5 Ways to Have Yourself a Very Memphis Christmas

an image of a tabby cat with a santa hat edited on that is sitting in front of a Christmas tree

While Memphis may not have a White Christmas, that doesn't mean it isn't a great place to spend the holiday season. In fact, Memphis has so many fun things to do, even Palmer Cat wandered away from her home to explore them!

Overton Square

The hip and hopping center of Midtown is all dressed up for the holidays! Many restaurants are offering exclusive December deals, and Babalu just unveiled new additions to their menu. If your parents come in town to pick you up, this is where you need to go. Come on down, grab dinner, watch a movie at Studio on the Square, and then walk around and admire the lights and Christmas trees adorning Madison Ave.

Zoo Lights

If you’re more of an animal lover (or you don’t have a car), Zoo Lights is your calling. Just across North Parkway, the Memphis Zoo decks the halls with thousands of individual Christmas lights. In addition, visitors can go ice skating, ride on a ferris wheel, and gaze at winter-y animals such as reindeer and penguins. Rumor is that this year they’ll even make SNOW for parts of the Zoo. So it might be a White Christmas in Overton Park this year.

Cost: $8 Time: 5:30-9:30 Friday and Saturday Nights. 

The Peabody Lobby

For perhaps the classiest Christmas excursion, head downtown to the historic Peabody hotel. The lobby is covered in garlands and lights, and a 30-foot Christmas tree overlooks it all. The lobby bar has special winter drinks for those of age, but they also offer hot chocolate and  coffee or tea service for those looking to warm up. Remember: The ducks march down to the lobby every day at 11 am and back up at 5 pm. It’s a great show, but keep in mind that’s when the Peabody is busiest; if you want a seat in the lobby, you better arrive an hour beforehand.

Shelby Farms Starry Lights

Every year, Shelby Farms brightens the park with more than 1.5 million lights. They create designs and attractions that reflect the many landmarks throughout Memphis. In addition, their Mistletoe Village boasts a petting zoo, camel rides, s’mores roasting, and even Santa himself. Finally, if you go any Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night, Shelby Farms will feature a different local artist or high school choir to serenade you with holiday hits.

Cost: $20 per car. Open Thursday-Sunday Nights in December

Bass Pro Shops

If you haven't been to the newly opened store, no time is better than now! Along with the staggeringly large inventory of gifts for that uncle who loves to hunt, the Pyramid has live alligators and huge fish tanks to admire. For the season, there is an entire Holiday section, with free games, specialty Christmas merchandise, and even Santa himself (again!). Ride the largest free-standing elevator in the nation to make it to the top of the building, where you can ogle at the Mississippi and downtown Memphis.

Cost: $10 Elevator

By Sam Clark ’17