Park Life Blog

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See the Park Shine

The magic of the holidays is in full swing at Starry Nights, presented by International Paper! The lights will be shining nightly through December 29 (including Christmas Eve + Christmas Day), and we’ve put some tips and notes together to help you make the most of your visit.

Hours: Sundays-Thursdays: 6pm-9pm, Fridays + Saturdays: 6pm-10pm
Admission: $20 per car, $50 per large van, $150 per bus
Proceeds: All proceeds from your ticket purchase support daily care of Shelby Farms Park and Shelby Farms Greenline.
Entrance: If you plan to purchase a ticket when you arrive, you will enter via the main entrance off of Farm Road. If you have pre-purchased a ticket, you will enter through the pre-sale entrance at Gate 10 on Mullins Station Road. 

Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest evenings each week, and Christmas Eve is one of the most popular nights to attend. If you’re looking to save time in line, consider attending on a weekday. You can save time any day that you attend by pre-purchasing your ticket. Pre-sale ticket holders have the option to enter through a separate entrance on Mullins Station, skipping the line at the main entrance off of Farm Road. Tickets can be purchased in the Lake’s Edge Gift Shop (no extra fees) and online via Ticketmaster here (additional processing fees may apply). Pre-sale tickets may be printed or shown on your phone.

The First Tennessee Foundation Visitor Center (a new location) has transformed into magical Mistletoe VIllage. Here, you can experience the magic of the holiday with the whole family! There is no extra cost to park and visit the Village, but some activities have small fees (details below). While you’ll have an opportunity to visit Mistletoe Village halfway through the drive, we recommend visiting before you start your drive through the lights. Mistletoe Village is open rain or shine, and indoor restrooms are available. An ATM is also available inside -- most of our vendors accept cards, but you can access cash here if you need it!

Village Hours:
Open nighty during Starry Nights
Saturdays + Sundays: 10am-4pm (Petting Zoo: 1pm-4pm)

Visiting Santa
The man in red has set up his workshop in magical Mistletoe Village! Here, you can meet Santa (and sometimes Mrs. Claus), take photos and share your wishlist in a special mailbox that ships straight to the North Pole! There is no cost to visit Santa, but photo packages start at $25 (digital and print options are available). Santa's last night in the Vilalge will be December 23. Mrs. Claus will stop by during Starry Nights on December 15 and in the afternoon on December 22.

You can also visit Santa from 1pm-5pm Wednesdays-Sundays through Decemebr 23.

Get Cozy
Grab a cup of hot chocolate and a s’more kit from Kitchenette and cozy up around a crackling fire. S’more kits are $3 and include all of the elements for two s’mores. Food trucks are on site, so grab a bite before you head through the lights!

Starry Petting Zoo + Camel Rides
Make some new fuzzy friends and even ride  camel! Petting zoo admission is $3 per person, and camel rides are $5 per person.

Want to save $5 at tickets purchased at the main entrance? Participate in a theme night! We have one more coming up on December 14. Get details here.

Race through the lights of Starry Nights in the Starry 4K Fun Run/Walk! This family friendly race is the last chance to see the lights in 2017, and it’s fun for all ages. Each participant will receive a scarf. Scarves cannot be guaranteed for race day registrants, so sign up ahead of time to guarantee yours! Learn more about the race and register here.

at Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Booffalo Bash Recap

We had a great time at the Booffalo Bash, presented by ARS/Conway Services! This new Halloween event featured Trunk-or-Treating, pumpkin painting, spooky story telling, food trucks, music and more. We love celebrating Halloween with hundreds of little Park fans! Check out the pictures below from the event.










Posted by Rebecca Dailey at Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy National Bison Day!


National Bison Day is just around the corner! In May 2016, the National Bison Legacy Act was signed, officially designating bison as the national mammal of the United States, and the first Saturday in November was declared “National Bison Day.”

Why is this a big deal? 
For centuries, the bison population numbered in the millions. Herds roamed freely, and the animals played a crucial part in the ecology, the economy and culture of the United States. As communities began to grow and move westward, bison were hunted for sport, and they were hunted to the brink of extinction.

With population numbers dwindling, conservancies formed across the country began working to protect the bison and to improve their habitats. Thanks to these efforts, bison are no longer considered endangered.

How did Shelby Farms Park wind up with a buffalo herd?
Buffalo have been at Shelby Farms Park since 1989. The Shelby County Superintendent for Shelby Farms Park - Tommy Hill - brought six buffalo and two longhorn steer to the Park from Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, Tennessee. They quickly became popular Park inhabitants and have lived there ever since.

So, are they bison or buffalo?
The animals you see at Shelby Farms Park are American Bison (Bison bison), commonly known as buffalo. American buffalo are different from African and Asian buffalo. "Bison" is scientifically accurate, while "buffalo" recalls this animal's central role in American history. We like “buffalo” best.

Buffalo Facts:

  • In addition to grazing, the Shelby Farms Park herd consumes 50,000 pounds of hay and supplemental feed each year!
  • It takes $11,000 and more than 1,000 Ranger hours annually to keep the herd in tip top shape!
  • Males are called "bulls" and females are called "cows."
  • Males can weigh up to 2,000 lbs.
  • Males and female buffalo have short, curved horns, which they use in fighting to defend their status within the herd.
  • Buffalo typically mate in August and September and have a 9-9.5 month gestation period.
  • Calves can stand soon after they are born and can walk with the herd in just a few hours.
  • Calves are born with a rusty red coat which gets darker as they grow up.
  • Buffalo can run up to 30mph.
  • It’s not always easy to tell bulls from cows at a distance. Bulls have a wider face and thicker hair on their forehead, front legs and beard. Bulls also tend to have shoulders wider than their hips, while females tend to have hips wider than their shoulders.
  • The buffalo hump is made of strong muscles supported by very long vertebrae.
  • Buffalo wallow in dirt or mud, both to remove molting fur patches and to deter flies from biting. Bulls also wallow in mating season to display strength and vigor.

You can help support these awesome animals by making a contribution to our Feed the Herd program, which helps provide hay and supplemental feed for the Park’s iconic buffalo herd. Learn more and make your gift here.


Posted by Rebecca Dailey at Monday, October 30, 2017

Give $10 on 10/10/17

Supporting Shelby Farms Park's iconic buffalo herd has never been easier!
Give $10 on 10/10/17 to help keep the herd in tip-tip shape! Need a few reasons to give? Check out the list below!

 Click here to give $10 today!

at Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy birthday, Heart of the Park!

Happy 9/01 Day to our Memphis Park fans, and happy birthday to Heart of the Park!

Today marks one year since we officially cut the ribbon on the Park's most ambitious improvement project to date, and we want to share some of the exciting things we learned about Heart of the Park's first year! Check out the graphic below for some fun facts and figures. 


We have loved seeing so many visitors playing, celebrating, learning and growing in this special space, and we are excited to share it with you for many years to come. 

Thanks for loving your Park!  

Caring for a big park is a big job! Want to help support the trails, lakes and green space you love? Learn how you can support the Park as a Member, a volunteer or donor here.

Posted by Rebecca Dailey

Summer Fun Continues

Summer Camp is officially over and hundreds of Mid-South kids in grades K-6 had fun in the summer sun at Shelby Farms Park!

Shelby Farms Park Summer Camps  encourage kids to connect with nature through exploration, inspiration, discovery and fun. Our campers enjoyed  nature hikes, archery, water recreation, fitness classes and environmental education sessions that are tailored for the ultimate in outdoor summer fun!  

Summer Camp was made possible by our friends at ARS / Conway Services.  Their team came out to help our campers make recycled binoculars for a group nature hike.  We’re not sure who had more fun --  the kids or the adults! Check out photos from this fun adventure here

2018 Summer Camp dates will be announced in December.  Remember, these sessions fill up quickly, so stay tuned for that announcement!


Do you have a corporate group that would like to get creatively involved like our friends at ARS / Conway Services? Learn more here!


at Friday, July 14, 2017

Q+A with Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics

How many miles do you cover on the Greenline each year? No matter the distance, if you run, bike, walk or skate on the trail, your miles are made possible by our friends at Campbell Clinic Orthaopedics!

Why does Campbell Clinic sponsor the trail? We talked recently with Chad Gilbert, Director of Marketing - who is an avid runner and a big fan of the Greenline - to find out.


Q:  Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics has been a long-time supporter of Shelby Farms Park.  Why is this relationship so important? 

A:  Our organization believes that physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, particularly if someone is recovering from an injury. Living in Memphis affords us great weather nearly year-round to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and Shelby Farms Park is the crown jewel of Memphis outdoor recreation and activity. It’s convenient location near our Germantown and Spine Center clinics enables many of our employees to access biking and running trails before and after work, and it is a wonderful place for our employees to enjoy nature with their families on the weekends. We encourage our patients to return to some form of exercise after they recover from injuries. Shelby Farms Park is the ideal location.

Q:  Shelby Farms Greenline is an iconic trail in Memphis and is enjoyed by thousands of runners a year.  What are some tips you have for a beginning runner who may be hitting the Greenline for the first time? 

A:  The Greenline is a wonderful asset for our community. For new runners, it’s important to set a reasonable but challenging training plan and stick to it. When someone begins training for a race or running for leisure on a great trail like the Greenline, their instinct is often to go as far as they can, as fast as they can, during the first few runs. For someone new to the sport, overuse injuries can sideline you before you really even get started. Stretch before a run, get in a good warm-up, and, afterwards, be sure to cool down.  Rest between running days and find other ways to cross-train so you don’t overwork the same muscle groups and joints. Focus on your form and maintain good running posture. Finally, during the warm spring and summer months, remember to bring a bottle of water and stay hydrated before, during and after your run.

Q:  Why do you enjoy running the Greenline rather than your neighborhood or other trail? 

A:  I enjoy the Greenline because it acts as sort of a centerpiece for the entire trail system in the park, so it’s easy to mix in roads and softer trails during the same run. It affords you the opportunity to be in the city but also surrounded by nature.  

Q:  Other than running on the Greenline, what’s your favorite thing to do at the Park? 

When I’m not running the Greenline or the trails, I enjoy the Go Ape zip line course or taking my family out for a walk around Hyde Lake.

Q:  How would you describe Shelby Farms Park in three words? 

A:  Natural. Accessible. Diverse.

at Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Welcome to Shelby Farms Park's new website and Park Life Blog!

Here, you will find information about what's going on at your Park along with tips for planning your next play day. 

at Thursday, May 25, 2017
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