Free Boston-Area Fun for Veterans During Veterans Week

Boston Duck Tours says thank you to military personnel with a free ride Nov. 10-14.
Boston Duck Tours says thank you to military personnel with a free ride Nov. 10-14. –Boston Duck Tours says thank you to military personnel with a free ride Nov. 10-14.

Veterans can hang out with lions and gorillas, tour a ship, ride a duck boat, and stroll a living history museum for free during Veterans Week, which is highlighted by Veterans Day on Tuesday.

Boston Duck Tours is offering first responders, as well as veterans and military members, free duck boat rides through Friday. Spouses and children of past or present military personnel can snag $10 tickets as well.

Rides in the WWII-style amphibious vehicles, which normally cost $35, last 80 minutes and travel around Boston on land and water under the guidance of “ConDUCKtors,’’ who pepper the trips with factoids about Boston.


“Our goal is to make people from every service feel welcomed and, in our own way, to say thanks to them for their sacrifices,’’ said Boston Duck Tours CEO Cindy Brown.

Tickets can be reserved at the Boston Duck Tours counters at the Prudential Center or Museum of Science.

Sturbridge Village, an 1830s New England living history museum in Sturbridge, is offering free admission (a $24 savings) to veterans and active military personnel (as well as up to six members of their families) on Tuesday.

Historians will fire vintage firearms at the Veterans Day celebration at Sturbridge Village Tuesday. —Sturbridge Village

The museum will celebrate Veterans Day by firing vintage firearms, performing music that spans 300 years of America’s military history, and displaying uniforms used by the American military through the years. Guests can also meet an instructor portraying an 1812 surgeon, who will tell tales of naval medicine and life aboard the U.S.S. Constitution 200 years ago. Kids will learn to drill with a militia (using toy muskets) and find out how musket balls were cast. Village blacksmiths will use iron fittings to attach a cannon to a wooden carriage on an 18th-century-style cannon.

The village will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Veterans can spend the day with gorillas and bears for free on Tuesday at the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos in Boston and Stoneham.

Little Joe the gorilla stood face-to-face with children visiting the zoo. —David L. Ryan The Boston Globe

The Franklin Park Zoo (normally $17.95 admission) houses a 3-month-old baby sloth as well as lions, tigers, and Little Joe the gorilla, and on Tuesday a Hess Mobile Museum will be there. Outside the museum, there will be a Kids’ Zone; inside, guests can explore more than 50 years of Hess toy truck history.

At Stone Zoo (normally $14.95), guests can check out a real reindeer (just in time for the holidays!), a black bear, jaguar, and a snow leopard.

Get in the spirit by attending the free Boston Veterans Day Parade!

Two-year-old twins Francesca and Isabella Cohoon from Marshfield waved flags at last year’s parade. —Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe

The parade kicks off at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets. Veterans’ organizations, high school ROTC groups, honorary militias, and marching bands will travel around Boston Common and to City Hall Plaza and Faneuil Hall.

Veterans can explore the Battleship Cove Naval Heritage Museum in Fall River for free (a $15 savings) on Tuesday.

The USS Massachusetts is the centerpiece of Battleship Cove. —Ellen Albanese / The Boston Globe

Located on Mt. Hope Bay, the museum offers the largest collection of preserved U.S. Navy ships in the world. The fleet includes five National Historic Landmarks: Battleship USS Massachusetts; Destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.; Submarine USS Lionfish; and PT Boats 617 and 796. Exhibits include “Women Protecting US,’’ which highlights the work of military women throughout America’s history.

Veterans get in free to the Museum of Science in Boston on Veterans Day (a $23 savings).

A butterfly rests on a leaf inside the Butterfly Garden exhibit at the Museum of Science. —David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe

Spend time in the Charles Hayden Planetarium or hang out with butterflies. Get up close and personal with a 65-million-year-old dinosaur fossil. Explore exhibits such as “The Photography of Modernist Cuisine’’ and “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.’’ Then check out the 4-D film The Polar Express on its opening day. It will run through January 4. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Veterans enjoy a free tour of Fenway Park on Veterans Day (a $12 savings).

Members of the military stood at Fenway Park as the Red Sox showed their commitment to wounded veterans. —Amanda Swinhart

Explore America’s most beloved ballpark with this exclusive deal for veterans. Free tours will be offered to all servicemen and women on Veterans Day. There will also be an afternoon visit to the Pine Street Inn, which provides Veterans Services by connecting homeless and low-income people with housing opportunities, employment, and community services, from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. End the day right by participating in the “Back On My Feet’’ Veterans Walk and Run at Government Center at 6 p.m. Even the Sox are doing it!

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