Graduation from Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, or One Station Unit Training is definitely something to celebrate! Though there are some fun souvenirs to purchase at the Exchange Mall, we thought we’d provide you and your family and friends with a few others ideas or ways to celebrate your new graduate!
Want to celebrate on Fort Leonard Wood?
- Head over to the Daugherty Bowling Center on Fort Leonard Wood! It’s located next to the museum complex and across from the Davidson Fitness Center. Your whole group can bowl a few frames (they rent shoes and provide bowling balls) and enjoy a great lunch, dinner or snack from The Strike Zone. You’ll also find a few rooms with arcade and XBox 360 games.
- Take advantage of the MWR Rec Plex on post! If your family likes action and is (a little) competitive, throw on a helmet and get ready to burn rubber at the Go Kart track on post. The track allows 12 drivers at one time and you have to be over 56” tall to ride alone. Looking for something that’s still lots of fun, but a little slower pace? In the same area, you’ll find a great mini golf course. Want to try both? Check out the combo ticket prices! Keep in mind that after Labor Day, the hours for these attractions will be:
- Does your family enjoy being surrounded by nature and a little more quiet time? Grab some sandwiches and sodas and head out to Happy Hollows, the picnic area on the Big Piney River. If you need directions or more info on the area, check out one of our previous blog posts. Interested in taking some games or fishing equipment to your picnic? It’s a pain to haul it from home (especially if you fly with us), so head over to the MWR Outdoor Adventure Center and they can help you out with almost anything you could want or need to enjoy the Missouri outdoors.
Headed off-post to celebrate?
- Don’t miss some of the great historic sites in Waynesville, including the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Site in Laughlin Park, the Old Stagecoach Stop, and the Pulaski County Museum. Enjoy lunch at Nona’s or Hopper’s Pub while you’re on the square in downtown Waynesville. If you have some extra time, check out some of the antique shops downtown or stop by the Route 66 Community Art Gallery to pick up a beautiful memento of your time in the Fort Leonard Wood Region.
- If your new Soldier is just exhausted and wants to do something low-key, we highly recommend the Waynesville Patriot 12. They show the latest movies, but also provide a variety of yummy snacks! If your family is more of the theatre type and you’re lucky enough to be in town when they have a show going on, grab your tickets for the Pulaski County Fine Arts Association’s Theatre on the Square. They also offer a hero discount on ticket prices for first responders and military members!
Though it may not be a place you’d normally think of when you think graduation celebration, we strongly encourage you to spend some time at the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex. Not only will you find indoor displays focused on military history, but you’ll also find a number of military vehicles on display outside across the street from the museum and you can tour the World War II barracks just beyond the military vehicles. Taking time to appreciate our military history is a great way for your family to begin your journey with the military.