My partner, Dave, has a somewhat epic side-hustle: he covers UCLA football and basketball part time. He’s been doing this for about 6 years now, and during that time we’ve had the chance to explore new cities across the country, thanks to having our travel expenses covered.
Earlier this month, we packed up the kids and headed to Memphis, Tennessee so that he could cover the UCLA vs. Memphis football game—and so the girls and I could do a bit of exploring.
One of the first things that I always check for in a new city is a children’s museum. When I’m traveling with young kids—especially if I’ll be exploring on my own with them—I like to set myself up for success by checking out a super kid-friendly environment.
After a quick online search, I stumbled across The Children’s Museum of Memphis, which, as luck would have it, is literally located right next door to the football stadium that Dave was going to be at. Weird, right?! I took it as a sign, and after dropping Dave off to go do his press thang, the girls and I headed off for a day at The Children’s Museum of Memphis.
The Children’s Museum of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee
The Children’s Museum of Memphis (CMOM) stole my heart right away with their easy parking in a fenced-in lot with a warm and welcoming security guard.
Parking is free for CMOM members and a $4 flat rate for non-members. Getting in and out was quick and easy.
After parking, we headed straight inside to grab our tickets and a map. The warm and welcoming vibes continued with the staff who checked us in. Again, quick and easy, which isn’t something that I ever take for granted when managing the kids on my own.
The museum is open from 9am-5pm daily, and tickets (for humans age 1-100 :)) are $15 each. You can view full admission and hours information on CMOM’s website here.
CMOM features almost 30 different indoor and outdoor exhibits for kids to explore. There’s a really great variety, and all of them are truly kid-friendly, meaning they can learn by playing throughout the entire museum.
Our favorite exhibits are listed below (in no particular order).
1. Going Places Exhibit
After we were all checked in, we headed straight to the Going Places Exhibit. I’m sure there are folks who begin their CMOM visit in another part of the museum, but to be honest, I’m not sure how they can resist walking straight towards this epicness:
Yes, that is a plane. It’s as cool as you’d think it would be. The presentation is actually similar to seeing Air Force One inside the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library—only this plane can actually be played in, which makes it way more fun for the kiddos. 😉
There are different sections of the Going Places Exhibit for kids to explore. They can go up inside the cockpit and pretend to fly…
…or they can load boxes of cargo onto a moving ramp that goes inside the plane, and then comes back down a shoot…
Plus all kinds of other little plane-related things for them to explore. Just a really cool exhibit overall.
2. 4 & Under Exhibit
There’s a special place in my heart for children’s museums that have a space dedicated to families with really young children. I’ve been to several children’s museums that didn’t, and it really was a huge disappointment—for both us and our kids.
CMOM doesn’t just have a separate, enclosed space for the wee little ones to roam—they have a really great space that truly accommodates the needs of families with young kids!
4 & Under featured tons of great stuff from age-appropriate climbing equipment…
…to a Memphis-themed basketball hoop…
….to a collection of really cute push and rocker toys.
This space was really a hit with our girls, ages 4 and 1.
A great bonus? A bathroom reserved for potty training kiddos (yay!) that also includes a diaper changing station (double yay!!)!
3. Grocery Store Exhibit
Oooh my goodness, our girls loved this. The Grocery Store Exhibit was, surprise!, a kid-sized grocery store set up, complete with little shopping carts…
….stocked grocery shelves….
….and even registers for the kids to “buy” their groceries.
It sounds relatively simple in theory, but literally every child that was in this exhibit was loving it. Our girls played for a solid 40 minutes just in this spot and were smiling and laughing the entire time.
4. Healthy Habitat Exhibit
Give me a STEM-related exhibit any day of the week! I love, love, love any opportunity to expose my girls to science, and the Healthy Habitat Exhibit didn’t disappoint.
There was what looked like a gigantic version of the game Operation…
…a place to see what the inside of a body looks like while in an operating room…
…and—my kind-hearted, baby-loving Berkeley Bug’s favorite thing in the whole museum—a space to care for newborn babies. 🙂
5. Skyscraper Exhibit
We were able to enjoy a newly-refurbished Skyscraper Exhibit during our visit, one of the original features when the museum opened in 1990.
Skyscraper is a 22 foot tall climbing structure made of wood and wire. It’s located in a central part of the museum, which means kids and enjoy some pretty amazing views when they climb up to the top.
6. PlaySpace Exhibit
We ended our visit by stopping by the PlaySpace Outdoor Exhibit, which is essentially a fantastic playground and then some. (And by “some”, I really mean a heck of a lot more!)
Not only is there an amazing covered climbing structure….
…and shaded tables to sit and rest…
….but the space also features—wait for it—two ziplines!!
These were seriously awesome. Our oldest girl had so much fun going down this (even if her face says “oh my gosh!” in this picture.) 🙂
This was a great space to burn off the last little bit of energy before heading back to the hotel for one SERIOUS nap time.
We loved visiting The Children’s Museum of Memphis and I would recommend it to any families visiting the Memphis area. Between the huge selection of exhibits and the friendly, helpful staff, you won’t be disappointed with your experience—and neither will your little ones.
For information on visiting, you can go to The Children’s Museum of Memphis’ website here. Enjoy!