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 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.
So get your kids, get your camera, and get to Cheekwood!
Family Fun Facts
Admission to the Gardens During COVID-19
On Friday, May 22, Cheekwood will reopen its 55-acre garden. The reopening will also extend to gardens that had been closed for renovations for the past several months including the beloved Blevins Japanese Garden and the much-anticipated Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail.
To minimize physical contact and practice social distancing, Cheekwood will only be accepting advance ticket reservations made online. No tickets will be sold on-site. Daily tickets are timed-entry and are limited in order to manage safe capacity. Members are required to reserve free visits online.
Temporary Visitor Guidelines
The health and safety of Cheekwood 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.
• 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.)
• Cloth face coverings are strongly encouraged in outdoor areas. All visitors are required to wear cloth face coverings when entering buildings. Parents are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines regarding the use of masks for children. (Face masks for children over the age of 2)
• Please bring your own water and food. Fountains and vending machines are temporarily blocked.
If you have additional questions not answered here, be sure to check out Cheekwood’s Know Before You Go section of their website! It’s full of information to help you before your next visit. As always during these unprecedented times, stay safe, stay smart, and stay well!
Hours of Operation:
May 22 – June 20
9 AM – 8 PM | Daily*
* Mondays are open exclusively for Members
* Beginning June 3, Cheekwood opens at 8 AM on Wednesdays, for Wellness Wednesdays
Regular Operating Hours
Beginning June 21
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.
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 | $22
Seniors (65+) | $20
College Students (with ID) | $18
Youth (ages 3 – 17) | $15
Ages 2 and Under | Free
Military Discount | 50% off General Admission Ticket for Active-Duty Military Personnel and Veterans **
Free Admission Days for Military Personnel & First Responders**
May 23 – 24, July 4, November 9-10
*Cheekwood members receive free daily admission, but discounted tickets are required for certain special events and programs, like Spring Art Hop, Holiday LIGHTS, Chihuly Nights, Songwriters Under the Stars, and other ticketed 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.
Rachel is a Middle Tennessee native, born and raised in the Nashville area and having lived in Hendersonville, Murfreesboro, and Mount Juliet. She is mom to 3, step mom to 4 and Grandma to one (so far!)