Photo: Crosstown Concourse

The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Events in Memphis 2021

We are here to provide you with the PERFECT guide to maximize your holiday experience. We are talking about pre-and post-thanksgiving concerts, light shows, pop-up shops, Santa sightings, and more! We are BACK and better than ever.

Let’s go!

Light Displays/ Reoccurring Events:

Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo: A classic Memphis holiday tradition. Don’t miss out on the festivities this year as the Zoo Lights have even MORE lights to see. There is a limited number of tickets available for each night and tickets must be purchased online.

  • Dates: Nov. 12- January 1. 
  • Hours: 5:30-9:30pm 
  • Closed on: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day 
  • Tickets: Members $12/ Nonmembers $14
  • Other activities:
    • Ice Skating
    • Ferris Wheel
    • Singing Christmas Tree
    • Visits with Santa

Enchanted Festival of Trees: Take a stroll through the Museum of Science and History’s Enchanted Festival of Trees, benefitting Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, which is filled with beautiful decorated trees in a magically snowy setting. 

  • Dates: Nov. 20-Dec. 31
  • Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: noon – 5 p.m.
  • Box Office closes at 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 
  • Tickets: Tickets must be purchased online in advance.
    • Adult: $6
    • Seniors: $5
    • Children ages 3 -12: $5
Photo: @shelbywordsmith (Zoo Lights, 2019)

Starry Nights: Shelby Farms biggest event with over 3.5 million lights is back! All proceeds go to fund the daily operations of the park. 

  • Dates: Nov. 26- January 1.
  • Hours: Open nightly

Holiday Wonders at the GardenHoliday Wonders at the Garden runs through select nights through December 23. There are four different activity areas that cater to families, couples, or groups. They have tons of special events including concerts with the Memphis Symphony Big Band and a night tailored to your furry friend!  

  • Dates: Nov. 26- Dec. 23

Christmas Cove in Collierville: This cove in Collierville needs to become a staple in your holiday traditions! These two neighbors, John Thompson and David Brown, have been in friendly side-by-side competition to catch Santa’s attention since 2005.

  • You can find these two homes at 472 Tuscumbia Cove West, Collierville
  • 478 Tuscumbia Cove West
Gif: Holiday Wonders at Memphis Botanic Garden

Graceland Christmas Tours: This year experience King Elvis’ love of the season during a Graceland Christmas Tour! These limited-time tours feature live guides, holiday stories, and a first-ever special VIP holiday experience. The tour includes a guided tour of mansion grounds, a self-guided tour of Elvis’ custom Jets and full access to the Elvis Entertainment Complex.

  • Dates: December 1st – December 20th
  • Afternoon Tours: Hours: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. $90 Adults; $58 Youth (5-10); Children 4 and under free
  • UVIP Evening Tours: Daily at 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm* $250 Per Person Limited to 8 people per tour
  • UVIP also receive access to:
    • Holiday Photo Ops both inside and outside Graceland Mansion
    • Outdoor tour of the Graceland Mansion grounds decorated for the holidays 
    • $20 food voucher to use at one of our Elvis Presley’s Memphis restaurants 
    • Keepsake Backstage pass

Bellevue Singing Christmas Tree: After two years, the Christmas tradition is back for the 2021 season! Purchase tickets to Bellevue’s Singing Christmas Tree for a night of music, drama, and joy! 

  • Dates: December 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th
  • Get your tickets here.

Winter Wonderland at the Children’s Museum: Feel transported to a Winter Wonderland as you stroll through trees, twinkling lights, dancing snowflakes, and all the seasonal trappings at CMOM.

  • Dates: December 4- January 2 
  • Other activities:
    • Sock Skating
    • Snowball Fight
    • Letters to Santa
    • Pictures with Santa
  • Learn more.

The more the merrier this holiday season! Check out this blog to find holiday lights shining bright throughout Memphis.

One time events/Activities/Shopping

Gifs: Wonderland Escape Rooms

  • Memphis Arts Collective: Memphis Arts Collective is hosting their 3rd Holiday Artist Market. The Charity Beneficiary is THRIVE Memphis (a facility for adults and teens with intellectual disabilities.)
    • November 26th- December 24th
    •  Mondays-Saturdays 10:30 AM – 6:30 PM. Sundays Noon-5:00 PM.
  • BIG Holiday Expo: Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping with the biggest holiday shopping event of the season! There will be 100+ exclusive vendors, music, food, and fun for the whole family. 
    • November 17th
    • Tickets: 
      • $2 for general admission
      • $175 vendor pass
  • Turkey Trot: You never need an excuse to delve into delicious Thanksgiving Day food, but running the turkey trot would definitely make room for more stuffing!
  • Wonderland Escape Rooms: Wonderland is an interactive photo experience with five different places to explore and sixteen different photo settings!
    • Starts on November 5th
  • Small Business Saturday Pop Up Shop: Spend the biggest shopping weekend of the year supporting small businesses! Head to Summer ave. for live music and tons of local vendors.
    • November 27th 
    • Hours: 1PM-5PM
  • Collierville Christmas Parade: Join in on the festivities at the 44th annual Collierville Christmas Parade!
    • December 3rd
    • 7 PM
  • All Aboard! Holiday Kick-Off at Saddle Creek: Kick off the 2021 holiday season with an outdoor showing of Polar Express, train rides, and a visit from Santa himself! 
    • December 3rd
    • Hours: 6PM-8PM
  • Stumbling Santa benefitting Porter-Leath: 17th Annual Stumbling Santa Pub crawl is back! This bar crawl is at no cost to you except bringing a new, unwrapped toy for a Porter-Leath preschool children.
    • December 4th @ 7PM
  • Once Upon A Dream: Christmas Pop Up Shop
    • December 5th, The Dream Center Event Venue
    • Hours: 12PM-6PM
  • 2021 Memphis Holiday Parade: The 2021 Memphis Holiday Parade is the biggest parade in Memphis! It features elementary and high school bands, community organizations, dance groups, cheerleaders, and even Santa! You do not want to miss the fun that is gonna go down on Beale. 
    • December 11th
    • Hours: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
  • Talk and Walk- Winter Walk: During this cold season series, you’ll discover how life survives by using different cold weather strategies plus take a guided walk with a naturalist.
    • December 11th
    • 9:00 AM
    • Tickets:$10.00
  • Christmas in Bartlett- Market and Festivities:
    • Dates/Hours: Dec 10th, 4:30-7:30pm. Dec 11th, 9:00 am-4:00pm
    • A. Keith Mcdonald Pavilion at Freeman Park, 2968 Bartlett Blvd
  • Beale Street Holly Jolly Holiday Celebration: Enjoy a FREE outdoor holiday experience in the newly renovated W.C. Handy Park on Beale Street. Partake in socially-distanced pictures with Santa, holiday music, and FREE hot chocolate.
    • December 4 & December 11th
    • Hours: 4:30PM- 6:30PM
  • The Christmas Bar Crawl for Toys for Tots
    • December 11th, 4PM-Midnight
  • Holiday Wreath Making Class
    • December 12th
    • 2:00 PM-4:00PM
    • Tickets: $45
  • Candle Making with Brooke Williamson: What is a better gift for a loved one than a hand-poured candle that you personally made? Join Brooke Willamson from New Harbet Candles to learn tricks of the trade when it comes to soy candle making.
    • December 17th
    • Hours: 6:30PM-8:30PM. 
    • Tickets: $65
  • Christmas Fiesta: This Christmas, Cazateatro Bilingual Theater Group and Opera Memphis present a Christmas Fiesta! Head to Dixon Gallery and Gardens to enjoy the Christmas traditions of Latin America and the Caribbean. Enjoy music, food, and crafts! 
    • December 18th
    • Hours: 11 AM-3 PM
  • Rainbow Holiday Market at Black Lodge: Come support local queer creators + find unique gifts for the people on your holiday shopping list at the first-ever Bevy Rainbow Holiday Market at Black Lodge.
    • When: December 19th
    • Time: 2PM-7 PM
    • Admission: $10
  • Stumbling Santa benefitting Porter-Leath
    • 17th Annual Stumbling Santa Pub crawl is back! This bar crawl is at no cost to you except bringing a new, unwrapped toy for a Porter-Leath preschool children.
  • Find Holiday Trivia events here.


Photo: Ballet Memphis’ Nutcracker

Santa Sightings

Photo: Town of Collierville

Live Music

What about giving back?

Giving Tuesday is creeping up! You’ve got time to get involved and give back to the city that built you or is building you! This is the perfect opportunity to turn your hearts towards generosity and showcase the proud Memphian you are.

Volunteer Opportunities

Check out this blog to find ways to get involved this holiday season!


New Year’s Eve Parties

Places Open On Thanksgiving

*Call ahead for specific hours/reservations*

Offering Thanksgiving Meals To Go/Open on Thanksgiving

Photo: @muddysbakeshop

We’ll be adding more to this list as we go! If you have suggestions, leave them in the comment!

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