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.
Purses, teapots, yard art, and action figures all add to the eclectic array of novelty knickknacks and gifts filling every corner of Curious Heart Emporium. Selections hail from a range of locales, as owner Kathy Corley combs sources throughout the nation and beyond to line shelves with a wide variety of exotic items. Bedeck bodies in scarves ($10–$72) or faux-rugged tattoo sleeves ($2.50) for fun, or formalize wounds for black-tie affairs with novelty mustache band-aids ($6.25–$7.50). Wine supplies such as sock monkey bottle covers ($12.50) and colorful wine glasses ($22–$25) make better housewarming gifts for vintage votaries than pricey cabernet lawn sprinklers, and the selection of pottery, wind chimes, and yard art ($24–$110) elegantly adorns outdoor spaces. Perfect for home festivities, the boutique also carries a wide selection of party supplies, greeting cards, and seasonal décor.
Lisa Foster Floral Design, honored with the Best Flowers designation by CityVoters and WTZN, wins fans with its ample supply of pretty petals, plants, and gifts. Owner and designer Lisa Foster has had more than 20 years of experience in the flower industry, artfully arranging botanical masterpieces for occasions ranging from intimate birthday celebrations to lavish weddings and bee conventions. The studio is reminiscent of a European floral boutique and brightens days with a rainbow of bloom bundles, including the Walkin’ on Sunshine arrangement, a sunny display of yellow tulips ($40), and the Pretty in Pink bouquet, a dozen pink roses displayed in a square glass vase ($35). Pick up a treat-filled Goodies & Gumdrops basket ($40) to thank a cubical mate for letting you steal from his snack drawer while he was out of the office for the holidays. Stop by the store to consult with the friendly staff, or view arrangements online before placing an order over the phone.
The dishes of Bon'Appetite Bistro Catering's master chef, Jernard Wells, have graced the tables of celebrities including Steve Harvey and Paula Deen, earning him recognition from Cuisine Noir and Chatter magazines. Traveling to client's homes, Wells crafts customized menus in a variety of regional cuisines such as Cajun, American, Jamaican, Martian, and Italian. In addition, cooking classes for adults, teens, and couples illuminate the art of crafting cuisines with simple methods yet complex flavors. Chef Jernard is also the author of 88 Ways to Her Heart: Cooking for Lovers, which is mostly metaphorical and doesn't detail the process of riding a Cheerio directly to your significant other's left ventricle.
Freedom Deli's army of hearty sandwiches, available for carryout or delivery, can ably oust hunger from meetings and get-togethers. Bread such as sub rolls, croissants, pretzel bread, and ciabatta—like the walk-in safes of wealthy butchers—lock up rich, flavorful Boar's Head meats. The shop's epic Heavy Lift comes stacked with a farmyard trinity of roast beef, Virginia baked ham, and smoked turkey ($9.95), and the corned-beef sandwich slathers its marble rye canvas with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and thousand-island dressing ($6.95). Former college students looking to showcase their mature tastes can brandish the pizza sandwich, a refined handheld that encases pepperoni, marinara, and mozzarella ($6.95). Delivery is available within 10 miles of Freedom Deli, and a minimum eight-sandwich order is required.
The Cookie Store helps its customers to satisfy their sweet teeth with an extensive assortment of fresh-baked cookies and seven types of smoothies. From classics such as chocolate chip to more inventive flavors including snickerdoodle, honey oatmeal raisin walnut, and heath-bar toffee, The Cookie Store’s bakers concoct a spread of delicious bite-size treats daily. In addition to cookie trays and tins, bakers create custom cookie cakes in a variety of different shapes, including hearts and circles that can be decorated with birthday messages, cartoon characters, or interpretations of Jackson Pollock masterworks.