When I think of traveling with my family I get excited. I love visiting a new place and tasting new food with those I love. What makes things even better is when I find Kid Friendly venues and activities that will entertain the kids and not bore the adults. That is exactly why I fell in love with Memphis. From the southern hospitality to the history. Memphis is so rich with culture and I am happy we were able to explore some of the gems Memphis has as a family. I will warn you this will have to be a series because we covered so many cool things on our stay and I don’t want to overwhelm you.
Our living quarters
We stayed at Hotel Napoleon which is a short walk away from legendary Beale Street! The check in was quick and easy. The hotel is a beautiful and has a boutique feel to it. Sleek and modern while being welcoming. The staff opened their arms to us after our early arrival from our 8 hour overnight drive from Chicago. Chance ran around the hotel lobby like a hamster in a wheel because he was tired of being still after the long drive. They didn’t judge instead they joined us in giggling at his little legs moving overly fast.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a cute Chalkboard sign that held important announcements, welcoming me. Dereon and my little sister Dionne spotted it before me and beamed with pride. I was impressed because little touches and details go a long way with customers. The hotel had fruit infused water, coffee and fresh fruit in the lobby waiting area which came in handy some mornings when we were running late for a tour or breakfast.
The rooms were stylish and held my family of 4 with no issues. Next time we visit Memphis I will stay here again because it’s located by EVERYTHING. We literally took the car from valet to drive to dinner to discover the restaurant was only 5 minutes away from the hotel and that it would have been easier to walk than drive. LOL. Can you say great location?!
Chile, when I tell you we ate and ate and ate….believe me! When we first arrived we asked the hotel front desk clerk where did she recommend us to grab a nice breakfast. She instantly said “Blue Plate Cafe“. We loaded up and headed out for a quick 5 minute drive to the cafe. We were seated immediately and our waitress brought out some biscuits that would make anyone’s grandmother jealous. They were warm, soft, fluffy, and buttery! I could have ate 3 biscuits alone and not need anything else. However I let my stomach get in the way of common sense and ordered a hearty breakfast. The kids jumped up with joy when our order arrived because their plates were filled with all of their breakfast favorites. My husband who is a serious food critic sat in silence as he tried to handle all the goodness coming his way. We didn’t do much talking at the table.
I loved the menu looking like a small local newspaper it brought some southern charm to the dining experience. Let me also mention for a table of 7 our bill was under $80! Simple great tasting food with wonderful portion sizes. Don’t walk, but run to Blue Plate Cafe next time you are in Memphis. Thank me later.
Home of the Blues…
After we ate breakfast we headed back to the hotel to unwind from the drive and to freshen up before exploring all that the city had to offer. If you are a music fan then you have probably heard that Memphis is the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock n’ Roll. While down there I learned so much about the history of the blues, r&b and even Rock n’ Roll! We decided to hit up Stax Museum. I knew this would take us down the road to memory lane. The “dusties” were made down in the South with real music instruments and raw vocals I wanted to let my kids see how real music was created.
The Museum had some cool artifacts like one of Tina Turner’s dresses from tour, Issac Hayes ‘ pimped out Cadillac and a huge collection of music you can listen to. Being honest this museum is more geared for the real music buffs. This is more for a mature crowd because most of the exhibits have a ton of information available for you to read and listen to which won’t keep the kiddos attention too long. Now don’t get me wrong the kids did enjoy the museum, but I don’t think they appreciated all the museum had to offer. However my parents and husband soaked up all the tea on the artists from back in the day and how the music industry changed over the years. For the remainder of the trip they dropped music trivia questions from what they learned on the self guided tour.
Killing two birds with one stone
After we left Stax we headed to grab lunch at Railgarten. Railgarten is kind of hard to explain. It’s like a huge estate. It is huge. 1.5 acres of space. They have food, drinks, games, lounging areas, and so much more. When we arrived we were a little confused on where to go but one of the bartenders explained everything. We sat down and chowed down on food at the diner. The food was good, reasonably priced and came fast. But what makes Railgarten a real experience is all the aspects of the venue. A big play area in the back for the kids to safely play, outside sitting, ping pong and pool tables, several bars and even a stage. You name it and I am pretty sure they have it. The kids had a nice time running freely in the playground while we chatted about what we were enjoying about the trip already. I can see this place being a really cool venue for late night fun and even a date night spot.
It’s All about the kids!
Our trip wasn’t all about the kids but more so family focused. However I wanted an activity that would just be about the kiddos. The Children’s Museum of Memphis was a perfect choice! I felt like a kid again once I stepped inside. Bright airy and full of things kids could touch, feel, and explore with no judgement attached. Chance shot out as he saw the life size fire truck and shortly after that Dereon and Dionne ran to find the arts and craft area. I enjoyed seeing lots of staff walking around and keeping an eye on the different kids exploring. I kept an eye on my children of course but it just felt even better seeing a place fully staffed. Somehow the kids discovered there was an outside to the museum and they darted to the soft turf play zone. The weather was perfect for outdoor play. They had a kiddie zipline, music instruments, water play and so much more. I loved the plane exhibit and the grocery store made Chance a happy camper. One of the best Children Museums I’ve taken my children to, I highly advise a visit here.
And that was just one day…
Yes, that was literally only one day! We did so much more the next couple of days while down there. Food, music, fun, and history was the theme of the weekend. I will be back with part 2 and most likely a 3 very soon. I want to showcase to you how Memphis made me fall in love. To learn more about Memphis and all the cool things to do check out their visiting bureau.
*Special thanks to the team of Memphis Travel for inviting me and the family down to get a taste of Memphis. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We made so many great memories.