Because America was founded during the Ice Age, its original fire departments were outposts where people rubbed ice against ice in hopes of discovering fire. We salute our helmet-adorned heroes with today's Groupon: $5 gets you two passes to the Fire Museum of Memphis, up to a $12 value.
The Fire Museum of Memphis uses a combination of interactive exhibits, artifacts, restorations, and multimedia to illustrate Memphis's history of fire damage and to honor those who dedicate their lives to fighting fires. Built inside the refurbished Fire Engine House No. 1, the museum itself is a rich piece of history. The Memorial Wall's larger-than-life sculptures are a riveting tribute to the heroes who fell in the line of duty, and a collection of prints and portraits honors the 12 brave men who made up the first class of African-American firefighters in 1955. Alongside a bevy of antiques from past eras of fire fighting, the horse-drawn E.H. Crump Steamer, named after the late mayor, will evoke a simpler time—before motor-technologies subjugated our equestrian allies to achieving glory primarily as silly-named racing horses.
A collection of imaginative interactive exhibits in the Fire Museum's kid-focused area are equal parts play and learning. Once inside, visitors are greeted by Ol' Billy, a life-size animatronic horse and the official museum mascot, who will help youngsters engage in the vibrant history of the Memphis fire department. The Snorkel Basket Simulator simulates the intense experience of riding up in a hydraulic cherry picker and trying to fight a fire, giving kids a taste of the physics behind real firefighting. The Fire Room and Escape Maze simulate the heat of a fire and the escape from a burning building, respectively, giving kids the information and courage they need to escape fire's blistering agenda.
- …this often-overlooked kids' attraction has lots to offer, and safety lessons to teach. Highlights include a talking horse and a simulation that allows visitors to feel like they are standing inside of a burning house. – Frommer's
- You can dress up as a firefighter, slide down a fire pole, drive an engine and spray the water to put the fire out. Also has a flashover stimulator [sic] room! – my2cutekidz, TripAdvisor
- We took five kids from age 4 to 10 here this morning and they all loved it. The gentlemen working there were incredibly polite and generous. The kids liked the exhibits and could have spent all day on the trucks and stuff on first floor. – Irish94, TripAdvisor