AMUSEMENT PARKS AROUND THE REGION
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (800) DOLLYWOOD • Dollywood.com
Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions, live country music entertainment, demonstrating craftsmen, and four of the South’s largest festivals, all situated on 150 acres near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. New for 2011: the Barnstormer’s two pendelum arms simulate pilot stunts of the 1920’s, with speeds up to 45 miles per hour. The Gazillion Bubble Show headlines KidsFest (June 17-August 7) with laser light shows and bubble artistry. • Admission: $57/adults, $45.80/ages 4-11, under 4 free. Best Deal: Purchase one-day admission tickets after 3 p.m. and get the next operating day free.
Dollywood’s Splash Country, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Dollywood.com • (800) DOLLYWOOD
Dollywood’s Splash Country offers 30 wooded acres of water adventure for the entire family. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, experience a Smoky Mountain water park where slides and attractions range from mild to wild. Spend the day on 23 slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and three interactive children’s play. Splash Country is a regularly recognized as Travel Channel of America’s best water parks. • Admission: $46.95/adults, $41.35/ages 4-11, under 4 free. Best Deal: Ask about the Splash & Play ticket which provides three-day admission to both parks.
Magic Springs and Crystal Falls
Hot Springs, Arkansas • (501) 624-0100
Convenient to historic downtown Hot Springs, Magic Springs boasts more than 75 rides and attractions, with summer concerts by artists from Joan Jett to Blake Shelton. Savor the traditional carousel and log flume, then twist 150 feet in the air on the X-coaster or dangle your feet from The Gauntlet. Crystal Falls (free with park admission) is Arkansas’ largest water park, boasting a wave pool, tube and race slides, and the Boogie Blast, an awesome surf ride. • Admission: $44.99/adults & kids over 48”, $29.99/kids under 48”, seniors 55+, under 2 free. Admission includes both parks. $10/parking.
Silver Dollar City
Branson, Missouri • (800) 831-4FUN(386)
Pioneer days of the Ozarks come to life here, with craftsmen demonstrating period crafts, and shops galore. The latest addition is Half Dollar Holler, a woodland wonderland for the preschool set, with treetop funhouses, climbing nests, and sand tables. Adventure rides for older kids include Tom & Huck’s RiverBlast water rafting. Through July 24, KidsFest features shows by Guinness World Records tightrope walkers, amazing stunt dogs, and banana split eating contests. • Admission: $55/adults, $45/ages 4-11, under 3 free. • Best Deal: Splash and Play ticket for Silver Dollar City and White Water; includes two days at Silver Dollar City, plus a day at White Water and one night’s lodging for $125 (based on double occupancy).
Branson, Missouri • (800) 831-4FUN(386)
Branson’s White Water, a South Pacific theme park, offers an escape from the summer heat. Rides are cool, including the new, 800-foot long Aloha River’s calm waters that carry you through island landscape with gentle turns, misters, geysers, and fountains. • Admission: $38/adults, $32/ages 4-11, under 3 free.
Wild River Country
6820 Crystal Hill Rd., North Little Rock, Arkansas • (501) 753-8600
Arkansas’ largest water park, where big kids can enjoy wave pools, huge slides, and tunnels, while little kids romps in the splash pool. A great way to chill in the summer. • Admission: $33/adults, $22/kids 2-12. Online discounts.
St. Louis, Missouri • (636) 938-5300
Sprawling over 200 acres, this theme park packs a punch, offering plenty of rides and entertainment. Seven roller coasters thrill big kids, while little ones can play at Bugs Bunny National Park. Don’t forget, your ticket to Six Flags includes free admission to Hurricane Harbor Water Park. • Admission: $44.99/adult, $34.99/under 48”, under 3 free. Best Deal: Double play combo for summer in St. Louis gets you Cardinals game admission and Six Flags adult ticket for $55.
America’s Incredible Pizza Company
incrediblepizza.com/memphis 1245 Germantown Pkwy., Suite 104 309-3132
Entertainment center includes food, arcade games, indoor go-kart races, and bumper cars. Summer special: $15.99 for buffet, drink and $15 game card. Website discounts.
Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes
billyhardwicks.net • 1576 S. White Station 683-2695
bartlettlanes.com • 6276 Stage Rd., Bartlett • 386-7701
Cotton Bowl Lanes
cottonbowl-lanes.com • 9091 Hwy. 51, N., Southaven, MS • (662) 342-2695
Cordova Bowling Center
cordovabowlingcenter.com • 7945 Club Center Cove • 754-4275
funquestfamily.com • 440 W. Hwy. 72, Collierville • 850-9600
winchesterbowl.com • 3703 S. Mendenhall 362-1620
Crystal Palace • 332-3900
3364 S. Third St.
Pay just $4 a session on Fridays, 6:30-11:30 p.m., Saturdays, 1-5 p.m., Sundays until 3:30 p.m. Birthday party packages available.
Memphis Skating Centers
All three Skateland locations offer video games, birthday party packages, fund-raiser opportunities, and skating lessons.
• Skateland Raleigh 4350 Stage Rd. • 388-5152
• Cordova 7970 Club Center Dr. • 755-0221
• East End 5718 Mt. Moriah Rd. • 363-7785
Funquest Skating Center
funquestfamily.com • 440 Hwy. 72, Collierville • 850-1124
Also offers roller hockey and laser tag.
Chuck E. Cheese
• 3268 Austin Peay Hwy. • 386-0072
• 3649 Hickory Hill Rd. • 363-1064
• 1636 N. Germantown Pkwy. • 757-7776
• 7178 DeSoto Cove, Horn Lake, MS 662) 536-4684
funquestfamily.com • 440 W. Hwy. 72, Collierville
• Bowling Center • 850-9600 / 32 lanes, arcade, snack bar, proshop.
• Skating Center • 850-1124 / rink and arcade, playland. Call about special programs such as roller hockey and Need for Speed.
• Laser Tag • 850-1124 / for ages 5 and up
Golf and Games Family Park
golfandgamesmemphis.com 5484 Summer Ave. • 386-2992
Minigolf, batting cages, kiddie rides, and bumper boats make this a fun summer destination. Tweens and teens enjoy the double-deck driving range, Laser Tron, MaxFlight virtual roller coaster, and indoor ropes course. Website coupons.
laserquest.com • 3417 Plaza Ave. at Poplar Plaza • 324-4800
Laser tag for players ages 5+. Triple Play Special through Labor Day: Three games for $18.
golfandgamesmemphis.com 5484 Summer Ave. • 380-8766
Laser tag for players at least 48” tall. Different specials daily. Website deals.
Dulin’s Sports Complex
dulins.net • 7790 Fischer Steele Rd., Cordova • 758-2343
Former U of M and MLB player Tim Dulin and his staff offer year-round instruction in baseball, soccer, and lacrosse. Summer camps, indoor soccer field, and batting cages available.
fedexforum.com • 191 Beale St. 205-1234
Home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team, this state-of-the-art arena is right off downtown’s entertainment district. In addition to sports events, the Forum hosts family shows, concerts, and corporate events.
Memphis Elite Cheer and Dance
memphiselite.com • 1375 Big Orange at Macon Rd., Cordova • 624-9000
Home of the nationally ranked Memphis Elite Cheer and Dance teams, the Cheer Station offers comprehensive cheer and dance athletic programs designed to teach self-discipline, self-esteem, and teamwork; one of the largest training facilities in the Mid-South.
Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park
memphisredbirds.com • Third St. & Union 721-6000
An affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Redbirds is Memphis’ class Triple-A baseball team boasting one of the nicest stadiums in the country. Come picnic on the bluff, eat a hotdog in the bleacher seats, or cool off in one of 48 luxury suites. The park hosts 68 home games from April to September, weekend evenings with post-game fireworks. Don’t miss Sunday home games, when kids get to run the bases.
bealestreet.com • Downtown Memphis 526-0110
This world-famous thoroughfare has long been home to the blues, as well as big-name night spots like B.B. King’s Blues Club and Hard Rock Café. If you love live music, it’s here seven days a week. Visit specialty shops and tourist sites, including the early home of bluesman W.C. Handy, and A. Schwab’s Dry Goods Store, a century-old landmark and the only remaining original business on Beale.
Biblical Resource Center & Museum
biblical-museum.org • 140 E. Mulberry St., Collierville • 854-9578
Located on Collierville’s historic town square, the museum features artifacts and replicas of archaeological finds from biblical lands, a hands-on exhibit, Bible Lab, library, and museum store. During summer, the center hosts an archeology workshop for teens, where participants go on a simulated dig and uncover artifacts. Call for details. Fridays in June and July, 10:45-11:45 a.m., storytelling by Memphis Yarnspinners. • Admission: free, $3/guided tour.
Chucalissa Archaeologiåcal Museum
memphis.edu/chucalissa • 1987 Indian Village Dr. (Exit 7/Mallory Ave., off I-55.) 785-3160
Demonstrations and exhibits describe the Native Americans who first called the bluffs home. Meaning “abandoned house,” Chucalissa was inhabited by various tribes, only to be deserted in the 1500s and rediscovered in 1939. Learn about astrology, dancing, and ecology. Family Days each Saturday feature Native American Music and an archeology program. Call about the Summer Education Program for groups or come out to picnic. Gift shop features Native American handicrafts. • Admission: $5/adults, $3/ages 4-11 and seniors, under 4 free. Group rates available.
Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center
nps.gov/shil 501 West Linden St., Corinth, MS • (662) 287-9273
Operated by the National Park Service as part of Shiloh National Military Park, the center interprets the pivotal role Corinth, Mississippi, played during the Civil War. View historic photographs and read about the site of Battery Robinett, a Union fortification which experienced some of the bloodiest fighting of the war. • Admission: Free
Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange
memphiscottonmuseum.org • 65 Union Ave. • 531-7826
This museum tells the story of cotton, from field to fabric, and its role in the Memphis and world economy. Hear stories from planters and graders, see the room-sized black board where cotton was traded, view the kid-friendly Exploration Hall, and take an audio walking tour through Cotton Row. • Admission: $10/adults, $9.50/seniors, $9/students and military, $8/ages 6-12, under 6 free.
Davies Manor Plantation House
daviesmanorplantation.org • 9336 Davies Plantation, Bartlett • 386-0715
Standing at the end of a wooded lane, Shelby County’s oldest log house dates to 1807. In 1851, the structure was purchased by the Davies family and expanded into a country farmhouse, becoming the centerpiece of a 2,000-acre plantation. Now a house museum on the National Register of Historic Places Davies Manor preserves rural life in the midst of an urban setting. Children and adult group tours on pioneer life in Tennessee. • Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors, $3/students, 5 & under free. Open April- Mid-December. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m.
elmwoodcemetery.org • 824 S. Dudley 774-3212
Historic Elmwood is rich in history. The dramatic Entry Bridge, the Carpenter-Gothic Office Cottage, and the entire 80-acre cemetery are all on the National Register of Historic Places. Elmwood is also an official Bird Sanctuary and Arboretum. Find elaborate headstones, sculptures and tombs of military generals, soldiers, immigrants, and victims of the 1870s yellow fever epidemic. Docent-led daytime and evening tours are available. $12/person by reservation. $10 audio tours. • Admission: Free
Elvis Presley’s Graceland
elvis.com • 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd. (800) 238-2000 • elvis.com
See how the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll lived. At Graceland, you can tour Elvis’ home, listen to an audio-guided tour featuring commentary and stories by Elvis and daughter, Lisa Marie. In addition, tours of the Elvis Car Museum, custom jets, and fashion exhibits are available. Visit Elvis.com/Kids to get your family ready to visit with videos and activity pages.
Admission: Tours from $31-$70/adults, $27.90-$70/students, $14-$70/children ages 7-12, under 6 free. Group rates for 15+.
Main Street Trolley
matatransit.com • 547 N. Main St. 274-6282
Board a vintage trolley for a tour of downtown Memphis. Three lines, Main Street, Madison Avenue, and Riverfront Loop run every 10 minutes from 6 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-1 a.m. on Friday,
9 a.m.-1 a.m. on Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. • Admission: $1/adults, $.50/disabled and seniors, $.50/11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Slavehaven Underground Railroad Museum
Slavehavenundergroundrailroadmuseum.org 826 N. Second St. • 527-3427
See a stop on the Underground Railroad where slaves were hidden during the 1800s before being smuggled onto riverboats headed to the North. The museum includes artifacts from slavery days. • Admission:
$7/adults, $5/children 4-17. Group rates.
sunstudio.com • 706 Union • 521-0664
One of the most pivitol music events of the twentieth century took place here in 1954, when Elvis Presley cut his first single with Sun producer Sam Phillips. While the studio offers daily tours, Sun continues to be a working studio. Of special interest is the Sun Studio Gallery, which contains records, photographs, and memorabilia of Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.
Admission: $12/adults, children 5-11 free, under 5 not permitted. Group discounts.
The Peabody Memphis
peabody.com • 149 Union Ave. • 529-4000
The South’s Grand Hotel is one of Memphis’ most popular attractions. The Peabody ducks march to and from the Grand Lobby daily at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. in a time-honored tradition dating back to 1933. After opening in 1925, the hotel closed for a time during the 1970s, and was restored by the Belz family in the 1980. Mid-Southerners and visitors alike enjoy people watching in the spacious grand lobby or taking in city views and music from the rooftop. • Admission: Free
W.C. Handy House Museum
352 Beale St., at 4th St. • 527-3427
A far cry from the opulence of Graceland, this tiny clapboard shotgun shack was once the Memphis home of the bluesman W. C. Handy, “the father of the blues.” While living here, he wrote “Beale Street Blues” and “Memphis Blues.” You’ll find memorabilia and period photographs. • Admission: $3/adults, $2/ages 3-17.
Crew Training International IMAX® Theater
memphismuseums.org • 3050 Central
Located in the Pink Palace Museum, IMAX immerses viewers into the fascinating world of the sciences with a four-story screen and 10,000-watt sound system. Soar this summer with Legends of Flight and Hubble. • Admission: $8/adults, $7.25/seniors, $6.25/ages 3-12. School/group rates.
Hollywood 20 Cinema
moviepage.com• 6711 Stage Rd., at Kirby Whitten in Bartlett • 763-3456
Twilight-hour special $5 between 4 and 6 p.m.
moviepage.com • 5117 Old Summer Rd. at I/240 • 763-1111
Admission: $6/adults, $5/seniors, ages 3-11 til 6 p.m., $7/adults after 6 p.m. Daily special: $4/Buy tickets from 5-6 p.m.
malco.com • Malco Movie Hotline 681-2020
Thirteen locations in Memphis and Shelby County. Matinee admission before 6 p.m. Discount admission at Bartlett Cinema 10. Kids Summer Film Fest runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from June 7-July 27 at select theaters. Showtime: 10 a.m. Admission: $2 Benefits local charities.
Malco Summer Quartet Drive-In
5310 Summer Ave. • 767-4320
Movies screened seven days a week in summer. Box office opens at 7:30 p.m., shows begin at 8:30 p.m. Admission: $7/adults. Double-features all the time.
backbeattours.com • 140 Beale Street 272-2328
From Beale to Sun to Stax, take a variety of tours rich in history and fun. All of Backbeat’s guides are Memphis musicians who play and sing music from the city’s heritage. See landmarks by foot or by bus. Charters available. Admission: $13-$26/adults,
$9-$14/children ages 7-12, under 6 free.
Downtown Memphis, parallels Front St.
From high atop the bluffs downtown, pedestrians and cyclists are treated to a breathtaking view of the Mississippi River. The walkway provides a wonderful way to enjoy the city’s best natural resource. Start at the Memphis Welcome Center and continue south. The walk ends at Harahan Bridge at South Bluffs. For a closer look at the river, cross River Front Drive to Tom Lee Park. Walkway is wheelchair accessible. Admission: free
The Carriage Company
carriagecomemphis.com • Downtown Memphis • 507-2587
Take a carriage tour and learn about downtown’s history. Admission: $45/30-min. $60/45-min. $75/60-min.
memphisriverboats.net • 45 S. Riverside Dr. • 527-BOAT
Ride aboard a riverboat with a tour company that has been plying the river for more than 50 years. • Admission: Sightseeing tours: $20/adults, $17/seniors and ages 13-17, $10/ages 4-12, under 3 free. Dinner cruise: $45/adults, $42/seniors, military w/ID, children ages 13- 17, $30/ages 4-12, under 3 free. New this year: Airboat rides. $30/30 min. Party of 3 or more.
FAMILY FARMS AND PETTING ZOOS
Cedar Hill Farm
cedarhfarm.com • 008 Love Rd, Hernando 662-429-2940
A family run farm on 120 acres, Cedar Hill offers a petting zoo of animals from cows to peacocks. Take a pony ride, hay ride or play paintball on the vast property. A farmer’s market offers local honey, free range eggs, and berry picking. Open seasonally.
kidzkountrypettingzoo.com • 5960 Tchulahoma, Southaven • 662-349-2909
With rabbits, pony rides, bottle-fed lambs and a rooster named Elvis, Kidz Kountry is a great destination to get away from the urban scene. Kids experience hands-on learning about farm life, romp at the playground or picnic at the pavillion. Reservations required.
MUSEUMS (for Art Museums, see the Arts section)
The Children’s Museum of Memphis
cmom.com • 2525 Central Ave. 458-2678
Plenty of adventures await children at this hands-on discovery museum. There’s CMOM-TV, where kids can act on TV, a pint-sized grocery store, a fire truck, and an airplane cockpit. Float a toy boat down a model of the Mississippi or play on a stage. CMOM also offers educational programs and special exhibits. • Admission: $10/all ages, under 1 free. Group rates.
The Fire Museum of Memphis
firemuseum.com • 118 Adams • 320-5650
This museum traces the history of Memphis firefighting. Housed in Fire Station No. 1, you’ll find station memorabilia as well as interactive exhibits that teach fire safety.• Admission: $6/adults, $5/ages 3-12, $4/seniors, military w/ID; under 2 free. Free day: Tuesdays, two-for-one. Banquet room available for birthday parties and special events.
Gibson Guitar Factory
gibson.com • 145 Lt. George W. Lee Ave. 544-7998
Take the 45-minute docent-led tour and see how the largest guitar manufacturer in the world makes the famous Gibson electric. • Admission: $10. Children under 5 not admitted. Reservations recommended.
Memphis Pink Palace Museum
memphismuseums.org 3050 Central 320-6362
Tennessee’s most visited museum, the Pink Palace is a fascinating exploration of the natural and cultural history of the Mid-South. Exhibits feature prehistoric creatures; preserved examples of wildlife and fossils; and a reflection of human history from Native American artifacts and Civil War memorabilia to a replica of the first Piggly Wiggly self-service grocery. Crew Training International IMAX® features IMAX adventure films. This summer’s exhibit: Alex’s Antarctic Adventures an interactive account of PlarTREC teacher’s study of Weddell Seals • Admission: $9.75/adults, $9.25/seniors, $6.25/ages 3-12.
Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
memphisrocknsoul.org • 191 Beale St. 205-2533
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, created by the Smithsonian Institute, tells the story of the blues and evolution of pop music. Located at the FedExForum, it offers a comprehensive Memphis music experience from rural field hollers of the 1930s, through Memphis’ musical heyday with the explosion of Sun, Stax, and Hi Records during the 1960s. • Admission: $11/adults, $8/children ages 5-17, under 5 free.
National Civil Rights Museum
civilrightsmuseum.org • 450 Mulberry 521-9699
Located on the site of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, this was the first museum nationally to tell the story of the civil rights movement. Interpretive displays and realistic vignettes include such landmark events as the March on Washington, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the desegregation of Little Rock
High School. The museum tour comes to a climax in Rooms 306 and 307, where King was staying when struck by a sniper’s bullet. Cross the street to view the rooming house rented by James Earl Ray. • Admission: $13/adults, $ 11/seniors and students w/ID, $ 9.50/ages 4-17, under 3 free. Free day: Mondays to Tennessee residents after 3 p.m.
memphismuseums.org • 3050 Central 320-6320
Located in the Pink Palace Museum, the Sharpe Planetarium features seasonal astronomy programs for children and adults. Experience the night sky and new full dome video. • Admission: $4.50/adults, $4/seniors and ages 3-12.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
soulsvilleusa.com • 926 McLemore Ave. 946-2535
The Stax Museum salutes the artists whose careers were launched by Stax Records in Memphis and examines the rise of soul music. Memorabilia, exhibits, gold records, video footage, even a 100-year-old Mississippi Delta church are some of the artifacts you’ll see here. • Admission: $12/adults, $11/seniors, students and military w/ID, $9/ages 9-12, under 8 free.
The University of Memphis Public Earthquake Resource Center
ceri.memphis.edu • 3918 Central 678-2007
Free guided tours (by appointment) cover local and international earthquake activity. Groups welcome (ages 10 and up).
haveastandard.com • 7790 Fischer Steel Rd • 756-1818
Be part of a superhero rescue mission at C.R.O.S.S. Fire Commandos, where kids ride a zip line, run an obstacle course, and jump on a trampoline during this action-filled party. You’ll have one hour in the gym, and 30 minutes in party room. Parents bring food and drink. • $135/up to 10, $160/11-15 kids
Game Truck Party
gametruckparty.com • 240-6266
The latest X-Box and Wii games, housed in a tricked out truck and brought right to your door is what Game Truck Party is all about. Interactive games with a ref to help newbies.Gaming at its best. $299 for 2 hours/20 kids.
River City Gymnastics
rivercitygymnastics.com • 7995 Stage Hills Blvd. • 388-3737
RiverCity provides one hour of play using foam pits, tumble tracks, obstacle courses, and the air track mountain in their gym, followed by 30 minutes in the party room. Saturday parties only. • $175 for up to 15 kids, $200 for 15-25.
Sweet and Sassy
sweetandsassy.com • 2886 Wolf Creek Pkwy • 379-9993
Girls get to tap their inner diva or pop star with eight different party themes offered at Sweet and Sassy. Hair, nails, and makeup, naturally, but fashionistas get a runway show, and pop star status means singing karaoke. Too fresh! Packages start at $269 for 9 girls.
Viking Cooking School
vikingrange.com • 1215 Ridgeway Rd. 763-3747
Kids learn how to cook at Viking Cooking School, where three-hour parties include chef instruction on pizza, pasta, or cupcake-making. Package prices vary depending upon recipe and ingredients.
Chickasaw State Park
state.tn.us/environment/parks/Chickasaw Hwy. 100, Henderson, TN • (731) 989-5141
From sand-ringed Lake Placid to riding stables, playgrounds, and hiking trails, this park has something for everyone. Just one hour east of Memphis, Chickasaw features some of the highest (and most scenic) terrain in West Tennessee. Families can enjoy fishing, camping, lake swimming, and paddleboats. • Admission: Free. Fees for activities.
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
tennessee.gov/environment/parks/ MeemanShelby • 13 miles north Hwy. 51 in Millington • 876-5215
Known as Shelby Forest, this state park sits atop the Chickasaw Bluffs. In addition to hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, and a Frisbee golf course, dip into the Olympic-sized swimming pool ($4, under 3 free, closed Mon/Tues). The park also offers fishing at Poplar Tree and Piersol Lakes and a nature center. Cabins and tent sights available. • Admission: Free
Nature Conservancy of Tennessee
This nonprofit preserves more than 270,000 acres of natural areas across the state.
Locally, you can explore a cypress swamp at the William Clark Conservation Area in Rossville, or canoe the Hatchie River. Visit the website to learn more.
One of the largest parks in midtown Memphis, Overton offers a 9-hole public golf course, playgrounds, and hiking in old growth forest. The park abuts the Memphis Zoo and Levitt Shell where free concerts take place each spring and fall. Nature hikes the second Saturday and last Sunday of the month.
shelbyfarmspark.org • 500 North Pine Lake Dr. (visitor center) • 767-PARK
This 4,500-acre park offers a bit of everything for nature lovers and a fantastic new playground for kids. Shelby Farms is home to bison, a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and deer. Fishable lakes offer catfish, brim, and bass (fishing with license or permit required). Also available: picnic pavilions, paddleboats, ($12/hour for 2, $18/hour for 4), horseback riding ($25/1-hour trail ride, $5/pony ride), and a Frisbee golf course. Don’t miss the new Woodland Discovery playground or the 12-mile Greenline bike trail that runs from the park west to Midtown. • Admission: Free
Shiloh National Military Park
nps.gov/shil • Hwy. 22 (110 miles east of Memphis), 12 miles south of Savannah (731) 689-5696
National Historic Park commemorating the Civil War battle fought here in 1862. Park includes interpretive museum, monuments, burial grounds, and gift shop. Annual living history demonstration the first weekend in April, others throughout the year. • Admission: $5/family, $3/individual.
The town of Collierville offers two sprinkler parks: W.C. Johnson Park and Suggs Park, south of the town square. Cool, wet, fun.
Strawberry Plains Audubon Center
strawberryplains.audubon.org • Hwy 311, north of Holly Springs • (662) 252-1155
This beautiful wildlife sanctuary, once a cotton plantation, was left to the National Audubon Society by the Finley-Shackleford family. You’ll find a visitor’s center, antebellum home, and 2,500 acres laced with hiking trails. Special events include the Hummingbird Migration Celebration, September 9 to 11. Admission: $8/adults, $5/children ages 5-12, under 5 free.
Village Creek State Park, Wynne, Arkansas
arkansasstateparks.com/villagecreek/ County Rd. 71, Wynne, Arkansas (870) 238-9406
Village Creek, Arkansas’ second largest state park, sprawls along Crowley’s Ridge. You’ll find the hilly terrain suitable for hiking or biking. Bring canoes or kayaks to explore the park’s two lakes. Camping and horseback riding are also popular here.• Admission, free. Fees for camp sites.
The Greenway Nature Trail
Wolf River Blvd. west of Germantown Parkway
This 2.5-mile park parallels the Wolf River and covers a rich variety of ecosystems, including a pond, meadow, wetlands, bottomlands forest, and the Wolf River. Despite its urban location, wildlife abounds here. The wide, paved trail is ideal for walking or biking. Interpretive stations along the way tell of the river’s wildlife as well as how the different ecosystems function. Watch for deer, beaver, turtles, frogs, and over 200 species of birds.
Tennessee State Parks
Our region has a number of state parks within one to three hours drive from Memphis. To learn more, go to the state’s website.
SCIENCE AND NATURE
Lichterman Nature Center
memphismuseums.org • 5992 Quince 767-7322
This 65-acre park offers walking trails that wind through forest, meadow, and lake habitats. Discover animals and reptiles at the Backyard Wildlife Center with living exhibits and interactive activities. You’ll also find a native plant greenhouse, amphitheater, and some special events • Admission: $6/adults, $5.50/seniors, $4.50/ages 3-12, under 3 free. Free admission for Pink Palace members.
Memphis Botanic Garden
memphisbotanicgarden.com • 750 Cherry 576-4100
Located at Audubon Park, the Memphis Botanic Garden (MBG) is the regional center for horticulture and environmental enrichment. Open year-round, MBG offers natural areas with native wild flowers as well as unique gardens like the Japanese Garden of Tranquility and the Tennessee Bicentennial Iris Garden. For families, My Big Backyard is the star attraction, with a tree house and other inventive play stations. Visit the Farmer’s Market April through October and enjoy music at Live at the Garden Summer Concert Series. • Admission: $5/adults; $4/seniors, $3/ages 3-12, under 2 free.
memphiszoo.org • 2000 Prentiss Place 276-WILD
The Memphis Zoo has gained recognition as one of the nation’s premiere zoos. From pandas to pachyderms, you’ll find more than 3,500 animals in state-of-the-art displays here. Teton Trek, one of its newest exhibits, gives visitors a taste of Yellowstone National Park, with grizzly bears and wolves that prowl and a geyser water fountain. The ever-popular Birds and Bees exhibit runs Memorial Day to September 1. Zoo camps feature hands-on learning during summer and school breaks. • Admission: $15/adults, $14/seniors, $10/ages 2-11, under 2 free. $5/parking.
Several major events unfold each year at the river, including the Sunset Symphony during Memphis in May, and a fireworks extravaganza on July 4th. Numerous parks along the river and on Mud Island make it ideal for biking and picnics. • Free
Mud Island River Park
mudisland.com • 125 N. Front • 576-7241
Mud Island gives you scenic views of the city’s skyline. Walk or bike over the pedestrian bridge for free. Or ride the monorail ($4/round trip). Once there, you can sail boats down the River Walk, a five-block-long scale model of the Mississippi River. Or step into the Mississippi River Museum, which hosts permanent and changing exhibitions on river culture. In the summer, concerts jam at the amphitheater and canoes and kayaks float the Wolf River Harbor. • Admission: Park grounds, free. Museum: $10/adults, $9/seniors, $7/ages 5-11, under 4 free.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Take advantage of the many athletic programs offered by Memphis and its surrounding communities through the parks and recreation departments. Area churches offer additional programs.
townofarlington.org • 867-2620
Bartlett Parks and Recreation
cityofbartlett.org • 385-5590
Collierville Park & Recreation
colliervilleparks.org • 457-2770
Germantown Parks & Recreation
germantown-tn.gov • 757-7375
Lakeland Parks and Recreation
Memphis Park Commission
cityofmemphis.org • 576-4200
cityofmillington.org • 873-5770
SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS
Greater Memphis Special Olympics
specialolympicsmem.org • 683-1271
Provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.
Mid-South Adaptive Sports and Recreation
masrteam.org • 8489 Buckhurst Rd 355-6005
MASR is a nonprofit organization that enables children ages 2-21 with physical or visual disabilities to realize their potential through sport, recreation, and lifestyle changes. Sports include wheelchair basketball, swimming and swim lessons, biking, track and field, archery. Fees vary according to activities. Scholarships available.
United Cerebral Palsy
ucpmemphis.org • 4189 Leroy • 761-4277
“Life without limits for people with disabilities” is the motto for this organization that serves the tri-state area. UCP offers equipment recycle and loan program, a day room with volunteers teaching basic math and reading skills and range of motion exercise programs.
Make A Splash Mid-South
lebonheur.org/safekids • 287-6730
Organized by Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Mid-South, Make A Splash offers a limited number of free swimming lessons. Children who receive free school lunch qualify for the program. The organization also hosts an annual diversity swim meet for beginner swimmers in the spring.
Six indoor and six outdoor pools offer swim lessons year-round for children and adults. Also available are water safety courses and rehabilitation therapy through St. Francis Hospital Sports Medicine.
The Dive Shop
diveshop1.com • 999 S. Yates • 763-3483
Celebrating 50 years of fun and adventure, The Dive Shop offers group and private swim instruction stressing water safety and aquatic independence. Snorkeling and scuba diving lessons are available as well.
The Pool School
Swimpoolschool.com • 386-1999
Since 1995, The Pool School has taught thousands of kids how to swim using a play-based structured curriculum. Locations at St. George’s pool in Collierville and the Downtown YMCA.