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The East High Alumni Page presents:

 Things to do in Memphis!
East High School, Memphis, Tennessee

With an emphasis on free or low cost events/activities
New events added June 24, 2016   
Skip to Events    —    Read About Memphis Tourism/Event Honors

East alumnus during a visit back to his old home town and on a Jimmy Ogle history tour in downtown Memphis said it was  "... the best thing I've done in Memphis."

Booming City: nations best for music buffs
A Best of the World Must See Place

Great Urban Weekend Escape
Among Top 20 Destinations in the World
Two of top 3 Best Iconic Attractions in USA
Fifth best USA City for Starting a Business
Forth Happiest Cities for Job-Seeking College Grads
Fifth Best City for Young Artists
Best Logistics Infrastructure in USA
See the more about these accolades in the right column.

Visitors may want to move here!
If you're visiting be aware that Memphis may make you want to live here! Read about "the 'perfect day' in Memphis and the "I want to live here" response in a Memphis Flyer letter from the editor.

"...recent years have been good to Memphis and made it a city worth visiting... -Chicago Tribune, 2015

"Having lived in plenty of other places — Boston, Manhattan, Washington, D.C., Australia, South Florida, Alabama — I have an outsider's appreciation for the casual warmth and authenticity that defines life in this town...After 20 years, this is home. Geoff Calkins, 2016

Money: 3rd Best Domestic Destination, 2016
"The time has come to take singer Marc Cohn’s musical suggestion and go walking in Memphis," according to Money Magazine which rates Memphis as the third best domestic destination.

USAToday: Memphis is a "Booming City"
"Arguably the world’s most notable and unique hotel opening of 2015, the pyramid...But there is a lot more going on. The city already has the nation’s finest collection of attractions for music buffs...But now there are two more noteworthy newcomers" the Blues Hall of Fame Museum and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. And Overton Square "is suddenly thriving again." USAToday, June 5, 2015

Memphis: Best of the World
National Geographic editors cite Memphis among the "Best of the World 2013," including it in the new year's 20 must-see places! ...[T]here’s something newly electric in the air." Read the article: travel.nationalgeographic.com

Forbes names Memphis one of its "Great Urban Weekend Escapes"
- ...a fantastic choice for a weekend getaway... In fact, I had been to Memphis thrice before but was still shocked by how many stand-out attractions...  Memphis excels, and I mean really excels, in four distinct areas, each worth a visit: attractions, culture/museums, entertainment, and dining... [Read more]

Yet another source agrees, MSN Living is listing Memphis one of it's top 20 travel destinations in the world for 2013. "Today, Memphis is undergoing a revival." [Read more]

Fodor’s Travel names Memphis Zoo a Top 10 Zoo in the nation (2015)

Graceland was named Best Iconic American Attraction in a 2013 USA Today and 10Best readers choice poll, garnering almost half of all votes in its category for a landslide victory. The National Civil Rights Museum took third place, making Memphis and San Francisco as the only cities with two attractions on the list.  [read more: The Commercial Appeal or USA Today]

Beale Street voted America’s favorite iconic street in a USA Today and 10Best poll: USA Today

WalletHub.com rates Memphis as the fifth best USA city in which to start a business. wallethub.com
 Memphis #4 on the list of Happiest Cities For Job-Seeking College Grads  Forbes and CareerBliss.com.

5th “Best City for Young Artists” in 2014 by Bustle

Forbes: Big Cypresss Lodge in the Bass Pro Pyramid is one of the 10 Best (international) Hotels Of The Year 2015

The list of accolades for Memphis could go on and on. Just know that your hometown of Memphis is making big waves in travel, entertainment and business.

Specific Events
Continuing Events/Exhibits

Memphis Zombie Walk
June 24, 2016, 7:30pm (makeup help begins at 4:30)
Handy Park, 200 Beale Street
This event is free although money and canned donations for the MidSouth Food Bank are solicited. If you're adverse to the sight of (fake) blood, this gathering may not be for you. Memphis zombies dress the part and parade down Beale Street and beyond. Although makeup specialists will help you look the part, it is recommended participants arrive dressed and decorated already as their could be a long wait for the artistic help. Children are welcome.

WKNO 60 Year Anniversary Open House (FREE)
Saturday, June 25, 2016, 10am-2pm
7151 Cherry Farms Road, Memphis (Cordova)
"Educational" broadcasting station WKNO celebrates its 60 year anniversary with an open house. Tour the its "digital media center" and meet local hosts of WKNO programs. The television station will also air a special schedule of its "Memphis Memoirs" programs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. See the link for the schedule and more information.

Community Patriotic Celebration (FREE)
Saturday, June 25, 2016, 5-6pm
Germantown Municipal Park, 1900 S. Germantown Rd., Germantown
This celebration will include fun and games for kids, refreshments, and a patriotic concert by the Germantown Baptist Church Orchestra.

Patriotic Pops Concert (FREE)
Thursday, June 30, 2016, 7:30pm
Levitt Shell , Overton Park, 1928 Poplar Ave, Memphis
The annual Patriotic Pops concert, held at the Levitt Shell, will include favorites such as the Star Spangled Banner and Battle Hymn of the Republic. The event will feature members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra as well as guest artist Jonathan Blanchard. Blanchard, who grew up in Memphis, is a soul singer whose music fuses the genres of soul, funk, jazz, spirituals, and R&B. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display!

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks Display (FREE)
Mud Island River Park
July 4, 2016
Spend the 4th of July on Mud Island - fireworks, food and family fun. Open all day and at nightfall, the best fireworks display you have ever seen will be on Mud Island River Park.  The Mud Island River Park and the Mississippi River Museum will be open from 3 - 6 p.m. The July 4th activities will begin at 6 p.m. with kid rides and games followed by music at 6:30 p.m. Then, the an awesome fireworks display will shoot from the southern tip of the island at 9:15 p.m. The park will remain open until the conclusion of the fireworks. lankets, picnic baskets, and lawn chairs are welcome. Sorry, but no pets, personal fireworks, personal alcohol or grills are allowed. Food and drink concessions including beer will be available.

The Star Spangled Fireworks Extravaganza (FREE)
Monday, July 4, 2016, 6-9:30pm  (fireworks show starts at 9:10)
Bobby K. Flaherty Municipal Center, Highway 70 & Appling Road, Bartlett
Live musical entertainment provided by the Bartlett Community Concert Band starting at 6:00 followed by Jamie Baker & the VIP's at 7:15, activities for all ages including a car display, children's activities, concessions and more. When the sun goes down the night sky will light up with a spectacular fireworks show! All activities will take place on the lawn of the Bartlett Performing Arts & Conference Center and Appling Middle School. Parking will be available in the parking lot of the BRC (Bartlett Recreation Center), the back lot at Appling Middle School and the field behind the the BRC. All these lots fill up fast and are located inside the Bobby K. Flaherty Municipal Center. Parking is not allowed on HWY 70.

Germantown Fireworks Extravaganza (FREE)
July 4,2016, 5-9:30pm (fireworks begin at 9:10pm)
Germantown Municipal Park, 1900 S. Germantown Rd., Germantown
Celebrate the nation’s birthday with live music, moon bounces, games, crafts and refreshments. Then be amazed by a spectacular fireworks display. No rain date. In the event of inclement weather, call 751- 5669 for details on event status.

Collierville Annual Independence Day Celebration (FREE)
July 4, 2016, 5:30-10pm
H.W. Cox Park, 440 W Powell Rd, Collierville
Live music from the Black Water Trio and G3, a veteran’s recognition presentation from Mayor Joyner, and more music and fireworks blasting off at about 9:35 p.m. Expect food vendors, glow sticks, kids’ bounces, and shuttle from Collierville High School to make parking easier.

Beale Street Landing Outdoor Movies (FREE)
Tuesdays, June 14-July 26, 2016, 8:30pm
Riverfront Development Corporation presents the third annual season of free movies on the grass roof of Beale Street Landing from June 14, 2016 thru July 26, 2016. For seven consecutive Tuesdays at 8:30 pm movies will be shown against the backdrop of the flowing Mississippi River. The movies will be projected on a 24 foot screen at the bottom of the southern slope of Beale Street Landing’s roof. No coolers, picnic baskets, or pets are allowed.

“Vision from Heaven: Paintings from The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Art Exhibition) (FREE)
June 6-June 30, 2016
Memphis Public Library, 3030 Poplar Avenue
An art exhibit from a former Memphis artist, Roy Hawkins, Jr. The series, which consist of eleven paintings currently, gives visual context to several Scriptures from the last book of the Bible. Each painting was created using acrylic paint or various other mediums and they have a three-dimensional (3-D) component which binds the series together cohesively. It is free for the public.

Food Truck Rodeo at Court Square
Thursdays, May-June, 2016, 11am-2pm
Court Square, Memphis
Come Enjoy the Park and Have Lunch With 6 to 10 Local Food Trucks at each event.

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks Display (FREE)
Mud Island River Park
July 4, 2016
Spend the 4th of July on Mud Island - fireworks, food and family fun. Open all day and at nightfall, the best fireworks display you have ever seen will be on Mud Island River Park.  The Mud Island River Park and the Mississippi River Museum will be open from 3 - 6 p.m. The July 4th activities will begin at 6 p.m. with kid rides and games followed by music at 6:30 p.m. Then, the an awesome fireworks display will shoot from the southern tip of the island at 9:15 p.m. The park will remain open until the conclusion of the fireworks. lankets, picnic baskets, and lawn chairs are welcome. Sorry, but no pets, personal fireworks, personal alcohol or grills are allowed. Food and drink concessions including beer will be available

Food Truck Friday
Fridays, June 3-24, 11:30am-1:30pm
FedEx Forum plaza, 191 Beale Street
During these select dates, local food trucks will be parked on the FedExForum Plaza offering their custom creations to the downtown lunch crowd. Participants can experience the mobile food movement and beat the Memphis heat with covered seating on the outdoor plaza.
June 17
El Mero Taco
Fresh Gulf Shrimp
Say Cheese 901
Food Geek
El Mero Taco
Sushi Jimmi
Say Cheese 901


Kix on Beale 2016 Concerts (FREE)
See dates below, 7:30pm
Handy Park, 200 Beale Street
All shows are for all ages and are free. All shows will be held in Handy Park starting at 7:30pm. ​No coolers please.
June 23, 2016: Drew Baldrige & LanCo.
June 30, 2016: Chase Bryant
July 21, 2016: Kane Brown
July 28, 2016: Josh Abbot Band

Privileged Music Fest (FREE)
June 24, 2016, 8pm-midnight
Handy Park, 200 Beale Street
Get pumped for a great free music fest with hosts Kameron Whalum and Ena Esco at Privileged Music Fest at Handy Park on June 24 from 8 pm – midnight. During the fest, you will gain a greater love for the Memphis sound and music history of this city while enjoying local artists.
Music Lineup:
Marco Pave
Foot Shooters
JayVee The Prince
Victoria Young
Kevin Pierre
Devin Crutcher
Cortney Richardson
2 Youth Acts
DJ Gary Steven

Family Studio at the Dixon (FREE)
First Saturday of Each Month, 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Dixon Gallery & Gardens, 4339 Park Ave.
Bring the entire family to the Dixon for Family Studio where everyone can create unique works of art, open studio-style. Each month there will be new projects and a large assortment of supplies to produce artwork as a family. Drop-in program. Free.

Jimmy Ogle Downtown History Walking Tours (FREE)
Spring, 2016 edition, starts Tuesday, April 5. See the schedule.

Whet Thursday (FREE)
Metal Museum, 374 Metal Museum Drive, Memphis
July 7, 2016, 5-8pm
The Metal Museum for Whet Thursday offers exploration of the Museum after hours for free. Enjoy free admission, food from the Sushi Jimmy food truck and live music by The Candy Company. Members receive two free drinks when you present your member card at the front desk.

Jimmy Ogle History Tours (FREE)
The 2016 schedule of history tours is on this page, each type under its own heading

Tuesday Downtown History Walking Tours

Mississippi River Bridge Walks

Shelby County Courthouse Tours

Fairgrounds History Walking Tour

Jimmy Ogle’s 2016 Downtown History Walking Tours (FREE)

It's fun, it's informative, it's free, and it's not to be missed. Jimmy Ogle continues to delight his walking tour audience with history and lore of Memphis from its early days through downtown's rebirth. Unless otherwise noted, each tour begins at 11:45 a.m. and lasts about an hour. Most, but  not all, are Tuesday tours.

There are four other sections of Jimmy Ogle events on this page, also. Don't miss those listings:  courthouse tours - bridge walks - Riverfront Parks- Fairgrounds walking tour

  •  Tuesday, April 5 - 11:45 a.m. Union Avenue Manhole Cover & History Tour, Meet at Front Street & Union Avenue (Cotton Museum)
  • Tuesday, April 12 - 11:45 a.m. Cotton Row Tour, Meet at Front Street & Union Avenue (Cotton Museum)
  • Thursday, April 14 – 5:30 p.m. Beale Street Caravan, Memphis Music Tour, meet at Beale Street Caravan Office, 49 Union Avenue
  • Tuesday, April 19 - 11:45 a.m. Mud Island Walk Bridge Tour, meet at Mud Island Station, 125 North Front Street
  • Tuesday, April 26 - 11:45 a.m.  Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana, meet at Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive
  • Tuesday, May 3 - 11:45 a.m. Beale Street, meet at the Orpheum Theatre, Main Street & Beale Street
  • Tuesday,  May 10 - 11:45 a.m. South Main Street, meet at the Orpheum Theatre, Main Street & Beale Street
  • Tuesday, May 17 - 11:45 a.m. South Front Street, Meet at Hotel Chisca, South Main Street & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
  • Tuesday,  May 24 - 11:45 a.m. Pinch District, meet at Westy's, 346 North Main Street (at Jackson Avenue)
  • Tuesday,  May 31 - 11:45 a.m. Beale Street Landing, meet at 251 Riverside Drive
  • Tuesday, June 7 - 11:45 a.m. River Bluff Walk (Butler Park to Vance Park), meet at Butler Park, 499 Tennessee Street
  • Tuesday,  June 14 - 11:45 a.m. Adams Avenue, meet at Quiltsurround, Northeast Corner of Front Street & Adams Avenue
  • Tuesday,  June 21 - 11:45 a.m. Madison Avenue, meet at University Of Memphis Law School, Front Street & Madison Avenue
  • Tuesday, June 28 - 11:45 a.m. Court Square & Surroundings, Meet at the Hebe Fountain, Court Square

Ogle tour with 3 East alumni in attendanceThis photo is one of Jimmy Ogle's Downtown History Walking Tours with at least 3 East High alumni in attendance!

Jimmy Ogle's Riverfront Parks Tours (FREE)
See schedule and locations below:
  • Sunday, April 10 – 2:00 p.m. Chickasaw Heritage Park to Crump Park, meet at Chickasaw Heritage Park, Exit 12C on Metal Museum Drive
  • Saturday, April 23 - 2:00 p.m. Cobblestone Wharf & Sultana,
    meet at Foot of Monroe Avenue & Riverside Drive

Mini-Tours in the Gardens: Tracing 40 Years in the Woodland Garden (FREE)
Every Saturday, January 31 - December 31, 2016, 10am-noon
Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park Avene
Free admission Saturdays till noon.
Tours run every 30 minutes between 10:00 am and noon.
To celebrate its 40th year the Dixon we will focus its Saturday Tours on the Woodland Garden. Garden docents will be available at the admissions booth to discuss specific highlights in the fabulous, ever-changing Woodland garden. Don’t miss the special emphasis on plants and design that are representative of our Memphis shade garden conditions.
Each month we will lead the group into our Woodland with a special horticultural focus.  Get a frequent Woodland Garden Visitor Card, get your card punched for each visit, and receive a free gift at the end of the year if you come to 4 or more tours.

East High School
East High School, circa 1967At least drive by the old school and look at the impressive architecture. But if I were you, I'd at least want to see the impressive marble lobby.If you wish to visit the campus or inside the school, contact the school's office.

The school underwent a $12.7-million dollar renovation in 2007. From the outside, the only notable distinction is the appearance of the first floor windows, where a heavy screen has been added. It makes the lower windows appear dark or even completely covered when you look at it from a distance. For more information about the renovation, see the "Photo tour of $12.8 million renovation as construction rushes toward completion."

By the way, the 2012-2013 was the last that East High was a Memphis City School. The city school system voluntarily surrendered its charter so all city schools became part of the Shelby County school district in the summer of 2013.

2016 Free Music Concert Series (FREE)
Various dates (see schedule below)
Levitt Shell, Overton Park
Every year, the Levitt Shell, formerly known as the Overton Park Shell, presents more than 50 free concerts in the heart of Midtown, Memphis. Concert start times can vary, but historically most start at 7:30 p.m. Any different start times will be noted when they are made available.
  • June 2: The Soul Rebels with the Beale Street Flippers
  • June 3: Rocket Boys
  • June 4: Big Ass Truck
  • June 5: Rising Appalachia
  • June 9: The Record Company
  • June 10: Mariachi Flor De Toloache
  • June 11: Cherry Poppin Daddies
  • June 12: Birds of Chicago
  • June 16: The Bo-Keys
  • June 17: Flow Tribe
  • June 18: Frazey Ford
  • June 19: New Ballet Ensemble
  • June 23: Hayes Carll
  • June 24: Steep Canyon Rangers
  • June 25: Stax Music Academy  (Rain Date June 26)
  • June 30: Patriotic Pops
  • July 1: Elizabeth Cook
  • July 2: Soul Classics: Ultimate Family Reunion, featuring Slave
  • July 7: Hal Ketchum
  • July 8: Lera Lynn
  • July 10: To Be Determined
  • July 14: Band of Heathens
  • July 15: Cedric Burnside
  • July 16: Uncle Lucius
  • July 17: Mipso
  • July 21: Suzy Bogguss
  • July 22: Hip Abduction
  • July 23: The Night Owls
  • July 24: Nikki Hill
  • July 28: Martin Harley
  • July 29: Snowglobe
  • July 30: RIPE
  • July 31: Alvin Youngblood Hart
Shelby County CourthouseJimmy’s Ogle's  2016 Tours of the Historic Shelby County Courthouse (FREE)
Meet at noon on the southwest steps of the courthouse located at Second Street and Adams Avenue. Cameras are not usually allowed inside this building. but they are permitted for those on the Jimmy Ogle tour!
  • January 21
  • February 18
  • March 24
  • April 21
  • May 19
  • June 16

Memphis-Arkansas BridgeJimmy Ogle's 2016 Memphis & Arkansas Bridge Walks & Talks (FREE)
There is a sidewalk across this Mississippi River bridge and the group will walk it. All these events start at 2 p.m. Meet at Crump Park, just south of I-55 on Metal Museum Drive.
  • Sunday, March 13
  • Sunday, April 24
  • Sunday, May 15
  • Sunday, June 26

Jimmy Ogle's 2016 Fairgrounds History Walking Tour (FREE)
New for 2016, Shelby County Historian Jimmy Ogle walks around the Mid-South Fairgrounds (at Central Avenue & East Parkway). Based on his first such tour, it will last about an hour and a half (though you may leave at any point). Learn about the history and share your memories of events there, including the Mid-South Fair, concerts, basketball games, ice hockey in the Mid-South Coliseum, concerts and football games at Memphis Liberty Bowl  Stadium, baseball and other activites at Tim McCarver Stadium (Blues Stadium), Liberty Land, Zippin Pippin, and much, much more. Tours start at 2 p.m. gathering on the north side of the Mid-South Coliseum.
  • February 21
  • March 20
  • April 17
  • May 22
  • June 19

South Main Trolley Night (FREE)
When: last Friday, every month all year, 6-9 p.m.
Where: South Main Arts District - Memphis
Every last Friday of the month in the South Main Arts District. The ring of the trolley sounds as the shops, restaurants and galleries in the area open their doors to the throngs of Memphians and visitors who make Trolley Night on Main an fun downtown event. It's a good time to browse the stores and galleries for that unique piece of art, clothing or jewelry while sipping a glass of wine and partaking of the wide array of tasty party foods. Slip onto the trolley for a free ride to the next stop and more shops. Obviously, the merchandise is not free.
Notice: trolley service has been temporarily suspended as of June 11, 2014.  Extra buses running on Front Street at the trolley fare are available during the regular trolley schedule.

The Magevney House (FREE)
Open the first Saturday each month, 1-4 p.m.
198 Adams Avenue
This small, white clapboard cottage was built in the 1830's and was home to Irish immigrant, Eugene Magevney. The house is one of the city's oldest remaining residences, perhaps the oldest. Typical of pre-Civil War, middle-class homes, it is furnished as it might have been in 1850 and features several personal possessions of the Magevney family, including a desk bureau and other antiquities. A kitchen garden and grape arbor are found behind the house.

Mud Island River Park (FREE)
Mud Island Park, foot of Poplar Avenue at Front Street
April 9-Oct. 31, 2016, 10am-5pm (Closed Mondays)
Experience the River on The River!! See the Mighty Mississippi River up close. Hike down our 5 block long riverwalk model and see the Mississippi in miniature. Explore the 18-gallery Mississippi River Museum including two full size boat models you can board! (Museum is NOT free, tram ride is NOT free, bridge is free.)

Mississippi RiverMississippi River (FREE)
Pretty impressive site. Walk along the Bluff Trail (daylight hours only) or the sidewalks in the parks along/overlooking the river.
Mississippi River parks in Memphis - http://www.memphisriverfront.com/parks
River Walk & Bluff Walk - http://www.memphisriverfront.com/parks/riverwalk

Hiking in Shelby ForestShelby Forest State Park (now know as Shelby-Meman State Park & T.O. Fuller State Park
Tennessee state parks, free. Hiking, camping, picnicking, disk golf, fishing, biking, cabins, horseback riding (horse rental not available), swimming. Check individual park web sites for amenities available at each park.

Overton ParkMajor local parks
Overton Park (FREE) - Golf course, trail through the Old Forest State Natural Area, Rainbow Lake, Overton Park Shell, etc. Some attractions are not free (Golf, some concerts at the shell, the zoo, etc.)

Shelby Farms - (you remember it as the Penal Farm!) (FREE) - good but mostly flat hiking, lakes, horseback riding rentals (not free), etc.

Memphis Botanic Gardens (Not free)

Greenlines & Rails to Trails (FREE):
Greater Memphis Greenline - http://greatermemphisgreenline.org/
Shelby Farms Greenline - website
Wolf River Greenway - website

Cooper-Young Night Out (FREE*)
Every 1st Thursday, 5–9 p.m.
Live music, retail specials, and assorted cuisines in Midtown's historically hip district. Obviously food, drink, and merchandise is not free, but music venues often are.

Famers' Markets (FREE*)
Quite a few farmers' markets offer fresh and locally grown produce during the growing season and in some cases beyond. farmers' markets have become entertainment and social events as well as a food vending venue. Generally speaking, admission is free and any entertainment at the venue is also free. The produce and other products, of course, are not free. So here are a few of Memphis area farmers' markets that seem to verify via the Internet that they are, in fact, in operation as advertised. You are urged to verify the operation of any market via their Internet presence before traveling to one.

Comedy Open Mic Night (FREE*)
Thursday, every Thursday night 9:00pm – 11:30pm
P&H Cafe, 1532 Madison Avenue
Free as in no cover, food and beverages cost. Open Mic Comedy features some of the best and worst comics in Memphis taking the stage every week at the famous P&H Cafe. All are welcome to test their comedy skills or just to come laugh and watch. Ages 21+
For more information:  901-726-0906 or PandHcomedy@gmail.com

Trivia Night at Huey's Downtown (FREE*)
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 (and every Wednesday), 8:30pm – 10:30pm
Huey's Downtown, 77 S. Second Street
Free as in no cover charge, food and beverages cost. Play trivia at Huey's Downtown. The winning team receives a Huey's gift card. All ages.

The Memphis Jazz Orchestra at Alfreds (FREE*)
Sundays, 6pm – 9pm
Alfred's on World Famous Beale Street
Free, as in no cover, but food and beverages cots. The orchestra performs weekly on Sunday's 6pm-9pm. Ages 21+

Memphis Tech Coffee
Every Tuesday morning,  7:30am – 9:30am
Unknown (see below)
Republic Coffee, where this has been held, is closing Feb. 8, 2016. Unknown at this time if/where Memphis Tech Coffee may meet in the coming weeks.
A casual coffee meet up for the Memphis tech community. Come and go as you need to.

Memphis Music Hall of Fame (not free)
Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Beale Street and Second Street, Memphis
$8 adult; $6 youth ages 5-17
Memphis Music Hall of Fame museum and exhibition will introduce guests to the greatest musicians of all time – each responsible for shaping modern music and changing the world forever, and each an inductee of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. This fun, fascinating and educational exhibition will feature never-before-seen memorabilia, rare video performances and interviews, interactive exhibits, and more.

Sunset atop the Madison
Thursdays, 7 - 11pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Madison Hotel Rooftop, 79 Madison Avenue, Memphis
Live entertainment, a special rooftop terrace menu created by eighty3 executive chef Connor O’Neill, a cash bar, and the best sunset view in Memphis!
This is not free, admission/cover $7, cash bar.
The Madison Hotel is in the renovated historic Tennessee Trust (Bank) building and is one of the city's finest hotels. This writer has never attended a rooftop party there but they sound like fun.
The rooftop parties are held every Thursday. According to one observation, "The rooftop is relatively small and has limited seating.  There is room to dance, but the crowd (which is more mature than that of some other rooftop parties) does get cozy."
Facebook site

Lorraine Motel, The National Civil Rights MuseumNational Civil Rights Museum
Located at the historic Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. It chronicles the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 with historical exhibits, including Room 306, the hotel room where Dr. King stayed in April of 1968.
Free for TN residents w/ID  Mondays after 3 p.m. (museum closes at 5 p.m.)

Memphis ZooMemphis Zoo
Recognized as one of the top zoos in the nation - Free to TN residents with acceptable photo ID Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to close, except in March. If you do not attend when it is free, it is expensive and there is an additional parking fee if you park in the zoo's lot. The parking fee probably applies during the free admission period, also.

Pink Palace Museum
(the exhibits are not what remember from our childhood) - Free Tuesdays from 1-5pm. (Enchanted Forest, IMAX and Planetarium shows are not included)

Lichterman Nature Center
Free Tuesdays from 1 p.m. until closing

Brooks Museum of ArtBrooks Memphis Museum of Art
Closed until April 29, 2016 for renovations
Overton Park
Near free. Wednesdays admission is per donation only. From a penny to any dollar amount, you decide what you pay. If you're part of a group of 10 or more please call our Tour Coordinator at 901.544.6215. 

Dixon Gardens & GalleryDixon Gallery & Gardens
Park Avenue & Cherry Road
Tuesday: 10am-4pm: Pay-What-You-Can
Saturday: 10am-noon: Free, galleries and gardens


Sun Studio - birthplace of Rock 'n' RollSun Studio
Union Avenue & Marshall Avenue
Where the first rock 'n' roll record was ever recorded, whether you believe that was Elvis's "That's all right," or Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm band's "Rocket 88". Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and once again an active recording studio. A National Historic Landmark  Not free except on rare occasions but highly recommended. The photo to the left shows the main entrance for visiting the studio, though it is and was then a restaurant, not the studio. The studio is next door.

Rock 'n' Soul Museum
Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, by the Smithsonian Institution
FedEx Forum
Tennessee residents free admission any Tuesdays 2-7 p.m.with photo ID with proof of residence.

Gibson Guitar Factory & StoreGibson Guitar Factory Tour
Second Street & Lt. George W. Lee Avenue, downtown Memphis, near Beale Street and the FedEx Forum. A tour is offered of the workshops where the guitars are made. Not free but it can be interesting, especially for musicians and woodworkers. There is also a retail store where the guitars are impressive and expensive!

Cotton Museum
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday: Noon - 5 p.m.
65 Union Avenue, Memphis
The main exhibit is located on the Historic trade floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange- where cotton traders once stood at the center of the global cotton economy. This space is now filled with artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of "King Cotton" and its impact on the world. Highlights include original films, detailing specific aspects of the cotton industry, oral histories from individuals involved, and exciting temporary exhibits.

Elvis' home. Various tour packages. Expensive. Or as one person suggests, you can stand outside the pink Alabama fieldstone wall and driveway gate with the famous musical notes for free.

Comedy Open Mic Night (FREE*)
Every Thursday night, 9:00pm – 11:30pm
P&H Cafe, 1532 Madison Avenue
Free as in no cover, food and beverages cost. Open Mic Comedy features some of the best and worst comics in Memphis taking the stage every week at the famous P&H Cafe. All are welcome to test their comedy skills or just to come laugh and watch. Ages 21+
For more information:  901-726-0906 or PandHcomedy@gmail.com

Trivia Night at Huey's Downtown (FREE*)
Every Wednesday, 8:30pm – 10:30pm
Huey's Downtown, 77 S. Second Street
Free as in no cover charge, food and beverages cost. Play trivia at Huey's Downtown. The winning team receives a Huey's gift card. All ages.

The Memphis Jazz Orchestra at Alfreds (FREE*)
Sundays, 6pm – 9pm
Alfred's on World Famous Beale Street
Free, as in no cover, but food and beverages cots. The orchestra performs weekly on Sunday's 6pm-9pm. Ages 21+

Danny Thomas / ALSAC Pavilion (FREE)
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, including holidays
St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis
The life of Danny Thomas and the history of ALSAC and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are commemorated in the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion, located on the campus of St. Jude. It contains memorabilia of late entertainer Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude. The Pavilion is home to Emmy Awards and accolades for Thomas’ television show Make Room for Daddy, as well as other entertainment and lifetime achievements.
Part of the Pavilion is dedicated to Thomas’ life as a humanitarian, highlighting the awards and honors he received for his work on behalf of the world’s children. A centerpiece of this exhibit is Thomas’ Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award given by Congress.
To ensure the Pavilion is not closed for a special event, please call 901-595-4414 or email paviliontour@stjude.org in advance.

U.S. Customs House, Court House, Law School Tour (FREE)
Every weekday the university is open, noon
1 North Front Street, Memphis
Law students give a tour lasting an hour or less each weekday except tours are not scheduled on school holidays including spring break, weekends, or one week before exams or during exams.
Meet in the lobby. These tours are primarily for prospective students, but are open to the public.
Now the Universiy of Memphis Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, this historic building was constructed as the federal courthouse, customs house and post office in the 1880s. Over the years additions were made and the size of the building was almost doubled in 1904 with an addition to the rear of the building. In 1929 the building area was almost doubled again and the fašade was altered completely. The building’s two towers, on the north and south side were removed and office wings were added at those locations.

Newby's Open Mic Comedy Night (FREE*)
Every Sunday, 9:30 p.m - midnight
Newby's, 539 South Highland Street
Newby's Open Mic Comedy Night Every Sunday Open Mic comedy where you can see the best and worst comics in Memphis perform. Hosted by Brandon Sams.  Ages 21+ and this is a smoking allowed establishment

Major Annual Events (NOT Free)

Memphis in May
Month of May
Downtown mostly (Tom Lee Park on Riverside Drive)
A month long series of events, including the Beale Street Music Fest, the International Barbecue Cooking Contest, and the Sunset Symphony. Most of the major events occur on or near the weekends.

Memphis Open
Racquet Club of Memphis
The Memphis Open is one of the longest-running American tournaments on the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour and the only indoor ATP event contested in the United States.

FedEx St. Jude Classic
Southwind Country Club, 3325 Club at Southwind, Memphis
The FedEx St. Jude Classic is a professional golf tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, a regular event on the PGA Tour. It has been held annually since 1958 and typically hosts many of the top players.

Liberty Bowl
Late December/early January
Liberty Bowl Stadium, Fairgrounds, Memphis
The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is held annually at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. The Bowl is the seventh oldest college football bowl game and is one of the most tradition-rich and patriotic bowl games in America.

Elvis Birthday Celebration (some events are free)
January 7-10
Graceland, 3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis

Elvis Week (some events are free)
Graceland, 3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis
Elvis Week is a celebration of the music, movies and life of Elvis Presley positioned on and around the date of Elvis Presley's death, August 16. Events often expand beyond a single week. Thousands of people from around the world will attend the Candlelight Vigil which is held the evening of August 15, and it is free.

Africa in April (some events are free)
Robert R. Church Park, Historic Beale Street
The festival was designed to improve communication between different ethnic groups, fostering respect and academic excellence.  Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival, Inc., a non-profit organization, sponsors year round activities and the Africa In April Cultural Awarenss Festival during the month of April designed to celebrate the arts,  history, culture, and diversity of the African Diaspora.

Major Serial Sporting Events (NOT Free)

Memphis Grizzlies (NBA professional basketball)
FedEx Forum, 191 Beale Street, Memphis

University of Memphis Athletics
Various times of the year, depending on sport
Various locations (home games, football: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, basketball: FedEx Forum).

Memphis Redbirds
Spring and Summer
Autozone Park, 200 Union Avenue, Memphis
AAA professional baseball farm club of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As with any city, there are numerous places to stay if you are not staying with family or friends. This writer would likely choose a rather modest hospitality offering, but if you are here to enjoy a Memphis vacation and have the resources, you might wish to splurge. There are several very nice hotels downtown and out east in the Poplar Avenue/Ridgeway/Shady Grove area. In the East High area, there is the nice Holiday Inn University on Central Avenue across from the University of Memphis. Among the fanciest of places would be The Madision (downtown), The Peabody (downtown) and for those who would like a bed and breakfast, the James Lee House (downtown-ish, but not in the core of downtown). These are not sponsored suggestions, just places this writer has toured and by reputation are extraordinary places to stay.

* Admission is free, however, there are possible costs for some activites, i.e. food and beverages, produce, products. If you choose not to purchase those items/services, the entertainment/activity shouldn't cost you anything.

** Bob Frank ('62), "Riverboat Gambler" recorded March, 2016, Glendale Folk Festival
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5JCaUFxNKE

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