20 Kid-Friendly Things To Do In Memphis This Summer
Shelby County School’s last day of school is May 22, and I can already sense the anticipation from parents who are wondering how to fill a whole summer with activities. With that in mind, here’s a list of 20 kid- and family-friendly things to do in Memphis this summer.
Some of these things you may have done before, but I hope some are new to you and your family. Most of them are under $10 a person. Another thing: most of these are fun for adults, too, especially for a date or friend’s day out. I’ve included an additional option for grown-ups where appropriate.
1. Have milkshakes at the historic A. Schwab on Beale
Shakes are $6, but the quirky atmosphere of a hodgepodge general store makes it worth it. (Grown folks version: try boozy milkshakes at The Arcade or Oshi)
2. Explore the state-of-art Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms
It’s free to play! (Grown folks version: Go Ape! Adventure Course; actually older teens can do Go Ape! as well.)
3. Go see a movie at the Pink Palace’s CTI 3D Giant Theater
Tickets are $7-$9 per person for 3D films like Humpback Whales, Hidden Universe, and Walking With Dinosaurs. They’re also showing old-school 2D flicks on Saturday afternoons.
4. Immerse in essential history at the National Civil Rights Museum
Walk through interactive exhibits and learn about the people who started and continue the fight for equal rights. Tickets are $8-$10, and it’s free on Monday afternoons for TN residents.
5. See the Peabody Duck March
Classic Memphis. Totally free. (Grown folks version: go to the 5 p.m. march and stick around for martinis.)
6. Try the “Lemonade of the Day” at Lunchbox Eats
Downtown restaurant Lunchbox Eats serves up a different flavor of lemonade (pineapple, honeydew, strawberry, etc.) in a huge mason jar everyday.
7. Play in My Big Backyard at the Memphis Botanic Garden
It’s whimsical, interactive, and outdoors. Admission to the Garden (which included My Big Backyard) is $8 for adults and $5 for kids age 12-2. (Grown folks version: spring for Live At The Garden tickets.)
8. Go to a splash park.
We have several options for keeping cool with a good old-fashioned splash water park for kids. Try Beale Street Landing, Peabody Park in midtown, the Children’s Museum, W.C. Johnson park in Collierville (I have heard that this year this park will be for Collierville residents only, please call ahead), the Civic Center plaza, or dip your toes into the Riverwalk at Mud Island.
9. Take your picture at all the I Love Memphis murals.
There are five I Love Memphis murals around town, so take a morning or afternoon to capture the some family pics. For even more murals and public art around town, check out Memphis Art Project.
10. Pick something from the 100 More Things To Eat In Memphis list and go eat it.
It’s past time to make another 100 Things To Eat In Memphis list, but while I’m working on that, pick something from the 2013 edition, and give it a try.
11. Pick something at Jones Orchard.
Head to the farm and get yourself some heirloom peaches, berries, and strawberries this summer. Price depends on how much you pick.
12. Check out “The Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Brooks Museum.
From June 6 to September 13, the Brooks will showcase 40 years worth of video game art, videos, interviews, and yes, several games you can actually play. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for kids age 17-7, and free for those 6 and under.
13. Visit a local bookstore.
Kids these days…do they appreciate the joy of spending an hour or two perusing the shelves of real, in-the-flesh books? Take them to Burke’s Books, South Main Book Juggler, or the Booksellers at Laurelwood.
14. Wait in line for a Jerry’s Sno Cone.
It’s a rite of passage, and you have to do it at least once a summer. Try a different flavor this time!
15. If you live in the ‘burbs or East Memphis, go to Tom Lee Park. If you live downtown/midtown, go to Shelby Farms or Germantown Municipal Park.
There’s something mind-clearing about a change of scenery. There’s something nice about checking out “the other side of town”. You could apply the same principle to movie theaters, restaurants, or anywhere you normally go.
16. Take a trip to Summer Avenue’s Golf & Games.
Shoot around at laser tag, defeat friends in putt-putt, ride go-carts or bumper boats, and play arcade games at Memphis’ classic Golf & Games park. Go here for prices.
17. Find a food truck for lunch or dinner.
Tacos, hot dogs, burritos, kebobs, barbecue, grilled cheese, fresh fried shrimp…the list of Memphis’ food truck offerings seems to grow everyday. Try out something new and enjoy meal from a truck al fresco. Here are 6 ways to find Memphis food trucks.
18. Go to a Redbirds game.
Take ’em out to a ball game: Saturday night fireworks, apple pie on a stick (it’s on my list to try), the very hilarious Rockey the Redbird, an upgraded park, and of course…great baseball from future big leaguers. Tickets start at just $6.
19. Check out the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
Have an hour or two to spare? The Smithsonian-affiliated Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is a great way to introduce the kids to Memphis music and history. Admission is $12 for adults and $9 for kids.
20. Go to the indoor trampoline park.
Need to burn off some energy, but require air-conditioning? The SkyZone indoor trampoline park is what you’re looking for. It’s $10 for a half-hour of open jumping. (Grown folks version: if you’re into some serious exercise, try the heart-pumping Sky Fit classes, offered three times a week.)
Have more ideas? Leave ’em in the comments!