Best Things to Do During Holidays Around Memphis

By  //  November 26, 2022

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From spring flowers and summer fireworks to fall costume parties and festive winter lights, Memphis has a lot more to offer during the holidays.

There is the only way to get yourself and your family into the holiday spirit than by taking advantage of one of the many attractions the city offers. 

Memphis has mild winters due to its location. Still, you can always count on snow and a festive atmosphere because of the holiday-themed events that take place all season long.   

Get a jumpstart on your planning by reading up on these favourite things to do in Memphis – Germantown! Discover the best holiday fun & excitement for you and your family!

New Year’s Eve on Beale Street 

The city that rocks year ’round rocks hardest on New Year’s Eve, when landmarks and local-favourite bars invite everybody in for a party.  

Memphis welcomes the new year with a big celebration, music, and a midnight guitar drop on Beale Street. On or around New Year’s Eve, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic is held each year. 

You will party with thousands of people, spilling in and out of bars and restaurants onto the wide street. Or, dance under the stars to live concerts. Then welcome the new year with fireworks and confetti cannons as the clock strikes 12. 

Affordable and the safest Marriott hotel near Beale Street: After a day exploring Beale Street, unwind and sleep peacefully at Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott. This hotel is just a few minutes away from Beale Street. You can enjoy a complimentary delicious breakfast and a nice cup of coffee in the morning. Book your room, take advantage of this Marriot Hotel’s amenities, and prepare for an amazing vacation in Memphis-Germantown!

Christmas At Graceland   

There is no best bling in Memphis than Graceland – the home of Elvis Presley, which lavishly adorns the halls during the holiday season.

A lighting ceremony kicks off the festivities, and the mansion and grounds are bedecked in the King’s holiday glitter, featuring a life-sized nativity scene outside and red velvet drapes and Presley family relics inside.  

Visitors are invited to participate in the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation’s poinsettia campaign, which raises money for the foundation’s numerous programs that benefit Memphis’ children and students.

Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo 

This is a classic Memphis holiday tradition. This year’s Zoo Lights include even MORE lights, so don’t miss the celebrations. Tickets must be purchased online, and there are only a limited number of tickets available for each night. 

Fanciful displays, Santa in his workshop, lighted trails, and special crafts are part of the holiday fun. Moreover, the zoo’s carousel and rides on the tram are free at the price of admission to zoo lights.

Other Activities at Memphis Zoo 

Zoo on Ice 

Memphis Zoo on Ice offers ice skating on the nights when Zoo Lights are up, giving the already famous zoo a festive feel. You can rent skates, but remember to bring your own socks. Snacks and hot drinks are also available. Zoo Lights operate simultaneously throughout the holiday season.  

Pro Tip: The parking spot and a less packed venue are both won by arriving early. As soon as it opens each evening at 5:30, head to Zoo Lights.

Starry Nights 

The largest event at Shelby Farms features over 3.5 million lights that wind through the vast park. Fanciful images of stars, planets, animals, holidays, and more guide guests through the park. Keep an eye out for the buffalo lights as well; a herd of buffalo makes its home in the park.   

Visitors can choose between taking a horse-drawn carriage or hayride through the light show or driving through in their own vehicles.

Mistletoe Town, a Christmas-themed village, is a must-stop for hot cocoa, Santa visits, and the opportunity to ride a camel or visit a petting zoo. The artists’ market in Mistletoe is a great place for parents to do a little holiday shopping. 

Affordable Hilton hotel near Shelby Farms Park: Homewood Suites is only 4 miles from Shelby Farms Park. This hotel charms its guests with its spacious suites and complimentary breakfast buffet. Best of all, you can bring your pet along on your holiday as this hotel is pet friendly. Furthermore, this hotel is close to many of the city’s major attractions. Book your room at this Hilton Hotel and get the best affordable rates. 

Holiday Wonders at the Garden 

Memphis doesn’t get a lot of snow, so Santa and his elves at the Memphis Botanic Garden give us the present of a winter wonderland every holiday season with Holiday Wonders.

There is something for everyone in this winter wonderland, from “Snowy Nights” at My Big Backyard, the children’s play area and garden at the MBG, to a festival of old-growth trees lighted up for the season, to a family-friendly but nevertheless romantic lounge called Under the Stars.  

The magical experience begins with themed lighting, a musical light show, gently falling snow, carolers, Christmas crafts, and sweets. Children may also play within a huge snow globe and dazzle the crowd with their creative prowess at the enormous Light Bright exhibit.

You can warm up with hot cocoa over the fire pits if it gets really chilly, which is absolutely going to happen.

New Year’s at Noon, Children’s Museum of Memphis   

The Children’s Museum hosts a theme party every year. Tickets to the party are $15 per person or free for museum members, and admission to the museum is also included. There will be face painting, temporary tattoos, a scavenger hunt, crafts, and more.  

A countdown at noon that includes a goodie toss and balloon drop encourages young party goers to get their party on. After the fun, take the kids to tour the museum’s exhibits.