come in…

Veterans Day Events Freebies & Deals

Veterans Day closures in/around Wichita

City of Wichita City Hall offices will be closed in observance of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, on Friday, November 10, 2023.

Andover KS City Hall offices will be closed in observance of Veterans Day on Friday, November 10, 2023.

Veterans Memorials In and Near Wichita, KS

The Derby Area Veterans Memorial – Walk of Freedom encompasses a quarter of a mile of pedestrian/bicycle path located in Garrett Park. The memorial includes an entryway monument, five stations along the path (each dedicated to a branch of the military – Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy), five benches, six light poles, landscaping, and 12 banners. Each station has the capacity to hold 55 bricks which honor veterans from the Derby area.
View a full list of Derby parks.

Click HERE for Veterans Resources



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