Known for its culture that inspired rhythm and blues, the energetic city of Memphis, Tennessee is home to not only the beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll music, but also to many family-friendly activities. Check out Graceland, the zoo, or an educational exhibit at the museum. Book a stay at a Memphis vacation rental today. Consider entertaining your kids with these top 10 Memphis attractions.
1. Visit Graceland
A vacation in Memphis isn’t a vacation without a tour of Graceland, the home of the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis Presley. Travel just 10 miles from downtown Memphis to see the King’s pink Cadillac, view his expansive record collection, and check out the jungle room. Opt for a narrated tour to learn more about Elvis’ upbringing, career, and life as a whole while wandering the grounds that include the King’s actual grave.
2. Check Out the Memphis Zoo
Set your kids wild when you visit the wild animals at one of the best zoos the United States has to offer. The Memphis Zoo features a petting zoo, exotic animals on display, and even crisp waterfalls and streams. If you’re visiting in the winter, you’re in luck because the Memphis Zoo is open year round and features an outdoor ice skating rink. Vacationing close to Halloween? Enjoy the Zoo Boo activities complete with a painted pumpkin patch, costume contests, and opportunities for your children to trick-or-treat.
3. Take a Boat Cruise
Catch breathtaking views when hopping on board a boat cruise in Memphis. Just head over to the Beale Street Landing to see the river, and then get an even closer glance when taking a ride on the American Queen Steamboat Company’s Memphis riverboats. The riverboats offer food and beverages so you can grab dinner while floating down the river with the kids.
4. See the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Give the kids an authentic look at how rock ‘n’ roll began with a tour of Sun Studios, known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. The former owner of Sun Studios was responsible for launching the careers of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, and Elvis Presley. On the guided tour, you can learn about artists of the past and present, and the kids may even get to hear a few tracks that haven’t been released yet.
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5. Capture Some Culture on Beale Street
Dive into the buzzing culture that Memphis is known for with a day trip to Beale Street. As the heart and soul of Memphis, Beale Street features live musical acts your family can enjoy while taking a stroll to see the bright lights in the big city. Stop in one of the many stores with music memorabilia to grab a souvenir, and treat the kids to a taste of Memphis barbecue along the way.
6. Play at the Children’s Museum
Get ready for a jam-packed day of fun when visiting the Children’s Museum of Memphis. Featuring hands-on exhibits and fun-filled programs, this museum offers entertainment for all ages. Experience living in space in the Living in Space exhibit, or learn about the science of flight and package distribution on the FedEx conveyor system. The Engine House 18 exhibit allows your little ones sit on a fire engine in the museum while they learn how firehouses work.
7. Explore Shelby Farms Park
Put nature at the top of your priority list when visiting Shelby Farms Park in Memphis. This urban park offers your family 4,500 acres to explore the great outdoors. Take a long hike on one of the trails, or bring your bikes to feel the breeze on your face while riding along the Mississippi River. Let the kids test their climbing and balancing skills when playing on the outdoor rope course, or spend a few hours at the playground. This park is also home to a herd of buffalo, so your kids can experience a sight they probably don’t see at home.
8. Visit the Pink Palace
Show your kids that everything is prettier in pink when touring the Pink Palace Family of Museums in Memphis. This museum features a planetarium and 3D giant theater that features popular films and local documentaries. See odd exhibits such as the Shrunken Head or the Burton Callicott murals covering the walls when exploring this mansion that doubles as a museum.
9. Learn About Memphis History
Make your next vacation to Memphis one that is fun and educational when you take a bus tour to learn about the city’s history. Sign up for a tour that takes you to Cotton Row near the Memphis riverfront, or journey to Elmwood Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in the city. Bus tours also travel to Davies Manor Plantation, which spans 2,000 acres, and to Victorian Village, also known as “Millionaires’ Row.”
10. Splash Around in the Mississippi
Soak up the sun when you pinned a day at Mud Island River Park. Take your kids on a stroll along the Mississippi River, or dive in to cool off on those hot and humid days. Get wet and wild when renting paddle boats or kayaks to take out on the river during the summer months when you need to wind down close to your vacation rental.
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