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101 Things To Do In Memphis #95: Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park

by Melissa Thompson
Starry Nights is the largest holiday light show and festival in the Mid-South.  It's also the longest running celebration at Shelby Farms Park. The magic of the holidays is brought to life through the drive-through display of twinkling holiday light displays, cozy campfires and visits with Santa.  Each year, over 100,000 visitors cruise through the lights of Starry Nights making it an annual tradition for families.  Now in its 9th consecutive year, Starry Nights is the Conservancy’s largest fundraiser.  Since 2009, Starry Nights has been enjoyed by more than 900,000 visitors!

Open nightly through December 29, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Sunday - Thursday: 6pm-9pm | Friday + Saturday | 6pm-10pm

$20 per car | $15 for Park Members
$50 per large van and limo 
$150 per charter bus or school bus  

1. Save time in line and pre-purchase your tickets at the Lake’s Edge Gift Shop.
2. Purchase tickets in advance at
3. Tickets available at the ticket booth the night of the show.

If you have pre-purchased your tickets, enter through Gate 10 off of Mullins Station Road.
If you need to purchase tickets, enter through the Main Gate off Farm Road.

Participants receive a $5 discount per car on tickets purchased at the gate.

November 30: Tacky Holiday Sweater Night
December 7: Decorate Your Car + Park Member Night + Movie Night
December 14: Scout Night


December 4: Run, Walk, Bike Night (closed to cars) | $5 per person
Parking will be located at the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center.
Hyde Lake Wheel House will be open for bike rentals!   
Free Starry Yoga at 7:15pm

December 8: Trivia Hike 7pm + 8pm - Take a hike around Hyde Lake and answer holiday trivia questions to win a prize!  Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 

December 11: Walkin’ + Woofin’ Night (closed to cars) | $5 per person
Sponsored by Memphis Veterinary Specialists
Hyde Lake Wheel House will be open for bike rentals!
Free Starry Yoga at 7:15

December 15: Nocturnal Nature Hike 7pm + 8pm - Enjoy a hike through Heart of the Park and learn about nocturnal animals in the Park. Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 

December 22: Holiday Story Hike 7pm + 8pm - Enjoy a walk through Heart of the Park while enjoying a holiday story. Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 

December 29: Mystery Hike 7pm + 8pm - Someone has eaten Santa's cookies.  Use clues from your guide to determine who did it.  Was it Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Santa's Elves or Frosty the Snowman? Meet at the front desk in the First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center. 
Download a Starry Nights calendar here.

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101 Things To Do In Memphis #94: Memphis Zoo Lights

by Melissa Thompson

What is better than a winter wonderland? A WILD winter wonderland! SNOW is back at this year’s SunTrust Zoo Lights.

There's so much to see and do, visitors of all ages will find something to enjoy like the 90-FT LED Ferris wheel, Santa in his shop, live reindeer, thousands of LED holiday lights, the only 5,400 sq. ft outdoor ice skating rink and much more! 

Ice Rink open DAILY beginning November 18.
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
$6/per person for ice skating

What to know:
1. Avoid nightly crowds - skate during the day!
2. Regular Zoo admission applies
3. Dress warmly! It's Memphis' only outdoor, tented skating rink

Don’t miss out on a Mid-South tradition that not only brightens up the season, but is also a lot of fun. Make a night of it and build holiday memories at these unforgettable celebrations of light and holiday spirit.

Zoo visitors please note that Zoo Lights is a separate event and requires a separate ticket. 
4:00 pm Last day admission to the Zoo
5:00 pm Zoo closes*
5:30 pm Zoo Lights opens*

*Thanksgiving Day: Zoo Closed during the day. SunTrust Zoo Lights opens at 5:30 p.m.
**Christmas Eve: Zoo Closed. No SunTrust Zoo Lights.
***Christmas Day: Zoo Closed during the day. SunTrust Zoo Lights opens at 5:30 p.m.

Visit or call 333-6500 for more info.

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101 Things To Do In Memphis #41: Visiting Santa

by Melissa Thompson

Looking to visit Santa?  There are lots of great options in the area if your kids want to pay Santa a visit, and you want to get some photos of the event.  It’s still early, but Santa is arriving soon and I know some of you don’t want to miss out!

Alpine Village
Trinity Baptist Church, Cordova
A free Santa’s village, reservations required and begins November 19 at noon.

The Avenue at Carriage Crossing
November 19 – December 24 

  • We loved the Santa at carriage crossing! He looks real and is great with kids 🙂
  • Carriage crossing is my favorite place. 
  • The Santa at Carriage Crossing was great last year. He had a plan for making sure we got the best picture possible of our leary 1 year old and was very patient with all the families.

Memphis Zoo Lights
November 18 – December 30 (select nights) EMM Review
$7 members, $9 non-members
90-foot, LED Ferris wheel ($5), Santa in his shop, animal encounters, free train, live reindeer, thousands of LED holiday lights, ice skating ($6), camel rides ($3 members, $4 non-members) and more

Mistletoe Village at Starry Nights
November 18 – December 27 (closed Nov. 21)
Woodland Discovery Playground at Shelby Farms Park
Hot chocolate, camp fire, vendors, petting zoo, camel rides, musical performances, visit with Santa.  EMM Review (of Carriage Ride). $20/car non-members, $15 members.

Bass Pro Shops Winter Wonderland
Saturday, November 14 – December 24
Both Memphis locations
Take family pictures and receive one free 4×6 photo with Santa – and if the line is longer than 30 minutes you can get a Bass Pass so you can walk around the store and come back at your assigned time. Package options will also be available for a price. Enjoy free crafts (M-F 5-7pm, noon-5pm weekends) and free games. EMM Review


Bass Pro Shops

  • ok don’t laugh, but Bass Pro Shop was great last year. I said no when my husband suggested, but then I gave in. 🙂 They have a really cute set up and a really nice Santa
  • Hands down… Bass Pro. He has 14 grandkids. Sweet man. Really good with those kids who are scared. He just has a gift and a heart for his job. (Tip: go on an off night. Lots of one on one time.)
  • we went to Bass last year too bc we ran out of time and it was nice! They even let us take a second photo bc the first wasnt that great 🙂 
  • We LOVE Bass pros santa..its free for one pic and $10 for the smallest package! And theyre set is cute and stuff for the kids to do!
  • We’ve done Bass Pro this year and last. It’s free and Santa is always very good. It gets very crowded close to Christmas though.

Oak Court Mall
November 19 – ?
Oak court mall. No wait and was great with my newborn last year.


Oak Court Mall

Wolfchase Galleria
November 4 – December 24
Caring Santa for special needs kids November 20 from 10 – 11:30am
Breakfast with Santa December 10, 8:30-10am
I thought he was wonderful. 

Children’s Museum of Memphis
Thursday, December 17, 1-4pm
It’s that time of year and Santa Claus will be stopping by CMOM!  Come take pictures with him from 1 PM – 4 PM.  Parents, be sure to bring your own cameras to get that perfect picture!

S’mores with Santa
Memphis Botanic Garden
Sunday, December 11, 5-8pm
Become part of a new holiday tradition as Santa drops in for s’mores and snapshots at Snowy Nights! Stroll through My Big Backyard, decked out in lights and holiday decorations, with outdoor activities, snow play, and more. Bring your own camera to capture magical encounters with Santa and his wintry friends. Tickets include s’mores, hot dog bar, hot cocoa buffet, and all the interactive fun of Snowy Nights. members $12/non-members $15, reservations are required.

Breakfast with Santa
Fire Museum of Memphis
2015: Santa arrives on a fire engine! Breakfast, photos, storytime, face painting and more. Two sessions. Registration required, $10/person.

Brunch with Santa
The Majestic Grill
Saturday, December 17
Enjoy holiday movies and cartoons on the Majestic Screen. Special appearances by North Pole Elves, Mrs. Claus & the Jolly ol’ Elf himself!  Santa’s friends to be announced! Santa will visit every table.  $18 per child ages 2-10, older children and adults order from the menu.  This event is sold out.

Breakfast with Santa
Kid’s Play, Germantown
2015: Breakfast, photos and play. $16 for the first child, $12 for each additional child, and $9 per adult. Call 758-1015 to reserve your spot.


Give a Special Video Message from Santa Claus!

by Melissa Hayes Blume

Give a special video message from Santa Claus!
In just a few easy steps, you can create a personalized video from Santa Claus for your children, friends, family members or colleagues. All you do is provide a few little details about the person. It is fun, special, and something they will enjoy watching! Just Click Here to get started!


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4