1. Shelby Farms Greenline Park
Shelby Farms Greenline Park provides a scenic way to walk or bike from Midtown Memphis to Shelby Farms Park. This 10-65-mile trail, which used to be a railroad track, extends all the way to Cordova, TN if you want to explore a bit farther. At Shelby Farms Park, you can have a picnic, play disc golf, watch the park’s bison herd roam around, and go fishing or kayaking.
2. Memphis Farmers Market
Memphis Farmers Market offers a great way to get some fresh air while stocking up on fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet. Located at South Front Street and G.E. Patterson in downtown Memphis, the farmers market is available Saturdays from 8am to 1pm through the end of October. In addition to freshly grown fruits and vegetables, you’ll find baked goods, coffee, and other items from local vendors.
3. Mud Island Park
Mud Island Park has picturesque views of the Mississippi River, as well as outdoor activities, cafes, concert series, and more. While you’re at the park, you can tour the Mississippi River Museum to learn more about local history, rent a paddleboard or kayak for some fun on the water, and explore the Riverwalk replica that lets you “travel” through six states. Mud Island Park is open daily through October.
4. Memphis Botanic Garden
Memphis Botanic Garden provides a chance to admire flowers, plants, and trees from around the world in a calming environment. Several gardens are available to explore, including a Butterfly Garden, Japanese Garden, Desert Garden, Magnolia Trail, Water Garden Room, and Wildflower Woodland. While you’re at Memphis Botanic Garden, stop by the visitor center to see the current art exhibits on display. You can also purchase plants at the garden to add some greenery to your home.
5. Lichterman Nature Center
Lichterman Nature Center offers opportunities to learn more about local wildlife and plant life through indoor exhibits and outdoor explorations. You can stroll along the Buckman Water Science Trail near Mertie Lake, and discover what kinds of birds, mammals, reptiles, and other critters you might see in the heart of Memphis at this urban nature center. Plant sales with social distancing measures are also available.
6. Playhouse On The Square
Playhouse on the Square gives you a chance to take in live theatrical performances and experience the behind-the-scenes theater environment from the comfort of your own home. Until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Playhouse on the Square is streaming certain performances and offering special events through a new web series where you can learn more about what goes into putting on a play.
7. Dixon Gallery And Gardens
For a combination of art and outdoor scenery, make plans to visit Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Dixon Gallery features more than 2,000 works of art, including 19th Century French Impressionist paintings, terra-cotta sculptures, 18th Century German porcelain collections, and more. The gardens include a Woodland Garden with soothing water features and Formal Gardens filled with brightly colored flowers. Dixon Gardens also offers occasional relaxation activities, including yoga and meditation.
8. Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Being in the great outdoors can boost your spirits and give you a chance to explore nature. At Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, located just north of Memphis, you can do some weekend camping or spend a day hiking the trails. The park offers several outdoor activities to help you unwind, such as paddling along Poplar Tree Lake or going birdwatching in hardwood, swamp, and upland forest environments. The park also features over 20 miles of hiking trails, as well as five miles of biking trails.
9. Mosaic Artwalk
If you’re looking for an outdoor way to appreciate the arts, wander through downtown Memphis to see public art installations. South Main Mosaic Artwalk includes eight public works of art from regional artists. With plenty of restaurants nearby, you can take a stroll through the artwalk before treating yourself to lunch or dinner.
10. Memphis Zoo
From Cat Country and the African Veldt to Animals of the Night and Penguin Rock, Memphis Zoo houses hundreds of animals from several ecosystems. If you prefer to avoid the zoo’s usual weekend crowds, there are after-hours activities available. Sunset Safari offers a chance for groups of ten or more to meet some of the zoo’s resident animals up close while learning more about them if you have family and friends that want to join you. Twilight Tours includes hands-on activities and a tour of the zoo after hours for individuals and families.