As the air turns crisp and leaves start to change, fall is upon us in Nashville. Although we say goodbye to days spent splashing in the pool and soaking up the sun, more fun awaits us in the fall. In addition to pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween, annual events like Cheekwood Harvest give families an affordable option for a fun-filled afternoon.
This year’s event has greater meaning because it’s the 60th anniversary of Cheekwood. The Chihuly exhibit that is open through January 2021 also adds some extra pizazz. Big thanks to Cheekwood Estate for providing media passes for us to explore and share our experiences.
What is Cheekwood Estate and Gardens?
The Cheekwood Estate is the former residence of the Cheekwood family. It was originally built as the home for Leslie and Mabel Cheekwood in 1929. The estate converted into a museum of art and botanical garden in 1960. There are over 225,000 visitors each year to the Cheekwood Estate.
Throughout the estate, there are 13 gardens and two trails for visitors to enjoy. Each garden is home to unique varieties of trees, plants, and flowers, so plan to spend the day exploring each one. Take your time to admire the beauty and variety of trees, flowers, and bushes. As the saying goes, take time to “stop and smell the roses.”
What is Cheekwood Harvest?
It is an annual event that goes from mid-September to early November. The Cheekwood Harvest celebrates the fall season with changing leaves, pumpkin decorations & activities, and thousands of chrysanthemums in deep autumn hues.
Make sure to visit the Pumpkin House and Village just inside the entrance to Cheekwood Estate. It’s the perfect setting for fall pictures and family fun. You can even purchase pumpkins to carve and paint to decorate your home.
Strategically placed pumpkins throughout the gardens help get you into a festive mood. Explore the gardens while enjoying the crisp autumn air, decorative pumpkins, and a cup of cider from Cafe 29.
As you walk through the estate, you’ll find a “mum explosion” in the gardens. Thousands of chrysanthemums were planted across the gardens to highlight the vibrant fall colors and changing leaves.
When is Cheekwood Harvest held?
This year, Cheekwood Harvest runs from September 19, 2020, to November 1, 2020.
Special events during Cheekwood Harvest add to the fun. This year’s events include:
- Dog Nights of Harvest – dog-friendly nights during select Wednesday evenings.
- Howl’Oween – bring your pup to Cheekwood for a parade of costumed pooches and a virtual Halloween contest.
- El Dia de los Muertos – a virtual celebration of ancestors and the continuation of life.
Dogs are allowed at Cheekwood only during special dog-friendly events.
How much are tickets to Cheekwood Harvest?
Admission is the standard price for entrance to Cheekwood Estate. There is not an upcharge to attend the Cheekwood Harvest or see the Chihuly exhibits.
Tickets can be purchased online at Cheekwood.org or at the gates. The Cheekwood Harvest is a popular event, so it is best to book your tickets ahead of time. Attendance is limited to encourage social distancing.
|Student (with ID)||$15||$23||$20||$28|
|Ages 2 & Under||Free||Free||Free||Free|
** Please note that there is a $1.25 service fee added to each ticket for processing.
Cheekwood Estates & Garden membership benefits
Memberships start at $65 per person or $90 per family. There are many Cheekwood Estate & Gardens membership options to fit your family’s budget. Discounts for seniors, educators, military, and students are also available.
If you plan on visiting Cheekwood multiple times or would like to support its mission, becoming a member is a great choice. With so many events throughout the year, a membership is a real money saver for Nashville locals.
As a member, you’ll receive unlimited free general admission and parking plus reciprocal admission to nearly 330 botanical gardens, arboreta, and conservatories nationwide. Plus, more than 60 museums in the Southeast also offer free admission to members.
Perks also include:
- Invitations to member-only events and exhibition previews
- Discounts for select classes, workshops, and special events
- Priority registration for children’s camps
- Discount at Cheekwood Gift Shop and Cafe 29
- Invitation to special pop-up events
- Exclusive access to discounts and gifts during Member Appreciation Week
- Early member purchase period for special events
Over 14,000 households are Cheekwood members. If membership isn’t right for you, purchasing a membership for family, friends, or business associates is an excellent holiday gift idea.
What are the hours for Cheekwood Harvest?
Admission to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is divided into two blocks of time. Tickets are available for daytime or evening sessions.
Daytime tickets are good for admission anytime to Cheekwood from 9 am to 4:30 pm. At that time, ushers will ask visitors to leave to make room for the evening guests.
The evening hours are from 5 pm to 10 pm. Admission is a little higher priced for the nighttime hours, but it is so worth it to see the lights throughout the gardens and watch the Chihuly sculptures come to life.
Cheekwood Estates is open Tuesday through Sunday until November 19, 2020. It is closed on Mondays. From November 20, 2020, through January 10, 2021, the estate is open on Monday nights for the Holiday LIGHTS event.
Is there an additional fee for Cheekwood Manor?
Yes. If you want to go inside Cheekwood Manor, there is an additional fee of $5 per person. The Manor includes a walking tour, seasonal exhibits, and a gift shop. There are many Chihuly blown glass art pieces inside the Manor. Plus, some are available for sale inside the gift shop.
Exploring Cheekwood Harvest
When you enter the Cheekwood Estate, you’ll be greeted by a pumpkin patch. It includes two large pumpkin houses for children to play in and numerous pumpkins spread around. It is the perfect setting for photos with the family.
Pumpkins and gourds are also for sale. So, if your kids must have one, they’re available to take home. On the plus side, they’re cheaper than a new puppy. Ha!
Additional events at Cheekwood Estate
Cheekwood Harvest is just one of the many fun events held at Cheekwood Estate. Throughout the year, you’ll find a full calendar of events to enjoy. Here are some of my favorite seasonal events:
- Chihuly at Cheekwood (July 18, 2020, to January 10, 2021)
- Holiday Lights at Cheekwood (November 20, 2020, to January 10, 2021)
- Cheekwood in Bloom (Spring 2021)
- Summertime at Cheekwood
What about coronavirus?
As we venture out and explore attractions and restaurants, the risk of coronavirus is a top concern for many people. As an outdoor venue, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens is naturally conducive to minimizing this risk. While walking through the paths and gardens, it is easy to stay socially distanced from other guests.
Cheekwood issues timed-entry tickets to encourage social distancing. There is a maximum capacity for each timed-entry period. This minimizes the possibility that large groups of people will be in the same place at the same time.
Guests are also required to wear masks when entering the property and all buildings. These buildings include the Historic Mansion & Museum, Botanic Hall, and the Frist Learning Center.
Cloth face coverings are required in outdoor areas, except when you can maintain a distance of at least six feet from other guests. Personally, we only took our masks off when taking pictures and while enjoying a snack and beverage at Cafe 29.
The Bald Thoughts
When the weather gets cooler, it is a great opportunity to spend the day outdoors in Nashville with fall activities. Cheekwood Harvest is a fun-family adventure because you can explore 12 botanical gardens throughout the Cheekwood Estate, have fun in the pumpkin patch, and see the Chihuly exhibits. And it is a great way to grab fresh air and tire out the kids as you walk through 55 acres of nature.
Tickets are affordable and can be purchased online from Cheekwood. Cheekwood Harvest is only here for a short time, so make plans to visit today.