Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Staycationing... Free and Cheap things to do in Memphis

I've been seeing lots of blog post on staycationing or vacationing in/near your town.  Living in the Memphis metro gives us loads of opportunities for free and cheap stuff to do this summer.  Memphis is full of museums, sightseeing, parks, events.  There is plenty to do if you know where to look for it.

Some of the museums in Memphis have a free or discount days so that you can enjoy their exhibits.
The Pink Palace Museum
free on Tuesdays from 1pm-5pm
The Art Museum of the University of Memphis
free admission, open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm except on university holidays and between temporary exhibits.
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens
free on Saturdays from 10am-Noon
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Pay what you can on Wednesdays. It can be a penny and up.
Civil Rights Museum
free admission on Mondays after 3pm for Tennessee residents
The Fire Museum
two for one admission on Tuesdays. Also has a family pack for up to 5 members for 20.00 with additional members being just 4.00 each.
The Stax Museum
free on Tuesdays 1pm-5pm for Shelby county residents. Unfortunately I can't take advantage of this as I live 1/2 mile from the Shelby county line.  Still going to put it on this list though.

Other Attractions
Here's a list of places that have free or discount days/events.  Some are museum-like but I don't know if I would call them a museum.
Center for Southern Folklore
The Memphis Zoo
free on Tuesdays from 2pm to close for Tennessee residents
South Main District Trolley Night
Beale Street
Even though Beale is like a huge night club after dark, during the day it's fairly family friendly.  You can walk down have a chance to see the Beale Street Flippers, search for familiar celebrities not so familiar celebrities on the Beale street music note walk of fame, see various street performers and, of course, listen to music.
Mud Island
The museum admission is not free. However, it is free to walk across and tour the riverwalk.  The riverwalk is a scale model of the Mississippi river.
The Levitt Shell
Free concerts on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check the website for concert times and information.
The Agricenter
sometimes has free or cheap events

Memphis has 167 parks so I couldn't possibly list them all. A couple popular ones are Overton Park and Audubon Park (which is also the location of the Memphis Botanic Gardens...not free but it's admission is only 5.00 for adults).
There is also Shelby Farms  a huge urban park.
Meeman-Shelby State Park
T.O. Fuller State Park

Nearby Places
Here are some places that are within a couple hour drive of Memphis
Fort Pillow State Park  (about an hour and a half drive)
Arkabutla Lake  (just under an hour drive)
Sardis Lake (just over an hour drive)
Hatchie Wildlife Refuge (hour to hour and a half drive)
there are several other rivers and lakes near Memphis as well.  Just do a quick search and you'll find them.

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