Memphis Social Distancing: Virtual Events and Experiences

Posted by Holly Whitfield | April 1st 2020 1908 0

I have found the perfect activity for spring 2020: it’s great for couples, kids, families, young people, older people, and everyone can do it. It’s appropriate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and it works in rain or shine. No reservations are required and there’s no wait. You don’t even have to worry about parking. Here it is:

staying safe at home unless you absolutely have to leave your house—aka physical distancing!

While we are protecting each other from coronavirus by staying in, Memphians are getting creative with virtual events and experiences. Here’s a list of ways to stay in and enjoy Memphis during this difficult time.

Photo by Alex Shansky

Here’s your list of ways to engage with Memphis through take-home activities and virtual experiences:

If you want to get an event added to this list, submit it the blog’s calendar here. You can use “The Internet” as the location.

Submissions via social media or email cannot be guaranteed.

For The Kids (+ Kids of All Ages! AKA Grownups Will Like These To0)

The Brooks Museum Virtual Chalkfest 2020 is March 30 – April 3! Get outside and make some beautiful chalk art, post in online with the #Chalkfest2020 hashtag, and the Brooks will share your art. Best art wins prizes like a physically-distanced photo session from Amurica or a Brooks membership.


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Memphis Escape Rooms has fun Print And Play games and puzzles. They have two general games and a series of games sorted by student age groups, i.e., K-2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade, that were created with Tennessee Educational Standards for several subjects. They’ll be releasing new games each week; they’re $10 per game. Read more here.

The Memphis Public Library is doing Facebook live streams for storytimes as well as e-book and e-movie checkouts for library card holders.

The Memphis Zoo is posting a ton of behind-the-scenes looks and virtual animal encounters from their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Their hilarious and wonderful Zoolympics series (here) is my favorite thing I’ve ever seen.

Urban Art Commission has a Virtual Tour of more than 120 pieces of public art in Memphis; you can check out the map here.

While the gardens and galleries are closed, the Dixon is sharing #DixonAtHome activities via Facebook videos and posts, including really cute art classes with Mr. JT.

The Pink Palace has set up a Museum-To-Go Website with a ton of home activities for kids and behind-the-scenes info on specific artifacts. Extremely cool alert: they also have quite a few of their educational films and a planetarium show online!

The Metal Museum is hosting artist talks, virtual tours, demos and activities on their website, Facebook, and YouTube.

Live Events & Streaming Live Music

Opera Memphis is hosting 30 Days of Opera: Digital Edition with Facebook Live performances from their talented singers. The first one is April 1 at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live—a Digital Aria Jukebox where singers will take requests! Follow their Facebook page for more.

Local musician Graham Winchester is doing live streams of live music from his home music room frequently. Check out that schedule here.

Indie Memphis has launched the Indie Memphis Movie Club with some awesome streaming indie films and online Q&A sessions.

Spillit Memphis broadcasted their storytelling event on March 28th, and the video is still up for your listening pleasure. I really enjoyed these stories! Suggested donation is $10 via Venmo (@PODMEM) or Cash App ($PODMEM).

Cerrito Trivia is hosting Facebook Live trivia nights on Thursdays.

The annual Bad Dog 5K/10K Races are going virtual this year! You can still sign up and receive your race swag, and your fees will still benefit the Ronald McDonald House, and you can still submit your run times. Swag pickup is on April 24 and 25 (can be mailed to out-0f-towners) and the “race” is April 25. Read more here and register here.

DontLetMeDownMem is broadcasting daily Facebook concerts from the rooftop of the Chisca Hotel and raising funds for Slingshot Memphis.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company actors are sharing their favorite passages and poems from The Bard and other classical writers. Tune in to what they’re calling The Decameron Project on Facebook every weekday at 10:15 a.m.

Get Live! Memphis Virtual Music Festival

The first ever Get Live! Memphis Virtual Music Festival happened on Facebook on March 26-28, but if you missed it live you can still watch all the live streaming shows and you can definitely still donate via this link: One hundred percent of the funds go directly to Memphis musicians who have lost their livelihoods.

After you make a donation, here’s the links to the performances:

Thursday Night Kickoff

Friday Night Bands
The Wealthy West
Louise Page
Southern Avenue

Saturday Night Bands
The Wealthy West
Doll McCoy
Cameron Bethany
Ben Nichols of Lucero Part 1
Ben Nichols of Lucero Part 2

Workout & Exercise Classes

The Kroc Center Memphis is offering Facebook Live workout classes for free, everything from cardio, yoga, body combat, dance, and Silver Sneakers. Check out the videos section on their Facebook page for past classes and follow for live video notifications.

Fit4Mom Memphis is hosting virtual workouts. 

Sumits Yoga Memphis is hosting multiple virtual classes per day if you’re already a member.

David Quarles is hosting ZOOM online Zumba classes; the class fees are $5 and there’s a subscription model, too. Get details and sign up here. These classes are REALLY fun.

Envision Memphis is posting virtual workouts on their Facebook page.

Memphis Kickboxing is offering virtual workouts and classes.

mind/body haus has Zoom yoga and other workout classes online.

Virtual Experiences Including Classes, Lessons, and Take-Home

City Tasting Tours is offering Virtual Food Tours. The tour includes dinner for two, prepared in a commercial kitchen by three South Main restaurants and delivered no-contact style to your door, plus exclusive access to documentary on South Main restauranteurs hosted by Memphis food expert Cristina McCarter. This dinner-for-two and tour is $65.99 plus tax, and you can sign up and learn more here.

Belltower Artisans offers take-home pottery lessons.

Arrow Creative will host community education classes online.

Mixologist Morgan McKinney is hosting online cocktail-making classes. 

Art Village Gallery has an online viewing room for their latest exhibition.

The Art Project Memphis is sharing art project ideas and storytime + art videos on Facebook.

If you want to get an event added to this list, submit it the blog’s calendar here. You can use “The Internet” as the location.

Submissions via social media or email cannot be guaranteed.

The CDC has recommended the cancellation of community gatherings, including events of 10 people or more for at-risk populations. Social distancing—staying more than six feet away from other people in public—is essential to stopping the spread of the virus. Even if you aren’t sick, don’t feel sick, and aren’t in an at-risk group, you could spread the virus to other people who are at risk. Don’t be that person!

You can read the CDC’s safety recommendations here. The Shelby County Health Dept. has an information hub set up here

Originally published March 20. Updated frequently. 

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