9 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Spring Break

Posted by Holly Whitfield | March 10th 2015 28559 20

Sure, you’ve been to the Zoo and the Children’s Museum, but what’s new or different for kids and families in Memphis? Here are nine ideas.

1. Get A History Lesson at the National Civil Rights Museum: adults $15, kids $12
If you haven’t taken the kids (or yourself) to the remodeled NCRM, I can’t encourage you enough to set aside some time to educate yourself on the important stories told there.

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tenn.

All Memphians should know what happened in Memphis (and around the world) to begin the long and still ongoing fight for justice and equality for people of color. If you do one thing with your kids this spring break, make this it. Get more info and museum hours here. Read my post about the reopening of the museum and see photos here.

The NCRM is free for adults with TN state IDs from 3 p.m. to close (5 p.m.) on Tuesdays.

2. Be A Tourist In Your Hometown At The Peabody: Free
Younger kids especially will get a kick out of the daily march of the Peabody ducks, daily at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. (the 11 a.m. is usually a little less crowded). Read more about the duck march here.

3. Get Grossed Out at the Pink Palace: adults $12.75 adults, $7.25 kids + $5 – $7 extra for CTI 3D Giant Theater 
Sure, you’ve taken the kids to the Pink Palace Museum, but have you been since the Animal Grossology exhibit opened? It’s a good one, talking about all kinds of icky bodily functions of creatures with plenty of interactive exhibits.

Also: if your Spring Break is March 16 – 21, Disney’s classic The Jungle Book will play in the big theater at 4 p.m. daily and a new 3D movie, Humpback Whales 3D plays regularly. Go here for more info and hours.

The Pink Palace museum is free on Tuesday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The CTI 3D Giant Theater is not included in that.

4. Go Outside And Play: free
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned day at the playground to burn some energy and (hopefully) soak up the sun.

rainbow lake playground overton park

Try one of these: Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms, Rainbow Lake Playground at Overton Park, RiverFit at Tom Lee Park (good for older kids with adult supervision), Shelby Forest State Park, Williamson Park in Evergreen Historic District, or Germantown Municipal Park.

5. Take a Day or So Trip to Discovery Park: adults $13.95, kids $10.95 + $10 for extra attractions + gas and food, etc.
Technically not in Memphis, but you’re working with a little more time and budget, go to one of the craziest, most interesting places I’ve ever been: the Discovery Park of Tennessee in Union City.


It’s the only place I’ve seen a two-story human-shaped slide, a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, aquariums, holograms, a LOT of taxidermy, WWII planes, and replica dinosaur skeletons – all in one place. That’s only about 15 percent of what they have there.

The City Museum in St. Louis is cool in its own way, but this kind of blows it out of the water. I think I spent 5 or 6 hours there and I didn’t stop to “play” in the science exhibits. You really need to check out my full post about my trip there.

6. Go on a Kid-Friendly Food Crawl: price varies
Most food and pub crawls are for grown-ups, but what about a kid-friendly food crawl at several local restaurants?

holiday chickens salad at Lunchbox Eats

Here are a few that kids will love (click on the link to read my full post about each of these): Belly Acres and Sweet Noshings in Overton Square, A Schwab on Beale Street, Lunchbox Eats downtown, Elwood’s Shack on Summer Ave, Maui Brick Oven in Germantown, or Ethiopian Restaurant in Cordova.

Get more youngster-friendly food ideas over at the Dining With Monkeys blog.

7. Find a Museum You Haven’t Been To: prices vary, usually under $10
After you’ve covered all the “big” museums  in town, spend a few afternoons at some of the smaller, but just as charming, Memphis museums.


The Litcherman Nature Center in East Memphis features trails and a wildlife center, the Cotton Museum and Fire Museum are downtown; both showcase historical and educational exhibits with cool gift shops.

The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa gives a glimpse into the area’s original Native American inhabitants and is adjacent to lots of picnic-friendly places. Go here for a list of museums and parks in in the area.

8. See New Stuff At the Zoo: adults $15, kids $10, parking $5
I know you’re been to the Zoo before, but there’s a new bird-centric flight show “Take Flight!”, a jellyfish exhibit, and an exhibit showing the life cycle of chickens, including adorable hatchlings, chicks, and a coop. All of that opened in early March.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.57.24 PM
Photo via @memphiszoo on Instagram.

Take Flight! goes on on weekdays at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and weekends at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. The jelly fish are in the aquarium and the chicks are in the Once Upon a Farm area. Price for all three new exhibits are included in the price of general admission. Go here to read more.

Note: the “Tennessee Tuesdays” at the Memphis Zoo will NOT go on in the month of March.

9. Day Camps at Memphis Botanic Garden: $30 – $35 per day or  $125 – $175 for the week per kid
Sign your kids up now for the Memphis Botanic Garden’s weeklong day camps for the weeks of March 9 – 13 or March 16 -20. There’s one camp for ages 5-8 and another for ages 9-12 with daily themes about gardening, outdoors, crafts, wildlife, and more. You can send your kid for one day/days or the whole week. Go here to sign up or for details.

My Big Backyard, Memphis Botanic Gardens, Memphis, Tenn.

You can also just take the young’uns to My Big Backyard whenever; the price is included in cost of garden admission.

If you want to see more ideas, check out East Memphis Moms blog, the I Love Memphis calendar for daily events, or the Spring Events Guide.

What’s the best Spring Break you (or your kids) ever had in Memphis? Tell me in the comments.

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. Natalie says:

    The Ethiopian is no longer there or has moved.

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