Since I’m approaching three years in Memphis, and my mom is in town, I figured it was time to go to Graceland. We went without the kids, as I was not convinced this was a good destination for them.
We enjoyed the history lesson that Graceland provides. It was fun to see the house decorated in 60s/70s style and listen to the tid bits of info on the provided self-guided audio tour. I definitely enjoyed seeing what life was like back in those days, and how Elvis and Memphis are connected. My favorite parts were all the mirrors, the carpeted walls and ceiling, the jumpsuits, the gold and platinum records and the airplanes. A child who is interested in popular music, fashion or history would enjoy aspects of the tour, but this is not exactly a kid-friendly experience. We went on a rainy Friday around 9:30am and it was still pretty crowded inside the house. You need to be able to listen to the audio recordings (on headphones) in order to get anything out of the tour, so keep that in mind. The end of the tour also briefly touches on drug use, so that’s important to keep in mind when it comes to kids.
If you bring kids I’d definitely recommend going as early as possible (it got more crowded as the morning went on) and watching some videos on Elvis before you go. It would be helpful to give a child perspective on who Elvis was before the tour starts. Be prepared to give your kids a history lesson – things like what houses cost back then, what performers were like before Elvis (so the whole Elvis the Pelvis thing makes sense to them), and even what a record is – as they are going to be confused without some background information.
You park across the street from Graceland (fee), purchase tickets and take a bus to the house, then after the tour the bus takes you back to the ticketing area. The ticketing area has bathrooms, restaurants and lots of gift shops. There is a public bathroom at Graceland, you access it from outside which is after the tour of the main house – so it’s best to go to the bathroom before you get on the bus! I don’t recommend bringing a stroller on the house tour as you go down into the basement then back up another set of stairs, so a stroller would be in the way.
We got a AAA discount on tickets, but I’m not aware of any other discounts. If you know of one please share via a comment. This was a fun experience and we were glad we went. It’s definitely not something I’d take my almost 5 year old to, but my 9 year old would have enjoyed parts of the tour.
3765 Elvis Presley Blvd.