The holidays are one of the greatest times of the year. There’s hot chocolate, catching up with family and friends, and the decorations are amazing! Luckily, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is the perfect place for all of the above! Bundle up and head to this Nashville gem for a perfect night out with loved ones this holiday season.
What is Cheekwood?
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is a 55 acre estate in the western side of Nashville, TN. The estate was formerly the home of the Nashville Cheek family (hence the name) who built the mansion in 1932. The over 30,000 square foot limestone mansion was modeled after the English manors of the 18th century and is truly a sight to behold. The estate was converted to a museum and botanical garden, which opened in 1960. Now, the mansion functions as a museum decorated for the 1930s and as an art museum with a wide range of exhibits. The grounds are full of beautiful gardens and the estate is a sought-after events destination. Cheekwood is open for visitors year-round, but the holidays are an incredibly special time to visit.
Since Cheekwood has botanical gardens, many of the lights (very realistically) resemble flowers! It’s so unique and you’ll seriously be wondering if they’re real plants. You’ll then walk on to these gorgeous triangular trees over a lake that have an amazing reflective effect – make sure to snap a picture with these!
You’ll make your way towards the mansion, which has a super cool synchronized light show on the lawn! Once you enter, you’re able to see Cheekwood mansion decked out in 1930s decorations, including a phenomenal toy room, dining area, library, and massive poinsettia tree!
Continue through the mansion and into the art galleries where you get to see all sorts of cool pieces. My favorite was the current Fields of Light exhibit by Gabriel Dawe. Trust me, you do not want to miss these massive rainbow masterpieces, so catch them before the exhibit closes December 30th.
After leaving the mansion, head over to the Frist Learning Center to meet Santa, hear some carolers, grab a bite at the cafe, and even grab a few souvenirs. You’ll then walk down the hill and through the Candy Cane Forest. Be sure to look up to see the cool lights hanging from the trees. You’ll then walk through the last major set of lights at the “herb garden”, which all resemble plants! Make sure to check out the model trains before heading back to the parking lot!
Need to Know
Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights is open every day until December 30 (except on Christmas Day). Tickets are $22 if you buy them online ($27 at the gate) and they include parking. When you buy your ticket, you’ll pick a ticket entry time. Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights is open from 5-10pm nightly and will take you around 2 hours to explore. I definitely recommend entering at the 7:30 slot at the latest so you’ll have time to see everything! Also, get your tickets in advance because they are selling out fast.
I cannot get over how cool seeing the Christmas lights at Cheekwood was! Out of all the lights I’ve seen this season, Cheekwood’s have been my favorite. Where’s your favorite place to see Christmas lights? Let me know in the comments below!
PS: Looking for more fun holiday activities? Check out my posts on Merry and Bright at My Old Kentucky Home, Lights Under Louisville, Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park, and A Country Christmas at Opryland!