10 Things to Do With Kids in Memphis

Keeping kids entertained is becoming more difficult as we get further into the digital age. With today’s children seeking constant entertainment from technology, it’s a good idea to put away the smartphones and tablets on occasion to enjoy the world around us. For those living in southwestern Tennessee, this is all too easy with the wide variety of kids activities in Memphis.

In a city known for its barbecue, as well as its blues and rock ‘n’ roll music history, there is plenty of good food and fun for people of all ages. Whether you are moving to Memphis or already live there, this list highlights the ten best things to do with kids in Memphis.

1. My Big Backyard

Bring out your child’s inner gardener at My Big Backyard, which is part of the Memphis Botanic Garden. Let them run, jump, splash, and explore the wide open space. They will be able to learn about the importance of plants, play on the Leaping Lawn, and enjoy the view from the top of a tall playhouse.

If you can get your kids to stop playing long enough to have lunch, then be sure to grab a soup, salad, or sandwich at Fratelli’s Cafe. The park also has a new theme every year, so you and your kids will never get bored of it if you are living in Memphis.

2. Children’s Museum of Memphis

How many children’s museums do you know of that have exhibits both inside and outside? Well, that’s exactly what you get at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Inside your kids will find a surplus of activities ranging from a giant vertical maze and multiple playhouses to a grand carousel and the Doodlebug art studio.

When they take a step outside, they’ll be welcomed by a 7,700 square foot splash pad with over 40 unique water sprayers. There is also a large playground and a dinosaur dig sand pit where kids can uncover fossils and dinosaur bones.

3. Memphis Zoo

Having started back in 1906 with only a black bear to call it home, the Memphis Zoo now holds over 4,500 different animals. It has received numerous rewards which dub it the best zoo in the country and has become one of the most fun things to do in Memphis with kids. As one of only four zoos in the country to house giant pandas, you’ll find many animals here that you may have never seen before.

panda at the zoo

Visit the African area to see elephants and giraffes, head to cat country for lions and tigers, then take a trip up north to check out the polar bears and sea lions. With an aquarium and many other exhibits to check out, you could spend an entire day here and not see everything. It is a must for children, and adults, who love animals.

4. Peabody Ducks

One of the most popular free things to do with kids in Memphis is see the Peabody ducks. Living on top of the luxury Peabody Memphis hotel, twice a day the ducks are brought down in the elevator and waddle across a red carpet to the lobby fountain.

Apart from the time the Peabody Duckmaster spends talking about the ducks, the whole occasion lasts about 30 seconds or so. This may not be a repeat activity, but it’s something worth seeing at least once.

5. Mississippi River

It may seem strange to think about going on a Mississippi River cruise when you’re living in Memphis, but at 2,340 miles long, it is the second longest river in the United States. Tennessee is one of the ten states the Mississippi runs through, giving you and your kids the opportunity to enjoy this family activity in Memphis.

Hop on a paddlewheeler boat and take a cruise down the river to get a different perspective of this great city and take a break out on the water. You’ll get to see some unique Memphis landmarks along the way.

6. Bass Pro Shop

Even if your family isn’t into hunting or fishing, taking a trip to the local Bass Pro Shop offers a lot more than just outdoor gear. At 535,000 square feet and shaped like a pyramid, it is the largest Bass Pro in the entire world. Whether you are living in Memphis or just visiting, this retail store is like a mini vacation by itself.

memphis bass pro

Walk inside to enjoy one of their two restaurants, a large aquarium, a 13-lane bowling alley, and a 100-room hotel resort known as Big Cypress Lodge. For a small fee you can also head up to the 28th floor for a bird’s eye view of Memphis from the observation deck.

7. Golf and Games

Who doesn’t love a laid back game of mini golf on a nice, summer day? The Golf and Games Family Park has that and much more, offering some of the best attractions in Memphis for families. Along with mini golfing, you and your kids can play laser tag, race go karts, ride on the virtual roller coaster, and more.

For the gamers out there, the arcade boasts a selection of over 100 arcade games including skeeball, air hockey, basketball, and more. Whether you’re looking for a place to celebrate a birthday or just want to have some fun, be sure to add this to your list of family activities in Memphis.

8. Beale Street

If you’re looking for some free things to do with kids in Memphis, then simply take them for a stroll down Beale Street. Although there are numerous restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe, Blues City Cafe, and B.B. King’s Blues Club, you can take plenty of time enjoying this area without spending a dime.

Wander the street to explore gift shops, clothing stores, and of course, a blues specialty music shop. So, while you could spend a few hours here for free, good luck staying disciplined and keeping your wallet in your pocket.

9. Graceland

It’s nearly impossible to mention the city of Memphis without the topic of Graceland coming up at some point in the conversation. As home to the famed King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, you can take your kids on a tour of Elvis Presley’s carefully preserved mansion. It is the second most visited house in the United States, landing just shy of the White House for first place.


Graceland has long been one of the most popular attractions in Memphis for families. Everyone will enjoy the home’s extravagant decor and the classic green, shag carpets. Even if you decide to just explore the exterior and surrounding gardens, it is still one of the top free things to do with kids in Memphis

10. Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

If your kids like to read, they will be in heaven in the children’s section of the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. With incredible architecture and an inviting atmosphere, the library is the perfect place for your kids to check out books, DVDs, music, and more.

Every week the library offers free family activities like story time, art projects, short skits, and more. It is one of the best things to do with kids in Memphis, if you have a family full of bookworms and movie fans.

Moving to Memphis?

Are you planning on moving to Memphis soon? Be sure to take note of these things to do with kids in Memphis, so your family will never be bored and can always be prepared for a fun activity.

If you need assistance with your move, contact us for a free moving quote and let us help you make everything go smoothly as possible.


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