2018 Memphis Spring Events Guide
Ed. Note: Looking for things to do in Memphis this spring? Aisling has put together this list of more than 40 ideas for Memphis spring festivals, events, and things to do with kids.
Here’s your 2018 Memphis Spring Events Guide:
– Celebration of Spring/Food Truck Fridays, Dixon Galley & Gardens, all spring, $7 adults/$3 kids, all ages/kid-friendly
Enjoy the spring spectacle of 125,000 bulbs all in bloom at the Dixon Galley & Gardens. Expect including tulips, hyacinth, crocus, daffodils, and galanthus; don’t forget Tuesdays are PWYC and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon are free. Fridays April through September, there will be food trucks from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the gardens are free during that time.
– Young Collectors Contemporary, Crosstown Arts, March 22 – 25, $25 – $125, 18+
This cutting-edge art fair at Crosstown features multi-disciplinary work from emerging artists. It’s part exhibition, part party, and part contemporary arts conference for artists, collectors, and the arts community.
– Winnie the Hippo’s 1st Birthday Celebration, Memphis Zoo, March 23 – 25, prices vary, all ages
Celebrate our baby hippo’s first year on earth at the Memphis Zoo with special events adn feedings going on throughout the weekend
–MusliMeMFest, Agricenter International, March 24, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., free
This annual one-day festival, hosted by Muslims in Memphis, features food, shopping, exhibits, entertainment, and children’s activities.
–Fun Day & Science Fair, Overton Park, March 25, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., free, all ages
Join Overton Park Conservancy for a free morning of fun, games, and science at East Parkway Pavilion and the Old Forest. Play badminton, cornhole, giant Jenga, and other games, and learn about the forest’s plants and animals with research partners from local colleges. Use your phone to help record as many species as you can find with iNaturalist.org and watch the finals of the International Society of Arboriculture Southern Chapter’s tree-climbing contest.
– 901 Popper Throwdown, High Cotton Brewing, March 25, noon – 6 p.m., free, all ages
Teams will compete to make the bjest jalapeno poppers while the general public – that’s you – enjoys free admission to the festival to watch the competition, try samples, enjoy food front eh The Edge Alley and Beer from high Cotton, liv music, acivites for kids, and jalapeño eating contest.
-Condomonium, Playhouse on the Square, March 31, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., $25 – $100
Local designers create stunning fashion pieces made of condoms as a fundraiser for CHOICES. Check out the living art show, live music, food and cocktails.
– Fool Fest 2018, Shangri-La Records, March 31 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., free to attend, all ages
Buy cheap 45s, CDS, and more, plus free live tunes from Alicja-Pop, Model Zero and more.
– River Series, Harbor Town Amphitheater, April 1, 15 and 29, 3 p.m., $5, all ages/kid-friendly
This series of shows, curated by Goner Records, bringing Memphians together to see and celebrate live music in an intimate riverfront venue. Grownups can enjoy great music and beer in an environment where the little ones are welcome. Proceeds benefit The Maria Montessori School.
– Midtown Opera Festival 2018, Playhouse on the Square, April 6-14, $100 festival pass ($400 value), individual events start at $10, all ages
Opera Memphis’ festival returns to Playhouse on the Square, anchored by The Triumph of Honor and The Opera 901 Showcase. Each opera is preceded by an Opera Prelude Talk, giving insight into the story, characters, and music. After the opera, the audience is invited to join Opera Memphis for a drink in the lounge or head to one of the many Festival Fringe Events.
– Cooper Young Community Farmers Market Crawfish Boil, First Congo Parking Lot, April 7, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., free entry, all ages/kid-friendly
It’s time for the 5th annual CYCFM! Enjoy local beer, crawfish, and other food for sale, plus live music from Rod Duran.
Memphis Farmers Market Opening Day 2018, G.E. Patterson and S. Front St., April 7, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., free to enter, all ages/kid-friendly
Memphis’ largest farmers market kicks off the season with Opening Day on Saturday, April 7 with food vendors, food trucks, and entertainment.
– Taste the Rarity, Wiseacre Brewing, April 7, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., $50 + fees, 21 and up
Taste rare craft beers from breweries around the country and celebrate the release of the 2017 Unicornicopia (this year, it’s Off in Space Imperial Stout), with music from the Mighty Souls Brass Band, Big Barton, Griz Line, circus acts, food, games, commemorative taster glass and more. Expect this one to sell out, so get your tix asap.
– Persian Festival, Overton Park, April 8, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Celebrate Persian and Iranian culture at the inaugural Persian Festival. Enjoy authentic Persian food, a handicrafts exhibition, music, dance, and more.
– Memphis Redbirds 2018 Season, AutoZone Park, starts April 10, prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
The Redbirds 2018 season kicks off April 10 with one-cent tickets on Welcome Back (For A) Penny Day, to celebrate Penny Hardaway as the new Memphis Tigers’ men’s basketball coach. Go here for the full season schedule.
– Memphis Fashion Week, Various Locations, April 11-14, Prices Vary, 18+
Memphis Fashion Week brings together local and regional designers, models, photographers, artists, and other fashion industry types for several days of runway shows, parties, and boutique events.
– Rooftop Parties at Peabody Hotel, April 12 through August, $15, 21 +
The season kicks off April 12 with The Molly Ringwalds. Dance to live music and enjoy drinks and snacks while partying on the roof of the Downtown hotel. The parties are Thursdays from April through August, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
– Broad Avenue Spring Art Walk, Broad Avenue, April 14, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., free to attend, all ages/kid-friendly
Broad Avenue Art Walk features artist market, live music, food trucks, and more.
– Healthy Memphis Festival, Railgarten, April 14, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. free, all ages/kid-friendly
Check out local businesses and vendors who support healthy eating and lifestyle habits, and enjoy food demos, music, exercise classes, art, and kids’ corner.
– Overton Square Crawfish Festival, Overton Square, April 14, noon – 6 p.m., free to attend, all ages
The annual Overton Square Crawfish Festival is so big that it takes over the whole square, shutting down Madison Ave. for an afternoon of eating, drinking, shopping and live music. Prices for crawfish and drinks vary.
– Memphis Brewfest, Liberty Bowl Stadium, April 14, 4 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., $45 gen. admission/$100 VIP, 21 and up
Try a whole bunch of beers at the 8th annual Memphis Brewfest. Benefits the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
– Time-Warp Drive-In, Summer Drive-In, April 14, dusk to dawn, $10 per person, all ages
Black Lodge Video and Malco Theatres present the 5th annual Time Warp Drive In series. The spring film night theme is “High School is Hell” on April 14, with films like “Carrie” and “The Craft.”
– Lucero Family Block Party 20th Anniversary Celebration, Minglewood Hall, April 14, 2 p.m. – 11 p.m., $25 – $150, kids 10 and under free, all ages
This is one serious throw-down. (It’s pretty okay for kids early on, though.) Lucero, plus Turnpike Troubadours, Deer Tick, John Moreland, Louise Page,Mighty Souls Brass Band.
– 26th Annual Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, Wagner Place, April 15, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., free, all ages
The Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is the city’s largest, at least by amount of crawfish: during the single day festival, they’ll serve 15,000 pounds. There will also be live music, a gumbo cooking contest, and all manner of crawfish-related activities. Bring a lawn chair and set up camp along the trolley tracks while you eat. Proceeds from the festival benefit Porter-Leath.
– 30 Thursdays, Memphis Botanic Gardens, April 19 – October 25, prices vary, all ages
The Botanic Gardens stays open late with special programming on Thursdays starting on April 19. Expect everything from BYOB yoga to outdoor painting classes to dog-friendly nights; click here for a full schedule.
– Africa in April, Robert Church Park, April 20 – 22, $5, all ages
Enjoy a fun cultural celebration in Robert Church Park during Africa in April. The park will be packed with vendors, food, cultural activities, a parade, live music, and workshops on diversity, entrepreneurship, and health and wellness.
Bacon & Bourbon Fest, Memphis Farmers Market, April 21, 6 – 9 p.m., 21 + , $39, Save $5 with early bird discount
Ticket price includes 15 bourbon tastings, pork dishes from a variety of local restaurants, live music and party activities. Benefits the Memphis Farmers Market.
– East Buntyn Art Walk, Midland Avenue, April 21, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., free, all ages
Head to Midland Ave between Prescott Street and Reese Street for the 8th annual East Buntyn Art Walk, where residents will turn their front yards into galleries for local and regional artists. Mingle with the neighbors at this kid, people, and pet-friendly event.
– Hopped Festival, Memphis Made Brewing, April 21, 1– 10 p.m., free to enter, 21+ to drink
It’s time for the 4th annual celebration of hoppy, springy beers. First 50 customers will receive a free Hopped glass. Live music by Amy Lavere, River City Tanlines and more. Kid friendly.
– Kaleidoscope Food Festival, Wiseacre Brewing Co, April 21, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
The 2nd annual Kaleidoscope Festival in Binghampton is a chance to sample food from the multicultural chefs from the neighborhood, paired with Wiseacre Beer, and enjoy African and Indian dance. It’s free to attend and kids and pets are welcome.
– Southern Hot Wing Festival, Tiger Lane, April 21, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., $15 online / $20 at the gate, kids 12 and under free, all ages
Cooking teams compete for $5,000 in prize money for the best hot wings in Memphis, and most teams will give out samples for a $1 or $2 donation to Ronald McDonald House. Expect live music, a wing eating contest, a cornhole tourney, and more. Buy tickets online ahead of time and save $5.
– Shelby Farms Earth Day Celebrations, Shelby Farms Park, April 28, prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
Celebrate Earth Day in the month of April at Shelby Farms with four events. The Down To Earth Festival is the big one, on April 28 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with activities, food, and music (free admission; $5 parking).
– Arlington In April, Depot Square in Arlington, April 28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Vendors from around the Mid-South will display and sell handmade crafts and boutique items. They’ll have lots of activities, great music and entertainment.
Mid-South Food Truck Festival, Liberty Bowl Stadium, April 28, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., adults $8, kids $3
The Food Truck Festival at Tiger Lane features 49 regional trucks and DeAngelo Williams Foundation’s ‘Throw-in for a Cure’ Cornhole Tournament.
– V&E Greenline Art Walk, V&E Greenline, April 28, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., free, all ages
Local artists and vendors will line the V&E Greenline in Midtown for the 7th annual V&E Art Walk. In addition to dozens of local artist booths, the festival will have food vendors, kids’ activities, live music and a silent auction. If you’ve never been there, the V&E Greenline is an unpaved trail that starts at Cleveland and North Parkway and runs to Rhodes College.
– Beale Street Wine Race, Beale Street, April 29, 1 p.m., free, 21+
Cheer on your favorite Memphis restaurant workers as they compete in an adult version of elementary school field day, complete with relay races (involving carrying wine over hurdles), a beauty pageant / dance off, and grape-stomping competition. It’s weird and wonderful. Leave the kids at home for this one.
– Memphis in May International Festival, Tom Lee Park/Other Locations, May, various prices, all ages
A few things in Memphis are certain: summers are sticky, basketball is awesome, and the Memphis in May International Festival is the city’s biggest party. This year, it starts on May 4 with the Beale Street Music Festival (check out the band lineup here) and continues throughout the month, including International Week, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (known locally as “BBQ Fest”), 901Fest and the Great American River Run. This year’s honored country is Czech Republic.
39th Annual Blues Music Awards, Cook Convention Center, May 10, Doors Open 5 p.m., $150 +
This event brings together Blues performers, industry reps, and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues music.
60th Annual Memphis Greek Festival, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, May 11 – 12, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Vendors from around the Mid-South will display and sell handmade crafts and boutique items. They’ll have lots of activities, great music and entertainment. Take a trip to the “little Greek island on Highland” for dancing (don’t worry, there are lessons), a marketplace, tours of the church sanctuary, live music and yes, tons of food. If you can’t stay for dinner, you can always get food in the drive-thru.
– Memphis Italian Festival, Marquette Park, May 31 – June 2, all day, adult admission TBA / kids and active military free, all ages
Celebrate Memphis’ Italian community with food, games, a cooking contest and more at the Memphis Italian Festival. Similar to BBQ Fest, you have to have an inside connection or be a part of a cooking team in order to eat most of the food, so prepare accordingly. You can also play bocce ball and cornhole and hear live music.
About the Author
Aisling Maki is a freelance writer, editor, and public and media relations specialist with awards from The Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and Public Relations Society of America, as well as several awards for fiction writing. Her work has appeared in publications in more than 20 countries. You can usually find her cheering on the Grizzlies, doing outdoorsy things, or traveling with her daughter, Brídín. They live in Cooper-Young with a dog, a guinea pig and a pair of pet mice.