Memphis Christmas Guide

Memphis at Christmas
Sean Davis/Flickr/Creative Commons

Memphis is a fun place to be during holiday time. Our guide to the holiday happenings in the Memphis area will help you plan out this most wonderful time of the year. 

There are tree lightings, Christmas parades, and visits with Santa. Get out and about in Memphis during this magical time of year.

01 of 07

Christmas Parades

Santa in the Christmas Parade on Beale St in Memphis

 Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

There are plenty of Christmas parades to choose from in the Memphis area. Some are elaborate productions and others have a quaint small town feel. With dates throughout the holiday season, you can go to one or go to many.

The annual City of Memphis Holiday Parade takes place December 1, 2018, and will flow down Beale Street with antique cars, floats, dance troupes, marching bands, and of course, Santa Claus. The parade starts at 4 p.m.

02 of 07

Santa Claus in Memphis

Three children taking their photo with Santa at Shelby Farms Park

Shelby Farms Park

Santa Claus is making appearances all over Memphis and the Mid-South—and not just at the malls. If you want to get your Christmas wish list to him, here are the places you can go to find him.

At Shelby Farms Park you can visit with Santa in his workshop after enjoying the Starry Nights Lights Display. Picture packages start at $25. You can write a letter to Santa and mail it in the North Pole Express mailbox free of charge.

Another Santa photo op is at the Enchanted Forest, a quintessential Memphis family-friendly activity. This fantasy land is located in the Pink Palace ​Museum and features dozens of decorated Christmas trees, animated winter scenes, a gingerbread village, and more.

03 of 07

Christmas Light Displays

Lighting Ceremony at Graceland


It's the holiday season and Memphis is all aglow. Sure, you can drive around town and look at yard displays but there are much bigger displays out there (think 1,000,000 bulbs).

Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest events and is a fund-raiser for the park. Starry Nights is a family-friendly holiday with drive-through and walking trails of lights and displays plus the magical Mistletoe Village. Enjoy Lights By the Lake by walking the festive half-mile holiday path or ride the Candy Cane Train ($5 per person) to enjoy new light displays along Hyde Lake. 

Graceland will be all lighted up for the holidays. The annual Lighting Ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Thursday, November 15. Country music stars will flip the switch on Graceland's traditional Christmas lights. Afterward the new Hallmark Original Movie, "Christmas at Graceland," will have its world premiere on the Graceland Soundstage.

04 of 07

Christmas Tree Farms

Field of Christmas trees on Priddy Farms

 Priddy Farms

There is something magical about going out and chopping down your own Christmas tree. These Christmas tree farms allow you to do just that. If you don't want to actually cut it down yourself, just pick your favorite tree and a staff member will do the chopping for you.

Located in Bartlett, Priddy Farms offers a variety of choose-and-cut trees including Virginia Pine, White Pine, and Leyland Cypress. In addition to choose-and-cut, pre-cut trees, garlands, and wreaths are also available. 

The Merry Christmas Tree Farm is located in Nesbitt, MS. The Doles plant more than 600 trees every year. In their choose and cut field, you'll find Leyland Cypress and Blue Sapphire trees.

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05 of 07

Holiday Plays, Shows, and Concerts

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert at the Orpheum Theater

 Matt Christine

Want an easy way to get yourself into the Christmas spirit? Sit down and enjoy a holiday show. With concerts, musicals, plays, and movies, there is something for everyone in Memphis.

Enjoy a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert at the Orpheum Theater and a performance of The Nutcracker by the Moscow Ballet at the Cannon Center for Performing Arts.

06 of 07

Christmas Dining

Interior dining room at The Peabody

Trey Clark

There are a number of restaurants that will be open in Memphis on Christmas Day.

An all-time favorite is going for ​brunch at the Peabody Hotel. The Peabody is world famous because of its 5 resident ducks, who march daily through the Lobby at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Built in 1869, the downtown luxury hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and continues to carry the distinction as the “South’s Grand Hotel.” Reservations are required.

07 of 07

Things To Do on Christmas Day

Rum Boogi Cafe on Beale Street, Memphis, TN

FangXiaNuo/Getty Images

When the presents have been opened and dinner is through, here are some things to do in Memphis to keep you entertained on Christmas Day.

You can visit Beale Street. Even on Christmas Day, the heart of Memphis nightlife doesn't skip a beat. While not everything will be open, you can still get a bite to eat, a drink or two, and enjoy live music at some of Beale's most popular night spots including the Rum Boogie Cafe. The Pig on Beale is known for atmosphere and barbecue.

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