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SB NOTE: As we are experiencing a rise in COVID cases, these suggestions are all made with social distancing in mind and each is subject to change. Please look at websites and social media for updates, and check the most up-to-date CDC guidelines for the latest safety recommendations.


We have almost made it to 2021! To celebrate the new year, here are some fun things happening around town that you can do safely. Happy New Year, Memphis!

downtown Memphis skyline

Happy 2021, Memphis! Image: One901

11 Memphis Events & Happenings: January 2021

Through January 3, 2021: Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park

Presented by International Paper, Starry Nights at Shelby Farms Park is a fun, family-friendly experience where you get to see beautiful lights and displays. Hours are daily, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (with the exception of Monday, December 28, when the event is open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Tickets start at $15.95 per car and can be purchased at the gate, Lake’s Edge Gift Shop, or online.

Through January 3, 2021: Zoo Lights

Through January 3, enjoy stunning Christmas lights while strolling through the Memphis Zoo. In addition, sip on hot chocolate, ride the Ferris wheel, listen to festive music, and take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage. Space is limited, so be sure to purchase tickets in advance. Admission is $10 for zoo members and $12 for non-members.

Through January 3, 2021: Miracle at The Liquor Store

Miracle at The Liquor Store is a holiday-themed pop-up that serves festive cocktails and has fun holiday decor. Whether you’re wanting a pancake/cocktail combo or wanting to grab dinner, you can still feel that Christmas spirit even after the holiday is over. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and all guests have to follow CDC guidelines.

Through January 3, 2021: Winter Wonderland at Children’s Museum of Memphis

Walk through icy trees, twinkling lights and a true winter wonderland at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. The event includes daily games, special crafts and pop-up fun every day. The event runs through January 3 and is included with general admission tickets.

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Through January 31, 2021: South Main Lights

Head to downtown Memphis to stroll through the bright and beautifully lit South Main neighborhood. While you’re there, you can dine and shop to support our local businesses here in the 901. Lights are lit from 4 p.m. until midnight until January 31.

January 1, 2021: First Day Hike at Big Hill Pond State Park

If you’re up for a bit of a road trip and adventure, we found just the thing for you. Join Ranger Canon on a guided hike on January 1 at 10 a.m. and experience the beauty of Big Hill Pond State Park. There is no fee; however, donations are appreciated, and they ask that you register in advance.

January 2, 2021: Hill and Dale 8-Miler at Meeman Shelby Forest State Park

Start your year off with this 8-mile trail run at Meeman Shelby Forest State Park. All proceeds benefit the park, and the race begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 2. Registration fees are $15 without a shirt and $30 with a shirt. The race looks a little different this year, so be sure to read the guidelines and changes to the race.

January 7 – 9, 2021: Elvis’ Birthday Celebration at Graceland

The week commemorating The King’s birthday is action-packed this year. Head to Graceland for celebrations ranging from an Elvis artifact auction to a birthday party. Event capacities are reduced, so it is highly encouraged to order tickets in advance. For ticket information and a full schedule, visit

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January 18, 2021: MLK Day of Service

Serve the Memphis community on MLK Day with Memphis Empire and The Check-In. This day is full of service and dialogue to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event begins at 9 a.m., and participants are to meet at The Check-In. For more information and to register, contact Jamaica Renae at (901) 319-1642.

Starting January 18, 2021: Adult Theatre School Classes at Playhouse on the Square

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert on exploring performance and art, adult theatre school classes at Playhouse on the Square offer training experiences for all levels. With classes focusing on solo performance, advanced acting, scene and monologue study, and more, you can become a professional in no time. January classes are $150.

Starting January 30, 2021: Dinosaurs in Motion: Where Art & Science Meet

Give your kiddos a fun, educational outing! Dinosaurs in Motion is a new and engaging STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) exhibit for all ages at the Pink Palace. The exhibit features 14 life-sized dinosaurs inspired by real fossils. The exhibit starts on January 30 and runs through May 2, so there’s plenty of time to visit!

Happy New Year, Memphis!


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