Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights festival returned Nov. 20 and will run through Jan. 10, 2021.

Featuring more than 1 million lights throughout Cheekwood’s gardens, the carefully planned course offers holiday experiences designed to appeal to all ages. Now in its sixth year, the popular wintertime program was voted Best Local Event/Festival by Nashville Scene in 2019.

New this year, Cheekwood is partnering with the Nashville Ballet to present a collection of traditional and non-traditional nutcrackers and costumes from Nashville’s Nutcracker throughout its historic mansion and museum. The exhibit will tell the traditional holiday story through vignettes across Cheekwood’s period rooms.

Also new this year, Holiday Lights will be presented alongside the works of artist Dale Chihuly with Chihuly at Cheekwood, offering a new and unique experience to this year’s display. Voted Best Art Happening by Nashville Scene in 2020, visitors can experience the highly acclaimed art exhibition and the holiday festival simultaneously across the estate and gardens through Jan. 10.

Cheekwood will activate its new Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden as Children’s Wonderland, featuring an outdoor display of custom-made LED trees with programmed lights. The estate and gardens will also bring back community favorites like real reindeer, a seasonal trains display, a poinsettia tree, smores stations, and more.

“With a new design of more than a million lights, this year’s display is sure to dazzle our guests,” said Peter Grimaldi, vice president of gardens and facilities for Cheekwood. “Our team has worked tirelessly to prepare a lights experience designed specifically to complement Cheekwood’s sprawling landscapes and new elements, and we can’t wait to welcome new and returning visitors to enjoy it.”

Holiday Lights is open seven nights a week and requires timed tickets that must be purchased online prior to visiting. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, capacity will be limited. Holiday Lights is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. To view Cheekwood’s visitor guidelines, visit https://cheekwood.org/knowbeforeyougo_covid19/.

To thank medical professionals, first responders and military personnel, Cheekwood will offer special Military and Medical Mondays. Eligible patrons with a valid form of identification will receive 50% off “Garden Only” admission for up to four immediate family members on Monday nights. Cheekwood is continuing its annual Late Night Lights offer, where guests arriving at 8:30 or 9 p.m. receive a discounted rate on Monday-Thursday nights.

Holiday Lights is presented by the Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation, with special thanks for the installation to Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. Medical and Military Mondays is sponsored by Synovus Bank.

For more information about Holiday Lights, and to purchase tickets, visit https://cheekwood.org/calendar/cheekwood-holiday-lights-event-nashville/.

Cheekwood is considered one of the finest American Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the extraordinary 1930s estate, with its Georgian mansion and 55 acres of cultivated gardens and expansive vistas, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum and museum with historic rooms and art galleries, showcasing works from its 7,000 permanent collection as well as traveling exhibitions. The property includes 12 distinct gardens and a mile-long woodland trail featuring modern and contemporary outdoor sculpture.

Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden. It is located just 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive.

Daily hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

For further information, call 615-356-8000 or visit cheekwood.org.

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