As the rain began to fall, we moved on from the National Ornamental Metal Museum and started heading towards the freeway when we saw this curious building and the logo had our boys’ looking for the entrance in no time as their father led the way.
As it turned out, Bass Pro Shop had just opened their doors in this location and is one of the largest retail stores in the world. It was a flurry of activity and my Mama-Safety-Senses were on high alert as we rolled into the crowded parking lot towing a 34′ travel trailer. Thankfully, we didn’t hit any other cars and managed to find a spot long enough for our set up along the side of the parking lot near the retaining wall.
As a family with four boys, we were in for a treat. Walking thru the doors, we entered a Cypress Swamp Waterfowl Habitat complete with towering cypress trees, and an 84,000-gallon alligator habitat, live ducks, and floating boats that you can board and experience on the water (well, experience them floating anyway).
Evidently, the pyramid structure was built in 1991 and was originally owned and operated jointly by the city of Memphis and Shelby County until Shelby County sold its share to Memphis in April 2009. The pyramid design plays on the city’s namesake in Egypt, known for its ancient pyramids. It is 321 feet (98m, about 32 stories) tall and has base sides of 591 ft. It is by some measures the tenth tallest pyramid in the world.
This location also touts The Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Heritage Center, an interactive wetlands education museum, a 28-story free-standing elevator with views at the top on their glass observation deck all for a nominal fee, there’s also a restaurant you can go to that overlooks the Mississippi river, an archery range, and in addition to two large levels of shopping, they also have the Big Cypress Lodge, the first hotel inside a Bass Pro Shops, with 103 rustic rooms and tree-house cabins inspired by vintage duck hunting camps.
And no, if you’re wondering if Bass Pro Shop is paying me to tell you how awesome this location is, well, they’re not. It’s really that magnificent. Truly they’ve outdone themselves and no other Bass Pro Shop will ever feel quite as cool to my boys now. (sad sigh)
We did some shopping for boots for one of our boys and grabbed some snacks from the general store which touts long lines and an amazing fudge assortment. The boys also had fun shooting in the Bass Pro’s shooting arcade and my husband and I somehow managed to keep our five-year-old from falling into the water that had easy access at various points in the retail location. My husband, who loves to barbecue, enjoyed their great selection of barbecuers and smokers.
Overall, it was a little hairy getting into the parking lot with our travel trailer and construction still going on, but in all, it worked out and we were able to find a spot to park. (You should note that this location does not allow overnight parking as some Bass Pro Shops usually do. We easily spent a couple of hours here.) Although I normally lean towards educational museums or national landmarks, there’s something to be said about taking advantage of local attractions or business offerings that fit the interest of your family.
WHAT KIDS CAN LEARN THRU THIS EXPERIENCE:
- There are a variety of fish in the large tanks — some kids would not normally be able to view due to locale and muddy waters.
- Target practice with the shooting arcade.
- How to market a product to meet the desires of a consumer.
It took us about an hour-and-a-half to go thru the museum buildings and walk around the grounds. Here are the details for planning your budget and outing…
Things to do:
– 28-story free-standing elevator
– two restaurants if you wish to dine there
– a spot to bowl
– shooting arcade for young and old alike
RV parking available along the side of the parking lot and in the back.
*Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Be sure to check their website before you visit to see if there are any other restrictions as things change from the time of this posting.
TIP: Bring a picnic lunch on a nice spring or fall day! They have a couple of picnic tables and a lovely courtyard. If you go on a Saturday or Sunday, you may be able to see a demonstration. Check the Web site for details.
Mon – Sat: 8am – 10pm
Sun: 8am – 7pm
Aquarium and Fish Feeding
Every day: 10am and 5pm
Tue, Thu, and Sat: 2pm
For a more enjoyable visit, plan to spend 1–2 hours.
- Nashville, TN | No Rock-n-Roll and Metalworks – Part 1
- Nashville, TN | Bass Pro Shop at the Pyramid – Part 2
- Nashville, TN | Barbecue and a Miracle – Part 3 [coming soon]
- See other trips you can take like this one. Search by State
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5 Kids and a RV recommendations are based on personal experience and do not represent the business or not-for-profit we feature. We share our experiences in an effort to inspire parents and caregivers to engage and explore with their children. On occasion we may post a review or provide information as an affiliate.
5 Kids and a RV: “Let’s go learn something today!“