NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Cheekwood Harvest is back with an explosion of thousands of chrysanthemums and pumpkins, including the debut of a new 8-foot pumpkin-shaped topiary. From September 16 through October 29, this seasonal celebration offers events and experiences designed to appeal to kids and adults. Bring family and friends out to stroll through the Bradford Robertson Color Garden display filled with pumpkins and massive sweeps of colorful chrysanthemums. Capture the perfect harvest photo, walk along the scarecrow trail, tap your toes to music in the beer garden, and round out the day by picking out a pumpkin to take home and carve with the family.
The centerpiece of the seasonal festival is the beloved Pumpkin Village, home to three houses made of pumpkins, with shaggy thatched roofs and lush vines bursting from the gables. While exploring the village, guests can shop an extensive supply of pumpkins available for purchase. Fall is also the perfect time to experience LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood, as the sun sets earlier offering longer hours to enjoy this awe-inspiring nighttime extravaganza. Munro’s 13, immersive, grand-scale installations are displayed throughout Cheekwood’s beautiful vistas, manicured gardens, and The Carell Trail with additional artworks inside the Historic Mansion & Museum and The Frist Learning Center. Especially enchanting is the Forest of Light, featuring 80 miles of fiber optic cable and thousands of multi-colored lights covering acres inside the Hickory Loop of The Carell Trail. LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood is on view select evenings through October 27.
P’mumkins do not grow on trees or vines. Debuting this fall for Cheekwood Harvest, an eight-foot-tall and eight-foot-wide pumpkin-shaped topiary made from 400 containers of mums, the P’mumkin has grown from a team effort, diverse skills, and expertise, working for months on planning, design, and execution. The mum creation will make its grand debut in the Arches Plaza in the Bradford Robertson Color Garden.
Community Scarecrow Trail
Cheekwood Harvest marks the return of the Scarecrow Trail. Guests can visit the Turner Seasons Garden to see how local organizations and schools turn ordinary frames into incredible works of art. This year’s theme honors the creepy crawly critters that live in gardens everywhere, bugs. See scarecrow creations inspired by butterflies, lightning bugs, ladybugs, and more.
Thursday Night Out featuring Bruce Munro
Through October 26 | 5:30 – 10 PM
Everyone’s favorite Thursday Night Out offers an adventure through food, drink, art, and song. The evening invites guests to sample seasonal beers and specialty cocktails, irresistible bites from Café 29, and the city’s favorite food trucks while the always diverse music lineup provides an eclectic soundtrack. Once the music stops, explore the wonder of LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood, shining brightly against the autumn night skies.
Thursday Night Out Harvest Performance Schedule:
September 14 | The Jack Ruch Band
September 21 | Cristina Vane Quartet
September 28 | The Fundamental Sound
October 5 | The Explorers Club
October 12 | End of the Line – Allman Brothers Tribute Band
October 19 | The Tiger Beats
October 26 | Les Sabler
Japanese Moon Viewing
September 24, 4 – 10 PM
The 9th annual Japanese Moon Viewing, or Otsukimi features two live dance performances, a kimono fashion show, the return of mochi pounding, tea ceremonies, kamishibai, Japanese storytelling through paper cards, and much more. Especially intriguing this year is the opportunity to see the Blevins Japanese Garden lit up with Bruce Munro’s light installation Whizz Pops as the moon and other celestial bodies shine from above.
Music City Rose Show
October 14, 1 – 5 PM
October 15, 11 AM – 4 PM
The Nashville Rose Society invites rose lovers to see the results of more than 40 of the most accomplished, award-winning rosarians from across Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky as they compete for “Best Rose” awards in multiple categories, from hybrid teas, floribundas, and miniatures to shrub roses and old garden roses. Admission is free for Cheekwood members and included with the purchase of a ticket for yet to be members. Saturday features a lecture on the basics of growing roses at 3:00 p.m. from Ron Daniels, Co-President and author of the book “Rose Therapy: My Journey of Growing and Caring for Roses”. On Sunday, pre-registered participants will pick their favorite blooms right out of Cheekwood’s rose garden at the “Pick-Your-Own-Rose Bouquet” workshop, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Led by members of the Nashville Rose Society, this workshop will cover fall activities like fertilizing, spraying, watering, deadheading, and winterizing roses.
Halloween Pooch Party
October 21 & 22, 9 AM – 5 PM
Cheekwood goes to the spooky dogs on October 21 and 22. Guests can bring their pups out for costume contests, browse dog-friendly vendors, and snap a photo of your four-legged companion at the pumpkin houses. With two costume contests each day, and a special category in honor of this year’s Scarecrow theme, Best Bug, there are plenty of chances to win and a guaranteed, tail-wagging good time. Cheekwood Members receive a discount on tickets to this special event.
El Día de los Muertos
October 28 & 29, 9 AM – 5 PM
El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, returns with the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of this important Latin American holiday when families celebrate the souls of deceased relatives. Guests can visit community altars, sample fare from local restaurants and bakers, shop for traditional goods and experience a variety of dance and music performances. In its 24th year, Cheekwood brings these traditions to Nashville. The popular weekend sells out quickly, so visitors are encouraged to reserve tickets early.
Weekend Music Performances in the Beer Garden
Gather with friends in the festive Beer Garden each weekend during Cheekwood Harvest from noon to 2:00 p.m. Natural beauty and easy elegance define the space, where lively full-band sets are accompanied by seasonal beers, craft cocktails, and local food trucks. Sundays feature award-winning instrumentalists from the Nashville Musicians Association playing jazz of all types. Guests can grab a picnic table or bring a blanket, kick back, and enjoy a perfect day amongst the pumpkins and mums.
2023 Cheekwood Harvest Beer Garden Performance Schedule:
September 16 | Tim Gartland
September 17 | Sofia Goodman Quartet
September 23 | Abigail Flowers
September 24 | Tudo Bem
September 30 | The Hi-Jivers
October 1 | Pat Berguson Trio
October 7 | Rebecca Frazier
October 8 | Lisa Stewart
October 14 | Denny Jiosa
October 15 | Les Sabler
October 21 | McKinley James
October 22 | Emmanuel Echem
Cheekwood Harvest Workshops and Classes
There’s no better place to learn about gardening than at Cheekwood this fall, where there are more adult education offerings than ever. Beginning in September, an array of classes will be offered geared towards the lifelong learner seeking information about how to better care for their garden beds and indoor plants at home. For more information on the workshops and classes listed below, visit https://cheekwood.org/learn/adult-education-programs/seasonalworkshops/. Pre-registration is required.
Gardening with the Grimaldis Returns!
Every Thursday evening in September, join Cheekwood’s Vice President of Gardens and Facilities, Peter Grimaldi, and his wife Megan, a self-proclaimed plant nerd and manager at Moore and Moore Garden Center, as they walk participants through the ins and outs of planning for and maintaining the at-home landscape.
Top Plant Picks Tours
Each month, Cheekwood gardeners curate a selection of plantings that are in their prime called the Top Plant Picks. These monthly picks are the inspiration for the Top Plant Pick Tours, led by members of the Cheekwood Gardens team. Participants will have the opportunity to get an inside perspective on what’s most lush and in bloom each month.
Class offerings include “The At Home Garden Checklist: Autumn” and “When Do I Plant This?” What a garden needs changes dramatically during the year in Middle Tennessee, and we want to set up participants for success from January through December. This fall, the classes will focus on garden needs for the autumn season, then in the spring the education will continue with a focus on the new season.
Special class offerings include Garden Tools 101, Caring for Houseplants, Fall Perennials, Gardening in Small Spaces, and more! Cheekwood Harvest runs from September 16 through October 29. Not-yet member pricing varies by program and day. Visit cheekwood.org to find the pricing for a specific date and time.
Cheekwood Harvest is presented by Tractor Supply. The Harvest Beer Garden and Thursday Night Out are presented by Lipman & Company, Cheekwood’s official spirits sponsor. LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood is made possible by the Ann & Monroe Carell Foundation (Kathryn & David Brown, Edie & David Johnson, and Julie Carell Stadler) with corporate presenters First Horizon Bank and Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC (GSRM Law); Hospitality Partner, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp; as well as individual underwriters and patrons.
With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55 acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries. The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest, and Holiday LIGHTS. Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodors as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season. Visit cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.