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.
Listening offers freshly prepared cafe food options in a comfortable atmosphere. Come prepared to feast at Listening — with no low-fat options, any diets will need to be put aside for the moment. Toast your evening out at Listening with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list. Listening is great for families with kids. Check out the brews and bites at happy hour, and kick back without spending a fortune. Listening can easily accommodate large groups or parties. Wifi is on the house at Listening, so you can stay connected on your mobile device. Dine under the sun (or stars) at Listening with their charming outdoor seating. Musical groups perform live at Listening, so tables can perk up with some tunes. Volume at this restaurant can reach upper decibels, so come prepared to raise your voice to be heard. You pup can accompany you to Listening, which welcomes dogs.
Patrons pack the restaurant on weekends, so it's a good idea to make a reservation to ensure prompt seating. No need to dress up for a trip to Listening — the casual restaurant encourages laid-back attire. Impress the patrons at your next gathering by calling in Listening for catering.
The restaurant is next to a parking lot, but drivers can also settle for street parking.
Meals at Listening are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but reviewers rate the dinner menu the highest.
Train dancers with the best instruction possible. Give audiences professional work to watch. Inspire a love of ballet in the community at large. This is the three-part mission at Appalachian Ballet Company, and it hasn't changed since its founding in 1972. That aim to both educate and entertain informs every production the company performs, which includes classic stories such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, and an annual Nutcracker, complete with lavish sets and costumes.
Appalachian Ballet Company's artistic prowess has won it more than truckloads of roses. The organization was accepted into Regional Dance America's Southeast Regional Ballet Association in 1989, and became an Honor Company three years later. Artistic Director Amy Morton Vaughn has earned plenty of acclaim herself, including an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and a 2009 Teacher of the Year award from the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts.
Even while informational videos play, most eyes go immediately to one element of Wings to Soar's touring program?the birds of prey flying overhead. The sessions are the brainchild of John Stokes and Dale Kernahan, who use the nonprofit to tirelessly raise awareness about these birds' vital role in the natural world. John and Dale's other raptor-centric programs include opportunities to learn handling techniques with nine different birds, including hawks and owls. In addition to letting attendees interact with the birds, Wings to Soar's team remains dedicated to caring for non-releasable birds, even helping to save the peregrine falcon from extinction.
GO USA Fun Park enthralls visiting families with abundant racing, gaming, and putting attractions strewn throughout its indoor and outdoor facility. A fleet of 20 go-karts stands ready to hug the turns and gun down the straightaways of a nearly quarter-mile-long track. A fully lit 18-hole mini golf course challenges werewolves building immunity to silver putters, and 30 golf tees equipped with coverings for rainy days or cold weather allow for skill-building practice shots. Batting cages enhance swinging skills with hard- or softballs approaching helmeted craniums at slow, medium, or lightning-fast speeds. The indoor arcade brims with an array of video and redemption games, with nifty prizes awaiting homes behind an overflowing counter.
Back in 1965, Buzz and Helen Baudo took a stab at diversifying the restaurant scene of West Tennessee. The little pizzeria they opened was not only the Baudos' first restaurant; it was also the first place in Jackson to serve pizza and Italian food. A quick success, they relocated and expanded the menu beyond pizzas to include old-school Italian cuisine and a few American classics. Nowadays, the daily menu starts off with crisp, toasted ravioli or a half-dozen oysters served rockefeller style. Everything is made on the premises from scratch using fresh ingredients bought locally whenever possible. Petite versions of entrees like eggplant parmesan or tortellini are available during lunch and dinner, while Baudo's favorites include baked grouper stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat and blanketed in a zesty vodka sauce or veal piccata in a lemon butter and caper sauce.