When the work day is over, servicemembers like to know that they have access to fun, affordable activities to enjoy during their down time. Even better, it would be nice if those activities were conveniently located on base.
It may seem that a lot of on base activities are geared toward military families, but there are plenty of services for single servicemembers as well.
So what exactly can single servicemembers find to do on base? Programs, services, and prices vary by location so check with your local installation for specifics. The following is a general list of what to look for:
Auto Skills and Hobby Shops
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) often provides auto centers where servicemembers can use indoor and outdoor stall space and tools to work on personal vehicles as well as learn automotive skills. Trained professional mechanics are also available for guidance and information. Some locations also offer services such as state vehicle inspections, drop-off services like oil changes, and retail stores with auto-related products.
Bowling centers are available for games with friends, tournaments, and bowling leagues. Some locations also have arcades and snack bar facilities as well as coaches for instruction.
Fitness Centers and Gyms
Gyms off base are expensive. That’s why the free fitness centers on base are perfect for your workout needs. Servicemembers have access to free cardiovascular and weight-lifting equipment, basketball and racquetball courts, and group classes. You can also sign up for fitness events like 5k runs and trail runs.
Golf is another activity that isn’t cheap. That’s why the golf courses on base are such great deals. Courses on military installations offer open course play, tournaments, driving ranges, pro shops, cart rentals, snack bars and instructors for classes and private lessons.
Information, Ticket and Tours Office (ITT)
You can find the latest information about local events like concerts and athletic games at the Information, Ticket and Tours or ITT office. They also provide discounted tickets to parks, museums and vacation spots like Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios. (Depending on the service, it may also be called the Leisure Travel Office or Information, Ticket and Recreation.)
Many bases have movie theaters that offer free or reduced prices. Check on your base website for movie schedules.
Outdoor Equipment Rentals
MWR rents fun outdoor equipment for personal use, including boats, kayaks, bikes, camping equipment, grills, party gear, and even campers.
Pools and Water Parks
Most bases have indoor and/or outdoor pools for both fitness and recreational needs. Some bases even have water parks that are open in the summer that have snack bars.
Single Servicemember Programs
Each service branch may call it something different, but most installations have programs just for single servicemembers. Whether it’s the Navy’s Single Sailor Program or the Army’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) Program, their sole purpose is to enhance the quality of life for single servicemembers, encourage involvement in community activities (such as Habitat for Humanity and Veterans Homes visits), and help plan leisure and recreation events (such as paintball excursions and fishing trips). Some programs, like the Navy Liberty Center, provides a place for servicemembers to go on base to use free Internet, a TV lounge area, ping-pong, pool tables, video game systems, and snack bars.
Skeet and Trap Ranges
Some installations have facilities for recreational shooting. Depending on the particular location, you can go to a skeet range, practice pistol or rifle shooting, take shooting lessons, and/or purchase cleaning supplies and ammunition.
What do you like to do on base?
-- Heather Sweeney can be reached at Heather.Sweeney@monster.com.
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