My family loves Cheekwood and has been members for years. We love it in every season, but my favorite might be fall. The nice cool air, the rustle of leaves as you walk, and the trees changing colors makes me very happy. Cheekwood Harvest starts in September and runs through most of October.
We always try to go several times during the fun fall time. I personally cannot get enough of strolling through the gardens full of over 5,000 chrysanthemums blooming all around you. I love the colors of fall red, yellow, orange, and some pink. The gardens full of fall colors blooming makes for some great picture opportunities as well. (hint, hint)
My children love the Scarecrows in the gardens as well. They love that as we follow the path, the scarecrows will just appear out of nowhere. We love to look and explore the whole exhibit. Each year is a new theme and the creative way each group comes up with how to express the theme is always fun and fresh. My kids laugh and giggle and run back to their favorites over and over each time we visit. My four year old son gets so sad when they take them down. The only way we normally get them out of the Scarecrow exhibit is to promise a trip to the amazing pumpkin patch on the grounds. It is always full of beautiful pumpkins of all shapes and colors. We always spend a little time picking the best ones to take home, for a small price, to carve for Halloween. We also enjoy the little games they have set up in the patch to play. Bean bag toss may be my daughter’s favorite. The pumpkins are priced based on size and you pay in the welcome center. Do not forget to pick up a few extras to decorate your front porch or fireplace! Last year we took home a few amazing orange pumpkins and a few white ones to sit on the porch.
The scarecrows and the pumpkin patch are open all week long, but the Cheekwood Harvest weekends are chock-full of great family events. There is a little bit of something for each age group. My family normally starts with heading to the Drop-In ‘ART’ivities. There are always great projects that involve paint, glue, and lots of creative spirit. They have a great staff that will show you the theme for the day and how to find the needed items in the art rooms. We love to use the art we make at Cheekwood to decorate our house the whole fall season. We try to time our visit to make it to one of the two storytimes in the garden. You can catch storytime on Saturdays during the fall events. There is also live bluegrass music, garden tours, and music in the mansion during certain times. You can find all those times out on cheekwood.org. There are even some very special events on Saturdays that range from the Nashville Ballet to Cowboy Dan. Each Saturday has different entertainment and you can see the list on the website. This is all included in your admission price!
However, make sure that you do not forget to check out the other amazing areas at Cheekwood that are always there. My son must see the amazing trains on exhibit year-round. He never gets enough of chasing Thomas the Train around the little train area. The newest addition is amazing and so fun to watch all the trains go in and out of tunnels and bridges. The sculpture trail is always fun for a family walk to see really neat outdoor art hidden all along the way. We have to stop and sing Let It Go on the glass bridge which looks like ice. The gardens all around the grounds are full of pretty fall flowers and fun little statues to find and enjoy. The Japanese Garden is a nice place to sit and relax in the beauty of that amazing area surrounded by towering bamboo. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the three ponds while you eat on one of the tables near them. Lastly, we always end by swinging on the swing under the treehouse. The kids love climbing the wooden steps to go inside the treehouse and peak out the windows. My daughter will swing on the wooden swing until we make her let someone else have a turn. It is a magical little treehouse.
So, as the fun of fall starts kicking off all around Nashville do not forget the hidden little gem of Cheekwood tucked away in Belle Meade just minutes from downtown Nashville and Bellevue. Take a lunch and plan on spending a few hours taking part in all the fall fun already planned for you at Cheekwood Harvest. It is always fun and memories will be made.