I’m always on the lookout for something new to do and while Cheekwood is a Nashville must do, it had been a while since we’d taken our girls. Family Night Out happens this summer every Thursday from 6 until 10 p.m. and if you’ve never been to Cheekwood at night, there is a magical vibe that is very different from visiting in the daytime. There is live music, the International Playhouses and Steve Tobin exhibits are lit after dusk, there are food trucks to curb your hunger and, of course, the gardens are absolutely breathtaking at night. The Georgian style Cheekwood mansion is also open and you can view the latest exhibits, including American Artists Abroad and at Home. (I got a kick out of spying local artist Red Grooms’ work.)
Admission to Family Night Out is free if you are a Cheekwood member and tickets are available for purchase for the general public. We saw groups without kids, families with young children and our crew included two tweens and a teen. Jenis ice cream truck was a big hit. (Tip: Bring cash for the food trucks; parking is free).
Check out some of the photos I took during our summer evening at Cheekwood. If you head out this month, be sure to snap a pic and upload it to social media with the hashtag #CheekwoodSummer and you could win free season passes!
The arbored garden walkway near the Pineapple Room is one of my favorite areas. The summer colors are magnificent and straight out of a storybook!
It’s not summer without ice cream and Jenis is a fave! We tried every flavor except for the lemon blueberries yogurt. They also had cherry floats.
The sun starts to go down as does the temperature. You can see one of the fun International Playhouses exhibits down by the pond.
This white sculpture from the Steve Tobin Roots exhibit gets a colorful nighttime interpretation.
10 Fun Facts About Nashville’s Cheekwood
- Picnics are welcome on the property and you can bring your own blanket. There are also a few picnic tables scattered about the property.
- Cheekwood is a beautiful 55-acre estate nestled just 15 minutes or so from bustling downtown Nashville.
- Although the art museum features mainly classic works, you must see the fabulous 18-foot contemporary Bell chandelier, created by international artist Bruce Munroe, which hangs from the center of the cupola.
- The Cheekwood mansion is a 30,000-square-foot home built in the Neo-Georgian-style.
- The beautiful Japanese garden was recently named “one of the most original Japanese Gardens in North America” by Dr. Kendall H. Brown, author of Quiet Beauty, The Japanese Gardens of North America.
- Visitors in the spring will be regaled by more than 100,000 tulips in the gardens at Cheekwood.
- There are 343 specimens of dogwoods on the Cheekwood estate, including the Roughleaf Dogwood. April in Cheekwood is dogwood blooming season!
- Cheekwood’s Pineapple Room has boxed lunches available for purchase and the gift shop is a great place to find an unusual gift.
- Looking for volunteer opportunities? From summer camp assistance to shuttle drivers, Cheekwood has many ways to volunteer.
- Visitors to Cheekwood during the holidays have enjoyed the traditional live reindeer, 20-foot poinsettia tree, the decorated mansion and a visit from Santa Claus. Now the grounds are decked out at night. The Holiday Lights program kicked off in 2015 and is sure to become a Nashville winter tradition with 750,000 lights transforming Cheekwood in winter.
More posts about Cheekwood from my archives.
Disclosure: I received free passes to Cheekwood for the evening as part of a social media/digital influencer event. All opinions expressed on my blog are mine.