Photo: Shelby Farms Park Starry Nights

Celebrating the Paw-lidays in Memphis

The holiday season is the peak time for spending quality time with your close ones—and that includes our furry friends and family too! Many of us like to include our pets in the festivities, and Memphis has plenty of opportunities to do just that this month, in addition to events for folks who have the opposable thumbs that want to assure that our local pets have a happy paw-lidays.

Before we dive into the events, let’s go ahead and get this out there: Just because you CAN take your pet doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

Memphis-based dog trainer Ann Marie Easton with Pawsitive Companionship encourages pet parents to consider whether their animal is prepared for the outing before taking them.

“Are they comfortable in these situations? Do they enjoy gatherings? Do they enjoy being pet? Some of us are outgoing and the life of the party, while others tend to be wallflowers. The same can be said of our dogs,” said Easton. “A social butterfly golden retriever may feel relaxed and comfortable at a party, while their timid or anxious littermate may find the event too scary. If you have not socialized your dog to people, including children, other dogs, and noisy situations, it’s best to leave them at home.”

If you have a cat—unless they are used to a harness and leash, as well as going on outings—a public event is probably not the place to initiate that encounter. However, if you have trained your cat to be an adventurer who is already comfortable out in the world on a harness, keep scrolling because you will find a couple quiet events here that may be appropriate for them to attend.

And this should go without saying, but anytime you take your pet somewhere, be courteous. Keep them on leash and clean up after them. Neither of these are optional—they’re the law!

Each of the following events are either pet-friendly or pet-benefitting:

**Always be sure to double check that pets are allowed before bringing them anywhere**


Photo: Memphis Animal Services

12 Hours of Christmas | Memphis Animal Services

  • When: Saturday, December 18 (9AM-9PM)
  • Where: 2350 Appling City Cove

Memphis Animal Services will stay open for 12 hours, offering $12 adoption fees for all dogs and cats, as well $50 PetSmart gift cards to go home with every pet that is adopted or fostered. Adopted pets will get to pick a present from under the Christmas tree and take a holiday photo with their new family.

Interested adopters or fosters are welcome to bring their dogs to meet shelter dogs to see which furry friends they get along with—but outside dogs aren’t allowed in the dog kennels, so make sure to bring an extra person to hold your dog while you walk through the kennels to choose your next fur-ever friend.


Donation Drive for MAS | PetSuites Collierville

  • When: All December | Daily hours 6:30AM-8PM
  • Where: 4520 S. Forest Hill Irene Rd., Collierville, TN

PetSuites is hosting a donation drive for Memphis Animal Sevices to collect items from the shelter’s wish list. Participants can drop off items in the box located in the lobby, and donors will receive 75 PetSuites Rewards Points (once per reservation).

Find a list of needed items here

Photo: Memphis Humane Society

Holiday Cards & Ornaments | Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County

  • When: Through December while supplies last
  • Where: Cards online and ornaments at HSMSC at 935 Farm Road

For a $10 donation per card, HSMSC will mail your holiday cards out for you, or for $75 you can buy 10 cards to mail yourself. Choose from three different designs. Also, the Humane Society has HSMSC ornaments available in their lobby for $25.

Order holiday cards here.

Rescue Angel Trees | Hollywood Feed

  • When: All December
  • Where: All Hollywood Feed locations

Each Hollywood Feed has an Angel Tree for a local rescue group. You can shop the rescue’s wish list, and Hollywood Feed will take care of the rest!

Find a local store here.

Gift Wrap & Dog Meet & Greets at Novel Memphis | Tails of Hope Dog Rescue & Real Good Dog Rescue

  • When:
    • Tails of Hope Dog Rescue: Saturday, December 10 (10AM-8PM) | Saturday, December 18 through Monday, December 20 (10AM-8PM)
    • Real Good Dog Rescue: Saturday, December 11- Friday, December 17 (10AM-8PM)
  • Where: Novel Memphis | 387 Perkins Ext

Tails of Hope Dog Rescue and Real Good Dog Rescue have specific dates their volunteers will be staffing Novel’s gift wrap booth as a fundraiser, and an opportunity to show off their pets. Gift wrap is for items purchased at Novel Memphis only.

Cooking with Kelly English | Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County

  • When: Friday, December 10 @ 6:30PM
  • Where: Virtual Class

For a $25 donation to HSMSC, renowned local chef Kelly English will lead you through a live virtual cooking class to make shrimp creole.

Make your donations here.

Photo: Woof River Animal Rescue

Wrapping for Woofs | Woof River Animal Rescue

  • When: Saturday, December 11 (11AM-4PM) & Saturday, December 18 (12PM-4PM) 
  • Where:
    • December 11th: Orvis at 4556 Poplar Ave
    • December 18th: 2700 N Germantown Pkwy

Any one and everyone who would like to have beautifully wrapped presents (purchased from anywhere), pet a dog, and/or help Woof River pups is welcome!

Santa Paws is Coming to Town | All 4s Rescue League

  • When: Saturday, December 11 (4PM-8PM)
  • Where: Pizzeria Trasimeno in Crosstown Concourse | 1350 Concourse Ave Suite 181

For a $30 donation to All 4s Rescue League, you can enjoy live music, a silent auction, door prizes, food, drinks, while browsing for holiday merchandise.

Make a donation here.

Photo: Streetdog Foundation

Sippin’ with Santa Paws | Streetdog Foundation

  • When: Sunday, December 12 (12PM-4PM)
  • Where: Loflin Yard | 7 W. Carolina Ave.

During this dog-friendly fundraiser for Streetdog Foundation, donors will get to enjoy photo-ops with Santa Paws, a silent auction, raffle, drink specials and more with a $25 donation.

Southern Lights for Rescue | Tails of Hope Dog Rescue

  • When: Sunday December 12 (5PM-10PM)
  • Where: Southern Lights in Central Park | 7651 Tchulahoma Rd., Southaven, MS
  • Cost: $10 per car or $15 per van at gates

You’re invited to take a little joy ride with junior at the annual Southern Lights in Central Park, benefitting Tails of Hope Dog Rescue, which features holiday exhibits made up of over half a million dazzling lights set to a variety of Christmas music. 


Get festive at the Memphis Botanic Garden

Santa Paws at Holiday Wonders at the Garden | Memphis Botanic Garden

  • When: Thursday, December 16 (5PM-8:30PM)
  • Where: 750 Cherry Rd
  • Cost: $8 MBG Members; $10 Non-Members; $12 Same Day

Explore Holiday Wonders at the Garden with your pups during their special Santa Paws nights on December 16th. Go Dog Treats! will also be on-site so you can pick up some special treats for your furry friend.

Grab tickets here.

Santa’s Little Elves | PetSuites Collierville

  • When: Monday, December 20 | Arrive by 10am for ornament
  • Where: 4520 S. Forest Hill Irene Rd., Collierville, TN
  • Cost: Daycare $23-27 per day | Ornament & photo $10

Daycare guests at Pet Suites Collierville will have the opportunity to get a themed photo on December 20, and a custom ornament for an additional $10 .

*If your dog hasn’t already been evaluated in a playgroup for doggie daycare, you’ll need to schedule that in advance, or book DayBoarding that day which includes individual playtime*

Get more info here, and RSVP by calling 901-350-5955


Photo: Wonderland Memphis

Wonderland Interactive Photo Experience | Memphis Escape Rooms

  • When: Monday through Thursday (10AM-8PM) | Friday-Saturday 9AM-Midnight | Sunday (10AM-10PM)
  • Where: 4650 Merchants Park Circle, Suite 836, Collierville TN
  • Cost: $25/person

Wonderland, created by Memphis Escape Rooms is an interactive photo experience at Carriage Crossing lasting 45 minutes that offers over 16 unique photo settings designed to let you capture amazing photos. Backdrops include the North Pole, Season’s Sweetings, Winter Wonderland, Elfie Selfies, and That’s a Wrap.

Just let them know in advance if you plan to bring a pet.

Schedule your photoshoot here

Pet-friendly Holiday Shopping at Saddle Creek

  • When: Anytime shops are open
  • Where: Poplar and West Farmington, Germantown, TN 38138
  • Cost: $25/person

Saddle Creek loves pets, and select shops allow your furry friends to come along for your holiday shopping experience – just look for the Pet Friendly Paw Prints along the sidewalks. Pets must be current on vaccines, well-behaved, and on a leash or in a carrier during their visit at Saddle Creek.

Find more info here.

Photo: Memphis Animal Services

Santa & Snow in Chimes Square | Overton Square

  • When: Friday December 10 & 17 (5PM-7PM)
  • Where: Chimes Square at Overton Square | 2101 Madison Ave
  • Cost: Free

There will be kids’ crafts, snow machines, free face painting, a scavenger hunt, a photo opportunity with Santa, and more. Dogs are always welcome!

Find more info here.

Christmas in Bartlett Market & Festivities | Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce

  • When: Friday, December 10 (4:30PM-7:30PM & Saturday, December 11 (9AM-4PM)
  • Where: Keith McDonald Pavilion at Freeman Park | 2968 Barlett Blvd., Bartlett, TN
  • Cost: Free

Dogs are welcome at this outdoor event full of shopping, food, and fun. There will be vendors selling items for animals such as dog treats, CBD treats and oils, ornaments, collars, scarves, and bows.

Find more info here.

Christmas in Collierville | Town of Collierville

  • When:
    • Christmas in Collierville: December 11 & 18 (10AM-4PM)
    • Collierville Holiday Light Tour: Running nightly from December 6-23, 2021 
  • Where:
    • Christmas in Collierville: Collierville Town Square at 96 N. Center St., Collierville
    • Collierville Holiday Light Tour: See Map
  • Cost: Free

Families can visit Santa in the Gazebo, take a horse-drawn carriage ride around Town Square, snap pictures along the Holiday Photo Stroll, experience a quarter of a million Christmas lights and more!

 The open area around the Square is dog friendly, but the grassy areas are not. Another fun Collierville holiday attraction is the Collierville Holiday Light Tour. If your pup likes car rides, drive to the spots on this map with them.

Find more info here

Walk + Bike Lights Night at Starry Nights | Shelby Farms Park

Cruise through the Starry Nights lights on foot or on a bicycle on Monday, December 27, at Walk + Bike the Lights Night when the show is closed to cars. Dogs are welcome and must be on-leash, leash in hand at all times.

  • When: Monday, December 27 (6PM-9PM)
  • Where: Shelby Farms Park | 6903 Great View Dr. N.
  • Cost: $6.95-10 per human

Purchase tickets here.


BuffaGLO Run

  • When: Sunday, January 2 @ 7PM
  • Where: Shelby Farms Park | 6903 Great View Dr. N.
  • Cost: $25

This family-friendly 2.25-mile fun run, benefitting Shelby Farms Park and the Shelby Farms Greenline, is the grand finale of Starry Nights. Dress in fluorescent gear and get ready to GLO! This race will be untimed, strollers are welcome, and dogs are allowed on-leash.

Sign up to race here.


Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop

  • When: Through December 24, 2021
  • Where:
    • Bass Pro Shop at the Pyramid: 1 Bass Pro Dr.
    • Bass Pro Shops at 6140 Macon Rd.
  • Cost: Free

Both Bass Pro Shop locations in Memphis are pet-friendly, and pets are welcome to get a free 4×6 photo with Santa in Santa’s Wonderland. 

Secure your time slot here.

Photo: Pet Smart

Santa Photo Days | PetSmart

  • When: December 11, 12, 18, & 19 (12PM-3PM)
  • Where:
    • PetSmart at 5883 Poplar Ave.
    • PetSmart at 7941 Winchester Rd.
    • PetSmart at 2805 Wolf Creek Pkwy.
  • Cost: Free

Bring your pet in to PetSmart for FREE photos with Saint Nick. Download the PetSmart app to use fun photo filters during the event.

Find more info here

**If your dog is one that would not be comfortable in a public setting, don’t worry! You can still get their photo with Santa. There are a number of online services like Santa Pix that enable you to create virtual pictures with Santa**

Find more ways to have a paw-fect holiday season:

Have You Thought About Hosting a Supply Drive for Your Community?

Memphis Animals Services Wants You to Know that You’re Fit to Be a Foster for Animals in Need

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