17 Kid-Friendly Spring Break Ideas

Posted by Holly Whitfield | March 5th 2016 3628 0
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Shelby County Schools Spring Break dates for 2016 are March 21 through 25, 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 $15, kids $12
If you do one thing with your kids this spring break, make this it.

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tenn.

Get more info and museum hours here. Read my post about the reopening of the museum and see photos here. Tennessee residents with state-issued ID may visit the museum for free on Mondays from 3 p.m. until closing.

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 new planetarium 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 new Planetarium opened? They have four programs now – Firefall, Stargazing, Astronaut, and one with Big Bird. Click here for a schedule.

The CTI 3D Giant Theater also has four shows going on these days, National Parks Adventure, Walking With Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet, Journey To Space, and Living In The Age Of Airplanes. They’re also showing Wizard of Oz (in 2D). Click here for a schedule.

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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.

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, or Ethiopian Restaurant in Cordova.

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. Send The Kids To Camp: prices vary

Memphis Botanic Garden and Dixon Gallery & Gardens have camps March 21-24. Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods has classes March 7-11. Memphis Zoo has camps March 7-11 and 21-25. Memphis Jewish Community Center, Shelby Farms Park, The Kroc Center, and Children’s Museum of Memphis have camps March 21-25.

For prices, ages, and lots more info, head to the East Memphis Moms Blog Spring Break Camps Guide.

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
Go to Jerry’s Sno Cones
Check out Main Event Entertainment during family friendly hours (bowling, arcade, laser tag, etc.)
– Take a picture at an I Love Memphis mural
– Visit a local bookstore like Burke’s Books, South Main Book Juggler, or theBooksellers at Laurelwood.
– 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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