10 Free Things To Do In Memphis In March
Hello friends! Please check the event links below and event social media for the most up-to-date info on possible event schedule changes due to COVID-19. You can read the CDC’s safety recommendations here. The Shelby County Health Dept. has an information hub set up here.
One of my favorite things about Memphis is that not only do we have a ton of things to do, we also have a solid amount of things that are free to do!
This means you can enjoy Memphis on a budget this month. Here are 13 ideas for March 2020, including ten totally free things and three additional ideas that are $5 per person or less.
1. All Month: 5 Fridays of Jazz
The Levitt Shell and the Memphis Library will host five free jazzy concerts this spring and four of them are in March! Here’s the schedule:
Friday, March 6: 5 Fridays of Jazz – 3rd Man
Friday, March 13: 5 Fridays of Jazz – Stax Music Academy Jazz Ensemble
Friday, March 20: 5 Fridays of Jazz – Jazz Ekpe and the African Jazz Ensemble
Friday, March 27: 5 Fridays of Jazz – Rhodes Night with Joyce Cobb
All the concerts are free, family-friendly, and take place at the Memphis Central Library on Poplar.
2. March 6-7: Women in the Arts at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens
The Dixon hosts this new, free two-day event that celebrates women in the arts. On Friday March 6 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., they’ll host a reception with a performance by Lost In Found performance art group. On Saturday, March 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., learn about local women making a difference in the arts community through panels, performances, and chats.
3. March 7: V&E Greenline Tennessee Arbor Day Celebration
Celebrate Arbor Day at the Vollintine Evergreen Greenline on Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a plant sale hosted by Urban Earth, including free tree seedlings on a first-come, first-serve basis. Expect arts and crafts for kids, a gardening and tree “ask the expert” table, and free refreshments. At noon, a ceremonial cherry tree will be dedicated in honor of longtime V&E Greenline leader Jan Kirby, who passed away earlier this year.
Even though this event is free and open to everyone, donations are highly appreciated. The V&E Greenline protected path through midtown is maintained and organized by volunteers and supported by the community.
4. March 7: Memphis Mosque Open House
March is “Muslims In Memphis” month, and the local Muslim community opens their doors (literally!) for fellow Memphians with several events throughout the month. The first event is the 5th annual “Memphis Mosque Open House” on Saturday, March 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at all seven mosques in the Mid-South. All are welcomed to visit, ask questions, take tours, and have some refreshments. For a list of locations, see this flyer.
5. March 7: Civic Saturday
The East Shelby Branch Library (7200 E. Shelby Dr.) hosts a special “Civic Saturday” on March 7 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to the day of discussion, meeting neighbors, and coming together.
6. March 12: PechaKucha Crosstown Arts Resident Artist Talk
If you’re familiar with the format of a TED talk, you’re familiar with the Japanese tradition of PechaKucha. Going strong since 2012, Crosstown Arts has hosted these PechaKucha artists talks where presenters offer 20 slides for 20 seconds each. This time, five Crosstown Arts residents artists will talk about their work in this format from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 in the Crosstown Arts area in the Concourse.
Get to Beale Street way early for the best views of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Memphis, which kicks off at 2 p.m. While most of the St. Paddy’s Day parties around town are decidedly not kid-friendly, kids and families will enjoy this parade down Beale featuring floats, bands, dancers, cars, and bagpipers.
8. March 17: Cooper Young St. Patrick’s Day Parade
“Parade” is a generous term for this procession down Cooper Street on St. Patrick’s Day proper, but it’s a lovely chance for the community to have a little fun and to honor the impact that the Irish have on our city. Read more about that at the bottom of this post. Catch some swag, wave to your friends, and head to Celtic Crossing for festivities afterwards.
9. March 20: Lie-rish Legends ($5)
The Bluff City Liars Improv group host a special St. Patrick’s Day themed improv evening at the Brass Door Irish pub downtown from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, March 20. Troupe member Mike Degnan will narrate Irish folklore stories while the rest of the group acts out these tales as best they can. The catch is—they’ve never heard the stories before! Things are bound to get weird. Get in some laughs for a mere $5 cover per person. This one is suggested for ages 18+ due to (possible) content.
10. March 20: Revenge Body Experimental Electronic Music ($5)
Mobius Theory with Memphis Concréte and Revenge Body host this experimental electronic music event at the new ARROW creative space at 2535 Broad Avenue from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. While it’s technically free, $5 donations via cash or electronically will be much appreciated. Revenge Body is the music project from longtime Memphis post-punk/noise artist Jacques Granger.
11.March 21: Wolf River Harbor Cleanup
While I don’t normally count a volunteer opportunity as a “free thing to do”, I think this one is especially interesting. The whole family is welcome to help the Wolf River Conservancy on Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to noon clean up the Wolf River Harbor. This is the area on the banks of the Mississippi near and around Mud Island. You’ll meet some cool people and do something simple and productive while you enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to register ahead of time here.
12. March 28: MuliMEMfest ($5 or food donation)
Muslims In Memphis month concludes with the annual MuslimMEMfest at the Agricenter on Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The entire family is welcome to enjoy arts, food, vendors, entertainment, and more as you learn about and celebrate the diverse cultures in Memphis. There is a $5 suggested donation per family at the door, or you can bring a few non-perishable food items for the food bank.
The Pink Palace Museum is free on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. This historic mansion is full of natural history, Memphis history, and loads of crazy interesting artifacts and items. Imagine everything from a real shrunken head to a working flea circus to a replica of the first grocery store (which was in Memphis). There are currently exhibits on Antarctica and the 1968 Poor Peopl’s Campaign. On March 7th, a new museum all about Tigers basketball opens.
Check out the 50 Free Things To Do In Memphis Guide, too!