Oh, I would love to see some old mansion and its gardens.
Said no kid EVER!
But on a recent summer evening, something magical was happening. Dozens of kids were having fun at Cheekwood Mansion and botanical garden. Proof that Cheekwood is a true must-see attraction while in Nashville.
Cheekwood is the estate of Mabel Wood and Leslie Cheek. The Cheek family owned some grocery stores. Their wealth came from being an early investor in their cousins business, Maxwell House Coffee. After Maxwell House’s sale to General Foods, the Cheeks bought 100 acres in west Nashville. There they went about building their country estate, Cheekwood. It was finished in 1932 and unfortunately, Mr. Cheek died suddenly in 1934. Mabel along with her daughter Huldah stayed in the house until the mid-1950s. They then offered the estate for a museum and botanical garden. It opened to the public in 1960.I’d never been inside the mansion before but really is a work of art. I can’t believe that the family only lived there for less than 30 years. Though the house and artworks are spectacular, I find the gardens to be the real masterpiece.
There are currently 10 separate gardens on display. Another item of interest is that many of the gardens include sculptures that add to the beauty. Some gardens are currently being renovated. There is also a children’s garden in the works. Cool!
Cheekwood also has temporary displays. We were super lucky because the current display is Trains! There are also works about childhood literary classics. The childhood literary classic involved some outdoor displays. There were also several paintings and drawings of classics inside the mansion.
But the trains were the BEST! There were several grouping of cars going at different speeds. They had some characters such as Elmo and the Cookie Monster on some trains. I was just as fascinated as any of the kids. There was also this awesome train cutout from logs to take silly pics in! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have this in my backyard.
There are also small houses situated around the grounds. The children loved then because they were kid-sized.
Thursdays in June through October, Cheekwood is open from 5-9 for half price. They also have food trucks and live bands. You can even bring your dog! This is when we went and I see it as the perfect time to go. It’s not as hot and since it’s after hours it all seems less stuffy.
During your stay in Nashville, make time to visit the beauty and nature of Cheekwood. If possible attend on a Thursday evening to enjoy it in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Find additional information to plan your trip to Cheekwood, check them out here.