Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
1200 Forrest Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37205
A 55 acre garden with tons of activities.
Explore this Amazing, Lush Gardens with Kid-Friendly Fun!
Cheekwood – a vast and expansive botanical garden set on 55 acres – is not your average botanical gardens! It’s a beautiful, old mansion (once the home of the Maxwell House family) set in the heart of the Belle Meade neighborhood and numerous seasonal activities are hosted here throughout the year, which include Cheekwood Lights – a stunning display of winter holiday lights, Cheekwood in Bloom, which might even rival the Netherlands for its expanse of tulips. There's also Cheekwood Harvest, El Dia de los Muertes, and more.
Both indoors and outdoors, there's always new and interesting art installations and exhibits for adults to enjoy, and my girls love watching the huge, outdoor (and permanent) Trains exhibition with it's fairies and woodland theme, complete with waterfalls, a walking bridge, a children's tunnel, sounds, a fun and twisty slide and more.
The new Bracken Foundation Children's Garden (added in 2020) is magical - with turtle ponds, a "serpentine stroll", water painting in a studio pavilion. Your children can wander for hours.
It’s fun to bring a blanket and read to your kids in the shade overlooking the gardens, and there’s a newly-constructed, casual cafe and activities building in addition to a more upscale restaurant and gift shop near the entrance.
The Sculpture Walk is a nice way to stroll with a huge Bunny statue and a glass tunnel amoung other sculptures.
Be sure to get a map to be able to hit the best 3 spots for kids in all seasons: Bracken Children's Garden, TRAINS! play area (near parking lot), and the Sculpture Walk.
Family memberships run $100 per year, but, arguably it's worth the fee: 1) Drop-in art and garden activities for toddlers and their caregivers on Tuesdays from 10am-noon is free if you are a member; 2) Spring's Cheekwood in Bloom’s tulips are a magical, colorful display of flowers that will take your breath away; 3) You’ll get discounts to major exhibits including Cheekwood Lights that require additional admission; 4) it’s tax deductible, too!