AutoZone Park Memphis Redbirds game
Memphis Zookeeper feeds giraffe
Buffalo at Shelby Farms Park. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in Memphis
Peabody Duck March. Photo Credit: The Peabody Memphis
Starry Night Carriage Ride at Shelby Farms Park: Andrea Zucker
Memphis Zoo: Commercial Appeal by A.J. Wolfe
Teton Trek at Memphis Zoo: Memphis Zoo

Memphis Fun for the Whole Family

Need family vacation ideas?

There’s a moment every spring when your spirit lifts and your mind starts to wander to family vacation ideas. It's that time. Pack up your minivan, roll down your windows to take in some of that Memphis sunshine, and follow our recommendations for family-fun.

Memphis Zoo
With over 3,000 animals, including giraffes, lions, and a family of polar bears, the Memphis Zoo is often ranked as one of the best in the nation, according to TripAdvisor. A popular spot for residents and visitors, the zoo is centrally located in Overton Park. It’s unique not only for its broad of range species, but also its size. Like Memphis, the zoo is not too big or too small. It offers visitors enough to see in one day, but not so much that the experience overwhelms. Over the past few years, the zoo has made an effort to expand its exhibits, including the popular sea lion show, which families can catch two times a day; “Teton Trek: A Tribute to Yellowstone National Park;” and “Animals of the Night,” a rare look at nocturnal animals in the United States.

The Peabody Ducks
The Memphis Zoo isn’t the only place in town with animals. The Peabody Memphis is well known to many visitors as one of the most historic hotels in the South. They also know it as having one of the most unique traditions of any institution. Every day the Peabody Ducks, a small group of mallards, make their way down from the hotel’s rooftop to spend the day lazily swimming around the hotel’s grand lobby fountain. Guided by the Peabody Duck Master, the ducks receive royal treatment, including a red carpet and international paparazzi (mostly hotel guests). Incredibly charming and good fun, visiting the Peabody Ducks when they march to (11 a.m.) and from (5 p.m.) the lobby fountain is one of the best ways to spend an hour in Memphis.

Pink Palace
Parents who make the effort to take a day off from work to spend with their kids know that the zoo or even the Peabody Ducks are not enough. It’s a good thing, then, that Memphis offers families a few other options to fill up their day. One of these options is MoSH, formerly known as the Pink Palace. Once the home of Clarence Saunders, the founder of supermarket chain Piggly Wiggly, the Pink Palace offers a massive collection of historic, scientific and technological attractions. But what keeps people coming back is the Palace’s planetarium and CTI 3D Giant Theater, the only one in the Mid-South.

Mud Island River Park
For those families that need more than inside entertainment, Memphis’ Mud Island River Park is an excellent alternative. The park gives people the chance to rent bikes, canoes, kayaks or even paddleboats to use on the island or into downtown. And in the summer months, when the nights are still cool, families can rough it by camping out under the stars next to the mighty Mississippi.