Monday, August 7, 2017

Memphis Monday: Mud Island River Park

This post is about one of my favorite places in Memphis . . . Mud Island River Park!
I don't have a lot of pictures in this post because I realized, while going through pics, that I always take pictures of the exact same things.  Despite the abundance of pictures, please know that it is one of my very favorites, particularly for small children (that mine no longer are, wahhhh!)
The Basics:
The River Park is located on Mud Island in downtown Memphis.  You can drive directly to the river park but if you want to ride the sky bus across the river, you will need to park on Front Street.
It is open Tuesday - Sunday 10:00-5:00 from the months of April through October.
The Riverwalk is FREE but parking is $6.  The Mississippi River museum is $10 for adults, $7 for children under 12, and free for those four and under.  The monorail (sky bus) is $4 per person but included with museum admission.
The riverwalk is a scale version of the lower Mississippi River that empties into an acre-sized version of the Gulf of Mexico -- which is also a pretty cool wading pool for the kids!  There are several cities mapped along the riverwalk and also various historic events listed.  Parts of the walk are deeper - where the river is deeper - and my kids love splashing along.  It's a total of five blocks long and we always make sure we stop in Arkansas and Tennessee because those are "our" places! I definitely recommend water shoes for this; it's very uneven in places and it's easier to walk in water shoes or barefoot as opposed to wearing flip flops.

When we go, we generally take a picnic lunch (it's a long walk so you'll want to bring a rolling cooler or wagon!) and stake out a spot at the "Gulf of Mexico."  We'll eat our lunch then let the kids play in the fountains.  Parts are specifically for wading and then, in a deeper water area, they have pedal boats that you can rent by the half hour ($5/ per person.) 

Confession time: I've never actually been to the Mississippi River museum!  When we got, it's usually to splash around, picnic, and enjoy one of the very best views of downtown Memphis.

Seriously, it's an amazing view of Memphis.  I'm a little biased - I love my adopted hometown - but I think Memphis has a gorgeous and unique skyline with the pyramid and Hernando Desoto bridge.  And Mud Island is one of the best places to see it all!  And, since it's right on the river, it also has very nice (I can't call the Mississippi beautiful, I just can't) views of the river, barges, and boats.

There is a restaurant/ grill on the premises as well as a gift shop (isn't there always?!?)  There's also an amphitheater that holds some pretty cool concerts.  Our friends Ed and Beth fell in love with the River Park last year when they saw Widespread Panic at the amphitheater.  The River Park hosts fireworks every Fourth of July and has a big kickoff kid concert every April to celebrate their opening for the season.

Mud Island is PERFECT for those who live in Memphis - or close - and want to try a little something different than the neighborhood splash pad.  It's especially great for those with small children.  My kids appreciated it a lot more when they were younger.  They still like it but don't get as excited as they did even a few yeas ago (GROWING KIDS, JEEZ!) 

If you're visiting Memphis, it's a neat little place to visit that (probably) won't take up an entire day.  It's a unique perspective of the Mississippi River and a riverwalk that you can indeed walk in!  If your in Memphis and make it to the pyramid, definitely cross the river to experience Mud Island!  And - beware if you go in May - lots of field trips!

Mud Island really is a sweet little jewel on the Mississippi and one I'm so glad we have right here in Memphis!

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