The interactive exhibits and programs compiled by the Pink Palace Family of Museums reinforce a mission that has stayed constant for 80 years: to "inspire people to learn how history, science, technology, and nature shape the Mid-South." Attached to Clarence Saunders' mansion built in the 1920s, the museum's permanent exhibits take an eclectic approach to chronicling the past, revealing everything from ancient fossils to contemporary southern history. Inside, visitors can chart the history of Memphis from the early Spanish explorers through the Civil War or walk through a replica of Saunders' original Piggly Wiggly—the country’s first self-service grocery store, and even see a shrunken head. Global adventures are chronicled on a four-story screen at the CTI-IMAX theater, and the Sharpe Planetarium explores the cosmos from the comfort of a 130-seat theater.
Traveling to east Memphis, one can discern the natural side of the Pink Palace Family of Museums. Lichterman Nature Center encompasses 65 acres of lush gardens filled with native wildflowers, trees, and wildlife. The center combines self-guided nature walks with plant sales and educational activities to expose visitors to the natural world.
This season marks the 10th anniversary of the Grizzlies' arrival in Memphis, and after a scorching-hot preseason, the team is poised to celebrate its first decade in town with a campaign of ruthless, rim-rattling domination. Follow the deft dribblery and behind-the-back misdirection of mighty hoopsters Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, and O.J. Mayo as the Grizzlies take on Western Conference rivals the Minnesota Timberwolves in basketball's version of nature's version of the Hatfields and McCoys. Famished fans can fuel their hip-hip-hooraying with the help of a variety of concessions and dining options, stopping to admire the arena's numerous musically themed areas on the way back to their seats.
Juicy Jim's provides the pizza-loving populace with a stomach-inspiring array of homemade pizzas, pastas, and other Italian-American comfort foods. Get started with Southwestern cheese sticks ($5.50 small) or homemade seasoned fries ($1.75 small) before cramming your pie hole with New Jersey–style pizza ($9.05–$25.25, with toppings starting at $1.75) made with the same care and tenderness that's earned the Garden State the moniker Eskimo-Kissing Capital of the World. Vegetable zealots can load up on flora such as banana peppers, jalapeños, fresh garlic, and pineapple, and protein partisans can pick from meatballs, bacon, beef, steak, and more. Calzones and stromboli (starting at $8.25) are available for diners who prefer their meals in a conveniently throwable format, and an array of create-your-own-pasta formulations gives pastatarians the option to enjoy fettuccine with red-wine shrimp sauce, linguini with Alfredo sauce and grilled chicken, and other custom combos ($10.95). A hearty selection of beers ($3 to $4.50) including Rogue Dead Guy Ale, New Belgium Fat Tire Ale, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, help keep tongues pliable and mouth knives rust-free.
Your Groupon is good for one of the company's final three productions of its 40th season. Reacquaint yourself with the classic Oliver! and sing along to the musical tunes of your childhood, such as "Food, Glorious Food," and "Consider Yourself," as the rapscallion orphans of Dickens's tale tear through the streets of 19th-century London. Or opt for a ticket to the regional premiere of Red, White, and Tuna, a two-man portrayal of the inhabitants of a small Texas town with more than 15 characters and 40 lightning-quick costume changes. Or take in the musical Hairspray to relive the trials and tribulations of Tracy Turnblad as she breaks into the 1962 Baltimore dance-show circuit. Instead of threatening lawsuits or vicious revenge, the cast of local Memphis actors will dazzle audiences with their triple threats of singing, dancing, and acting.
With more than 120 million records sold, more than 2,600 concerts performed, and a million faces seen and rocked, Bon Jovi has carved out a New Jersey–sized place in the rock pantheon. The band's current trek into the stadiums and arenas of the world, The Circle Tour, ups the ante on live music with an 800,000-watt sound system and a 4,300-square-foot, high-definition video screen. Bona fide Bon Jovi fans can expect to hear songs from the band's most recent album, The Circle, as well as classic smash hits like "Livin' on a Prayer," "You Give Love a Bad Name," and "It's My Life." Opening act Kid Rock is no slouch himself—the Motor City music maker has blended rock, rap, and country into a sonic smorgasbord that has earned multiple Grammy nominations and sold millions of records worldwide. Concertgoers may hear hits like "All Summer Long," "Cowboy," and "Bawitdaba," which is "Kid Rock" spelled backwards.
Now in its 54th year, this year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic marks the return of defending champion Lee Westwood, who will stride over the scenic knolls in defense of his No. 1 world ranking, turning sand traps into four-star sand hotels in his wake. The roster of players also includes celebs from other areas of expertise, including Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who plays on June 8. All stick-swingers will test their mettle against the challenging terrain of TPC Southwind, ranked among 2007's Toughest Courses by the PGA TOUR for its deceptively tricky holes and distracting natural splendor. Proceeds from the tournament benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which works to fight common childhood cancers.