It’s no secret that Saddle Creek Orthodontics is a big fan of all things fa-la-la-la-la. If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been waiting weeks for it to become socially acceptable to bring the tree down from the attic and put your favorite Christmas playlist on repeat. Whether you’re going to wait it out until the day after Thanksgiving or give in and deck the halls early this year, you can get a head start on your ho-ho-ho’s by checking out our handy guide to the best holiday activities around town in 2019!
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
1 Bass Pro Dr, Memphis, TN 38105
November 16–December 24
Each year, Bass Pro Shops across the country turn into winter wonderlands complete with Christmas cabins, holiday characters, live elves, decorated trees, and snow-covered hills. Take advantage of FREE photos with Santa, and a variety of fun family activities, including crafts, games, remote control trucks, Lincoln Logs, a laser arcade, and a foam shooting gallery. There will also be tables set up for kids to write a letter to Santa, create their own Christmas decorations, and complete handmade crafts to take home at no charge!
Santa arrives in Memphis on November 16th at 5 p.m., and Bass Pro will be handing out adorable Santa stress toys to the tots waiting in line for their free 4×6 photo. Decorate a Santa stocking from 6-8 p.m. and enjoy their magical tree lighting as you sip on a delicious mug of hot cocoa! They’ll also be getting into the spirit of the season by giving away $25 gift cards and cozy blankets every half hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
2000 Prentiss Place, Memphis, TN 38112
November 22–December 30
Did you know that Zoo Lights has been rated as one of the country’s Top 20 zoo light displays by USA Today readers for two years in a row? It’s not hard to see why when you visit! With singing Christmas trees, snow in the Courtyard, and beautiful holiday lighting displays everywhere you turn, there’s something for everyone at the Memphis Zoo during the holiday season. Take in the views from the top of the LED-lit Ferris wheel, show off your skating skills at the only outdoor ice skating rink in the city, and stop by for a visit with Santa. Don’t miss the North Pole Express train as you explore what’s to offer!
Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees
Pink Palace Museum
3050 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38111
November 23–December 31
The Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees has been happening in Memphis for over 65 years, and is a holiday tradition for many families across the Mid-South! This magical experience features a whole cast of delightful animated characters, from elves making toys to penguins playing in the snow. There’s a model train winding its way around a miniature village, and be sure to save room for a treat from the nearby Gingerbread Village.
Take your time strolling through the mezzanine as you admire the many trees that have been beautifully decorated by professional designers, individuals, and local organizations. Thousands of twinkling lights provide a perfect backdrop for Christmas card pictures and seasonal selfies! Santa kicks it all off by landing on the front lawn of Pink Palace at 9 a.m. on November 23rd. Get there early to greet him before things get so busy!
Shelby Farms Park
6903 Great View Drive North, Memphis, TN 38134
November 9–January 3*
*excluding December 3
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your car thanks to Starry Nights! Drive through thousands of twinkling lights and displays placed around Shelby Farms, including lots of new displays for the 2019 season. You can also get out and stretch your legs with a walk around the park, or see Starry Nights in a different way by choosing a carriage or hayride.
The FedEx Mistletoe Village transforms into a winter wonderland nightly, and Santa is available for visits and photos through December 23. Kids can even write him a letter and send it for free via the North Pole Express mailbox! Up for a sweet treat as you explore? Grab some hot chocolate and roast s’mores or marshmallows over a fire pit with the family!
Beale Street, Memphis, TN 38103
Dec 14, 2019 at 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Beale Street may not be the first place you think of when looking for family friendly holiday fun, but this parade is for everybody! Kick off the season in true Memphis style, with marching bands, cheerleaders, steppers, twirlers, dancers, car clubs, community organizations, and of course, a long line of fantastic floats. Santa will even make an appearance with his reindeer! If you’ve never attended before, this is a great time to start a new tradition with your family and friends.
Happy holidays from our SCO family to yours
There’s so much to do in Memphis and the Mid-South throughout the holiday season that you could start now and still have new things to explore by Christmas! We hope our guide will give you a good jumping off point. Whatever you and your family plan to fit in before a brand new year begins, we want to say THANK YOU for supporting us in 2019. We appreciate you all so much, and can’t wait to create more beautiful smiles in 2020!