Free Things To Do in Memphis

Seeing a bulk of Memphis’ biggest attractions can mean spending a hefty chunk of your trip’s budget on tickets. But there’s a lifetime of fun to be had in Memphis without ever reaching into your wallet.

Memphis offers many free things to do. Visit a free museum, stroll Beale Street, hear free concerts, take a walking tour, keep your kids busy or watch the sun set over the Mississippi... the list goes on and on. We’ve highlighted some of the best free attractions, shows and things to do in Memphis – no money down. 

Some of the suggestions below require a bit of planning (specific days and requirements) but you’ve got free time for free stuff, right? Please check ahead before you go. Sometimes prices and times change without notice and may be different from what's listed on this website. Read below for all the details.

Free days at Memphis museums and attractions

Free Days at Memphis Museums and Attractions 
Everyone planning a vacation understands the importance of finding a good deal. The more you save, the more you can do, see and experience. The good news is that in Memphis many of our best attractions offer free day admissions.

Graceland, home of Elvis Presley
3734 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Going down to the Graceland Gates, snapping a photo, and imaging the King rolling down his driveway in a vintage pink Cadillac is always free. Graceland also offers free-admission walk-up visits to the Meditation Garden daily from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. 

Memphis Zoo
2000 Galloway
Rated as one of the best zoos in America, the Memphis Zoo is one of only four zoos in the country to house the endangered panda. Residents of Tennessee can take advantage of free admission on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to close and visit the zoo’s 3500 animals. 

Mud Island Riverwalk
125 North Front St.
To get a an understanding of the Mississippi River's role and influence over Memphis, visitors should take advantage of the free Mud Island Riverwalk experience. An epic scale model, the Riverwalk spans five city blocks, is dotted with the cities, bridges and drainage basins, and displays various historic markers that give visitors more information about the history of the river and its people. The riverwalk is open Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m during the months of April to October. 

National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry St.
Housed in the historic Lorraine Motel, the National Civil Rights Museum is an intense, immersive tour through the civil rights struggle from the early days of slavery to the museum’s moving conclusion. Tennessee residents may visit the museum for free on Mondays from 3 p.m. until closing. 

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
926 E. McLemore Ave.
Maybe it’s Isaac Hayes’ gold-plated Cadillac, the Express Yourself dance floor or the hall of records. For locals, it’s the opportunity to walk through the sweet sounds of one of the most creative periods in Memphis history. Admission is free to Shelby County Residents on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
191 Beale St.
The Rock ’n’ Soul Museum tells the musical story, from rural field hollers and sharecropper songs through the explosion of Sun, Stax and Hi Records. Created by the Smithsonian Institute, the museum offers music lovers a comprehensive digital audio tour with over 300 minutes of information, 100 songs and 3 audio visual programs. The museum is free for Shelby County residents on Tuesday afternoons from 2 to 7 p.m. 

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art 
1934 Poplar Ave.
The permanent collection at the Memphis Brooks Museum encompasses over 9,000 works in all media made throughout the world, including work from Cecilia Beaux, Edward Redfield and William Merritt Chase. Every Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., admission is pay-what-you-can. 

Dixon Gallery & Gardens
4339 Park Ave.
With one of the region’s biggest collections of impressionist paintings and decorative arts, visiting the Dixon is an incredibly value for art lovers. Located in East Memphis, visitors can take in the collection, new exhibits and the well-manicured gardens free of charge on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Tuesdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. admission is pay-what-you-wish. 

Center for Southern Folklore
123 S. Main St.
The Center for Southern Folklore is a non-profit organization dedicated to “celebrating the arts, music, and heritage of the South from the cultural crossroads of Memphis.” Full of great music, arts and crafts by local artists, the Center often hosts live music events, storytelling sessions, and an affordable soul food menu. The center is always open for free. 

Elmwood Cemetery
824 S. Dudley
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. Elmwood Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places and is also an official Bird Sanctuary and Arboretum. Grounds of the cemetery are open daily 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The cottage is open Monday - Friday. 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. - noon. 

Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
332 N. Lauderdale
The life of Danny Thomas and the history of ALSAC and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are commemorated in the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion. Located on the campus of St. Jude, admission is free every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Lichterman Nature Center
5992 Quince Rd.
A truly unique green space in the middle of metropolitan Memphis, the Lichterman Center’s designed exhibits, incredible gardens and a surprising 65 acres of lake, meadow and forest, give visitors (and locals) easy access to nature. Admission is free on Tuesdays from 1 p.m until close. 

University of Memphis Art Museum
3750 Norriswood
The art museums at the University of Memphis features permanent collections of Egyptian and West African art and changing exhibits of contemporary art. Free admission Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Call museum for dates, as it closes on university holidays and between exhibits. 

Museum of Biblical History 
140 E. Mulberry St. on historic Collierville Town Square
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, Bible Lab, reference library and museum store. Although the museum is free, there is a suggested donation of $3. 

Memorial Park Crystal Shrine Grotto
5668 Poplar Ave.
Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez built the man-made cavern filled with crystals, rock formations, and religious dioramas in the 1930s. Located in Memorial Park Cemetery, the grotto is a hidden gem and open dawn to dusk each day. 

Free things to do in Memphis with kids

Free Things To Do With Kids
Lucky for you, you don't have to scour the web to put together an inexpensive trip. From ducks and bikes to parks and tours, we've gathered some of the best kid-friendly free things to do in Memphis

Peabody Ducks
149 Union Ave.
Every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., pomp and circumstance takes on new meaning in the grand lobby of the Peabody Hotel. This is when the great Peabody Ducks, five North American Mallards, arrive and leave the hotel fountain, a grand procession complete with red carpet, official introduction and visiting paparazzi. The Peabody Duck March is totally free and open for everyone. 

Shelby Farms Park
7161 Mullins Station
Shelby Farms Park is a 4,500 acre park in the heart of East Memphis. Full of trails, horseback riding, running trails, awesome playgrounds, fishing, biking and plenty of space to fly kites, Shelby Farms is the perfect place to let your little one run about and blow off steam. The park is open sunrise to sunset each day. 

Mud Island Riverwalk
125 North Front St.
To get a an understanding of the Mississippi River's role and influence over Memphis, visitors should take advantage of the free Mud Island Riverwalk experience. An epic scale model, the Riverwalk spans five city blocks, is dotted with the cities, bridges and drainage basins, and displays various historic markers that give visitors more information about the history of the river and its people. The riverwalk is open Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m during the months of April to October. 

Levitt Shell Concerts
Located in Overton Park
Built in the 1930's and recognized as the site of Elvis' first professional rock-n-roll show, the Levitt Shell is an outdoor performing arts pavilion located in beautiful Overton Park.Every year the Levitt Shell puts on more than 50 free concerts and events – from blues, gospel, country and rock. 

Memphis Pink Palace Museum
3050 Central Ave.
Pink Palace Museum is one of the largest museums in the Mid-South. Inside, learn about the history of Memphis, walk through a replica of the first Piggly Wiggly grocery store, see Tyra the T-Rex and even a shrunken head! Museum exhibits are free on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. 

Memphis Zoo
2000 Galloway
Rated as one of the best zoos in America, the Memphis Zoo is one of only four zoos in the country to house the endangered panda. Residents of Tennessee can take advantage of free admission on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to close and visit the zoo’s 3500 animals. http://www.memphiszoo.org/planyourvisit

National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry St.
Housed in the historic Lorraine Motel, the National Civil Rights Museum is an intense, immersive tour through the civil rights struggle from the early days of slavery to the museum’s moving conclusion. Tennessee residents may visit the museum for free on Mondays from 3 p.m. until closing. 

A. Schwab's Dry Goods Store
163 Beale Street
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. A. Schwab’s is open Monday - Thursday 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m - 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Free tours in Memphis, TN

Free Tours and Transportation
By bike, bus or boots, there are many free ways to tour and explore the city of Memphis.

Beale Street
Corner of 2nd St. and Beale St. 
One of America's most famous streets, Beale Street is where W.C. Handy penned the first Blues song and where you’ll find three blocks of restaurants, nightclubs, live music, museums and neon. Peruse the A. Schwab Dry Goods Store, follow the music Walk of Fame, see hundreds of motorcycles for Bike Night (every Wednesday night in the Summer) or catch the Beale Street Flippers twirling down the street. 

Historic Walking Tours with Jimmy Ogle
Downtown locations
Join local historian Jimmy Ogle for free walking tours in Downtown Memphis. His boundless enthusiasm makes one of his summer walking tours a fun, free way to learn more than you ever thought possible about the history, architecture, people, and trivia of Memphis. A big list of tour times and meeting locations can be found on his website. 

Bike Routes
With over 60 miles of bike lanes, off-road trails and protected pathways, bike routes in Memphis are the perfect way to get around. Designed for recreational and commuter riders of all skills and ability levels, plan your bike ride along the Mississippi River, down the Greenline or through a city park with our free Memphis bike map

Sun Studio Shuttle
706 Union Ave.
Rest those Blue Suede Shoes, and jump aboard this free shuttle to Graceland, Sun Studio, Heartbreak Hotel and the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum. The shuttle picks up and drops off hourly and runs 7 days a week. See the full schedule here. Note: The shuttle service is complimentary, but each attraction has admission costs. 

South Main Trolley Nights
South Main Historic District 
The last Friday of each month, Memphis' South Main Arts District hosts an evening of art and music. Shops, restaurants and art galleries in the area open their doors to Memphians and visitors (tip - go early for adult beverages and a few snacks). Hop aboard the trolley for free rides from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., rain or shine. 

Overton Park Old Forest Trail Hikes
Lick Creek Bridge on Old Forest Lane in Overton Park
Take a guided hike of the Old Forest State Natural Area on the second Saturday and last Sunday of each month at 10 a.m. Inside you’ll find hundred-year-old trees, plants, and wildlife you can venture through on five miles of paved and unpaved trails. Overton Park is also home to playgrounds and dog park – all free to enjoy every day of the year. 

Downtown Memphis Commission Sidewalk Stories
Downtown Memphis
Follow a series of bronze plaques laid in the concrete of Downtown Memphis. With over 50 plaques, you’ll read about Memphis’ colorful history, including Cotton Row, the hub of the South’s cotton industry. 

Orpheum Theatre Sidewalk of Stars
203 S. Main St.
The Orpheum Theatre’s “Sidewalk of Stars” commemorates the appearances of legendary entertainers dating back to Harry Houdini, Mae West, John Philip Sousa, George Burns, and Gracie Allen. See 80 years of history at the corner of South Main and Beale Street. 

Beautiful sunsets over the river 
Watch a neon-pink sun set over the Mississippi River from the grounds of the Metal Museum or atop Beale Street Landing. There's nothing as relaxing as a sunset on the Mighty Mississippi as the riverboats go by.

Free concerts in Memphis

Free Live Music and Entertainment
Kick back and hear free live music at various venues throughout the city of Memphis.  

Beale Street Entertainment District
Corner of 2nd St. and Beale St. 
One of America's most famous streets, Beale Street is where W.C. Handy penned the first Blues song and where you’ll find three blocks of restaurants, nightclubs, live music, museums and neon. Peruse the A. Schwab Dry Goods Store, follow the music Walk of Fame, see hundreds of motorcycles for Bike Night (every Wednesday night in the Summer) or catch the Beale Street Flippers twirling down the street. 

Levitt Shell Concerts
Located in Overton Park
Built in the 1930's and recognized as the site of Elvis' first professional rock-n-roll show, the Levitt Shell is an outdoor performing arts pavilion located in beautiful Overton Park.Every year the Levitt Shell puts on more than 50 free concerts and events – from blues, gospel, country and rock. 

Playhouse on the Square
66 S. Cooper
Playhouse on the Square is a regional theatre company near Overton Square. The often offer pay-what-you-can night when a new production opens. Look for the show schedule, usually on weeknights or Saturday mornings. Look for the schedule and more information on their website. 

Bluesday Tuesdays in Overton Square 
Every Tuesday evening from June through September, the Memphis Blues Society hosts an evening of blues music in the Tower Courtyard at Overton Square. Bring your chairs and enjoy authentic blues music from local and regional musicians.

Handy Park
Beale Street
Handy Park is a public park located on Beale Street at Third Street. Free concerts that take place in Handy Park are always free and open to the public. On afternoons, performers take to the small stage for free blues shows and other events. 

Southland Park Gaming & Racing
1550 N. Ingram, West Memphis, Ark.
Free general admission to live and simulcast greyhound and thoroughbred racing 7 days a week year 'round at Southland Park Gaming & Racing.  

Free Memphis parks and entertainment

Parks and Entertainment Districts
Memphis is packed with free entertainment districts, parks and green space to play and relax. 

South Main Arts District 
South Main Street
Located along the trolley line on South Main Street in Downtown Memphis, this culturally rich neighborhood is anchored by the 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, a famers' market and trendy shops. 

Cooper-Young Entertainment District
Cooper Street and Young Avenue
Cooper-Young is an eclectic neighborhood and historic district in the Midtown section of Memphis, named for the intersection of Cooper Street and Young Avenue. Visit this walkable neighborhood for unique boutiques, a huge annual street festival, galleries, cool murals and specialty restaurants.  

Beale Street Entertainment District
Corner of 2nd St. and Beale St. 
One of America's most famous streets, Beale Street is where W.C. Handy penned the first Blues song and where you’ll find three blocks of restaurants, nightclubs, live music, museums and neon. Peruse the A. Schwab Dry Goods Store, follow the music Walk of Fame, see hundreds of motorcycles for Bike Night (every Wednesday night in the Summer) or catch the Beale Street Flippers twirling down the street. 

Broad Avenue Arts District
Broad Avenue/Sam Cooper Boulevard between Hollywood and the railroad tracks
Originally a suburban community on the rail line between Memphis and Raleigh, the Broad Avenue Arts District in Memphis sits at the end of the Interstate 40/Sam Cooper corridor. Today on Broad Avenue you're likely to find pop-up shops, free art walks, vibrant murals, busy bike lanes, free outdoor concerts and TV-famous restaurants. 

Historic Collierville Town Square 
Downtown Collierville
Established in 1867 after the Civil War left the original town of Collierville in ashes, the historic Collierville Town Square is the only town square in Shelby County. Browse the boutique shops, enjoy a picnic in Confederate Park, hear free live music concerts or shop for hard-to-find hardware at the oldest store in Collierville, McGinnis Hardware (est. 1887). 

Martyrs Park
Located just north of I-55 Bridge
With a majestic view of the Mississippi River, the park is home to a stunning statue commemorating the suffering and courage of citizens who tended the sick and dying during the yellow fever epidemic that devastated the city in the 1870s. 

Church Park
Corner of Beale Street & Fourth St.
Church Park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Beale Street Historic District. The park was built by the city's first African-American millionaire, Robert Church, as a haven for African Americans during the early 1900s. 

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