St. Johns Town Center Military Appreciation Month
Military Personnel & Families - Shop Local at St. Johns Town Center in May for Military Appreciation Month
Disclaimer - This post is written in partnership with the St. Johns Town Center. I received compensation in exchange for this article, however, all ideas, content, and photos are my own unless otherwise noted.
I often hype myself up (or make myself laugh) by rattling off quotes from Leslie Knope of the TV show Parks & Recreation. She is my spirit animal. If you were going to disagree and claim there is someone more like Leslie Knope than me, you'd get the April side of my personality; but if I am being 100% honest, if there is anyone (or team in this case) in Jacksonville who is actually "the Leslie Knope" of celebrating holidays, hosting amazing events, and making people happy...it is The St. Johns Town Center. (That will be the first and almost last time I ever admit that anyone is more Leslie than me.)
In reality, if I were the REAL Leslie Knope of this town I'd stay on top of the distinctive difference in fun that is chocolate chip day versus chocolate chip cookie day (because yes, they both have their own days) and commemorate them both in the most sweet and glorious fashion. However, I certainly wasn't pulling a Leslie during the first part of May and I almost missed a fabulous month of events. THANKS TO MY PALS at the St. Johns Town Center (the REAL Leslie Knope of celebrating any and everything that makes Jacksonville so awesome), not only did I not forget but I had the best time honoring Military Appreciation Month.
Why I Celebrate Military Appreciation Month
Growing up, I was taught to understand and appreciate the sacrifice of military personnel and their families. Their service and dedication to fighting for our freedom and defending our nation is something I feel many of us often take for granted. Now as an adult, I celebrate and appreciate it because I am a Navy wife. My husband serves in the United States Navy and has for almost 12 years. (See picture above...he gets bashful if I talk about it so I am keeping it short and sweet.)
Any day and month that allows our community to come together and reflect on what Military personnel, veterans, and their families give to our nation is most definitely an excuse to celebrate. So Military Appreciation Month and Military Spouse Appreciation Day (or days plural because we all know one day is never enough celebration for this lady!) merriment is and has been in full swing in our household for the month.
How I Celebrate Military Appreciation Month
Honestly, do you really have to ask yourself that question? If you know me or read the blog you are well aware that I celebrate everything the same way.
WITH SHOPPING. A GLASS OR 3 OF WINE. AND DELICIOUS FOOD.
Enter my favorite destination in Jacksonville - The St. Johns Town Center. Where you can partake in all of the above activities, pretty much all of the time.
Full disclosure...we all know I LOVE my St. Johns Town Center team! No one has ever had to force me to stop by and shop. In fact, I was going out of my way to shop there long before I even lived in Jacksonville. (Seriously...ask my Dad. He can attest to the fact that my Mom and I used to sneak up to the Town Center on the weekend to do some "light" shopping even when he told us not to! Sorry, we're not sorry Dad!) So combine my favorite people, my favorite foods and drinks, and my favorite activities IN ADDITION to Military Appreciation celebrations and savings this month and I am one happy, overly festive Navy wife.
Military Appreciation Month Festivities
I was honored to work with the St. Johns Town Center on this post because if they were to try to tell you all the amazing things they are doing to support, honor, and celebrate our local military members you'd never have time to actually stop and shop. So I'm tooting the horn for them below by highlighting my favorite ways they are showing love to my family this month and also how they are showing love, appreciation, and admiration for all military personnel, families and veterans in North Florida.
Reserved Parking for Military Veterans
(By the way keep reading for ALL the info on the parking program...don't freak out on me like my hubby did for the photos. LOL I know I am NOT a Veteran.)
First and foremost, let’s start in order here. What’s the first thing you do when you visit the St. Johns Town Center? If you guessed, park your car you’d be right. (I bet you were thinking I’d say RUN TO DILLARD’S to grab ALL THE CLOTHES…which is typically how I start my shopping trips there, but this post includes more logical information than my typical shenanigans so stay focused for once.)
Why talk about parking? Sure, it’s not a sexy topic, but we’ve all been shopping during peak times like weekends and holidays and you may have spent more than a split second deciding where to park your vehicle. With this incredible offering, military personnel, veterans, or family of either of those with a valid military ID can take advantage of prime parking spots. The St. Johns Town Center has reserved, preferred parking spots available for you located near Nordstrom and Cantina Laredo but they are first come, first serve. (Look for these signs you see pictured above!) So park early and shop often!
If you are new to Jacksonville and the North Florida area, which is often the case for military families because moving is what we do best, click here to see a map of the property so you'll know exactly where to drive and park if you want to snag a coveted reserved parking space on your next shopping adventure. (I could give you my version of directions...but I promise you...you don't want that.)
Now onto the SHOPPING!
Military Savings Guide
Bring Your Military ID and Save
If you didn’t already grab one to start saving this month, make sure to visit the mall management office at St. Johns Town Center and pick up a Military Savings Guide. This pamphlet is your pass to additional savings at your favorite shops, restaurants, and retailers all year long; not just during Military Appreciation month. From Aerie to Art of Shaving, Kendra Scott to Kilwins, M Shack to Maggiano’s and even Tiffany’s, some of your most frequented stops are offering military personnel, veterans, and their families additional savings (some restrictions apply so read the fine print, babes).
Bring your military ID and stop by the management office to claim your pass. I grabbed mine and am currently, not so subtly, waving it in front of my husband showing him that Williams Sonoma offers 15% off in-store purchases and Mama needs a new set of kitchen knives. Or anything they have because Mama LOVES Williams Sonoma. ;-)
If I didn't mention your preferred retailer, that doesn’t mean they aren’t involved. Click here to visit the St. Johns Town Center page that features additional information on all the stores offering military specials and discounts.
Tech Savvy Shoppers Rejoice
Whew...I get it. I just hit you with a LOT of info and you are most definitely thinking you need GO TO THE MALL NOW! (Slow down though...they are open often, but not 24/7 so if you're reading this at 3am because my Mom told you to read it, then thanks Mom, but you have to wait until they open again tomorrow.) Speaking of which, click here for store hours so you know what time to set your shopping alarm.
Alarm set? Good...I'm about to share some secrets with you on a few tech savvy ways to remember all of the features and offerings you can take advantage of, not only during Military Appreciation Month but year round.
If you're wondering how I stay in the loop on all things happening at my favorite Simon malls, I use the Simon app. Because let's be honest, although the St. Johns Town Center is clearly numero uno in my heart and also my wallet, as a military family, we've had to adopt other plazas as our second shopping spots for times when our home base isn't Jacksonville. The app is free to download on any iOS or Android mobile device and will be your hand held shopping guide if you're new or just need a refresher. (If you ever have data trouble, well there are several stores in the Town Center that can assist, but you're also welcome to call me...I'm a St. Johns Town Center connoisseur and I love to shop so I'll be there like your real life Simon app but with more jokes and definitely more fitting room opinions.)
By using the app I've signed up for their newsletters, texted to join the mobile shopping program, and am able to follow them on all their social channels as well. I'm linking you to all of those helpful tech tools below...because the month may be winding down but they show the love all year round.
Styled by Simon
It wouldn't be a fashion blog without spilling the details on the two head to toe looks I scored at the St. Johns Town Center utilizing my military savings pass. To shop these or similar looks for yourself, you'll need to head to the mall and visit each store listed below.
J. Crew - Ruffle Sleeve White Top and Navy Polka Dot Shorts
Nordstrom - Black Ryker Dress by Parker, Pink Kate Spade Keds, and Grey Eartha Backpack/Handbag from ZAC by Zac Posen
Dillard's - Sunnies
Target - All Jewelry including necklace, bracelet, earrings, ring (All Sugarfix by BaubleBar for Target)
Payless - Pink Heels
Sephora - Self Tanner ;-)
Polish the Nail Bar - Manicure and Pedicure
St. Johns Town Center Mall Management Office - Black Croc Print Tote (Gifted at Influencer Dinner in October of 2017)
Have You Taken Advantage of the Military Appreciation Deals?
Let me know in the comments below if you've already been shopping with your pass and if you haven't, stop reading this now and get your buns over to the St. Johns Town Center today.
All photography by the amazing Kelly Martucci
To read other posts about my favorite local shopping plaza, The St. Johns Town Center, click here.
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