Free Things To Do
Memphis offers many fun free things to do. Stroll Beale Street and see live entertainment, visit a handful of free-admission museums, watch the sun set over the Mississippi, shop your way through the city ... the list goes on and on, so check it out below!
Art Museum of the University of Memphis
3750 Norriswood, (901) 678-2224
Free admission Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Call museum for dates, as it closes on university holidays and between exhibits.
163 Beale, (901) 523-9782
Schwab's Dry Goods Store, since 1876, is the only remaining original business on Beale Street. Schwab's fills three floors with voodoo powders, handcuffs, clerical collars, saucepans and the largest collection of hats in town.
Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Beale Street Flippers
Watch as members of the Beale Street Flippers turn upside down and backwards -- sometimes using only one hand!
Beale Street Historic District
One of America's most famous streets, it is where W.C. Handy penned the first blues song. Contains restaurants, nightclubs, parks, museums and shopping. Find out more about Beale Street.
Beale Street Walk of Fame
Between 2nd and 3rd, musical notes embedded in the concrete mark the Walk of Fame, where some of Memphis' finest musicians are honored.
There's nothing as relaxing as a sunset on the Mighty Mississippi as the riverboats go by.
Cyclists can now enjoy 60-plus miles of city streets for on-road, shared roadway bike tours. There are five neighborhood tours and one longer Memphis tour. These routes are intended for recreation as well as commuter use and linked neighborhoods, commercial areas and many city attractions. Destinations include downtown, the Memphis riverfront, city parks, museums, gardens, Lichterman Nature Center and the Memphis Zoo. Also, check out the Greenline - a 7-mile paved pedestrian biking trail connecting the heart of midtown to Shelby Farms.
Center for Southern Folklore
123 S. Main, (901) 525-3655
Houses exhibits and photographs on the arts, music and culture of the area, as well as a café serving hot-water cornbread, vegetarian greens and peach cobbler plus a coffee/beer bar. Find out more about special events and weekend concerts at the Center for Southern Folklore.
Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Just along Beale Street, built by the city's first African-American millionaire, Robert Church, as a haven for African Americans during the early 1900s.
Civic Center Plaza Memphis in May Honored Country Flags
125 N. Main St., just north of City Hall
Flags honoring foreign countries honored between the years of 1977 to 1995.
Cooper-Young Antiques District
An antiques lover's dream with nearby restaurants, farmer's markets and more.
Cooper-Young Entertainment District
Visit the revitalized Midtown district at Cooper and Young streets, featuring unique shops, boutiques, galleries and specialty restaurants. Also home to the First Church of the Elvis Impersonator.
Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange
65 Union Ave., (901) 531-7826
Cotton was king, and in this impressive museum at The Memphis Cotton Exchange, it retains its royal splendor. The Cotton Museum is located in the Memphis Cotton Exchange, founded in 1873 and still a viable member organization. Although there is a charge for the museum, The Cotton Museum Hall of Fame in the lobby is free to the public.
Along Front Street, located along the docks of the Mississippi River, this was the hub of the South's cotton industry.
Danny Thomas -- ALSAC Pavilion, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
332 N. Lauderdale, (901) 495-3508
Learn the history of the hospital and its founder through a self-guided tour at the ALSAC Pavilion. Sun.-Fri. 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Dixon Gallery and Gardens
4339 Park Ave., (901) 761-5250
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, one of Memphis' premier art museums since 1976, specializes in Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings and decorative arts complete with beautiful, thriving gardens. Free admission on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. until noon. Another discount is "Pay What You Can" on Tuesdays.
Downtown Memphis Commission Sidewalk Stories
Sixty-four plaques laid in the concrete depicting an historic event(s) in that block of downtown Memphis.
824 S. Dudley, (901) 774-3212
Founded in 1852, Elmwood is the final resting place for some of the city's most celebrated residents, including Robert Church, Mayor "Boss" Crump and victims of the Yellow Fever epidemic. Grounds open daily 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The cottage is open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. and Sat. 8 a.m.- noon.
Ghost River Brewing Company Tours
827 S. Main St., (901) 278-0087
Free brewery tour (with free samples) every Saturday at 1 p.m. Reservations required; call (901) 278-0087 ext. 103 or email them at email@example.com.
Heritage Collection Art Exhibit
Historic Collierville Town Square
Historic Walking Tours with Jimmy Ogle
Downtown Locations, (901) 604-5002
Join local historian Jimmy Ogle every Tuesday and some Saturdays through the summer months for free walking tours of various locations in downtown Memphis. Tours begin at 11:45 a.m. and meet at different locations. A list of tours and times is available here.
Jack Daniel Distillery
Lynchburg, Tenn., (931) 759-6357
Nation's oldest registered distillery. Observe every step of the sour mash whiskey-making art. Open daily except for major holidays.
Memorial Park Crystal Shrine Grotto
5668 Poplar, (901) 767-8930
Open dawn to dusk. View scenes from the life of Christ depicted in natural rock crystals.
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
1934 Poplar Ave., (901) 544-6200
The collection at the Memphis Brooks Museum encompasses works in all media made throughout the world, from antiquity to thepresent day. "Pay What You Can" admission on Wednesday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Memphis Pink Palace Museum
3050 Central Ave., (901) 320-6320
Pink Palace is one of the largest museums in the Mid-South. Museum exhibits are free on Tuesdays from 1 p.m.- 5 p.m.
Memphis Paranormal Investigations
Offering free local ghost hunts most of the year. Space is limited, so apply for a spot on the team in advance. Must be 21 years or older, as this is a REAL ghost hunt! All equipment will be provided for the night as you visit the final resting places of the dead. Respect is in order, and only the brave need apply. http://www.memphisghost.com
Memphis Public Library - Music Collection
3030 Poplar Ave.
Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
191 Beale St., (901) 205-2533
The Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum offers a comprehensive Memphis music experience. Free admission on Tuesday from 2 p.m.- 7 p.m. for Shelby County, Tenn., residents only.
2000 Galloway, (901) 276-WILD
Rated America's #1 zoo! Free admission on Tuesday from 2 p.m. to close. for Tennessee residents only (excluding the month of March). Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Mud Island Riverwalk
125 N. Front St., (901) 576-7241
A 5-block-long model of the Mississippi river on Mud Island. Free admission to the grounds from Memorial Day until Labor Day. (Please note there is a cost for the Mississippi River Museum.)
Museum of Biblical History
A nonprofit, non-denominational center featuring replicas and artifacts from the times of Hebrew and Christian scriptures. The Museum of Biblical History includes an Exhibit Gallery, Museum Store, Bible Lab, Teacher Lab and Reference Library. Suggested donation of $3.
National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry St., (901) 521-9699
Learn about the significant moments of civil and human rights struggles and victories at the museum. Free admission Mondays from 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. for Tennessee residents only.
Orpheum Theatre Walk of Stars
203 S. Main S.
Sixty-three stars commemorating the nation's leading entertainers who have performed at the Orpheum Theatre in the past 80 years are laid in the concrete sidewalks of South Main and Beale Street.
Overton Park Old Forest Trail Hikes
Lick Creek Bridge on Old Forest Lane in the Center of the Park
At 10 a.m. on the second Saturday and last Sunday of each month. No registration necessary. www.overtonparkforever.org
Overton Square Entertainment District
Stroll along Madison Avenue and Cooper Street, a shopping and entertainment area in the heart of Memphis featuring nightclubs, restaurants, live music, dancing and unique boutiques.
149 Union, (901) 529-4000
The march of the famous Peabody ducks is free and takes place daily at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Afterward, take the elevator to the roof to see the ducks' home and the wonderful views of Memphis.
Pinch Historic District
Along North Main
Stroll along this entertainment area located between the Cook Convention Center and North Parkway.
Playhouse on the Square
St. Blues Guitars
Shelby County Courthouse Lobby
140 Adams Ave., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Six display cases contain memorabilia about the history of the Shelby County Court System, and the 175-year-old bust of President Andrew Jackson (the first of a sitting president) and co-founder of the City of Memphis is on display in the Grand Lobby decorated with seven different kinds of marble.
7161 Mullins Station, (901) 382-0235
Largest park of its kind in an urban setting, the park offers picnic tables, sporting activities and nature trails, and is home to a variety of wildlife, including free-roaming bison.
Memphis has many unique shopping experiences. From antiques to shopping malls, there is something for you.
Southland Park Gaming & Racing
1550 N. Ingram, West Memphis, Ark. (870) 735-3670
Free general admission to live and simulcast greyhound and thoroughbred racing 7 days a week year 'round at Southland Park Gaming & Racing.
South Main Arts District
Located along the trolley line on South Main Street downtown, this culturally rich neighborhood is anchored by the newly-renovated historic Central Station and the beloved Arcade restaurant on the south end, the Orpheum Theatre on the north end, and on the east and west by the National Civil Rights Museum, art galleries, hip restaurants, renovated warehouses-turned-lofts, open markets and trendy shops.
From W.C. Handy at Handy Park and Elvis Presley on Beale Street to B.B. King in the Riverside Drive Visitor Center, statues help tell the story of Memphis' rich history.
Sun Studio Shuttle
South Main Historic District Art Trolley Tour.
Free rides 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. the last Friday of each month of the year, rain or shine. Shops, restaurants and art galleries in the area open their doors to Memphians and visitors.
University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Tours
One N. Front St.
Noon on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Register at the front desk on the day of the tour. Find out more about the University of Memphis School of Law Tours.
Thirty-four parks have walking trails or nature trails. The longest (1.5 miles) are located at Frayser (2907 N. Watkins) and Gaisman (4223 Macon). Downtown residents stroll through Tom Lee Park on Riverside Drive.
W.C. Handy Park
Stroll down Beale Street to Handy Park, which features free concerts and traveling musicians.
*Prices are subject to change without notice and may be different from what's listed on this website.