Must-Try Holiday Traditions

Santa on Beale Street by Allen Gillespie 

Every winter season, Memphis transforms into a holiday wonderland. From musical mansions decked out in holiday lights to family-friendly activites, the city is alight with holiday cheer. Celebrate the holidays with these iconic traditions.

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

Take a drive with friends and loved ones through Shelby Farms Park for Starry Nights, the largest holiday light show in the Mid-South. Stop by Mistletoe Village to warm up with hot chocolate and roasted s'mores. You can also find the perfect holiday gift at The Lake's Edge Gift Shop or The Artisan Front Porch featuring  local crafters. The kids will absolutely love the Starry Petting Zoo ($3 per person) with pony and camel rides ($5 per person). 

Discover a wild winter wonderland at the Memphis Zoo. Explore a fantasy land of lights, ride the LED Ferris wheel, experience snow in the Courtyard and even see live reindeer! Visit Santa in his shop and enjoy all of the Sun Trust Zoo Lights holiday activities. 

Memphis' newest holiday attraction is Holiday Wonders at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. Outdoor, interactive, family fun awaits with three new interactive activities: Snowy Nights, Trees Alight and Sculptures Bright. Bring the whole family to play in the falling "snow", sip hot cocoa and enjoys crafts, games, music and lights to celebrate the season. 

Take a trip through the Enchanted Forest every Friday in December at the Pink Palace from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.. You'll wander through sparkling trees lit up in various themes, a snow-covered Gingerbread village from tiny cottages to majestic mansions and see the toy trains pass by while the kids partake in a scavenger hunt. Santa's helicopter will be landing on the palace lawn, but if you can't make it to see the big guy touch down, you'll still be able to catch him November 18 through December 24 for photos.  

Memphis decks the halls when it comes to the holiday season

Only in Memphis

Watch with glee as Beale Street fills with colorful floats, festive marching bands, eye-catching twirlers and steppers and festive sights of all kinds. The Memphis Holiday Parade starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2017, but be sure to show up early to get a good viewing spot.

Delight in the Peabody Memphis festive holiday decorations from the 30-foot Christmas tree, a grand gingerbread house display which takes a month to build and twinkle lights and garlands strewn along the mezzanine railings. The ducks enjoy a more festive flower display than usual which is a must-see since the standard arrangement is always spectacular. Order a pastry from Chez Philippe's magnificent dessert display and let the holiday spirit take over. 

Then there's nothing quite like spending the season with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at Christmas at Graceland. Christmas was always Elvis' favorite holiday, so it's no surprise that Graceland will be the most festive spot in town. The mansion will feature hundreds of blue lights and display the same decorations originally found in the Presley home, including a life-size Nativity scene, Santa sleigh and reindeer. Across the street at Elvis' Presley's Memphis entertainment complex, you can enjoy a Holiday Concert Weekend featuring a live orchestra with Elvis on the big screen, a gospel Christmas show and an Elvis Star-Studded Rock 'n' Roll show. 

Make your way to Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, where you can stock up on outdoor goods for all your winter adventures while the kiddos get a free picture with Santa, play in the laser arcade, make holiday arts and crafts and much more.

Get Tickets to a Show  

Take flight at Playhouse on the Square with Peter Pan, Wendy and the Lost Boys. Or leave the kids at home and Take The Soul Train to Christmas a musical extravaganza performed at the Hatilloo Theatre or the hilarious Santa Land Diaries about eveyones favorite elf-gone-bad.

See the classic sugar plum fairies dancing across the stage at the Orpheum in the Nutcracker by Ballet Memphis, or experience the modern version in Nut Remix at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. This year's performance will feature Memphis native and world famous jooker Lil' Buck, who you've probably seen dancing in commercials for both Apple and Lexus. 

Get ready for a for the jolliest of parties as 2,000 Santa Clauses, Mrs. Clauses and other North Pole characters gather at the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium for the largest pub crawl in Memphis. Bob & Roland’s 13th Annual Stumbling Santa Pub Crawl returns to Downtown Memphis on December second where you an join in on the fun by bringing an unwrapped gift for donation or just watch as the Santas follow a secret pub crawl route to different locations every hour, on the hour, until 11 p.m. Participants who visit all of the Stumbling Santa pubs will have the chance to win a grand prize.