Splash pad in Memphis, TN

Spring Break In Memphis

Your Kids Will Love You For It

Note: With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, operating hours and capacity may vary. Please call ahead or check social media before visiting area businesses, attractions and restaurants.

It isn't just winter we're shrugging off this season. By the time spring break rolls around, you and your crew will be more excited than ever to venture out of the house for some serious – and safe – family fun.

Memphis offers tons of spring break activities. Sure, we've got a fantastic Children's Museum, a Fire Museum in downtown Memphis, the Museum of Science and History - Pink Palace with an IMAX theatre and planetarium which are not to be missed. But let us suggest a few outdoor playgrounds and off-the-beaten-path ways to wake your hibernating brood.

Get Out and Play

Shelby Farms Park Heart of the Park gives you many ways to run off that extra energy and wake up those sleeping muscles. Lace up the running shoes and hop on the seven-mile Greenline trail for a scenic walk, run or cycle. You can also climb into the trees and swing through ziplines with Go Ape. Challenge the kids to a game of disc golf at the 18-hole course or rent a kayak and paddle across the lake. Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms is packed with giant climbing structures, slides, sand and open grassy lawns. 

Explore 96 acres of nature at Memphis Botanic Garden. Among 29 specialty gardens, you’ll discover My Big Backyard family garden. This creative space is perfect for playing, imagining, building, picnicking and crafting a family-focused garden experience that your kids will love. At Dixon Gallery and Gardens, you can browse a collection of over 2,000 objects at the fine art museum and journey through a certified arboretum and public garden. Be sure to check the events calendar for fine arts and horticulture programs tailored for kids and families.

Take the half-mile skybridge over to Mud Island River Park. Whether you’re crossing by foot, scooter or bike, expect excellent views along the way. Prefer to trek by water? Paddleboard or kayak your way over to the park. Then, choose your own park experience. Have a picnic while taking in the sights of the Mississippi River and downtown Memphis. Snap Instagram-worthy shots in front of the MEMPHIS sculpture. Take your furry friend to Mud Island Dog Park. Or follow along the Riverwalk, a scale replica of the Lower Mississippi River. The best part – entrance into the park is free.  

For the young explorers, Ghost River Rentals provides 4-6 hour float trips on the Wolf River. Let the canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard be your classroom as you experience an almost forgotten forest ecosystem abundant with wildlife and a cypress swamp. 

Make time for the Memphis Zoo. Rated as one of the top zoos by TripAdvisor, the Memphis Zoo puts you nose-to-nose with grizzly and polar bears, sea lions, and happens to be one of only four zoos in the country with pandas. You won't want to miss the newest habitat Zambezi Hippo Camp where you can watch the resident hippos, Binti and Splash, dancing underwater or catch the Nile crocodiles feeding time as they leap into the air for their lunch. After a day at the zoo, head down the street to Overton Square to satisify a sweet tooth at Sweet Noshings and then let the kids find their inner Picasso at The Art Project, where they can find their creative side and have a blast getting their hands messy too. 

Family Fun
Memphis Outdoors
Downtown Memphis

Indoor Adventures and Must-See Attractions

If you want to explore the great outdoors with all the comfort of being indoors, stop into the Bass Pro at the Pyramid. You'll find a bowling alley, Duck's Unlimited Waterfowl and Heritage Center, wildlife (make sure to watch out for the live alligators) and the tallest free standing elevator in the nation.

If your kids are bouncing off the walls, check out Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park where they can join in a game of 3-D dodge ball or try their dunking skills with a round of Sky Slam basketball, or Autobahn Motor Speedway where you don't have to have a driver's license to burn rubber. 

Another indoor adventure that rates with families is escape rooms. Memphis Escape Rooms, with two locations in the city—Memphis Escape Rooms East Memphis and Memphis Escape Rooms Downtown—promises an experience like you've never had before. All nine rooms (six out East, three Downtown) were entirely designed and built in Memphis, so your group might outsmart an evil collector who's stolen the city's treasures . . . or recover the Magician's Code from the Temple of Spells. Each room is rated by level of teamwork, brain power and suspense so you can choose the experience that's right for your crew (groups of up to 10 and ages 8 and up are welcome).

Keep the party going on historic Beale Street. Although you may think the neon and blues are strictly 21 and up – there are tons of diversions available for the younger crowd. Your family will be bug-eyed as the Beale Street Flippers leap, twist, flip and fly for tips. They are – in a word – amazing! For family-friendly dining, the clubs on Beale serve up specialties of barbecue, seafood and burgers for lunch, and then stop into A. Schwab for an old fashioned milshake.

The family vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. As you can see, there are plenty of things to do (many of them free) that will keep the family happy, active and warm. The only complaint you’ll hear is, “Are we there yet?”

Shelby Farms Playground
Southern Heritage Festival  Memphis
Kid at the hippo exhibit - Memphis Zoo
Fish Tank Inside Bass Pro at the Pyramid