Levitt Shell in the summer

Levitt Shell. Photo Credit: Craig Thompson

Summer in the City

Fun Things to Do in Memphis This Summer

Summer is an exciting time to visit Memphis. The sun is shining, the gardens and parks are in full bloom and the packed schedule of events means there’s an array of fun things to do from activities for kids to adults-only nightlife and entertainment. Plan your getaway filled with summer fun.

Cool Treats

While other cities might be screaming for ice cream, here in Memphis we’ve got plenty of other icy treats to stay cool during the summer heat. For an iconic, only-in-Memphis experience, Jerry's Sno Cones is first on the list. This brightly colored eatery serves up a dazzling array of shaved ice concoctions from its walk-up window. Choose from flavors like Cotton Candy or Wedding Cake, and make sure to get it Supreme: loaded with a thick swirl of soft-serve ice cream.

At MEMPopS, take your pick from a constantly rotating roster of innovative seasonal ice pops (we’re talking flavors like Avocado Lime, Hibiscus Lemonade and Reverb Coffee Dulce de Leche). This local pop purveyor recently opened a new shop in East Memphis but you also can catch the signature blue-and-white-striped ice pop truck at special events around town.

Meanwhile, Wet Willie’s is the spot for adults looking to cool off with an ice-cold frozen daiquiri. Step up to the counter and select from a colorful rainbow of flavors where you’ll find everything from Chocolate Thunder to White Russian—each spiked with plenty of alcohol to get the fun started.

Movies & Concert Series

Looking for more summer ideas? Spend a warm summer evening under the stars at one of the outdoor concerts in Memphis.

Escape to the green oasis of Overton Park, Midtown’s 342-acre public park boasting old-growth forests, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis Zoo and the famous Levitt Shell, a historic performing arts pavilion where Elvis Presley performed his first professional rock ‘n’ roll show. It’s here that you can experience Memphis music at the Orion Free Music Concert Series, featuring—you guessed it—free music all summer long.

Another beautiful setting for summer entertainment, the 96-acre Memphis Botanic Garden presents live music during its 16th annual Live at the Garden concert series. Bring a bottle of wine, recline on the lawn and listen to big name acts as they perform beneath the night sky. Ticket prices vary.

Or, head indoors for a night at the movies with The Orpheum Summer Movies Series, presenting an all-star lineup of cult classics, family favorites and iconic romances, from Mighty Python and the Holy Grail to Gone with the Wind and more. Movies will be shown at The Orpheum Theatre and Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Hot Events

Head down to the Mississippi River to take in views of more than 500 paddlers as they participate in the 37th Annual Outdoors Inc. Canoe & Kayak Race on June 17, 2017. (Or if you’d rather just jump right in and do your own kayaking, book a tour with Allen’s Kayaking Adventures to explore the Wolf River or Mississippi River.)

Check our events calendar to find even more exciting things to do during your Memphis vacation.