10 Kid-Friendly Spring Break Ideas

Posted by Holly Whitfield | March 12th 2018 7891 7

Shelby County Schools Spring Break dates for 2018 are March 12 through 16, with most other area schools have breaks throughout March. If you’re looking for spring break ideas for kids, here are a few.

1. Get A History Lesson at the National Civil Rights Museum: adults $16, kids $13
If you do one thing with your kids this spring break, make this it.

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. Get more info and museum hours here. Read my post about the reopening of the museum and see photos here.

The NCRM is closed 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. Check out the planetarium and CTI Giant Theater at the Pink Palace (see ticket prices here)

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Sure, you’ve taken the kids to the Pink Palace Museum, but have you been to the Planetarium?  Click here for a schedule. The CTI 3D Giant Theater also has shows going on these days. Click here for a schedule. Right now, the Pink Palace has exhibits about gold in Panamanian culture and an exhibit about Martin Luther King, Jr.

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. Even if you need a jacket this week, it’s pretty nice out.

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 $14.95, kids $11.95 + $10+ for extra attractions + gas and food, etc. BUT they’re doing a $2 spring break special. Read more.
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.

discovery-park-of-america-tennesse-pano

It’s the only place I’ve seen a two-story human-shaped slide, a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, aquariums, holograms, inordinate amounts of of taxidermy, WWII planes, and replica dinosaur skeletons – all in one place. That’s only about 15 percent of what they have there. I can’t really do it justice with words.

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 five or six 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
– Ethiopian Restaurant in Cordova (for the adventurous types)
Soul Fish Cafe
Jerry’s Sno Cone
Huey’s (bring a sharpie to sign the wall, try to shoot a toothpick in the ceiling!)

Or, go on an ice cream pilgrimage to Hernando, Mississippi.

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.

Belz Museum Jade Ship

The Lichterman 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 Belz Museum of Chinese and Judaic Art is fun for older kids and teens.

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. Let The Kids Get Behind The Wheel: prices vary
Try the classic outdoor cart tracks at Golf & Games on Summer Avenue, take the older kids to the high-speed F1-inspired track at Autobahn Indoor Speedway, or race in the go-carts or bumper cars at Incredible Pizza.

A little Friday night speed at Autobahn Indoor Speedway. Video courtesy of @thefilmjerk. #speed #gocarts

A video posted by Holly Whitfield (@ilovememphisblog) on


9. Take a trip to a local bookstore.
Memphis has quite a few! Check out the guide to local Memphis bookstores here.


10. A Few Other Ideas. I’m Just Going To List Them.

– Spend an evening at Incredible Pizza (pizza buffet, arcade, mini bowling, indoor roller coaster, etc.)
Ride the elevator at the Bass Pro Pyramid
Check out Main Event Entertainment during family friendly hours (bowling, arcade, laser tag, etc.)
– Take a picture at an I Love Memphis mural
– Go to SkyZone indoor trampoline park.
– Ride the Greenline.
Sign up to volunteer and give back to Memphis.

If you want to see more ideas, check out East Memphis Moms blog, the I Love Memphis calendar for daily events, plus the weekly and weekend guides.

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. Dorothy Chancey says:

    I didn’t see this on your blog, but the National Ornamental Metal Museum on Channel 3 Drive is a great place to take a family. You can pay a small fee to go into the museum proper and see the latest exhibits of metalworking, or you can stroll over to the blacksmith in the adjacent building and watch the smith at work. Ask questions. The answers are interesting and informative. Bring a picnic lunch, because the courtyard between the blacksmith shop and the museum is full of metal sculptures and places to sit and eat lunch. Or go across the street to the park and see where Hernando De Soto discovered the Mississippi River. There is a mound there that is of unknown origin but may have been built by the Native Americans. Also, look at the buildings next to the museum property. They are the remains of the Great Yellowfever Epidemic hospital. Who knew there was so much to see in such a small area?!

  2. Melody says:

    I really appreciate this site! Thank you for sharing ideas to help parents make this Spring Break fun in the local area.

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