Splash pad in Memphis, TN

Experience A Fun-Family Vacation In Memphis

Sure Memphis is known for late night blues clubs on Beale Street, but the Bluff City is not just for the 21 and older crowd. There are a ton of family-friendly activities and attractions (even on Beale Street). So pack up the fam and come play around in our backyard.

Daytime adventures

The Memphis Zoo is rated one of the top zoos by TripAdvisor, and for good reason. Where else can you get up-close-and-personal with a polar bear or play in a geyser? The fun doesn’t end there, hop the tram and see everything from exotic animals (like lions, tigers, pandas) to the petting zoo and everything in between. Plan to stay at least half a day with all there is to see and do. Or find a good spot next to the red carpet at The Peabody Memphis to watch the Peabody Ducks parade to and from the lobby fountain and their penthouse suite (11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily). 

Memphis Zoo | Raphael Tenschert

What's New at the Zoo?

This spring, the Memphis Zoo will be overrun with dinosaurs. Walk amongst animatronic dinosaurs and learn how these magnificent creatures of our past are related to the animals of today. The Dino exhibit runs from Feb. 29 to July 5.

The zoo also welcomed multiple new animals to the park recently. Since their arrival in September, two jaguar cubs have been the talk of the town when it comes to the Memphis Zoo. These cats grow rapidly so now's your chance to see them as cubs. Red pandas are the newest addition to the park. Brothers Xing and Itsuki can be found in the CHINA exhibit and are known to be more active in the morning, so you might want to start your visit there. 

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If the mere mention of a museum makes your family unite in protest, then you haven’t been to Memphis. Here, we don’t use our inside voices – we actually run, splash, put out fires and sing karaoke to the top of our lungs. Then explore the Children’s Museum of Memphis where kids are encouraged to experience a flight simulator,  real airplane cockpit, 50-foot model of the Mississippi River, two live honeybee colonies and that's just the beginning. 

Want an activity to bring the whole family together? Try to solve a mystery of puzzles, clues and riddles at the Memphis Escape Rooms in under an hour to escape the room and walk away with bragging rights. 

girl fishing Children's museum
AutoZone Park Memphis Redbirds player with girl
Shelby Farms Playground
Polar Bear at Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Botanic Garden definitely welcomes busy little bodies. With outdoor areas named Playhouse Lane, Critter Creek, Wormville, and Treetop Adventure, you can only imagine the fun you can have playing in this children’s garden - My Big Backyard.

Surprise the kids with dinosaurs and a shrunken head at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum. While you’re there, take in one of the features at the CTI 3D Giant Theatre or visit a distant star system at the Sharpe Planetarium.

For anyone bursting with energy, try out the horseback riding, hiking, paddleboating, or run through the water in the new splash zone at Shelby Farms Park. Swing through the trees and zip line over a lake with Go Ape. There is also cycling, kayaking and wading in the riverwalk at Mud Island River Park.

Winding Down at Night

After a day of activities, you might want to enjoy a Broadway show or grab a box of popcorn and catch a classic movie at The Orpheum Theatre.  Past shows have included The Wizard of Oz, Swiss Family Robinson and other kid-friendly flicks. If a movie is not your thing, head over to AutoZone Park and catch a Redbirds game at the finest baseball park in the minor leagues.

As you can see, Memphis was made for families.

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