Are you and your family planning to travel to Memphis? In a city known for the “birthplace of rock ‘n' roll,” Elvis Presley, and Civil Rights history according to Memphis Travel, there are a ton of fun things for kids to do.
From outdoor adventures to educational attractions, you can find something for everyone in this lively and beautiful city. Museums, parks, and activities provide fun and entertainment for all. Here are 14 of the best things for kids to do in Memphis, Tennessee.
In a city that has generally mild weather, outdoor activities are an easy choice when visiting Memphis. If you're looking to enjoy some fresh air and entertainment, here are some of the best outdoor adventures you and your family can enjoy in Memphis.
Voted one of the best Memphis attractions and the best place for family fun in the city, there's no doubt that the Memphis Zoo is a perfect stop for your kids. The zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals from all over the world including animals from Africa and China. There are also unique exhibits including “cat country” and a “dragon's lair.” Be sure to check their calendar for special events and season experiences, too.
Shelby Farms Park
Located in the heart of Memphis, Shelby Farms Park and Conservatory is open all day, every day of the year. Their website states that the park covers more than 4,500 acres and is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. The park has numerous miles of trails, pools of water for fishing, a playground, horseback riding, paintball, and laser tag. It's also famously known for its herd of buffalo that freely roam their own 50-acre grassland. From food trucks to activities to the gift shop, Shelby Farms Park is the perfect place to visit.
Beale Street is an iconic and well-known road in Memphis. The street is known as the “home of the blues” and has everything from dining to live music to a movie theater and other tourist attractions. Along this street, you can visit the historic Daisy Theatre or the WC Handy Home and Museum. There are also seasonal activities and events on this street like bike rides, parades, and special holiday celebrations.
Memphis Botanic Garden
Looking for a beautiful walk in nature? Then the Memphis Botanic Garden is the perfect place! This outdoor space covers 96 acres and includes 30 specialty gardens. It's also a hot spot in the city, hosting over 260,000 visitors each year. The botanic garden has everything from family and children educational programs to outdoor activities at the Radians Amphitheater. Aside from the gardens themselves, this space is also known for its art exhibitions.
AutoZone Park is home to Memphis's minor league baseball team, the Redbirds. The park is one of the largest minor league baseball stadiums in the country, seating 14,000 people and covering 11 acres. Additionally, inside the park, you'll find plenty of family activities including carnival games on the Boardwalk, batting cages, inflatables, a climbing wall, and the Bird Bath water gun race. You can also save a few dollars on tickets by choosing to enjoy the game on “the bluff” instead of an infield seat, which gives the kids room to run.
Steamboat Rides on the Mississippi
Memphis is located right along the Mississippi, so riverboat rides are a common activity that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. Taking a cruise on a riverboat offers sightseeing from a whole new perspective, and many boat ride companies offer package events and special opportunities for families. Memphis Riverboats, for example, offers a sightseeing cruise along with a “Sunday Blues” cruise and other options.
While outdoor adventures give everyone in the family a chance to burn off some energy and enjoy some fresh air and sunlight, Memphis also has several indoor educational activities to choose from. Here are a few ways to spend your time indoors in this historic city.
Children's Museum of Memphis
If you're looking for hands-on activities and learning experiences, look no further than the Children's Museum of Memphis. The museum offers everything from science experiences to a 1909 carousel in its 30+ years of operation in the heart of Memphis. Additionally, the museum has numerous affiliations and offers exhibits like a rock wall, digital art, gardens, and a grocery store for kids to enjoy. There's plenty for everyone to enjoy at the CMOM.
Museum of Science and History
The Museum of Science and History (MoSH) in Memphis is a great family-friendly place to visit. Beyond the museum itself, visitors can also enjoy exploring the Pink Palace Mansion, Theater, and Planetarium. Featured exhibits at the museum are focused on music and history with an area to learn about the guitar and an area to learn about Memphis's specific music journey. With the inclusion of the mansion, planetarium, and theater, MoSH offers lots of learning and fun for everyone.
The Fire Museum
Is anyone in your family interested in learning more about fire safety and life at a firehouse? Then the Fire Museum of Memphis is a must-see stop on your journey! The museum is located in the city's legendary Fire Engine House No. 1. It also has fire department education specialists on hand at all times to discuss fire safety. The museum has interactive exhibits like the Fire Safety Arcade and the Escape Maze in addition to its representation of Memphis's fire department history throughout the years.
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
As one of the most iconic buildings in all of Memphis, the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid is more than just a sporting goods store. The building also features a hotel, restaurant, aquariums, and a huge cypress swamp that houses duck aviaries and alligator pools. Kids can also enjoy the observation deck that rises 28 stories to the top of the building. An archery range and daily fish feedings can also be enjoyed by all. Restaurants and learning experiences are also available at Memphis's Bass Pro Shops building.
National Civil Rights Museum At The Lorraine Motel
While the Lorraine Motel is known as the location where Martin Luther King, Jr. took his last breath, the building has been renovated into the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum features exhibits that educate and explore the history of race in our country including student sit-ins and Rosa Parks' iconic bus boycott. Over 260 artifacts are placed throughout the museum as well.
The Graceland Mansion is famous for being the home of Elvis Presley and offers daily tours. The tour includes views of Elvis's living room, his parent's room, and the famous Jungle Room, among other areas inside the house. Visitors can learn more about Elvis's personal life and see artifacts from his wedding and his family tree. The tour of the mansion ends by visiting the Meditation Garden where Elvis and his family members are laid to rest.
The Peabody Hotel Duck March
One of the most iconic and unique events in Memphis includes the Duck March at The Peabody Hotel. Every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., ducks march behind the Peabody Duckmaster through the hotel lobby. The march ends at the marble fountain where they go for a swim. This event, which began in the 1930s, has become a staple of the hotel and a well-known family-friendly event in the city.
Memphis Music Hall of Fame
The museum at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame is a popular attraction that can be enjoyed by all, especially music lovers. The goal of the museum is to introduce visitors to some of the most iconic musicians of all time and includes memorabilia, behind-the-scenes videos, performances, and interactive exhibits. The museum is currently open 7 days a week and is a must-see stop when visiting Memphis with its rich musical history.
Planning a family trip to Memphis?
Memphis is a beautiful city along the Mississippi River that's known for its rich history in music. But there are also a lot of fun things for kids to do in “Bluff City.” From outdoor adventures to indoor educational experiences, Memphis has something for everyone to enjoy!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Regina Zumarraga/Shutterstock.com.