50 Free Things To Do In Memphis

Aerial view of downtown Memphis | Phillip Van Zandt

50 Free Things To Do In Memphis

Need something to do, but don't want to break the bank? Enjoy this guide to free stuff to do in Memphis.

Some are available for everyone, some are for TN or Shelby County residents only, and some are once a year, but all of them are tee-totally free of charge. 

  1. Visit the Meditation Garden at Graceland, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. daily. 
  2. Walk the Riverwalk at Mud Island, dawn until dusk, year-round. (temporarily closed for cleaning)
  3. Visit the Dixon Gallery & Gardens (galleries and gardens are free through 2021)
  4. Tour Elmwood Cemetery, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
  5. Catch a Mighty Lights show, nightly every hour on the hour
  6. Walk through Crystal Shrine Grotto at Memorial Park, daily dawn to dusk
  7. Observe the Peabody Duck March at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily
  8. Hang out in Shelby Farms Park, sunrise to sunset daily
  9. See the aquariums, boats, and more inside the Bass Pro Pyramid
  10. Browse the A. Schwab General Store
  11. Hike the Old Forest Trail at Overton Park
  12. Volunteer for a local charity or non-profit (here’s a monthly list of ways to do so)
  13. Walk or bike across the Mississippi River on the Big River Crossing
  14. Find all of the I Love Memphis Murals
  15. Ride or walk the Shelby Farms Greenline
  16. Watch the sunset (we suggest Beale Street Landing, Tom Lee Park, the River Garden, or the Chickasaw Mounds)
  17. Explore the Crosstown Concourse’s atriums and artworks
  18. Attend a show (or, for now, a virtual show) at the Levitt Shell, Thursdays - Sundays in summer and fall when in-person shows are being held.
  19. Run with a Breakaway Running Group
  20. In the summer, skip through Peabody Park's splash pad or the fountains in front of City Hall
  21. Play at the Overton Park Rainbow Lake Playground 
  22. Immerse yourself in Black Memphis Music History at the FedExForum bollards
  23. Stop by all five of the Civil Rights Trail sites in Memphis, starting with Beale Street:
  24. Walk through the I AM A MAN Plaza (Civil Rights Trail)
  25. Drive by the Mason Temple (Civil Rights Trail)
  26. See the WDIA historic site and history marker (Civil Rights Trail)
  27. Visit the plaza at the National Civil Rights Museum (Civil Rights Trail)
  28. Take a self-guided South Main architecture tour
  29. Visit the historic Collierville Town Square 
  30. Hike the loop at Herb Parsons Lake Trail
  31. Take photos on the self-guided Overton Square art tour
  32. Find the Wolf River beach in Germantown
  33. Visit the Metal Museum’s Sculpture Garden (donations are appreciated, though!) 
  34. See the Big Kids and walk the Vollintine Evergreen “V&E” Greenline
  35. Find even more murals, including the Paint Memphis mural areas
  36. Wave at the Bison at Shelby Farms Park 
  37. Tune in to Memphis’s indie radio stations: WEVL and WYXR
  38. Take your dog to meet some furry friends at a local dog park
  39. Instagram yourself at a seasonal sunflower field
  40. Visit sites from the Memphis Women’s Legacy Trail
  41. Skate or skateboard at Tobey Park or Raleigh Springs Skate Park
  42. Walk the Riverbluff for river views and cool houses
  43. See Memphis from the rooftop (Peabody rooftop is free to visit)
  44. Catch a movie at Chimes Square in Overton Square
  45. The Brooks Museum is free to enter on Wednesdays during regular hours (10 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

For TN Residents with state I.D. 

46.  Memphis Zoo, Tuesdays from 2 p.m. until close. Not valid in March. Rules apply; read here.
47. Metal Museum Building, Thursdays 
48. National Civil Rights Museum, Monday from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

For Shelby County Residents

49. Check out books, e-book, or audiobook at a Memphis Library (free for City of Memphis, Bartlett, and unincorporated Shelby Co. residents) 
50. Stax Museum, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays (for Shelby Co. residents)

Pay-What-You-Can

  • Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free events and things to do (when they reopen)

We are looking forward to these free events and attractions reopening after covid.

  • Visit the University of Memphis Art Museum, Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. excluding school holidays 
  • Attend a monthly Nerd Nite Memphis
  • Attend a free event at Crosstown Arts
  • People and bike watch at Beale Street Bike Night, Wednesday evenings in the summer
  • South Main Art Nights; last Friday of the month from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Take free dance lessons at the Rumba Room
  • Catch some live music in Handy Park on Beale Street, several afternoons a week
  • Go to the Collierville Concert Series (Summer)
  • Guitar drop on Beale Street on New Year's Eve
  • Beale Street St. Patrick's Day Parade (March)
  • Overton Square Crawfish Fest (April - free to enter; crawfish are extra)
  • Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest (April - free to enter; crawfish are extra)
  •  Beale Street Wine Race (April)
  •  Do the Zombie Walk (May; canned food donations accepted)
  •  Fourth of July Fireworks (yearly guide posted in June)
  • Holiday Parades (yearly guide posted in November)
  • Cheer on the runners at the St. Jude Marathon (December, I Love Memphis usually hosts a cheering section)

Got any suggestions for additions? Let us know and we'll add them to the list!

Comments Make Us Happy

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Allison Delugach
The Memphis Public Library has too many free events for me to name them all and most of them are free to non-Memphis residents as well. Senior programs concerning financial literacy and health are happening this fall and there are free jazz concerts in the spring at the main library. Tenant rights, legal clinics, how to purchase a used car, how to start a small business etc. are other types of programs we offer. Free movies, lectures, etc. happen all year round at different locations and we are proud of having the best used book store in the city (all the money goes to fund library services) When tax season rolls around just call 2-1-1 and find out about where to have your taxes done for free. the full list of events can be found at memphislibrary.org.
August 18, 2017 2:11pm

Jeannie Priddy-Hayes
Hi Holly, please share that Priddy Farms Bartlett TN opens forPumpkin Patch Season Sept 29. Thanks!
September 11, 2017 10:34am

Eric Winfrey
Love Memphis activities
September 30, 2017 12:39pm

Torrey Clark
F3 Memphis – Free bootcamp workouts open to all men, multiple locations daily Mon-Sat - https://f3memphis.com/
February 28, 2018 4:56pm

Kay
This was very helpful thank you.
April 15, 2018 11:06am

Lin
What about and Civil Rights Museums? Are there any child-friendly attractions?
May 8, 2018 9:21pm

Holly Whitfield
Hi Lin! I'm assuming you mean free attractions with regards to Civil Rights and child-friendly... Under the "For TN residents" section you'll find that the National Civil Rights Museum is free for Tennessee residents with state-issued ID on Mondays from 3 p.m. until closing, or for active military with I.D. The Slave Haven Underground Museum Ernest Withers Collection do not have any free days. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music focuses on Stax Records, but does incorporate civil rights issues into the museum's artifacts and texts. As for child-friendly attractions, check out numbers 2,6,9,10,11,12,13,16,21,23,27,28,29,and 33. Plus the Zoo and most of the free annual events.
May 8, 2018 10:46pm

Gussie Richmond
There is a charge for African n April. it is not free.
June 4, 2018 9:44am

Tyler Miller
Kix 106 hosts 4 Free Summer Country Concert Series at Handy Park. Here is who all is coming to Kix 106 On Beale. : Dylan Scott and Jillian Jacqueline - June 14 Joe Nichols and Jimmie Allen - June 21st Craig Campbell and Danielle Bradbery(The Voice winner) - June 28 Ashley Mcbryde and Mitchell Tenpenny - July 12 The shows are absolutely FREE and all ages are welcome. More details can be found at http://www.kix106.com.
June 5, 2018 6:19pm

Edna Houston
Things to do in Memphis The weekend of 06/30-07/04
June 22, 2018 9:42pm

Holly Whitfield
Hi Edna! Check out the 4th of July events guide for 2018: https://ilovememphisblog.com/2018/06/4th-of-july-in-memphis-fireworks-picnics-and-parades-2018/ Also, the blog's calendar: https://ilovememphisblog.com/events/category/all-events/2018-06-30/ I'll put out a weekend guide for the July 29, 30 and July 1 on Wednesday morning, and you'll find that here once it goes live: https://ilovememphisblog.com/category/do/this-weekend-do/
June 25, 2018 4:15pm

Marcia W.
BB Kings on Beale Street has free admission and live music daily from Noon-5pm
June 27, 2018 9:58am

kelvin broadnax
Friend here from out of town didn't have a clue what to do with them your list was great .thank you!
December 26, 2018 9:30pm

Holly Whitfield
You're welcome!
December 28, 2018 2:27pm

Julieanna Walker
On the 50 Free Things To Do In Memphis dated 6-26-2017, I do not know if there is an updated list; however, biking and hiking in Meeman-Shelby Forrest was not on the list. Link: https://tnstateparks.com/parks/activities/meeman-shelby I was sharing the list with a colleague. Re-visiting it made me wonder if the Gibson Guitar still drops on New Years Eve. :( Feel free to hit delete if an updated list is out there. When I googled free things to do in Memphis, this was one of the first to pop. Thank you for your time, Julieanna
April 10, 2019 2:53pm

Senior Citizen…
Hi Holly I recently founded a Women’s group and looking for interesting things for our group to do . I am disappointed to learn that not much posted here is geared toward seniors .... or perhaps the activities that are appropriate for seniors are not designated as such. I see multiple outings that say kid friendly. I see nothing that says senior citizen friendly... once again we’ve been left out and forgotten. You could be the trailblazer and start a new trend. !!!! How about posting a list of things to do in Memphis for senior citizens . of course a seperaye list might be asking a bit much but a simple symbol would be great. I do ❤️Memphis and now that I’m back in the city I would like to enjoy what it has to offer now that I’m 60plis (just as I enjoyed the city when I was 16) Problem is I don’t know which outings are appropriate for oir age group. Help us please. Thanks
April 14, 2019 3:11am

Debra Sample
Always loved concerts and ,just driving in Memphis is awesome when your from the Bootheel of Missouri so the night lights are breath taking ,exspecially for kids we are here this week ,visit the zoo in Memphis
May 26, 2019 10:41am

Holly Whitfield
So glad you and your family enjoyed Memphis, Debra!
May 28, 2019 4:40pm

Sadelle Jackson
Thx for listing things to do in Memphis. Many activities I haven’t done yet, but planning to.
February 16, 2020 12:46pm

Holly Whitfield
You're welcome, Sadelle! keep us posted on your progress. :)
February 16, 2020 4:54pm