This is an old post by Suzanne from the archives, with 2017 dates added!
The Enchanted Forest at The Pink Palace is open from November 18 – December 31, 2017 (closed Thanksgiving day and Christmas day). Proceeds benefit Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Santa arrived via Pedi-Flight helicopter at 9am on Saturday, November 18th.
This annual exhibit has been going on in various Memphis locations since the 1970s. Several moms mentioned going to see the animated characters downtown when they were kids. According to one lifelong Memphian I know a lot of the enjoyment in going to see this is that it’s the same thing she saw as a kid, and it’s great to continue the tradition with her little ones.
So what exactly is The Enchanted Forest? Well, it’s actually a few things. When you go into The Pink Palace you pay for specific things – museum exhibits, an IMAX movie, the planetarium and/or the Enchanted Forest. The first part of the exhibit is a hall of trees decorated with various themes. Local businesses and organizations pay to include a tree in this area. Some are very creative (a garden hose garland?!) and fun. If you’re looking for ideas for your tree this is the place to go.
Then there is an amazing train set up. Mountains on either side with several openings have trains appearing and disappearing, plus trolleys and a little village (Elvis is even playing at the drive-in). My 3-year-old watched the train for what felt like forever.
Before and after the train is the Gingerbread Village. Lean over and you’ll smell these tasty looking houses, castles, log cabins and more. Some are truly amazing works of art. My 8-year-old and I enjoyed these, especially since we’ve tried a gingerbread house several times ourselves and they never looked this good! Gingerbread houses are made by various individuals and organizations and are judged (see if you agree on the winners).
After this, it’s the big guy – Santa Claus. Santa has a nice set-up here, and you can purchase photos. We had already visited with three Santas, so we skipped this part! Apparently, my little kid feels he has gotten his requests in as he didn’t ask (or march right up) to see Santa. (The Pink Palace Santa is a perineal favorite, see this list for other places to visit Santa.)
Once you leave the “forest” and head back downstairs, don’t forget to visit the penguins. There are also three holiday movies happening that you might want to checkout: Light Before Christmas 3D, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 2D, Polar Express 3D.
The Enchanted Forest
The Pink Palace (or visit the Le Bonheur page here)
November 18 – December 31, 2017 (Santa through December 24th, he’s got plans on the 25th!)
Open until 9pm the three Fridays before Christmas.
Festival of Trees admission: $6 adults, $5 seniors and children ages 3-12 ($1 discount for members)