27 Things To Do In Memphis This Summer

Posted by Holly Whitfield | June 4th 2015 2145 6

From free weekly concerts to story slams to food festivals, here are 27 things to do in Memphis this summer. If you're looking for specifically kid-friendly ideas click here.

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Did I leave something out? All you have to do is add it in the comments so folks can see it!

1. Memphis Redbirds Games, AutoZone Park, various dates, $6-$55, all ages
Baseball games are going on several days a week all summer long, with fireworks, BBQ nachos, Rockey the Redbird mascot, and upgraded ballpark and of course, great baseball from our Triple-A team, the Redbirds. 

2. Rooftop Parties, Peabody Hotel, Thursday nights through August, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., $10 (some shows are $15)
Every Thursday night in the summer, hundreds of downtowners flock to the Peabody Hotel's massive rooftop for live music, food from two snack buffets, and drinks. Ladies get in free before 7 p.m. Here's the current schedule.

3. Levitt Shell Concert Series, Levitt Shell, most Thursdays – Sundays through July 20, 7:30 p.m., all ages, free
Bring your chairs, blankets, drinks, and food, and enjoy to a slew of free shows at the Levitt Shell. Go here for the full schedule. Note that June 7 is not a free show (see Moon River Music Festival).

4. Bluesday Tuesday Concerts, Tower Courtyard in Overton Square, Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m., free, all ages
Every Tuesday from now until the end of August, you can listen to local and traveling blues artists for free (tips and donations appreciated). There are usually two acts and the music gets going about 6:30 p.m. Bring your chairs, but leave the coolers and booze at home. 

5. Orpheum Summer Movie Series, Orpheum Theatre, now through Sept. 5, $7 adults/$5 kids
Watch classic, cult, and family-friendly films most weekends (and some weekdays) in the gilded theatre usually reserved for Broadway shows. Go here for the full lineup. 

6. Sunset on the Square Summer Concert Series, Collierville Historic Town Square, Thursday nights in June and July, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., free, all ages
Head to the bandstand in Collierville's Town Square for two months of free music from crowd-pleasing bands of all genres (no show on July 3). Click here for the lineup.

7. Spillit Story Slams, Amurica Photo, periodically between June 5 – August 21, 7 p.m., $10, 18+
Spillit's live storytelling gatherings continue throughout the summer. If you haven't been, you need to. Just trust me. Story Slams are open competitions where you can sign up at the door to tell your story for the audience and judges. Center Stage events are where the speakers are pre-chosen from applicants. Go here for dates, themes, and how to sign up to share your story.

8. Memphis Punk Rock Fest, various locations, June 5-7, $7-$20, most shows 21 and up
Forty punk, ska, metal, and hardcore acts will take to various stages in midtown for a weekend of shows. While most shows are 21 and up, the night shows on Saturday at the Hi-Tone are all ages. Read more here.

9. A Day of Merrymaking, Overton Park, June 6, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., suggested donation $5, all ages
Bring the kids out to play at the park: games and entertainment, water slides, tons of food trucks, music, a community mural-making project, a hot air balloon, and more. There will be a shuttle from the Overton Square garage starting at 9:30 a.m. The event is free, but $5 donations are greatly appreciated. Dogs are welcome!

10. Brewville at DeNeuville, DeNeuville Learning Center (190 S. Cooper St.), June 6, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., $35 advance/$45 at the door, 21 and up
Mingle with fellow beer lovers while you taste and judge Memphis-homebrewed beer, all benefitting the DeNeuville Learning Center, which provides education and support for women and families. Couples tickets are $60. Non-drinker tickets are $20.

11. Literatini, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, June 12, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., $50 individual/$75 couple, 21 and up
Sip, sample, and vote on your favorite martinis from local bars during the Martini Death Match, then enjoy live music and snacks. Stick around to meet best-selling author Marja Mills. Proceeds benefit Literacy Mid-South.

12. Rock 'n' Romp, Shelby Farms Park, June 13, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., $5 adults/kids free, all ages/kid-friendly
Here's your chance to take the kids to a daytime concert with seriously good local music. Head to Shelby Farms (right off the Greenline near the Bike rentals) to hear Jack Oblivion, Hanna Star & her Teenage Teenagers, Jeff Evans and Ross Johnson play. You can enjoy free beer and snacks while they last.

13. Juneteenth Urban Music Festival, Robert Church Park, June 19 – 21, free to enter, all ages
Celebrate Juneteenth with lots of music, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, education stations, car and bike shows, a Kids' Zone, and more.

14. Big Wig Ball, Annesdale Mansion, June 19, $75 individual/$130 couple, 21 and up
Support Le Bonheur at this annual soiree where party-goers wear chic cocktail attire and a wig – the bigger and more colorful, the better. Guests will enjoy a night of food, libations, entertainment acts, and a unique silent auction.

15. Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race, Greenbelt Park, June 20, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., free to watch, $50-$55 to participate
More than 500 people will dip their paddles into the Mississippi River for the June 20th race, which is one of the largest canoe and kayak races in the Southeast. Olympians, world champions and amateurs will compete for more than $15,000 in cash and prizes. Read about my trip kayaking on the Mississippi River here. Register for the race before June 19 here. 

16. Time-Warp Drive-In, Summer Drive In, June 20 / July 18 / August 15, $10/kids under 10 free, all ages allowed but parental discretion advised
Stay up all night at the drive-in with classic and cult films each month. Click here for the full lineup of films.  

17. PechaKucha Night Volume 12, Phuong Long (306 N. Cleveland), June 25, 6:30 p.m., free, all ages
PechaKucha is a night of guest speakers (this time the topic is food) where presentations are limited to five minutes with 20 Power Point slides at 20 seconds each. This keeps things moving and interesting. This event will be at Vietnamese restaurant Phuong Long in Crosstown and is free and open to the public.

18. Live at the Garden, Memphis Botanic Gardens, various Fridays and Saturdays June 26 through September 18, $45
The Botanic Garden's annual outdoor Live at the Garden concert series is back again with timeless acts like Hall & Oates, ZZ Top, and Chaka Khan. More than the music, the series is also about hanging out on blankets with elaborate picnics and seeing and being seen. Go here for the full lineup.

19. Tamale Fest, Caritas Village (2509 Harvard Avenue), June 27, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., $5 adults/ free for kids under 8, all ages/kid-friendly
This year is the first Memphis Tamale Fest, organized by Centro Cultural, Caritas Village, and Crosstown Arts. Your ticket gets you entry and two tamale tastings from local tamale experts,  plus there will be food trucks, live music and entertainment, kid's activities, and a tamale photo booth.

20. Margarita Fest, Overton Park, June 27, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., $30, 21 and up (sold out)
The Memphis Flyer will sponsor the first-ever Memphis margarita fest this year. Your ticket gets you sample-sized margaritas from 15 local restaurants and bars; you can also buy food and full sized-drinks. Ticket sales benefit Volunteer Memphis.

21. July 4th In Memphis: Click here to see the annual I Love Memphis Guide to the Fourth of July!

22. Anime Blues Con, Memphis Cook Convention Center, July 10-12, $15 – $50, all ages
Thousands of anime, fantasy, and comic fans gather for panels, shopping, and of course, lots and lots of cosplay. Check out some of the best costumes from last year here.

23. 27th Annual WEVL 89.9 Blues on the Bluff, National Ornamental Metal Museum, July 25, $20 adv./$25 at the gate, all ages
Bring a chair and some friends to WEVL's annual Blues on the Bluff concert at the Metal Museum. There will three live bands, a silent auction and food and drink. Proceeds benefit Memphis' only volunteer radio station.

24. Elvis Week 2015, Various locations, August 8 – 16, prices vary, all ages
Celebrate the King of Rock 'n' Roll this year by attending one of the many, many Elvis events taking place in Memphis in August. Everything from official Elvis Tribute Artist contests to concerts to parties to tours – there's a ton going on. Check out the full schedule here. 

25. Moon River Music Festival, Levitt Shell, August 15, all day $25, all ages
The Moon River Music Festival, a project from Memphis native Drew Holcomb, is back for a second year of all-day music and fun. The lineup will be posted here. So far, it includes Switchfoot, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Judah & the Lion, Memphian Myla Smith, among others.

26. Meritan Midnight Classic Bicycle Tour, Kickoff at the Liberty Bowl, August 29, 8 p.m., all ages
Forget the bike lanes: Midtown's streets become super accessible to cyclists during the Midnight Classic Bike Tour on August 29. The leisurely 17-mile escorted ride starts and ends at Tiger Lane (by the Liberty Bowl). Before and after the ride, there will be live music, food trucks, bike vendors and more. Don't forget your helmet or your bike light.

Don't forget to check out the calendar for even more events. I'm adding to it all the time.

Did I leave something out? All you have to do is add it in the comments so folks can see it!


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. […] 3. Levitt Shell Concert Series, Levitt Shell, most Thursdays – Sundays through July 20, 7:30 p.m., all ages, free Bring your chairs, blankets, drinks, and food, and enjoy to a slew of free shows at the Levitt Shell. Go here for the full schedule. …read more […]

  2. Addie says:

    I think you have the best blog and the most information out there about Memphis.  Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.  Smiles.

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