There is always family fun at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Cheekwood was built in 1832 as the home for the Cheek family who made their fortune in the wholesale grocery business. Members of the Cheek family lived at Cheekwood until the 1950’s. The site was opened to the public as a museum and botanical garden in 1960.
Cheekwood is a place your family can enjoy for all seasons. While the gardens may not be a practical destination in the winter months, the exhibits in the main museum are always accessible.
There is lots of parking within Cheekwood but if you happen to visit on a busy day, you may have to park outside the gates in an overflow area. In general, the walkways through the gardens are paved and stroller/wheelchair accessible. But there are areas where wheels will be tricky. Lauren brought a stroller for Tamzin and was able to get to about 75% of the places throughout the garden.
Your first stop on any trip to Cheekwood will be the Botanic Hall building. This is where you will buy tickets or show your membership card. This building also houses an extensive botanical library. There are also rooms in this building where some of Cheekwood’s special events are held.
Just outside Botanic Hall, you will find the beautiful gardens that keep people coming back to Cheekwood year after year. You can see the herb garden, terrace gardens, wildflower gardens and more. This is the place where you do NOT want to forget your camera. There are lots of unique surprises in these gardens. You will want to take LOTS of pictures.
The garden area hosts special events throughout the year. One such event was a treehouse exhibit. Only one treehouse remains, but it is lots of fun. You can climb up into it or take a turn on the swing underneath.
The gardens are also home to an area that is built up like a tiny stone village. This place is so cute. If cameras still used film, you would use it all up here!
Once you have made your way through the side gardens, you will arrive at the Cheekwood Mansion. There is so much to see outside at Cheekwood that we often skip the home tour entirely. The home has wonderful displays of artwork, silver and more. But it’s not exactly toddler-friendly. Let your little ones enjoy the boxwood gardens behind the house and save the inside stuff for when they are older.
Once you leave the Cheekwood Mansion, you will walk through another large area of lush gardens. There is a beautiful pond in this area and large open green spaces.
One of our favorite spots in Cheekwood is the Japanese Garden. It is a huge zen garden that is simply stunning. A bamboo path leads you into the garden area, and there is a large observation area where you can climb up and just enjoy the view. We never get tired of it.
Cheekwood’s newest addition, the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, is definitely the spot you’ll find your kids wanting to spend a majority of their visit! Nearly 2 acres of gardens, stone landscapes, playful water features, and interactive exhibits will have your children begging to come back to play all year long!
And, no visit to Cheekwood is complete without visiting the All Aboard for Trains! exhibit! Thomas the Train Storybook Trail, dioramas of miniature worlds with trains running through, children’s tunnel, walking bridge, interactive features, play structures and more! Perfect for any kid (or kid at heart).
Cheekwood offers a large variety of seasonal programs. Some of them are annual such as the Autumn Scarecrow Display, the ‘El Dia de los Muertos’ celebration in October , and the Holiday events each Christmas season.
Cheekwood also hosts lots of programs for children and adults. Tuesdays with Tots, summer camps, lecture series and more. Many of these programs are being offered virtually now, as well.
So get your kids, get your camera, and get to Cheekwood!
Family Fun Facts
“The health and safety of our guests, staff and volunteers remain a top priority at Cheekwood. In line with the latest guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Tennessee Department of State Health Services, and the City of Nashville related to COVID-19, Cheekwood kindly requests your support by adhering to the following protocols to protect your health and safety.”https://cheekwood.org/knowbeforeyougo_covid19/#
• Visit another day should you not feel well or have symptoms of COVID-19.
• Practice social distancing by staying six feet apart from others.
• Use every day preventative measures (e.g. wash hands, cover coughs, etc.)
• All visitors are required to wear cloth face coverings when entering buildings. Cloth face coverings are required in outdoor areas except when maintaining a physical distance of at least 6’ from other visitors. Parents are asked to follow CDC guidelines regarding the use of masks for children.
Please remember that guidelines do change from time to time. Please be sure to check before you visit to be sure these requirements are up to date. You can find more info here: https://cheekwood.org/knowbeforeyougo_covid19/#
Hours of Operation:
May 22 – June 20
9 AM – 8 PM | Daily*
* Mondays are open exclusively for Members during the Summer
Regular Operating Hours
9 AM – 5 PM | Tuesday – Sunday
All guests, including members, must reserve a timed-entry ticket online prior to visiting. No tickets will be sold on-site. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per order.
Reserve Member Tickets: https://cheekwood.org/member-tickets/
Reserve General Admission Tickets: https://cheekwood.org/non-member-tickets/
If you do not have access to purchase online or are having issues, Cheekwood’s Visitor Services staff will be available to help you via phone at 615-353-6965 from 9 AM – 5 PM Daily.
Rates may be subject to change. General Admission may not include admission to certain special events and classes. To see if an additional fee is required, view specific event details on the Happenings Calendar.
FREE PARKING | May 22 – June 20
Members (with Membership Card or Photo ID) | Free*
Not a member? | Join Today
Adults | Gardens ONLY: $20, Gardens & Mansion: $25
Seniors (65+) | Gardens ONLY: $18, Gardens & Mansion: $23
College Students (with ID) | Gardens ONLY: $16, Gardens & Mansion: $21
Youth (ages 3 – 17) | Gardens ONLY: $13, Gardens & Mansion: $18
Ages 2 and Under | Free
Military Discount | 50% off General Admission Ticket for Active-Duty Military Personnel and Veterans **
If you have a Complimentary Admission Pass, City Saver, Military, Return Visit Pass from Cheekwood Education, Nashville Total Access Pass or purchased a ticket from a 3rd party vendor, call 615-356-8000 in advance to reserve your entry or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your information, number of people in your party, and date and time you would like to come.
Any ticket purchased with a discount is non-transferable and non-refundable.
*Cheekwood members receive free daily admission, but discounted tickets are required for certain special events and programs.
**No tickets will be sold on-site. To reserve free tickets or use a military discount, please call 615-353-6965. Visitors Services staff are available daily from 9 AM – 5 PM.