Did you hear? Today is an official local holiday! September 1st (9/01) is 901 Day around these parts, a nod to our area code that has become somewhat of a rallying cry for locals. 901 Day has grown in momentum over time, with more and more Memphians beaming with civic pride. Memphis has so many great things going for it–it is a small big city full of friendly people, great local restaurants, beautiful parks, and fun activities for the family. We may have our issues, like any city, but you know – we’re working on them. In fact, Memphis has this undeniable forward momentum right now that is exciting and uplifting. It is a good time to be a Memphian.
If you’re looking for an official 901 Day celebration, you can come visit us at Exposure at Auto Zone Park, or click here for other celebrations happening around town!
So, as you raise your little Memphians, why not get them in on the fun of celebrating 901 Day? We have listed 9+01 ideas for family fun today! These are things that are local to the area and help make Memphis great.
- Visit Shelby Farms: Shelby Farms is one of the largest urban parks in America (larger than Golden Gate Park or New York’s Central Park) with over 4500 acres of green space. There’s so much to do in this park, from the amazing playground for littles, a dog park for your canine children, horseback riding, trails, and even a GoApe course for the adventurers in the group.
- Feed the koi fish at the Memphis Botanic Garden: On your way in the gardens, buy some fish food – then head through the peaceful walking trails back towards the Japanese garden. There you will find eager, hungry, beautiful koi fish, ready to eat! While you’re at the Botanic Gardens, walk the trails and enjoy today’s beautiful weather. If you’ve got littles, definitely make sure to check out My Big Backyard while you’re there!
- Make your snow cone a supreme at Jerry’s: Located on Wells Station, Jerry’s Snow Cones is a must for locals. As they say, they didn’t invent the snow cone, just the snow cone supreme. Making it a supreme adds soft serve ice cream to the already delicious sugar rush of the snow cone. This bright pink building is a place of happiness for locals – just remember that it is cash only!
- Ride bikes on the Greeline: This 10.8 mile urban trail on reclaimed railway spans from Tillman in Midtown to Farm Road in Shelby Farms. Catch it at an entry point that works for your family – we usually get on in High Point Terrace and ride past Perkins and turn around. It is mostly shaded, there’s neat urban art and murals along the trail, and the road crossings are protected with lights at the major intersections. And, just to add to Memphis’ cool factor, that’s not our only greenline. Midtowners can utilize the smaller VECA Greenline and East Memphians can hop on the Wolf River Greenway.
- Eat BBQ for lunch: I mean, what else are you going to have for lunch? Memphis is known for its bbq and there are so many options. Everyone’s got their favorite – mine is Central BBQ (the nachos!).
- Walk the Old Forest at Overton Park: While the rest of Overton Park is awesome (two large playgrounds, an art museum, the zoo, a dog park, an art college, the Levitt Shell, and more), the Old Forest doesn’t get enough attention in my mind. The Old Forest is 142 acres of protected natural area with four miles of unpaved trails and one mile of paved trails. The ecosystem dates back 10,000 years and gives you a glimpse of what the area would have been like before Memphis was developed as a city. The website has a map and field guide to plants and trees you’ll find.
- Embrace Memphis’ past at the National Civil Rights Museum: This museum, established in 1991, is noted as one of the nation’s premier heritage and cultural museums. It is located in the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assasinated in 1968. It just underwent major renovations – if you haven’t visited since it reopened, you definitely should. It is a powerful experience and an important history lesson.
- Visit the Peabody Ducks: Called the “South’s grandest hotel,” the Peabody Hotel is truly a part of the Memphis landscape – dating back to the original hotel in 1869. This beautiful hotel houses unique residents that have become a staple in the Memphis scene: ducks. Since 1940, the Peabody Hotel has had a daily duck march from their penthouse suite to the lobby fountains. Catch the ducks at 11AM and 5PM, when they march with the Duckmaster from the elevator down their red carpet.
- Take in the spectacle that is Bass Pro at the Pyramid: Bass Pro may not be a truly “Memphis” thing, but where else is there a Bass Pro in a giant pyramid? Recently opened, this 535,000 square foot store and hotel is one of a kind. Without even buying anything, kids will have a great time – there’s alligators, a huge fish aquarium, taxidermied animals, and more. You can go bowling, you can visit the glass observation deck for beautiful city views, there’s an arcade shooting gallery – I could go on.
- Make a creation at The Art Project: This local business owned by two mom-prenuers (mom entreprenuers) is an art experience designed specifically for kids. There’s classes as well as free play, plus they sell coffee and beer for the adults. Whether it is the Art Project or another local business, definitely take some time today to support the huge network of entreprenuers in our city.
And, just as a bonus, why don’t you end the night with a sunset by the river: Memphis sunsets are even more beautiful with the river as a backdrop. There are a lot of different places to catch the sunset, but I recommend Beale Street Landing – there’s a fun new playground for kids and lots of green space to run and play.