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Top Five Holiday Activities in Memphis

Publication Date: 12/4/2013

By Ellie Skochdopole ′15

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And we know, between writing those four papers, preparing for that presentation, and hyperventilating about the four finals that are looming ahead, it’s hard to focus on what makes the holidays so great. But as our Christmas gift to you, here are five things you can do on your next study break to help you remember the magic of the season:

1. Starry Nights at Shelby Farms

One of the Mid-South’s most colorful traditions, Starry Nights features displays comprised of more than 2.5 million lights. Visitors can drive (or, if it’s Monday, run, walk, or bike) through every night until December 27. With a petting zoo, ice sculpting, and carriage rides, this is definitely a one-stop shop for holiday cheer.

2. Zoo Lights at the Memphis Zoo

No car? No problem! This winter wonderland is walking distance from campus in Overton Park. There is an ice-skating rink, a carousel, and a holiday lights display peppered through the zoo. Who wouldn’t want to party it up holiday style with the animals?

3. Nutcracker at the Orpheum

No classy Christmas is complete without a viewing of the Nutcracker ballet. Dance through the Land of Sweets with Clara and the Nutcracker, playing from December 13 to 15 at the historic Orpheum Theater.

4. Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard at the Memphis Botanical Gardens

Have you ever wanted to make a Christmas scene on a giant Lite Brite? Now is your chance! You can also take a walk through the falling “snow” in a human-sized snow globe and roast marshmallows on an open fire. The exhibit is open on weekend nights until December 14, then opened nightly from December 17 to 30.

5. Holiday Magic of Science at the Pink Palace Museum

If you’re looking for the whole holiday package, look no further. The Pink Palace Museum features a model train exhibit, two Christmas-themed Imax movies, a gingerbread village, and a forest of trees lit by professional designers. You can even go at night to experience everything alit. No doubt your heart will catch the Christmas flame as well.