GO! SEE! EXPLORE!: Memphis Fire Museum

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GoSeeExplore Memphis fire museum

Have you ever wondered what firefighters do? Ever been curious how the Memphis Fire department got started? Or have you been wanting to know what happens in a house fire? Now is your chance to learn! The Memphis Fire Museum offers you the opportunity to learn about all of these questions, and more!

GoSeeExplore

My daughter and I had the chance to visit the Fire Museum recently. It is in the heart of downtown Memphis, and can be easily found because of their big sign on the building outside. I have a relative who is a firefighter, and we love visiting him at the fire station. So when we found out the fire museum had free admission for one kid and one caregiver one week, we just HAD to go.

When you first walk in, you check in at the desk, and they tell you where everything is and what you can expect. The building where the admission is has an old fire truck and some history, an exhibit about 9-11, and a bunch of miniature fire trucks.

miniature fire trucks
Miniature fire trucks in the first part of the museum

Then you walk across a small walkway to the second building. First, you walk to the right and see the talking horse. Some kids may find this kind of scary; my hid behind me! The horse tells you about the history of fire trucks and how they used horses to move the fire trucks and equipment around before they had engines. Then there were two more older fire trucks to see.

Talking horse in the fire museum
The talking horse in the museum

After that, you would walk to the opposite side of the building, and this was the interactive part of the museum. You get to go down a fireman’s pole, spray the water hoses (it’s like a virtual game), and drive the fire truck. You can also look at the inside of an ambulance and another fire truck. Finally there is an interactive, digital game. There is a virtual screen in front of you, you can drive and press buttons, and the interactive screen takes you through the streets of Memphis. There are two options to choose: go on a medical call or go to a fire. We did both, multiple times. This was really cool!

Lastly, there is one more part of the museum upstairs. Upstairs, you could experience what it was like to be in a house fire. It is a simulation of what happened when a house starts to burn down. You saw how fast the firefighters respond and what they do once they get to the fire. After the simulation, there was a room with different parts of a house. They give you safety information for each room with a fun, interactive video (and the objects on the display move too). There is also a ‘maze’ where you have to try to get out and find the right door within a certain time. Then there is a virtual game room, with some fun video games for older kids. There are two more rooms after that, with more history of the Memphis fire department and fires they have gone to in the past.

Driving the firetruck at the Memphis Fire Museum
Driving the firetruck at the museum

GoSeeExplore

Plan to spend about two hours at the Fire Museum. There is a lot to learn about the Memphis Fire Department, and it has tons of fun, interactive exhibits. I recommend going on a weekday morning, because it was very quiet and we were nearly the only ones in the whole museum. The Fire Museum is truly good for kids at any age. My daughter is two, but older kids would have a lot of fun too, especially with the video games and the interactive things that are really meant for older children.

They do not have their own parking lot, but we found easy parking on the street nearby, and downtown Memphis parking is pretty affordable.

The firemen working at the museum were really nice and told us where everything was. They also have a tiny little gift shop.

“The Fire Museum of Memphis is here to promote the education of fire and life safety, to reduce injury, life-loss and property-loss related to fire, and to recognize and preserve the heritage of the fire service and its contribution to the community.”

I feel like the Museum truly reflected this statement from their website.

GoSeeExplore

Memphis Fire Museum
Renovated Fire Engine House #1
118 Adams Avenue
Memphis TN 38103
901-636-5650

Open Monday through Saturday from 9:00am-4:30pm (last admission 1 hour before closing).

Admission: Adults $10, Kids 3-12 $8, Kids under 2 Free. Discounts offered for firefighters, military personnel and seniors.

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Originally from the Netherlands, Vivian moved to Memphis in 2011. She received a full athletic scholarship to combine her studies with athletics, throwing shot put, discus, and hammer for the University of Memphis. Vivian graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sport & Leisure Management in 2014 and a Master’s in Communication in 2016. After graduating, she started working in education and became a Physical Education Teacher in 2017. She taught at a private school for 3 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom to a sweet little girl, Nora (September 2019). Vivian met her husband Travis at the University of Memphis, hit it off in Europe, and married on a leap year (February 29, 2016). Together they own a quadplex in the Binghampton community. Vivian loves traveling and exploring new places with her husband and child. She enjoys hanging out with her fellow international friends, trying new exercise classes, and being creative by coloring, painting, or writing.

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