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101 Things To Do In Memphis #68: Memphis Italian Festival

by Melissa Thompson

Join in on a celebration of all things Italian this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 1-3rd for a “can’t miss” Memphis tradition - The Memphis Italian Festival!

For 25+ years the Holy Rosary Parish has hosted what is considered to be the finest family oriented, community event in the entire Mid-South, according to Memphis Parent Magazine. Demonstrating the value of family, faith and fellowship in the Italian-American tradition through music, food, events, games, and more for the benefit of the children of Holy Rosary Parish School. Take a seat on the lawn, visit with friends, listen to outstanding musical entertainment, and enjoy the food, beverages and all around good time! 

There are numerous vendors serving everything from toasted ravioli to cannoli, along with classic festival fair from funnel cakes to Pronto Pups. Escape the heat and enjoy your dinner in air conditioned Luigi’s Café overlooking the park and enjoying the music or grab a picnic basket from Luigi’s Market and have your supper on the field. Looking for a more interactive dining experience? Join one of the many area restaurants conducting cooking demos or participate in one of the team cooking contests including the Spaghetti Gravy Contest!

Step right up and try your luck on any of our carnival games including Plinko, The Great Pig Race, Roller Bowler, Potty Toss, Balloon Pop, and so much more!  Mini carnival rides are also back and have multiplied!  Adults and children can ride Pirates Revenge, Tubs of Fun, Mechanical Bull, Mini Ferris Wheel, and many more!  Smaller children can also enjoy our inflatable bounce houses. This year Luigi Land will have face painting, balloon artists, and special guest appearances by characters including princesses, superheroes, and many more!  901 Rocks will also be present. Come paint and hide your own 901 Rock within the festival and find 901 Rocks too!  During the evenings, Luigi Land will be showing short movies on our outdoor movie theater. Whether you want to play games, ride rides, paint rocks, or watch a movie, Luigi Land is the place for you.

No festival would be complete without live music! Rock out the Italian way on two stages of nationally renowned and local musical artists performing blues, rock, and pop acts. Get the full line-up here.

Admission is $8 on Thursday, $10 on Friday, $10 on Saturday until 4pm and $15 Saturday evening. Buy discount tickets on line at

Located at Marquette Park, on the corner of Mt. Moriah and Park Avenue. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 1st and at 11 a.m. on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd. Visit the website for more information. 

A little taste of Italy, right here in Memphis!


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101 Things To Do In Memphis #60: Easter Events 2017

by Melissa Thompson

Trees are blooming, bulbs are popping up and the weather is improving. Easter is sneaking up on us! Here’s a list of Easter-related happenings in the area. Pay attention to the registration deadlines for some of these events. Also – take note how many like the “Eggstravaganza” pun.

After-Dark Easter Egg Hunt
Cameron Brown Park
8628 Farmington Blvd, Germantown

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
Kid’s Play
9155 Poplar Ave, Germantown
$12 per child, $9 per adult
Breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, bagels, donuts, fruit, juices and coffee. Madison from Mad Photography will be available to take professional photos at an additional cost of $20 for 3 edited electronic prints.

Elmwood Easter Egg Hunt
Elmwood Cemetery
824 S Dudley, Memphis
The cemetery staff and volunteers invite our youngest of friends to join us for an Easter egg hunt! This fun event is open to kids from 1 to 10 years of age. Make sure to bring your Easter basket so that you can find plenty of eggs. We’ll hide a prize egg, too. The Easter bunny will even be joining us for photos! This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required! Simply email and let us know how many kids you are bringing. We will begin on time – parents, please be prompt! Call with questions at 901-774-3212.

Urban Egg Hunt by Hope Church
Multi-National Ministries
1548 Poplar, Memphis

Cameron Brown Easter Eggstravaganza
Cameron Brown Park
8628 Farmington, Germantown
Egg hunts: Up to 2 years, 10:30a; 3 to 4 years, 11a; 5 to 6 years, 11:30a; 7 to 8 years, noon. Hop on over and have some fun, look for eggs each and every one. Little ones can enjoy a free petting zoo, moon bounces and age-divided egg hunts with prizes. Meet the Easter Bunny and find candy-filled eggs. Don’t forget a basket and camera. Concessions are available for purchase. Rain date is Tuesday, April 11.

Easter Through the Looking Glass
2525 Central, Memphis
Members $5, Non-members $20
Hop on over for photos with the Easter Bunny and greet some very special characters throughout the museum. Meet Alice, her furry feline, a pale queen, and a hatter that’s gone mad! Decorate wooden eggs and don’t miss the chance to create your very own colorful Duct Tape Easter bucket to fill with deluxe Easter treats from the Candy Station. Enjoy themed face painting and balloon twisting from The Balloon Guy. Every child receives an egg-stra special plush bunny to take home. Advanced reservation prices: members are $3 and non-members are $18 and includes a museum visit. At the door pricing day of the event based on availability: members are $5 and non-members are $20. All sales final – tickets are non-refundable!

Easter Egg Hunt
St. Luke’s Methodist
480 S Highland, Memphis

Hope 4 Macky & Friends Special Needs Egg Hunt
Hope Church
8500 Walnut Grove Rd, Cordova

Easter Eggstravaganza!
YMCA at Schilling Farms
1185 Schilling Blvd E, Collierville
FREE for members; $5 Non-Members
Come prepared to get wet at the annual Easter Eggstravaganza in the indoor pool! Wear your swim suit and bring a towel, basket, and your own flotation device if needed. Activities following egg float in the meeting room. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time. Reserve your spot by April 6th. Space is limited. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Age 3-5 2pm; Age 6-9 2:15pm; Age 10-14 2:30pm

Easter Eggstravaganza!
Christ the King Lutheran Church
5296 Park, Memphis
Fun activities will include a petting zoo, face painting, balloon sculptures, bouncy house, ice cream sundaes, a traditional Easter Egg Hunt and, of course, the Easter Bunny himself!  The event is free and open to the community.  For ages 3-year-olds to 6th grade.  For more information, contact Lauren Gilchrist at


Easter Egg Hunt
Williamson Park hosted by Evergreen Presbyterian
250 Williamson, Memphis

Easter Eggstravaganza
Highland Church of Christ
400 N. Houston Levee, Cordova

Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt
Germantown Presbyterian Church
2363 Germantown Rd, Germantown

Easter Egg Hunt
Germantown Presbyterian Church
2363 Germantown Rd, Germantown

Easter Egg Hunt
Trinity Baptist Church
8899 Trinity Rd, Cordova

Calvary: The Dramatic Story of Christ
Buckman Performing Arts Center
60 Perkins Extd
The purpose of this play is to exhibit a musical presentation of the meaning of Spiritual Love and Sacrifice. The setting provides the audience an experience to see acting, music, dancing, and puppetry. The storyline centers a young girl named Libi who learns how Jesus gave his life for us through her mother Odelia; who recreates a visual painting of how Jesus suffered. This musically inclined journey challenges us to walk the footsteps Jesus faced traveling to Calvary and agonizing moments on the cross until his death. This fun-filled skit will set your souls to laughter as we comically illustrate a theatrical representation of how love saves a family and brought them together.


Easter Egg Hunt
Kid’s Play
9155 Poplar Ave, Germantown
The egg hunt is included with your daily admission of $9 per child.  BYOB – bring your own basket.

Bunny Hop
Collierville Square
125 N Rowlett, Collierville
Join JA of Collierville, Main Street Collierville and Town of Collierville for dancing, games, Easter Bunny and so much more!
Please bring canned food to donate to those in need within the Collierville community!

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
East Win Church
4350 Hacks Cross, Memphis
10a Egg Hunt

SRVS Bunny Run 
Independent Presbyterian Church
4738 Walnut Grove Rd, Memphis
Race starts at 9am
Registration ranges from $10-$30
Walkers start immediately after, followed by the 1 mile Family fun run/walk. A great family event including children’s games, face painting, Easter egg hunt, a visit from the Easter Bunny!

Bunny Breakfast and Egg Hunt
Faith Presbyterian Church
8816 Poplar Pike, Germantown

Shelby Forest Spring Fest
The 6th Annual 2017 Shelby Forest Spring Fest will be held April 15th in the old UA Moore Ballpark (Shelby Forest State Park). There will be a sanctioned KCBS BBQ competition, live music, food, arts and crafts vendors, wildlife and cultural exhibits, activities for kids, crawfish boil, and a corn hole tournament! New things are being added every day!

Easter Egg Hunt
Germantown United Methodist Church
2331 S Germantown Rd, Germantown
Time TBD
Our annual Easter Egg Hunt is held the Saturday before Easter at GUMC’s McVay Gardens Park. This fun and festive event provides is a great opportunity for family and fellowship! In addition to the traditional egg hunt, children can enjoy a petting zoo, fun crafts, yummy snacks, and much more! The Easter Bunny makes an appearance as well. Parking is available at the Owings Life Enrichment Center.

Easter Egg Hunt
Dixon Gallery & Gardens
4339 Park Ave, Memphis
Members $8, Non-members $10
Hunt begins promptly at 10:45am. Light refreshments will be provided.

Easter Eggstravaganza (site may be down as they’re launching new site April 5 week)
Kroc Center
800 E Pkwy S, Memphis
Hop to the Kroc for Easter Hunting for ages 0-12. The fun starts at 10am.

Easter Egg Hunt
Emmanuel Methodist Church
2404 Kirby Rd, Memphis

Easter Celebration
Christ Church
4488 Poplar
Egg Hunt, Carnival Games, Food, Family Fun

Second Presbyterian Egg Hunt
Second Pres. Church
4055 Poplar Ave, Memphis
Easter egg hunt on the Poplar football field for children in third grade and under.

Easter Egg Hunt
Humane Society
935 Farm Rd, Memphis
$10 donation per child or dog
This isn’t your typical Easter Egg Hunt event – it’s for both kids and pets! We’ll have eggs hidden all over the spacious Humane Society property, and it’ll be an afternoon to remember. Don’t forget to bring your Easter baskets!
A $10 donation per child or dog includes egg hunt entry and a treat bag filled with goodies. Don’t worry, we’ll have separate treat bags for pups and kids. There will also be free face painting and more fun activities for the whole family. The HSMSC mascot, Hugh the Rescue, can’t wait to see you!
Wildflowers Photography will be on site for pet, children, or family photos. For a $10 donation, you’ll receive professional photos emailed to you that evening. Baby chicks and ducks are available for the photos.
Event schedule:
Dog Easter Egg Hunt @ 10:30am (All dogs must be on leash)
Child Easter Egg Hunt @ 11:30am

Easter Egg Hunt
Cornelia Crenshaw Library
531 Vance

Easter Family Fest
First Assembly Memphis
8650 Walnut Grove, Cordova

Easter Eggstravaganza!
Immanuel Lutheran Church
6325 Raleigh Lagrange Rd, Memphis
Free to go, but you must register to attend.

Family Easter Eggtravaganza
Calvary Church
1851 Houston Levee, Cordova


Family Egg Hunt
Memphis Botanic Garden
750 Cherry Rd, Memphis
MBG members $6, non-members $8. Under 2 free. Tickets $10 at the gate, based on availability.
Spring wouldn’t be the same without the Garden’s annual Egg Hunt, complete with age-friendly areas, live music and magic, and a 96-acre hunt with prizes for the adults as well! Bring the little ones to the 2-and-under Bunny Hop area for a mellow, hunt-at-your-own-pace space, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. 3-4 year olds will have their own hunt at 2:30 pm; 5-7 year olds at 2:45 pm, and 8-10 year olds at 3:00 pm. Family prize egg hunt begins at 1:00 pm, and ends at 4:00 pm, or when all eggs are found. (1 prize egg per family, please!) Everyone will enjoy kids’ crafts, lawn games, and outdoor activities throughout the day. Photos with the Easter Bunny and concessions available at additional cost. Advance tickets online and also available at the front desk.Call 636-4100 for information.

Shelby Forest Egg Hunt
Shelby Forest, Millington
Big Egg Hunt on the Lake!  Free to the public, for children 12 and under.

Easter Eve Concert
Hosted by Independent Pres. Church
Levitt Shell
1928 Poplar Ave, Memphis
Everyone is welcome to attend this FREE event at the historic Levitt Shell, located in Overton Park. Invite your family and friends to enjoy a spring evening on Easter Eve featuring singer/songwriter, Sam Mooney.

Easter Sunrise Service at the Garden
Hosted by Second Presbyterian Church
Memphis Botanic Garden
750 Cherry Rd

Easter Sunrise Service at Levitt Shell
1928 Poplar Ave

70th Annual Crystal Shrine Grotto Easter Sunrise Service 
Memorial Park Crystal Shrine Grotton
5668 Poplar Avenue
An ecumenical service at the historic Crystal Shrine Grotto. Light refreshments (i.e. doughnuts and juice for the kids) will be served. For more information, please call 901-767-8930. 

Easter at the Island
Mud Island
Downtown Memphis
Come spend Easter at Mud Island River Park Family Fun – more details to come soon.

Redbirds Dropping Easter Candy from Helicopter
AutoZone Park
200 Union Ave, Memphis
12noon Brunch
2:05pm Gametime
After the game – Kids ages 12 and under will be allowed onto the field to hunt for Easter candy, dropped from a chopper! Easter special package tickets available.



101 Things To Do In Memphis #59: Lantern Light Festival

by Melissa Thompson

Memphis, get ready for the first ever Lantern Light Festival happening at the Agricenter March 31st through May 7th.

  • Where: Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Rd, Memphis, TN 38120
  • When: March 31 – May 7th; Friday through Sunday, 6pm-12am
  • Tickets: $20/adult, $15/children, $49/season pass. Get tickets here.

The Lantern Light Festival presents the pageantry and beauty of a tradition and craft that was started over 2,000 years ago in China. Emperor Hanmingdi heard that monks lit lanterns in the temples to show respect to Buddha on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. The Emperor ordered that all the temples, households, and royal palaces should light lanterns on that evening. This Buddhist custom gradually became a grand celebration for the Chinese people and is the inspiration for the Lantern Light Festival.

The enormous hand-crafted lanterns are a celebration of architecture from around the world, creatures of the land and sea, holiday traditions, and mythical stories. Since each Chinese lantern is made by hand, the production process is lengthy and requires a team of artisans. After each lantern is completed, it is disassembled and packed up. The lanterns are then shipped to the city that is hosting the Lantern Light Festival in the U.S and re-built.

Things to know:

  • This festival is family friendly and will include kid-friendly activities like face painting, train rides, and lantern making.
  • Tickets can be purchased online here or at the festival.
  • No outside food or drinks are allowed. Concessions will be available on site.
  • Season passes are available for those who want to make multiple visits.
  • Group discounts are available
  • See more FAQs here.

Visit the Lantern Light Festival’s website for more info and follow their Facebook page for updates.

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