Guide To Memphis Fall Events and Things To Do 2020
True or false: “Nothing’s happening because of covid.” False. Local event organizers are still hosting some traditional fall Memphis events this autumn, whether they’re going outdoors and socially-distanced, limiting capacity, or fully virtual.
Even though it feels like the opposite our usual Fall Party Time, we still have a big list of things to do in Memphis this autumn. There’s lots to eat and drink and ways to get moving, so dig in and never let me hear you say “there’s nothing to do in Memphis!” —even in a pandemic.
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Ongoing Memphis Fall Events & Things To Do
Memphis Tigers Football, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, through Nov. 21, ticket prices vary, all ages
This year’s Tigers football season is technically happening, albeit with very limited capacity for home games, new regulations and safety procedures. Some games have been postponed and some have been cancelled. For the most up-to-date info, click on that link above.
Levitt Shell Orion Virtual Concert Series, Facebook Live, Saturdays in October, 7:30 p.m., donations accepted, all ages
The Shell won’t host in-person shows this year, but you can still experience great music from past concerts streamed live to your living room with their weekly Virtual Concert Series. Check out that schedule on their website.
Baron Von Opperbean’s Exploratorium, Off-The-Wall Arts (358 Walnut Street), daily though Oct. 31, $10 per person, all ages/kid-friendly
Immerse yourself in something truly wonderful, imaginative, and interactive at Baron Von Opperbean’s Exploratorium of Magic, Science, and the Multiverse. Reserve your group’s one-hour private session to walk, crawl, and climb through Christopher Reye’s latest art installation at Off The Wall Arts downtown. Masks are required; wear clothes you can crawl or move around in.
Crafts Fair Pop Up Shop, Museum of Science & History, Fridays through Sundays through December
First off: the Pink Palace is now called the “Museum of Science & History”. Second off, this year their annual crafts fair is functioning as a pop-up shop every Friday and Saturday (10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and Sunday (noon – 5 p.m.). Shop for art, decor, gifts, jewelry, candles, and more from Memphis makers.
Orpheum Mini-Golf, Orpheum Theater, Various Days through Nov. 1, $10 per person, all ages
Play a round of Broadway-themed mini golf on the stage of the Orpheum, and get a glimpse of the historic theater’s backstage, too! At time of publication, there are tee times (four people per party) available on October 10, 11, 17, 18, 25, 30, 31, and November 1.
Zootoberfest, Memphis Zoo, Saturdays and Sundays in October (except 10/31), 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., zoo ticket ($18 adults) + $8 stein + $3 refills, 21+ to drink
The Zoo can sell alcohol now! To celebrate they’re hosting Zootoberfest on October weekends, minus Halloween. Buy your ticket and enjoy an afternoon at the Zoo with a commemorative stein filled with German beer, including Oktoberfest brews from Wiseacre and Crosstown Brewing. You can also buy root beer and root beer floats. The Zoo will continue to post their current crowd numbers on their website; masks are recommended outside and required in any indoor spaces.
Monster Market, Online Shop, October 1- 31, items vary, all ages
The annual Monster Market pop-up shop—curated by local artist Holtermonster—will get you in the perfect Halloween mood all month long with oddities, creepily fun art, and all-around weirdness from local makers. This year, it’s all going online, so check out MonsterMarket2020.com and get some holiday shopping done early.
Riverfront Story Time, River Garden (51 Riverside Drive), every Sunday in October, 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Cossitt Library and MRPP will host story and arts & crafts time for the kiddos every Sunday afternoon in October at the River Garden downtown. The story will be read over the park’s PA system, seating will be six feet apart, and each kid will get their own craft bag. Wear your masks and make sure the kids bring an adult!
Envision Sunset Fitness & Yoga, Shelby Farms, every Sunday in October, 5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m., $16 class drop-in, 18+
Envision Fitness and Downtown Yoga host a workout and yoga class every Sunday afternoon in October. Scroll through the Envision site to find the “In-Person / Outdoor Class Pricing” section to reserve your spot ahead of time.
Bicycle Tour Through Elmwood Cemetery, Elmwood, select Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. – noon, $20 + fees, all ages
Take a guided tour through the winding former carriage pathways of historic Elmwood Cemetery—just in time for spooky season. They’re also offering this tour on Oct. 17 and 24.
Second Baptist Church Pumpkin Patch, 4680 Walnut Grove, Open Daily, prices vary, all ages/kid-friendly
Second Baptist Church in East Memphis continues their annual tradition of a pumpkin patch this year, with a more spread out setup and additional sanitizing efforts. Masks are recommended. The patch is open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – dark and Sundays noon to dark.
Paddle The Greenway, 2630 Epping Way, October 10 – 24, 9 a.m. – noon, free, 10+
Whether you want to improve your paddling skills or learn the basics of kayaking, the Wolf River Conservancy is hosting an almost-daily paddle on a portion of the Wolf River. Check out dates and reserve your spot here.
Historical Haunts, Downtown Memphis, Fridays and Saturdays, times vary, $20 – $25, all ages/13+ for ghost hunt
Historical Haunts offers multiple spooky tours downtown that will get you in the Halloween spirit—there’s a Haunted Memphis Bust Rou, a Memphis Ghost Walk, and a 2 in 1 Walking Tour + Ghost Hunt.
Zoo Boo, Memphis Zoo, October 16-18, 23-35, 29-31, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., $13 members/$15 nonmembers
Candy stations, hay rides, mazes, magic shows, and more fun for the kids at the Zoo. No animals besides the Herpatarium, Aquarium, and Animals of the Night exhibits. You’ll need to reserve your specific day; tickets are not exchangeable for other days once you buy them.
Memphis Fall Events In Chronological Order
Memphis Art & Design Week, Online, through October 10, $25
Memphis Art & Design Week is from Oct 3- 10 online and allows you to: purchase local art through an online expo, take virtual studio tours, learn about artists’ creative processes, and listen in to exciting speakers. Check out the schedule and details here.
Twilight Tour: DINOS After Dark, Memphis Zoo, October 9-10, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., $25 members/$30 nonmembers, ages 5 and up
Tour guides lead you through the DINOS exhibit at the Memphis Zoo and introduce you to a nocturnal animal, too. Capacity is limited so registration in advance is required.
Fridays In Health Science Park, October 9, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Marcella & Her Lovers perform at the pavilion for an outdoors, socially-distanced concert. Tacoholics food truck will be on hand for your lunch. Stay six feet apart, wear your mask, and enjoy your food and tunes!
Queer Horror Night, Black Lodge Video (405 N. Cleveland St.), October 9, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., donations encouraged, 21 and up
Black Lodge Video is back and they’re hosting socially-distanced RESERVATION ONLY movie nights outdoors. This Friday, they’ll screen two classic queer-centric horror flicks, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Sleepaway Camp. To reserve your spot, message Black Lodge on Facebook. Masks are mandatory and your reservation “pod” can be no more than four people. No kids—these movies are for adults only!
Spillit Center Stage: Working It Out, Ixora (416 N. Cleveland Street), October 9, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., $10, 18+
Spillit is taking the stories outside this fall! This showcase of Spillit Workshop storytellers will happen in the parking lot behind Ixora shop, limited to 50 in-person guests, and masks are required. You can also tune in via livestream. Get your tickets ahead of time.
Community Scavenger Hunt “The Art of Memphis II”, Midtown/East Memphis, October 10-11; October 24-25, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., $25 for a team of 1-4 people, all ages
The Museum of Science & History – Pink Palace will host a public-art-themed scavenger hunt Amazing-Race style every other Saturday in October. Explore two Memphis neighborhoods through murals, installations, and sculptures—solve riddles and take photos to win. Buy your group’s ticket, then receive your clues at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Read all the details here.
Volunteer Garden Day, Memphis Rox (879 E. McLemore), October 10 and October 24, 9 a.m. – noon, free, 18 and up
Memphis Rox climbing gym will host a Volunteer Gardening Day to beautify their campus and build and maintain their Educational Food Garden. They’ll provide all the gardening supplies and water—you’ll need to pre-register, dress appropriately, and wear a mask. Sign up here. If you miss this Saturday, they’ll host another volunteer day on October 24.
2020 Shotguns & Sunflowers Dinner Party To-Go, Your House, October 10, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., $300 for four people, all ages
This fundraiser for Palmer Home For Children is a dinner party to-go this year, with a meal created by Ryan Trimm (Sweet Grass, Sunrise), signature cocktails, beer, wine, and flowers/tablescape.
Drive-In Benefit Brunch, Malco Summer Drive-In, October 11, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., $35 minimum suggested donation per person
This year’s benefit for Hands of Mothers—Manos de Madres features musicians Amy Lavere and Will Sexton, a boxed lunch from City Silo, and beverages served in a socially-distanced manner.
TN Shakespeare Company Presents Romeo and Juliet, Chimes Square (Overton Square), October 15 and 22, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., free, 10+
Overton Square hosts the Tennessee Shakespeare Company in these outdoor performances of the Bard’s iconic Romeo & Juliet play. Bring your lawn chairs and be sure to stay six feet away lest you cause a plague on all your houses!
Movies at the Mallory-Neely House, 652 Adams Ave., October 15 and 29, $9.39 adults/$6.24 youth, all ages
The Mallory-Neely House in Victorian Village will have a big screen for movies on the lawn this fall. Bring a chair and a blanket, and plan to social distance yourself. There will be food trucks. The October 15th movie is Charade; the October 29th movie is The Lodger.
Opera Memphis Third Thursday, WKNO FM 91.1 Radio, October 15, November 19, December 17, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., free, all ages
Opera Memphis performs an hourlong live broadcast via WKNO on the third Thursday of each month. Turn your radio dial to 91.1 FM or tune in online at wknofm.org.
Time Warp Drive-In, Malco Summer Drive-In, October 17, gates 6:45 p.m./movie at 7:15 p.m., $10 per person, 18+
The Time Warp is back! October 17th is the annual all-night Halloween movie marathon at the Summer drive-in. On the lineup is ⁃ Zombieland (2009), Re-Animator (1985), Return of the Living Dead (1985),and Night of the Living Dead (1968)—in that order. Wear your mask when you’re outside of/away from your car.
Fall Edge Motorfest, The Edge District, Saturday, October 17, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
The Edge District’s businesses will host an outdoor fall fest with classic, antique, and muscle cars on display, specials at local shops (Nine01 to Five04 will offer 20 percent off the whole store), and more.
Virtual Healthy 901 Festival, Facebook Live, October 21 – 27, Free, All Ages
From Healthy 901 Fest: “Join us for a fun week of sampling fitness trends, learning about healthy living choices, tasting delicious healthy eating options, and more at this first-ever local virtual celebration of all things Healthy Living! All programming will be hosted via Facebook Live and you can learn and enjoy from the safety of your own home.
Indie Memphis Film Fest, Online/Drive In/Outdoors, October 21-29, locations and prices vary
The Indie Memphis Film Festival showcases hundreds of films, and this year will only be different in that you can enjoy three different ways—Virtual Passes (start at $25), Memphis Passes (online and outdoors, start at $100 and can include multiple people). You’ll need to sign up for your specific movie screenings ASAP because tickets are limited. Check out the website for all the details.
Repair Days 2020, Metal Museum, October 22-25 free to attend, all ages
Bring your busted, rusted, and otherwise damaged metal items to the Metal Museum for a little TLC. During Repair Days, the museum’s crew of blacksmiths and metalworkers will fix your items for a fee, which benefits the museum. Schedule a time to drop off your repairs at bit.ly/2EP3pA7.
Harvest Fest, A. Schwab General Store, Beale Street, October 24, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
Beale Street’s longest-running shop will celebrate full on Saturday, October 24th with a balloon “carving”, $1 kids ice cream and $2 hot dogs, Jones Orchard’s pumpkin patch, storytelling, and free A. Schwab shot glasses when you buy an AM/PM bourbon shot. Be sure to enter their online contest to win a free tour of the historic basement!
Orpheum Movie Nights, Orpheum Theater, Oct. 24, 7 p.m., $6 kids/$8 adults, all ages/kid friendly (parental discretion advised)
The Orpheum will host socially distanced movies with groups of seats marked off in two, four, and six seats. You have to wear masks (they will have disposable masks onsite) and follow the rules. The schedule:
Oct. 23: Night of the Living Dead
Oct. 24: Casper
Oct. 24: JAWS
Virtual Art on Fire 2020, Online via Hopin, October 24, 6 p.m., $10 and up
The Dixon takes their annual fire-fueled fundraiser online this year with an online art sale, auction, and fire spinning shows broadcast through the Hopin website. Spring for VIP tickets ($150 for two) and get Dixon Membership, boozy desserts, full-size liqueur, exclusive programming and other goodies. Proceeds benefit the Dixon’s art education and outreach programs.
Reverse Dia de los Muertos Parade & Festival, Overton Park, October 24, noon – 4 p.m.., free event, all ages
Families are invited to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Overton Park for a reverse parade. Stay tuned for details!
Kroctober Fall Fun Bash Drive-Thru, Kroc Center, October 31, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., free, all ages/kid-friendly
The Kroc Center’s fall fun bash will be a safe drive-through style trick-or-treating with goodie bags for families. Pull up in your car and stay safe while enjoying family-friendly Halloween fun.
Black Panther Drive-In Movie, Shelby Farms Park, October 31, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., $25/car, all ages/kid-friendly
From Shelby Farms: “Looking for a safe, fun way to celebrate halloween with your entire family? Catch a showing of the thrilling blockbuster superhero film “Black Panther” Saturday, October 31! Gates open at 5:00. Movie starts at 6:30pm. All proceeds support Shelby Farms Park and Shelby Farms Greenline.”
Beatles v. Stones: A Musical Showdown, Orpheum Theatre, November 12, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., $45, 12 and up
From the Orpheum: “Two of the greatest bands of all time face off in a high-energy, adrenaline-pumping musical showdown. The Fab Four, represented by tribute band Abbey Road will engage in a barrage of hits against premier Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction.”
Pink Palace Wine Down Tasting & Virtual Trivia, Online, November 13, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., $30, 21 and up
Support the Pink Palace while enjoying a guided online tasting of Chalk Hill 2017 Estate Chardonnay. Get your ticket, pick up your wine on Friday, November 13th at the museum, then tune in to the live Zoom trivia game—questions will be taken from the Secret Memphis book (written by yours truly!)
Greenway Soiree, Livestreaming at WolfRiver.org/Soiree, November 14, 5:45 p.m. – 7 p.m., $125 per person, $250 per couple
This fundraiser event for the Wolf River Conservancy is going virtual this year, but you’ll still be able to enjoy food and drink packages, entertainment from local arts groups, and a silent auction.
Nature By Firelight, Lichterman Nature Center, Saturday, Nov. 14, 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., $25 adults/$25 children, all age/kid-friendly
Enjoy a night hike, toast s’mores over a fire, learn about nature, explore the night sky through telescopes and more. Tickets include Night Hike, Live Nocturnal Animal Encounters, s’mores kits, hot chocolate, wine for adults (two beverages), and bottled water. Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4800910