Paddle Boarding at Shelby Farms

What To Do This Summer in Memphis

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 scream 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 has shops in East Memphis, Collierville, and inside the Crosstown Concourse, but you also can catch the signature blue-and-white-striped ice pop trucks and carts 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.

Live music at Railgarten | ForeverReady Productions
Jerry's Sno Cones | Alex Shansky
Canoeing on a river in Memphis
Shelby Forest General Store in Summer | Oui We Girl
June 5 - Aug. 12 (Select dates)

live Music outdoors

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

Turn it up on Beale Street this summer at the free Get Loud concert series in the newly renovated W.C. Handy Park. Get Loud kicks off on Saturday, June 5th with a concert from GRAMMY Award winner P.J. Morton and special guests Marcella + Her Lovers. Every Thursday evening through August 12th, enjoy free outdoor concerts from bands like St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Rebirth Brass Band, and Marc Broussard. Check out the full lineup and schedule. 

Downtown Memphis hosts Sip & Song Happy Hours every other Wednesday evening at local restaurants and shops like Tailor’s Union, South of Beale, Earnestine & Hazel’s, and Alcenia’s. All the music is free and each performance begins at 5:30 p.m. Stick around for dinner and drinks in South Main Arts District. 

Another beautiful setting for summer entertainment, the 96-acre Memphis Botanic Garden presents live music during its Locals Live concerts at Radians Amphitheater—the next performance is by Elton John tribute artist “Almost Elton John” on June 26th. The Botanic Garden will also host Food Truck Garden Parties on June 10, September 9, and October 14 with food trucks, live music, and cash bar.


Head Outdoors 

Spend the day at the nation's largest urban park, Shelby Farms, where you can zip line with GoApe,  or rent a stand up paddle board. Go on a kayaking adventure and explore the Wolf River or Mississippi River on a tour with Allen’s Kayaking Adventures. Explore the city by bike through Explore Bike Share with access to over 600 bikes at 60 stations around Memphis. Stop by the Shelby Forest General Store for a map and a burger, and then spend the day explore Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park and hike through 12,539-acres of hardwood bottomland area bordering the mighty Mississippi River. 

Want to be a part of the action without breaking a sweat? Catch an All-American baseball game at Autozone Park and cheer on the Memphis Redbirds.  Just don't forget to grab some barbecue nachos and a hot dog.