When it comes to family-friendly major cities, you can’t do much better than Memphis. Located in the southwestern corner of Tennessee, it is also its largest city. More importantly, it's packed to the gills with a broad array of kid-friendly attractions and activities. Don’t forget to take a ride on the Main Street Trolley or to coast down the Mississippi on a riverboat - dinnertime cruises are exceptional ideas. Whatever you do in the city, though, each member of the family is sure to come away with extremely fond memories. Regardless of time of year, Memphis is always ready to open its arms to anyone willing to explore.
The Children’s Museum of Memphis
Whether it’s a rainy day or you just need someplace to occupy the kids for a few hours, the Children’s Museum of Memphis will not disappoint. With its bevy of alluring hands-on exhibits, the museum appeals to kids of all ages and stages. Kids can sneak away with a good book over at the Bookatorium or learn more about money in the Bank section. The CMOM-TV area is a definite favorite, since it allows kids to report the news and appear on a television screen. The best part is, parents will have just as much fun as the kids!
The Memphis Zoo
As the home to more than 3,500 different animals, the Memphis Zoo - which is located smack-dab in the center of midtown Memphis - is a perennial favorite. Since opening its gates more than 100 years ago, the zoo has been charming and educating families with its eclectic range of amazing animals. With about 55 developed acres - and the prestige of being voted "One of the Top 5 Zoos in the U.S.” by USA Today, the Memphis Zoo is a natural place for any family to spend the afternoon.
The Memphis Botanic Garden
Sprawling out over approximately 96 acres, the Memphis Botanic Garden is a genuine delight. If you’re lucky enough to be in Memphis during the summer months, you can take advantage of the lovely farmer’s market that is regularly held here. Summer concerts are also popular options at this well-designed attraction. Make sure to bring the kids through the Japanese garden; the sensory garden is another can’t-miss feature of the site. In addition to all of that, the Memphis Botanic Garden is bursting with breathtaking plants and flowers. In addition to being surrounded by beauty, the kids will be able to learn something, too.
Mud Island River Park
The mighty Mississippi River has left an indelible mark on the character and history of Memphis ever since its inception. By paying a visit to Mud Island River Park, families and kids can learn a lot more about this amazing waterway. A five-block replica of the river is the main attraction here, and kids love roaming around it in their bare feet. Pedal boats and canoes are available for rental, offering the opportunity to see the Mississippi firsthand. Finally, families can sign up for camp out nights to enjoy the river after dark.
The Peabody Ducks
One of the most unique traditions in the city of Memphis happens everyday at 11 am and 5 pm in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel. That’s when this posh downtown property allows a group of ducks to waddle its way through, much to the delight of large groups of parents, children and other visitors. A tradition for nearly 90 years, there is a resident "Duckmaster" leading the march. The daily ritual is open to the general public - you do not need to be a guest at the hotel - and it’s definitely one of the most unusual things that you will see during your visit to Memphis! When off-duty, you can also see the ducks in their $200,000 glass and marble palace on the roof of the hotel.