Children's Museum of Memphis
Set up like a miniature city, with a bank, fire station, grocery store, and skyscraper. Newer exhibits include Going Places, which showcases an airplane cockpit and flight simulator, and Art Smart Gallery with its visual and performing arts. 2525 Central, 320-3170
The Fire Museum of Memphis
Features simulated fires, a teaching room of interactive exhibits, and a play area with full-sized trucks and a sliding pole. 118 Adams, 320-5650
Memphis Motorsports Park
Hosts 215 events a year, including the national NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series; boasts a dirt track and road course. 5500 Taylor Forge Dr., 358-7223
Celebrating its 100th birthday and the opening of Northwest Passage — home to polar bears, bald eagles, and more — the Zoo also includes Cat Country, Primate Canyon, Dragon's Lair, Animals of the Night, and CHINA, home to two giant pandas. 2000 Prentiss Place (Overton Park), 276-9453
Peabody Place Entertainment and Retail Center
Anchored by the historic Peabody Hotel, this is a one-stop destination for movies, music, shopping, and dining, including Encore, Texas de Brazil, Jillian's, and Dan McGuinness Irish Pub. 150 Peabody Place. 261-PLAY (7529)
World-renowned thoroughfare, home to Pat O'Brien's, Hard Rock Cafe, B.B. King's Blues Club, and other bars offering live music nightly. Also features A. Schwab's, a century-old dry-goods store; W.C. Handy's home; and gift and novelty shops.
Elvis Presley's home from 1957 until his death. Tours cover the house, racquetball building, Elvis' vintage car collection, huge assortment of trophies and gold records, the "Lisa Marie" jet, and much more. 3734 Elvis Presley, 332-3322
Memphis Rock 'N' Soul Museum
Presents a history of Memphis music using rare film footage, old photos, vintage jukeboxes, stage costumes, and a customized tour of various musical eras. 191 Beale, Plaza at FedExForum, 205-2533
Soulsville USA and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music
A 17,000-square-foot soul-music museum on the site of the former Stax Records, where stars such as Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett got their start. Showcases some 2,000 artifacts, including Hayes' 1972 Cadillac El Dorado. 926 E. McLemore, 942-SOUL.
Elvis rocked the world in 1954 at the studio founded by Sam Phillips. Displayed at Sun are memorabilia of Presley and other music legends, such as Carl Perkins, B.B. King, and Jerry Lee Lewis. 706 Union, 521-0664
Museums of Culture and History
Memphis Pink Palace Museum
Built as home to Piggly Wiggly founder Clarence Saunders, the pink stone mansion is now a regional museum of local history, culture, medicine, music, and natural science; also houses a state-of-the-art planetarium and an IMAX theater. 3050 Central, 320-6320
National Civil Rights Museum
Illustrates key moments in civil rights history, such as the March on Washington and the Montgomery bus boycott. Also includes the boarding house from which James Earl Ray allegedly shot King in 1968 and features an exhibit of previously classified documents and evidence. 450 Mulberry. 521-9699
The Great Outdoors
Lichterman Nature Center
Visitors can take a boardwalk tour around the lake and explore nature trails lined with native plants and trees. Among the center's highlights are the backyard wildlife center, a native-plant greenhouse, and an amphitheater. 5992 Quince, 767-7322
Memphis Botanic Garden
Water lilies bloom in the Sensory Garden, one of many attractions at this suburban oasis. At the center is the Japanese Garden of Tranquility with its lake and arching red bridge. The Botanic Garden hosts summer concerts featuring such entertainers as Sugarland, Toni Braxton, and Bonnie Raitt. 750 Cherry, 685-1566
The Mississippi River
Major events are held on the river each year, including the Memphis in May Sunset Symphony. Winding above the Father of Waters is the Bluffwalk, a pedestrian walkway with panoramic views. Regular riverboat cruises are offered by the Memphis Queen Line.
Visitors can rent pavilions and paddleboats; fish in lakes stocked with catfish, crappie, bream, and bass; or simply enjoy walking, jogging, or biking. Also within the 4,500-acre park is Ducks Unlimited's international headquarters, which boasts a scenic waterfowl propagation lake. 7161 Mullins Station, 382-2249
The Tunica RiverPark features a museum with exhibits on the Delta and four aquariums with river life. There's also a nature trail and an observation deck that has a stunning view of the Mississippi River. In addition, guests can board the Delta Queen, which offers four cruises daily. One RiverPark Dr., Tunica, Mississippi, 866-51-RIVER
Southland Park Gaming and Racing
The world's largest greyhound racing facility, with "instant racing" machines and slot machines. 1550 Ingram, West Memphis, 735-3670
The gambling center of the Mid-South, located just 30 miles from Memphis down Highway 61, Tunica County is home to several glitzy casinos, which boast hotels, restaurants, gift shops, dance pavilions, and big-name entertainment.
Bally's Casino Tunica, 800-382-2559
Fitz Casino & Hotel, 800-766-5825
Gold Strike Casino Resort, 888-245-7829
Grand Casino Tunica, 800-946-4946
Hollywood Casino, 800-871-0711
Horseshoe Casino & Hotel, 800-303-7463
Resorts Tunica, 662-363-7777
Sam's Town Casino, 800-456-0711
Sheraton Casino & Hotel, 800-391-3777
Only in Memphis
The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange
Relates the story of the cotton industry and its influence on a city that remains the epicenter of worldwide cotton trading. Tour begins on the "members only" trading floor and shows cotton's impact on everything from music to high society. 65 Union. 531-7826
The Elvis Suite at Lauderdale Courts
Home to Elvis Presley and his parents from 1949 to early 1953, now part of a new housing development known as Uptown Square. Decorated with period furniture and family photos. Available for overnight rental. Uptown Square, 521-8219, lauderdalecourts.com
Mud Island River Park
Special features are the River Walk, a five-block-long scale model of the Mississippi from Cairo, Illinois, to the Gulf of Mexico, and the 18-gallery River Museum, which showcases artifacts of life on the Mississippi. 125 N. Front, 576-7241
Built in the 1870s with stunning architectural details, this French Victorian mansion displays period textiles, furnishings, and Victorian clothing. 680 Adams, 526-1469
Memphis Grizzlies Basketball
The Memphis Grizzlies are an NBA team that plays at FedExForum.
The Redbirds are a triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals and play home games at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis.
The RiverKings are members of the Central Hockey League and the affiliate team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The season runs from October to April. The RiverKings play their home games at the DeSoto Civic Center.
Christian Brothers University
They're the Buccaneers, with women's and men's teams in baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, and track.
The LeMoyne-Owen Magicians compete in both women's and men's basketball.
The Lynx compete in soccer, field hockey, football, volleyball, swimming, basketball, baseball, softball, and more.
Southwest Tennessee Community College
The Southwest Saliquis include women's and men's basketball, baseball, and softball.
University of Memphis
The Tigers compete in football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, track and field, and more.
A starter's list of amateur sports.
compiled by Carson Irwin
Parks and Recreation Offices:
Memphis Division of Park Services (MDPS): 576-4200
North Zone: 2893 N. Watkins, 353-9532
North East Zone: 4575 Raleigh-LaGrange, 388-5911
East Zone: 4585 Willow, 767-4580
West Zone: 4376 Horn Lake, 789-5665
Germantown Parks and Recreation: 757-7375
Germantown Youth Athletic Association (GYAA): 754-4922
Germantown Centre: 757-7370
Collierville Parks and Recreation: 853-3225
Collierville Youth Athletic Association (CYAA): 853-2922
Shelby Youth Sports: 386-9700
Baseball: Youth (recreational) — MDPS offers recreational baseball for children ages 7-14. Coed T-ball has been added for 6 and under. GYAA recreational baseball is divided into age groups: T-ball (5-6), coach pitch (7-8) and youth pitch (9-10, 11-12 and 13-14). The season generally consists of 12-16 games and twice-weekly practices beginning in late February and running through mid-June. CYAA provides recreational baseball leagues for kids ages 7-18. Collierville Parks and Recreation's T-ball program is for kids in Collierville ages 5 and 6. For more information contact Jay Porter at 853-3225.
Youth (competitive) — GYAA's competitive baseball program is for boys ages 7-14. The Germantown Giants organization runs competitive baseball teams for ages 7 to 14 (7-year-olds play coach-pitch baseball while ages 8 and up are kid-pitch). In addition to the Germantown Giants, Sox and White Sox teams are formed when there are enough participants (generally ages 9 and up). CYAA also organizes competitive baseball for boys ages 7-14.
Germantown Parks and Recreation manages the Germantown Adult Baseball League (GABL), open to men ages 18 and older. The league runs from May through August at Cameron Brown Park.
Basketball: Youth (recreational) — MDPS youth recreational basketball programs are open to boys and girls 18 and under. Registration in September, play begins in November. Call MDPS zone office (see above). Germantown Parks and Recreation organizes leagues for boys (7-17) and girls (7-15).
Youth (competitive) — CYAA's competitive basketball program provides competition for girls ages 12 and under and 14 and under. Four age groups are available for boys: 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under, 17 and under.
Adult — The Germantown Centre offers both A and B adult leagues for men ages 18 and older. Play begins in September and lasts through January. Cost: $475/team.
Cheerleading: The GYAA cheer season corresponds to the GYAA football season in the fall. Cheer divisions are by grade, not age, and are Flag (K-1st grade), Pee Wee (2nd-3rd grade) and Junior (4th, 5th, and 6th grades). Collierville Parks and Recreation has cheerleading teams open to boys and girls ages 4-15.
Football: MDPS offers flag football for both boys and girls, in six age groups (14 and under). Registration in August, play begins in late September. Contact your local zone office. GYAA recreational football is for ages 5 and up. Divisions consist of Flag (5-7), Pee Wee (8-9) and Junior (10-11 plus 12-year-olds who are not 13 by Dec. 1st and are not in the 7th grade). Contact GYAA. CYAA offers football leagues in flag, peewee, and junior divisions. Visit cyaafootball.com for more info.
Golf: MDPS operates seven public courses: Audubon (4160 Park, 683-6941); Davy Crockett (4270 Range Line Rd., 358-3375); Fox Meadows (3064 Clarke Rd., 362-0232); Galloway (3815 Walnut Grove, 685-7805); Overton, 9 holes (2080 Poplar Ave., 725-9905); Pine Hill (1005 Alice Ave., 775-9434); M.L. King, Jr., 9 holes (465 South Parkway West, 774-4340). Contact the golf department of MDPS for more information (576-4260).
Hockey: Youth — The Memphis Youth Hockey League (MYHL) is composed of three divisions for kids ages 6 to 18. Competition from October through March. For information, call MYHL chairman Russ Beatse (861-3600) or go to memphisyouthhockey.com.
Lacrosse: Memphis Lacrosse runs a youth program in spring, summer, and winter for kids in K-8th grade. Registration for the spring is in January, and the season runs from February to May. The summer season runs from June through July. The winter indoor league holds registration in September, and plays in October and November. Contact Pat Demento (820-0145).
For kids in grades 8-12, clubs compete under the Tennessee Scholastic Lacrosse Association (there are currently 8 teams). Fees vary; call Ed Reynolds (277-2991).
Soccer: The MDPS runs a Youth Soccer League with three divisions (12 and under, 10 and under, 8 and under) during the spring. In the fall, MDPS offers a league for youths, ages 6 and under. Participants can pick up registration materials at any zone office in mid-July. Team roster deadline is early August. Play will begin in August and continue into the fall. For more information contact your local zone office. The Germantown Soccer Club runs recreational and competitive soccer programs for boys and girls. Registration for the fall recreational league is from May to August, with the season running from September through November. Registration for the spring recreational league is from late December to February, with the season running from March through May. Teams are open for children ages 4 to 18, and there is a sign-up fee. Tryouts for the competitive league, which is split into two divisions (Arsenal and Fury), are held in May and June for ages 8 to 18. Please call the soccer office (755-6688) or go to gscfury.com for sign-up fees and more information. You can register online for recreational league. Both competitive and recreational youth soccer are organized by the Collierville Soccer Association. Spring and fall leagues are offered. Call 854-8724 or visit colsoc.com for more info.
Adult — The Greater Memphis Soccer Association plays regulation seasons in the fall and spring and has a seven-on-seven summer league. Games are played at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex, and 50 to 55 teams are divided into four men's and three coed divisions. Players ages 16 and up are welcome; individual registration will take place in July. The average cost is $90 per person per season. Access the GMSA at memphissoccer.com or call Curt Rogers (489-0553).
The Hispanic League, founded in 1997, is made up of around 50 teams of mostly Hispanic membership. They play every Sunday year-round in Memphis city parks; in the winter, games are held indoors. For more information about playing, contact Ivan Lopez (603-2982).
Softball: Youth (recreational) — MDPS offers four divisions that compete from May to July, with registration in early spring. Girls ages 18 and under create their own teams and play in the fall and spring leagues. For fees and more information, contact your local zone office. GYAA recreational softball is for ages 5 to 18. Divisions are Fawns (5-7, coach pitch), Lassies (8-10), Juniors (11-13), and Seniors (14-18). Play from April to July. CYAA also provides recreational softball teams for girls ages 7 through 18.
Youth (competitive) — The Red Devils organization fields teams in all age divisions from 10U to 18U. CYYA organizes a softball league for girls under 18. Season runs from April to July.
Adult — MDPS organizes approximately 300 teams that compete from April through July, followed by a citywide tournament. Games are played every night except Saturday. The fall softball league starts registration in August. The cost is $250. The season begins in September and ends with a tournament. To register or get information about organizing a team, call the MDPS.
Special Olympics: The sports program for mentally handicapped youth is run by the Greater Memphis Special Olympics organization. It offers training and participation in regional, state, and national competition. Contact GMSO for more info (683-1271).
Swimming: Youth (ages 5-18) — Club teams swim competitively year-round and offer practices for novices through Olympic hopefuls. Fees vary. Memphis Thunder Aquatic Club, 1880 Wolf River Blvd., St. George's High School, Collierville (memphisthunder.com). Germantown Swim Team, 1801 Exeter Rd., Germantown Centre (757-7390) (gstswimming.com). Memphis Tiger Swimming, 620 Echles, University of Memphis (678-2809) (memphistigerswimming.com). Bartlett Xtreme Swim Team (BXST), 7700 Flaherty Place, Bartlett Recreation Center (385-6470).
Adult — Memphis Thunder, Germantown Centre, Memphis Tigers, and Bartlett Xtreme offer master practices for adults ages 18 and over year-round. Fees vary. Contact coaches for information.
The MDPS (576-4200) operates several city pools, which are all free to the public. Each pool also offers swim lessons and teams for both children and adults. Sessions are 45 minutes for 2 weeks and cost $25 per session for children and $48 per session for adults. Contact the MDPS Aquatics Administration (547-8018).
MDPS pool locations: Bickford (indoor; 235 Henry); L.E. Brown (617 S. Orleans); Douglass (1616 Ash); Fox Meadows (3064 Clarke Rd.); Ed Rice (2907 N. Watkins); Gaisman (4223 Macon); Gooch (1974 Hunter); Hickory Hill (indoor; 3910 Ridgeway); Lester (Tillman at Mimosa); Tom Lee (328 Peach); Charlie Morris (1235 Brown); Orange Mound (2430 Carnes); Pine Hill (973 Alice); Raleigh (3678 Powers); Riverview (182 Joubert); Westwood (810 Western Park); Willow (4777 Willow).
Tennis: MDPS operates seven local tennis centers: Leftwich, 8 outdoor courts, 4 indoor (4145 Southern Ave.); Wolbrecht, 6 outdoor, 2 indoor (1645 Ridgeway); Roark/Whitehaven, 8 outdoor, 4 indoor (1500 Finley); Bellevue, 4 outdoor, 2 indoor (1310 S. Bellevue Blvd.); Frayser, 8 outdoor (2907 N. Watkins); Wooddale, 8 outdoor (3391 Castleman); Raleigh, 8 outdoor (3680 Powers).
Many parks contain tennis facilities as well: Bert Ferguson (8505 Trinity), Gaisman (4221 Macon), Glenview (1813 Southern), Hickory Hill (3910 Ridgeway), Martin Luther King, Jr. (South Parkway at Riverside), University (University at Edward).
The MDPS coordinates a variety of tennis-related activities including the Memphis Area League Tennis (MALT), a citywide adult program; adult and youth (ages 6-18) clinics; private lessons; and a Junior Development Program. For more information call the Tennis Center (374-0603).
Germantown also coordinates leagues, lessons, and camps. Contact Bryan Rogers, head tennis professional (212-5583), for more information.
Volleyball: In the spring, MDPS serves up volleyball to 18-and-under girls and boys. Registration starts in January, with play in April. Zone offices have more information. The Germantown Parks and Recreation Department also coordinates leagues for girls (ages 5-18) as well as adults. All matches are played at the Germantown Centre (757-7379). Contact Germantown Parks and Recreation for info.
Helpful Web Sites:
Major Sporting Events
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic
Post-season Conference USA game held on New Year's Eve at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Regions Morgan Keegan Tennis Championships
This annual tournament played at the Racquet Club of Memphis has drawn big names such as Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras. Defending champ Venus Williams will return to the tournament, being held February 22-March 2, 2008.
Southern Heritage Football Classic
Held every September, the Southern Heritage Classic pits Jackson State University against Tennessee State University. But the game is only one part of a week of events including a golf tournament, a fashion show, concerts, and more.
Sam's Town 250
A 250-mile Busch series NASCAR event held in October, benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Stanford St. Jude Classic
The Stanford St. Jude Classic celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007 by drawing some big names, including Vijay Singh and Geoff Ogilvy. This year, the tournament is being held June 2nd through June 8th.