2018 Memphis Summer Events Guide
There are plenty of things to do in Memphis this summer! Check out this list of Memphis summer events from blog contributor Aisling.
Food Truck Fridays, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Fridays through September, 11:30-1:30 p.m., free admission to the gardens during Food Truck Fridays, all ages
Enjoy lunch on Fridays in the beautiful Dixon Gardens, with local vendors on hand each week offering everything from tacos to barbecue to frozen desserts.
Levitt Shell Free Concert Series, Levitt Shell, most Thursdays – Sundays through July 15, most are 7:30-10 p.m., all ages
Bring your chairs, blankets, snacks and drinks and enjoy a host of free outdoor concerts at the Levitt Shell. Go here for the full schedule.
Live At The Garden, Memphis Botanic Garden, June 29 – September 7, gates open at 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., general admission $45
The Botanic Garden’s popular annual concert series, now in its 18th season, features five crowd-pleasing/old-school favorites, including Culture Club and Gladys Knight.. Coolers, blankets and chairs are welcome for lawn seating, and the crowd is decidedly adult.
Memphis Music Trivia, Crosstown Brewing, Wednesday nights, 7-9 p.m.
Rock N’ Soul Museum is hosting weekly Memphis Music Trivia at Crosstown Brewing Company this summer. Prizes include $50 for first place, $20 for second, and $10 for third, plus a secret surprise for the team with the best name.
Memphis Redbirds Games, AutoZone Park, all summer long, $16-$75, all ages
Baseball games are on several days a week, all summer long, with fireworks, BBQ nachos, Rockey the Redbird mascot, and of course, great baseball from our Triple-A team. Read more and see a list of special game promos here.
Orpheum Summer Movie Series, Orpheum Theatre, select dates through August 24, doors open 6 p.m. and movies starts at 7 p.m., $8 adults/$6 kids under 12
Watch classic, cult, family friendly films and musicals throughout the summer. Arrive early to grab a themed drink special, test your movie trivia knowledge, and grab some props for a photo booth shoot. Costumes are welcome! Go here for the full schedule.
Rooftop Parties, Peabody Hotel, Thursday nights through August 16, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., $10, 21 and over
Every Thursday night in the summer, hundreds of Memphians (and visitors!) flock to the Peabody Hotel’s massive rooftop for live music, snack buffets, and drinks. Ladies and hotel guests free until 7 p.m.. Here’s the current schedule.
Spillit Summer Story Slams, June 29, July 28, and August 11, times and locations vary, $10, 18+
Spillit’s live storytelling gatherings continue throughout the summer. If you haven’t been, you need to check it out. 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. Check out their Facebook page updates.
Time-Warp Drive-In, Summer Drive-In, June 16 + July 14 + August 18, dusk to dawn, $10 per person, all ages
Black Lodge Video and Malco Theatres present the 5th annual Time Warp Drive In series. Films include Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Plan 9 From Outer Space, and Troll 2.
Whet Thursday, National Ornamental Metal Museum, Thursdays through October, free, all ages
Tour the museum and grounds, enjoy live local music, sample local food truck fare, watch a metalsmithing demonstration, attend a gallery talk, or take in a sunset from the best view along the Mississippi River. Held on the first Thursday of each month. Wine and beer served with valid ID.
Canoes and Cocktails, Shelby Farms Park, June 14 + 28, July 19 + 26, 6 – 8 p.m., 21+, Tickets start at $45
Watch the sunset during a guided evening paddle on Hyde Lake, followed by cocktails and farm-to-table treats on the porch. BYOB – bring your own boat — or rent one from the Hyde Lake Boathouse.
Bike To Dinner Rides, various locations, June 14 + 18, July 12 + 26, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., free, all ages
Join Revolutions Bike Co-Op groups as they bike from First Congo in Cooper Young to local restaurants for dinner throughout the summer! Here’s the schedule + details: June 14: Central BBQ, June 18: Dino’s and Alex’s Tavern, July 12: High Point Pizza, July 26: Carolina Watershed.
Memphis Summer Events
70th Annual Germantown Charity Horse Show, 7745 Poplar Pike, June 5-9, $5 adults/$3 kids/free for kids under 5, all ages/kid-friendly
This Germantown tradition is part sporting event, part festival, and definitely worth checking out if you have any interest in horses, socializing, or seeing something new and different. Several food vendors will be on site, as well as vendors selling art and high-end goods. Proceeds benefit the Exchange Club of Memphis.
Literatini, Novel Memphis Bookstore, June 8, 7 -10 p.m., tickets: $50 per individual, $75 per couple, 21+
Enjoy live music and as you sample cocktails and delicious food from local bars and restaurants. Receive 20 percent off bookstore purchases the night of the event, which benefits Memphis adults struggling with low-literacy.
Anything But Common Fest, Wiseacre Brewing, June 9, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., free, all ages
Hosted in partnership with The Artist Commons, the festival will include an immersive arts day featuring live music, artists booths, food trucks, craft beer, and more.
Lady Parts Justice Taco Fest, Hi-Tone Cafe, June 10, 5 – 9 p.m., $5, adults
Comedy from Katrina Coleman, Azizah Shaheed, Angela Garrone, and Mary Jay Berger. Enjoy live music, a drag show, and bites from Mariachi Tacos, El Mero Tacos, and the Hi-Tone Food Truck.
Night at the Lorraine, National Civil Rights Museum, June 9, 7 – 11 p.m., $100 +, adults
Step back in time with an evening of food, music and fun reminiscent of the Lorraine Motel – which counted B.B. King, Nat King Cole, Isaac Hayes, and Jackie Robinson among its famous guests. Enjoy food, dance to live music, take in a variety show, bid on silent auction items, and take photo booth pics with your friends.
Spicerfest 6, Growlers, June 9, 5 p.m. – midnight, $10, all ages
Rock the night away with acts like The Verbs and local punk band Pezz at this benefit for FSH Muscular Dystrophy.
World Cup Kickoff Party, Brass Door, June 12, 6-9 p.m., free admission, all ages
Kick off the World Cup festivities with food and drink specials and soccer swag giveaways.
Dreamgirls: A Special Evening Supporting the CLC, Playhouse on the Square, June 14, 6 -9 p.m., $45 general admission, $100 VIP,
Delicious food and beverages, an amazing show, and an opportunity to support the work of the Community Legal Center.
FIFA World Cup Soccer Kickoff, Celtic Crossing, June 14 – July 15, various days and times
On days with early matches, Celtic will open its doors to soccer fans at 6:30 a.m. and replay games throughout the day. Enjoy Russian vodka cocktails (in honor of the host country), food specials and build-your-own beer buckets featuring brews from countries with participating teams.
Loving Local, Ballet Memphis, June 14, 6 – 9 p.m., $50, 21+
Sip specialty cocktails, take photo booth pics; bid on silent auction items, and dance to live entertainment by The MD’s, the only Booker T and the MG’s tribute band in town.
Juneteenth Urban Music Festival, Robert Church Park, June 15-17, free to enter, all ages
Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. Celebrate Juneteenth with lots of live music, vendors, a car show, kids play area and much more.
African-Print Fashion Now! Community Day, Brooks Museum, June 16, 4 – 8 p.m., free, all ages
Party at the Brooks in celebration of “African-Print Fashion Now!” and the reopening of the museum’s African art galleries. Design a bag, enjoy music, drum, and dance performances by Sound of Refuge and Kindred Spirit, participate in art-making activities, and enjoy Sudanese cuisine and beer and wine.
6th Annual Good People Good Beer Gala, 2585 Summer Avenue, June 16, 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, 21+
This annual beer-tasting gala benefs childhood education in war-torn Sudan.
Memphis Literary Arts Festival, The Edge District, June 16, all day, free, all ages
The Center for Southern Literary Arts will host this festival for book lovers at various locations in the Edge District, including Premiere Palace Ballroom, Marshall Arts Gallery, and more venues to be announced.
Soulsville Record Swap, Stax Museum, June 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., free, all ages
Goner Records and the STAX Museum are teaming up for the second annual Soulsville Record Swap. Record dealers from Memphis and around the U.S. will be at the museum for vinyl collectors to do some serious shopping. Food trucks will be on site. $10 gets you early admission at 10 a.m.
Grizzlies Trivia & Draft Party, Memphis Made Brewing, June 21, 7 – 9 p.m. free but reservations are required
Trivia with Grizz-themed prizes while you watch the draft on a giant screen. Draft starts at 6 p.m., trivia at 7 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies Draft Watch Party, FedExForum, June 21. More details TBA.
Memphis Grizzlies Draft AFTER Party, Rec Room, June 21, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.,18+
Come join I Love Memphis, Grizzly Bear Blues, and the Rec Room as we host the after party for the biggest NBA Draft in Memphis in almost a decade. Lots of giveaways, a prize wheel, food, drinks, and more.
Botanical Bars, Memphis Botanic Garden, June 28, 6 – 9 p.m., $30 members, $40 non-members, 21+
Enjoy botanically inspired adult beverages, food, music and more in the gardens.
Yo Gotti & Friends Birthday Bash, FedEx Forum, June 28, 7 p.m., tickets $59.99
Memphis born rap and hip-hop artist Yo Gotti’s will celebrate his birthday with Memphians and special guests. Past performers at Yo Gotti’s annual birthday bashes have included Nicki Minaj, Young Jeezy, and Lil Wayne.
Anime Blues Con, Cook Convention Center, June 29 – July 1, times vary each day, $20-$50, all ages
This annual event for all ages celebrates the arts and culture of Japanese Anime, comics, and cosplay.
Silent Disco, Rec Room, June 30, 9 p.m. – midnight, free admission, $10 headphone rental, 21 +
They’ll show “2001: A Space Odyssey” on the big screens at this space-themed silent disco. They’ll have specialty drinks, and costumes (perhaps an astronaut suit) are encouraged.
Bartlett Fireworks Extravaganza, Bobby K. Flaherty Municipal Center, July 3, opening ceremony at 6, fireworks at 9:15, free, all ages
Live music, car display, children’s activities, concessions and more leading up the fireworks extravaganza.
Hops for Health, July 7, 5-7 p.m., Crosstown Brewing Co., free admission
An evening of friends and fun at Crosstown Brewery to benefit Church Health at Crosstown Concourse. Includes door prizes, beer demonstration and music by McKenna Bray.
Family Science Night, Pink Palace, July 13, 7-10 p.m. $12, free for kids 2 and under, all ages
Enjoy telescope observations on the lawn with the Memphis Astronomical Society, watch a planetarium show, conduct experiments, and meet local scientists. Food trucks will be on site in case all that science-ing makes you hungry.
Grrrl’s Night, Cadre Building, July 13, 6-9 p.m., $25 advance, $30 at the door
This fourth annual ladies’ night fundraiser for Alive Animal Rescue will feature cruelty-free beauty and fashion. Ticket purchase gets you cocktails and appetizers,a raffle ticket, and professional pampering. Attendees will also have the chance to win raffle prizes and bid on silent auction items.
Memphis Caribbean Jerk Festival, Tiger Lane, July 14 noon to 7 p.m., $15 adv./$20 gate, kids 12 and under free, all ages/kid-friendly
The 3rd annual Memphis Caribbean Jerk Festival and Family Fun Day will offer jerk and Caribbean foods, live entertainment, a dominoes tournament, kids’ activities and more. Proceeds benefit the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee.
Taste of Memphis Vegan Food and Drink Festival, Cook’s Lake, July 21, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., $15,, all ages
Highlighting the best of vegan cuisine from chefs in the Mid-South.
30th Annual WEVL Blues on the Bluff, July 21, 6-11 p.m.. National Ornamental Metal Museum, $25 at the gate, $12 kids 11 and under, all ages
Celebrate another year of amazing Memphis music, featuring The Kenny Brown Band, Lightnin’ Malcolm, and Marcella and her Lovers. Enjoy great food and drinks from one of the city’s most beautiful viewing spots over the Mississippi river.
19th Annual Meritan Moonlight Classic Bike Tour, August 4, 8 p.m. to midnight, $45 registration
Join the party on wheels! Come ride your bike in Downtown Memphis for a good cause, starting and finishing at Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid. There will be two routes: eight miles and 16 miles. The ride will begin at 8 p.m., and the ride will begin at 10 p.m. They’ll have “Bling Yourself,” “Bling Your Corner,” and “Bling Your Bike” contests, with awesome prizes for the winners.
Wolf River Conservancy Family Fun Paddle, Wolf River, August 5, 1 – 4:30 p.m, free, all ages.
Paddle a 3.5-mile section of the Wolf River with the fam, stopping along the way to stretch your legs on the sandbars and enjoy the company of other paddlers.
Elvis Week 2018, Various locations, August 9 – 18, prices vary, all ages
Celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll this August by attending one (or more) of the many Elvis events around the city, from official Elvis Tribute Artist contests to dance parties to the famous candlelight vigil that brings fans from around the world to the gates of Graceland.
Drop the Mic Poetry Symposium, National Civil RIghts Museum, August 17, 3 – 8 p.m., free
Celebrate and create poetry inspired by today’s social issues, based on the foundations of the Civil Rights Movement. This is the fifth year for this two-day experience, featuring workshops, master classes and more.
About The Contributor
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.