Memphis, Tennessee, is a family-friendly destination and is especially enjoyable for quick weekend trips. It is only a few hours from major cities like Birmingham, Nashville, and Little Rock. The home of blues and rock-n-roll might surprise you with what it has to offer families. This is what to do with your family in Memphis, Tennessee.
This post is sponsored by the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. The MCVB paid for portions of my travels, but all opinions are my own.
What to Do with Your Family in Memphis
Finding things to do while traveling with kids can be difficult. Typically, activities meant for adults are not suitable or entertaining enough for children. Activities intended for children are often exhausting for parents. If you’re wondering what to do with your family in Memphis, these ideas will be crowd-pleasers.
The Peabody Hotel
The Peabody Hotel may seem odd to include on this list, but I’ve got a few good reasons. One of the best reasons to visit the Peabody is to see the march of the “Peabody Ducks.”
The story of the ducks says that a hotel guest, returning late one night from a hunting trip, thought it would be hilarious to let his live duck decoys swim in the fountain while he went to his room to sleep. The following day, the other guests were delighted and amused by the fine feathered entertainment, and a tradition was born.
The ducks have a home on the top of the hotel. Every day at 11 am and 5 pm, they “march” to and from the fountain via the hotel elevator, with a bit of pomp and circumstance thrown in for good measure.
Shelby Farms Park
Shelby Farms Park is a relatively new area of Memphis. 4,500 acres of green space and 6.5 miles of urban trails give this park massive potential for future projects.
We visited their Woodland Discovery Playground, which is a very interesting concept for a playground. It is excellent for several ages and skill sets and is also ADA accessible, so children of all abilities can enjoy the playground.
Six ” nests ” include giant tree houses, slides, innovative swinging structures, and an open grassy area perfect for a game of catch or running free. This is the spot for you if you need a place for the kids to burn off some steam.
Children’s Museum of Memphis
Children’s Museum of Memphis (CMOM) is an incredible facility in the heart of downtown Memphis. Located on Central Avenue, near the Liberty Bowl stadium, this museum features several hands-on exhibits and outdoor attractions.
Children will be thoroughly entertained between the transportation areas (a fire engine, airplane, and car garage), the “real” grocery store, and the outdoor playground. The outdoor zipline and splash pad are perfect activities for warm summer days.
The Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo is well known for its size and world-class exhibits. The China exhibit was a personal favorite because of the up-close view of their pandas.
Children will love the playful animals and intriguing exhibits. As a bonus, there is a playground right outside the cafe near the front of the zoo that is a perfect spot for parents to catch a little break from walking while still allowing the kids to run and play.
Bonus Spot: Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
If you’re unfamiliar with Bass Pro Shops, they are the mecca for hunters, fishermen, hikers, and the general southern “outdoorsman.”
Almost all Bass Pro Shops have a highly amusing “Shootin’ Gallery,” and there are always fish in the ponds or tanks to look at and a general store for shopping. Let the one at the Pyramid be your first if you’ve never been to a Bass Pro Shop.