Summer Activities in Memphis, TN
This three-day festival has been named the #1 family-oriented community event by Memphis Parent Magazine. The Italian festival includes top musical acts, an "Italian Idol" singing contest, arts and crafts, children's games, a heritage tent, grape stomping and of course, food. From toasted ravioli to cannoli, area restaurants will conduct cooking demonstrations, including tossing pizza. A public dining area serves tantalizing dishes from a choice of two different Italian restaurants, all with a great view of the main performance stage. Held in Marquette Park in East Memphis since 1989, the event provides a unique way to enjoy Italian culture in a beautitul setting.
Hiking Wolf River Trail is an experience you'll savor any time of the year. The Wolf River Nature Area is a 70-acre nature reserve along the south side of the Wolf River. This paved, trail is surrounded by picnic areas, rest-rooms, meadows of wildflowers, interpretive stops, aquatic plant displays, tree identification, rest areas, butterfly gardens, bat houses and more. There are also seven educational stations, where you can learn about the history of Wolf River, beaver structures, bottomlands, turtles, blue herons, and more. The primary trailhead is located off Walnut Grove across from Shelby Farms State Park, where there is a BMX park in the parking lot. The trailhead is to the left and the other trailhead is located on the other side of the overpass.
Cooper-Young neighborhood is one of the hottest spots in the city. An artsy, laid-back community located in the midtown area, it was named for the intersection of Cooper Street and Young Avenue. Known for its eclectic mix of shops, bars and restaurants you can grab burgers, brunch or coffee or scour area antique spots. Every first Thursday is Cooper Young Night Out, when specialty and retail shops, as well as more than a dozen award-winning restaurants and bars stay open late to offer discounts on everything from sushi to sweet potato fries. Cuisine ranges from Japanese restaurant Do, to Tsunami, which serves upscale cuisine. Café Ole dishes up Mexican fare at one of the best places in Memphis to eat outside. Java Cabana is a favorite coffee shop and the Young Avenue Deli is one of the anchors of the area. Any day (or night) in Cooper-Young is a great time!
On Thursday nights in summer, head to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis for one of the city's best parties -- on the roof! This party's been going on since 1939, when a new supper club called the Plantation Roof opened. It became a huge success, featuring performances by showbiz greats of the era like Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown and Harry James. In the 1940s, The Peabody Rooftop was one of only three locations for live radio broadcasts. Today, you can enjoy drinks, live music, food and mingling, as well as a spectacular sunset over the Mississippi River. Peabody Rooftop Parties feature top local, regional and national entertainment acts. Performers include Chris Rene, Party Planet, Lord T & Eloise and Mudflap King. Selected as one of the "Top 10 Rooftop Bars in the Nation" and the "Best Pick Up Joint" in town. Admission is $10 and the festivities go from 6-11 p.m. with ladies free until 7 p.m.
Founded by two sisters more than a quarter century ago, Heritage Tours is committed to presenting the African-American perspective of Memphis history. The three-to-four-hour Memphis Black Heritage tour takes you on a trip that includes more than 30 historical landmarks, including the slave market district, noted churches, the Civil Rights Museum, the Pyramid and other Mississippi River sites. Alternately you can go on a one-hour walking tour of Beale Street, originally an area of black commercial enterprise. Heritage Tours also operates the W.C. Handy House Museum and the Slavehaven/Burkle Estate Museum. Call for tour ticket prices.