A Memphis Kid-Friendly Staycation Guide

This article was written by team members at Campfire Collective in collaboration with I Love Memphis.

Memphis is full of fun (and sometimes free!) activities for the kiddos. While there are endless ways to enjoy the city with the whole family, here are a few highlights by neighborhood.

toddler rides trolley and looks at peabody ducks
Campfire Collective
Trolley Ride & Peabody Ducks


Eat at The Arcade: Known as a favorite spot of Elvis himself, the oldest diner in town is a favorite for tourists and locals alike. Your kiddos will love the sweet potato pancakes drenched in syrup, and don’t forget the hashbrowns!

Ride a Trolley: The Main Street trolleys run seven days a week, at  only $1 per ride or $2 for a whole day pass. Not only is it a convenient way to get around downtown, but kids will love the experience. You get extra points if you can draw the parallel between our trolleys  and Mr. Rogers.

Watch the Ducks: You don’t need to spend a penny to enjoy the world famous Peabody Ducks. The South’s Grand Hotel marches them out in the mornings, and then back up to their palace in the afternoons. Kids get a front row seat for the history lesson and waddle down the red carpet.

Opt Outside: Exploring Memphis River Parks is one of the best ways to take in the natural wonder of our city. The fully renovated stretch of land by our riverfront is divided into smaller parks, with beautiful river views, playground equipment, nature, and plenty of walking paths.

For more fun, try these family-friendly activities:

  • Visit A Schwab’s on Beale: Browse  the fun tchotchkes, then head over to the old fashioned soda fountain for a burger and milkshake.
  • Explore Bass Pro Shop: Live animals, gift shops, a candy store, bowling, and a large glass elevator to the top – need we say more?
  • Climb a Fire Truck: The Fire Museum of Memphis brings childhood wonder to life with a renovated fire truck..
  • Rent Ebikes: Ride over Big River Crossing for a different perspective, and stay past sunset to watch the Mighty Lights
father holds baby at memphis zoo next to water exhibit
Campfire Collective
Memphis Zoo is always a favorite


Get Crafty: The Art Project at Overton Square lets kids release their inner artist in a safe and messy place that is not your own home. Enjoy Art Free Play with any of the craft supplies available, or sign-up for one of their classes.

Take an Art Tour: Once the kids are done creating their own art, take the self-guided Overton Square Art Tour and check out the many murals and art displayed around the entertainment district – all crafted by local artists!

Soak up the Sun: Overton Park is home to many kid-friendly attractions. Park for the day and explore the whole area. Explore nature and wildlife along the trails in the Old Forest. Run around the greensward. Spend an afternoon at the Memphis Zoo, and then take in a free concert at the Overton Park Shell that night!

Try kid-friendly, locally-owned dining options in Midtown:

  • Madison Avenue: The Bar-B-Q Shop, Huey’s, Lenny’s
  • Broad Avenue Arts District: Broadway Pizza, Muddy’s Bake Shop
  • Cooper Young: Young Avenue Deli, Maciel’s Tacos and Tortas, Soul Fish Cafe
toddler stands next to large statue of a tiger
Campfire Collective
Tigers Tour


Meet at the Museum: MoSH Memphis has all of our nostalgic favorites such as the general store, polar bear, and circus model. They also host rotating exhibits, events throughout the year, and longtime favorite Sharpe Planetarium.

Celebrate Childhood: The Children’s Museum of Memphis is a childhood dream come true. With activity stations for a variety of ages, plus a carousel for kids and grownups alike, there’s endless fun to enjoy.

Root for the Home Teams: At Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, you can catch a Memphis Tigers football game in the fall and a Memphis Showboats football game in the spring.

Go, Tigers: Walk around the University District to explore painted Tiger statues throughout the University of Memphis campus. Brunch at family-favorite Brother Junipers is a must in this part of town.

More fun University District Activities:

  • Beat the heat at Orange Mound Splash Park
  • Shelby Farms Greenline for physical activity in a scenic environment
  • Grab lunch at Elwood’s Shack, Las Delicias, or Garibaldi’s Pizza
Toddler stands next to tulips
Campfire Collective
Dixon Gallery & Gardens


Explore Art: Dixon Gallery and Gardens is free until further notice, and kids love to explore the gardens. Oftentimes, you’ll find food trucks there as well, perfect for a family picnic.

Run the Energy Out: Memphis Botanic Garden boasts acres of beautiful and varied gardens. It’s not a kid trip unless you check out My Big Backyard with tiny themed playhouses, climbing equipment, and a splash pad. Then, make sure to feed the fish at the koi pond, and watch the chickens roost in their hut. Beware of the geese! They’ve been known to chase.

Take Solace in Nature: Lichterman Nature Center is lush, green, fun, and educational! Take a long walk around the grounds and check out the museum before you go.

A few more East Memphis musts:

  • Jerry’s Sno Cones for a sweet treat (we recommend the Wedding Cake Supreme)
  • Summer Drive-In Theater for a nostalgic evening (BYO snacks)
  • Putt-Putt Golf and Games for a little friendly competition
  • Browse books and toys at Novel, then eat lunch at Libro
baby carrier on walk through overton park
Campfire Collective
Overton Park


The fun doesn’t stop with the main areas along Poplar Avenue! The areas surrounding Memphis have plenty of activities for the whole family too.

  • North Memphis: VECA Greenline, North Memphis Greenline, Grind City Brewing (tons of green space!), Crosstown Concourse
  • South Memphis: Stax Museum, Memphis Rox, The Four Way, Interstate BBQ, Elmwood Cemetery
  • Cordova: Shelby Farms Park, Monster Golf Memphis, Incredible Pizza Company, La Michoacana
  • Germantown: Wolf River Greenway, Memphis Pizza Cafe, The Grove at GPAC
  • Collierville: Historic Town Square, Jumping Jelly Beans, W.C. Johnson Park and Suggs Park Splash Pads, Levee Creamery

Did we miss your favorite kid-friendly activities? Let us know in the comments!

Comments Make Us Happy

Leave a Comment
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.