North Carolina offers some special opportunities to veterans, active military, their families and the public over the Veterans Day weekend. Attractions within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources will welcome all. Most state historic sites are closed but all state parks are open, and of course are free. Free or discounted admission is available at most venues that normally charge an admission, and there will be family-friendly activities all across the state.
• N.C. Maritime Museum, Beaufort. Open. The gift shop will offer active duty and retired military discount of 20 percent Nov. 11. Free.
• N.C. Maritime Museum, Southport. Closed Mondays. Gift shop will offer 10 percent military discounts Nov. 12-16. Free.
• Museum of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City. Closed Nov. 11. “A Thousand Words: Photographs of Vietnam Veterans,” opens Nov. 9
• Roanoke Island Festival Park, Manteo. Nov. 11. Closed, but hosting a concert in the theater. The Ozark Jubilee is performing A Branson Country Christmas and Veterans Showat 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.The 11 a.m. is sold out; limited tickets for 3 p.m. Tickets are $30 for individuals, $28 for groups and can be purchased by calling 877-461-441.
• Tryon Palace, New Bern. Nov. 10 free admission to active duty military and dependents, including minor children.
• Museum of the Cape Fear, Fayetteville. Closed Nov. 11. “Letters from the Trenches” program in cooperation with the Cumberland County Library Nov. 10, 2 p.m. at the library based on letters of a WWI vet. Free.
• Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington. Nov. 11. Open with free guided tours for active military or retired with military ID and paid admission. The abbreviated tours will leave on the hour 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
• N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach. Nov. 11. Open with free admission to veterans, active, reserve or retired military members with valid service identification or proof of service, as well as spouses and dependents.
• N.C. Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores. Nov. 11. Free admission to veterans and their families with military identification. There will be food collection for a local pantry and a blood drive. Discounted admission offered to active and retired military throughout the year.
• N.C. Aquarium, Roanoke Island. Nov. 11. Open with free admission to veterans, active, reserve or retired military members with valid service identification or proof of service, as well as spouses and dependents.
• N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh. Nov. 11. The museum will be open and the gift shop will offer 20% off for all active duty and retired military! Free admission.
• N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh. Nov. 11. Open. Special event 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Join museum astronomers in viewing Mercury pass in front of the sun (weather permitting). The next transit of Mercury is 2023, so don’t miss this rare event. Free.
• N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh. Open Nov. 9-10, closed Nov. 11. A military discount with ID to the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collectionticketed with Scott Avett: INVISIBLE. Other exhibits free.
• N.C. Zoo, Asheboro. Open Nov. 11. Free admission to military Nov. 9-17. Veterans, active duty, Coast Guard and retired military. Must show military ID. $2 discount for family up to six members.
• N.C. Transportation Museum, Spencer. Open Nov. 10-11. Veterans will receive free admission and a train ride with military ID. Families with veterans will receive discounts.
• Fort Dobbs, Statesville. Closed Nov. 11. Military Timeline program, Nov. 9-10, examines hundreds of years of North Carolina military history. $2, under age 5 free.
• Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort. Open Nov. 9-10, closed Nov. 11. Veterans and their families can enjoy the free exhibit, “A Thousand Words: Photographs by Vietnam Veterans.” Collecting for Wounded Warriors through November.
• N.C. State Parks. From the mountains to the coast, 41 state parks, natural areas and recreation areas will be open as usual and are free.
• Join in a hike through a beautiful longleaf pine ecosystem at Weymouth Woods in the Sandhills Nature Preserve in Southern Pines to honor veterans, their service, and their sacrifices. Everyone is welcome on this two-mile hike and be sure to invite your favorite veterans!