A star that wanders too close to a massive black hole (BH) is shredded by the BH's tidal gravity. Stellar gas falls back to the BH, releasing a flare of energy. In anticipation of upcoming transient surveys, we predict the light curves and spectra of tidal flares as a function of time, highlighting the unique signatures of tidal flares in the optical and near-IR. Some of the gas initially bound to the BH is likely blown away when the fallback rate is super-Eddington at early times. This outflow produces an optical luminosity comparable to that of a supernova (Figure 1, left panel); such events have durations of ~ 10 days and may have been missed in supernova searches that exclude the nuclear regions of galaxies. When the fallback rate subsides below Eddington, the gas accretes onto the BH via a thin disk whose emission peaks in the UV to soft X-rays. Some of this emission is reprocessed by the unbound stellar debris, producing a spectrum of very broad emission lines, with no corresponding narrow forbidden lines (center panel). These lines are strongest for BHs with MBH ~ 105–106M⊙ and thus optical surveys are particularly sensitive to the lowest mass BHs in galactic nuclei. Calibrating our models to ROSAT and GALEX observations, we predict detection rates for Pan-STARRS, Palomar Transit Factory, and LSST (right panel) and highlight observational challenges in the optical. Pan-STARRS should detect at least several events per year — many more if current theoretical models of super-Eddington outflows are correct. These surveys will significantly improve our knowledge of stellar dynamics in galactic nuclei, the physics of super-Eddington accretion, the demography of intermediate mass BHs, and the role of tidal disruption in the growth of massive BHs.