Last week we shared some easy holiday givebacks with The Exchange Club Family Center, SRVS, Shield Inc. and Youth Villages. Keeping the spirit alive, this week let us share more ways you can celebrate the holidays while giving back, at the same time.
Take your family on a stroll through “falling snow” with a musical light display at the Memphis Botanic Garden, which has transformed My Big Back Yard into a winter wonderland called “Snowy Nights.” Kids can play in a giant “Snow Globe,” enjoy themed lighting at all the playhouses, decorate cookie dough ornaments, search for hidden snowflakes in the Snowflake Forest, play games like the Mitten Toss, and plug their own design into the Giant Light Bright. Stay warm around campfire pits on the patio, perfect for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, and pose for pictures on the larger-than-life Snow Throne. All proceeds support the Memphis Botanic Garden, so it is an easy way to give back while enjoying family fun. Learn more at www.MemphisBotanicGarden.com.
Shelby Farms Park provides a magical opportunity to enjoy the largest holiday light show and festival in the Mid-South with “Starry Nights.” More than 2.5 million lights illuminate the night sky with a number of special shows, like Tunnel of Light, Trees of Pine Lake and Beau’s Polar Express. Mistletoe Village offers tons of exciting activities, like a petting zoo and camel rides, along with photos with Santa and holiday shopping in their Artisan Corner. For a special treat, take a Starry Carriage Ride to experience the lights in a horse drawn carriage. All proceeds from “Starry Nights” benefit Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, which manages and operates Shelby Farms Park and the Shelby Farms Greenline. Visit www.shelbyfarmspark.org for more information.
The Memphis Zoo is reaching new heights this year with their “Zoo Lights,” thanks to a 90-foot LED Ferris Wheel that offers some picturesque views. Ice skating in their indoor rink, holiday light displays, singing Christmas trees, live reindeer and animal encounters, pictures with Santa, an Illusion Show, and a variety of arts and crafts are also staples of the “Zoo Lights” experience. Similar to the other events listed, all proceeds benefit the Memphis Zoo, so it is an easy way to enjoy a fun night with family and friends while giving back. For more information, visit www.memphiszoo.org.
Tied to giving back by supporting local businesses, where every $1 spent locally helps create $1.70 in economic impact, look to do some holiday shopping at the MEMShop Holiday Pop-Up Market at Overton Square. The market will run each Thursday through Sunday from Dec. 6 to Dec. 23 and features more than 40 local retailers, creatives, makers, artists and artisans, along with live entertainment and a community café offering an array of classes and tasty treats. Visit www.facebook.com/mempshop2012 for information.
Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter (@lpbreakfastclub) and Facebook (facebook.com/lpbreakfastclub).