Explore These Unique Perks of Living on Base

Family with child in front of house

Post from MilitaryByOwner

Military housing has plenty of great reasons to live there: location, cost savings, and quality of life. But it seems like many military installations offer the same amenities, from the crowded commissary to the community center, and it can become a bit boring. But before you travel off base to find fun, make sure you’re aware of these unique perks that you may find right in your back yard.

Hopefully, you’ve heard of few of these exclusive options and have taken advantage, but there’s a chance the upcoming PCS season will send your family on their way to enjoying a different location.

Here’s what you need to know about some of the military’s best on-base perks.

Naval Station Rota, Spain

Who knew MWR owned a drive-in movie theater? They do, and it’s in Spain! Saturday evenings, families pile in to picnic and barbeque while enjoying films under the stars. Families living in housing are lucky, because the drive-in is nearby and at the ready for their enjoyment.

Fort Buchanan, San Juan, Puerto Rico

An Octopus Ride is one of two water slides that awaits kids who love water adventures. But there’s more to love at the Water Spout aquatic center. A beach access pool is available year-round for those who like an easy entry to the pool’s gradual deepening, totaling at four feet. Fun lily pads to jump on, a net crossing, and lots of lounge space to take in the sun are also available.

Marine Corps Base Hawaii

It wouldn’t seem like base dwellers here would be short of activities to do on the island, but sometimes convenience is key, and Tiki Island checks that box. Located near the Klipper Golf Course lies a children’s or, excuse me, keiki paradise. Bumper boats, batting cages, miniature golf courses, plus a snack hut. What else could kids want? A birthday party package? Yep, it’s possible at Tiki Island.

Fort Polk, Louisiana

A brilliant marketing and healthy food plan is underway at Fort Polk’s commissary. Taking advantage of the “fresh food in a box” delivered straight to your door craze, DECA is piloting a similar program, but in brown bags that you pick up at the commissary.

“Thinking Outside the Box” is a food program pairing healthy and economical food ingredients with a quick and easy recipe to follow, all packaged in a brown bag with a single price, ready to grab and go at the front of the store. DECA is watching to see how shoppers respond and hopes it gathers enough interest to roll out to other military installations.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Following the success of the mega shopping and dining facility at Fort Bliss, Texas, Fort Bragg is opening its own entertainment complex, slated to open late 2018. Freedom Crossing brings to Fort Bragg easy access to 85,000 square feet of shopping, dining, and movie watching.

Tenants include a high-end movie theater with 11 screens, Phillips Seafood, Smashburger, Camille's Ice Cream, Muscle Maker Grill, Sarku Japan, and Bar Louie. All remaining spaces have letters of intent to fill, or in talks to extend leases. Smoothie King, Chipotle, and Wing Stop have all shown interest.

Retailers such as Patriot Outfitters, Total Nutrition, Lee Nails & Spa, and Great Clips are also poised to open up shop to residents and friends. AAFES sees this complex as a place for a community to relax and hang out with fellow service members. They plan to have community events like concerts on a routine basis.

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

Traffic is a beast in and around Washington, D.C., but Zipcar plans to add on-demand car sharing to JBMHH to help beat the congestion. Zipcar’s car sharing program allows users to reserve a car and return it to a multitude of specially selected parking areas around the city. Zipcar does offer a military discount, but monthly membership starts at only $7.00. This outpost will be Zipcar’s first on a military installation.

Fort Meade, Maryland

Military members and their families travel. A lot. And they’d probably go more if pet care wasn’t an ordeal. Those living on Fort Meade have an amazing option for dog care at The Family Pet Care Center. For very reasonable prices, dogs are treated to indoor/outdoor runs with climate control, fenced play area, and accessible vet care 24 hours a day. The center also offers doggy day care for those pups who need daytime interaction.

Of course, other military members not living on base are eligible to use these sources of entertainment and services, but let’s be honest—we all know the closer you live and the easier the access to base amenities, the more often you’ll go and enjoy.

What are the unique perks of your home base? Share them in the comments below.

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