School Programs

School Programs

Bookings for Spring 2023 starting on January 3rd, 2023

Engage students in art, history, and botanical gardens with a field trip to Cheekwood. Cheekwood offers free admission to all school groups from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. Students in grades pre-k-12 can enjoy a self-guided experience, or a curriculum centered guided field trip here at Cheekwood.

For questions about the programs listed below, please email schools@cheekwood.org.

School Field Trips

Guided: Explore Cheekwood led by Educators and Docents.

Self-Guided: Experience Cheekwood at your own pace using a curated map as well as self-led
activities that are grade level appropriate for your group.

Tuesday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM

Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM, March 13 – April 9, 2023 Only

Group Size:
Minimum: 15
Maximum: 70

Students and teachers: Free
Chaperones (non-school employees): $16/per person

Guided: Must schedule trips at least four weeks in advance.

Self-Guided: Must schedule at least two weeks in advance.

Weather Policy:
Field trips are weather permitting. This includes rain, snow, and extreme temperatures.
Education staff will be in touch with scheduled schools at least 24 hours before a scheduled trip
if a change is necessary. Field trips will be rescheduled as space permits.
For weather concerns or cancellations, please email schools@cheekwood.org.

Request a School Tour

All Field Trip options listed below are connected to Tennessee State Standards. View the
options below before submitting a School Tour Request.

Please note Cheekwood will begin booking school groups for the 2023 Spring semester on
January 3, 2023.

Guided School Field Trips Options:  

  • Standing Tall at Cheekwood: Tree Exploration | Pre-K

    Learn all about trees in Cheekwood’s Childrens Garden. Explore the parts of trees, trees as
    homes to animals and insects, and how trees change through the seasons.

    Program Length: 60 minutes
    Selected Standards: PK.ESS3.01a. ; PK.LS1.01 a.

  • Parts of a Plant: Learning in the Garden | Grades K-1

    Students will learn all about plant parts and their function while
    exploring the Cheekwood GROWS kitchen and cutting garden.
    *This field trip is only offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Program Length: 90 minutes
    Selected Standards: K.ETS2 ; 1.LS1

  • Traditions and Customs: Exploring Multiculturalism in the Blevins Japanese Garden | Grades K-2

    Learn about traditions, customs, and culture in the Blevins Japanese Garden. Students will compare what they learn to their own lives. Students will also participate in a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony and make their own herbal tea.

    Program Length: 90 minutes
    Selected Standards: Culture K.02 ; Culture 1.02 ; Culture 2.02

  • Garden Ecosystems: Plants and their Pollinators | Grades 2-4

    Discover the pollinators that call Cheekwood home and learn why they are crucial to the garden
    ecosystem. Dive into learning about the parts of a plant and the roles they play, and why certain
    pollinators prefer specific plants.

    Program Length: 90 minutes
    Selected Standards: 2.LS1 ; 3.LS1 ; 4.LS2

  • Discovering Rain Gardens: Controlling Erosion Naturally | Grades 2-4

    Learn all about erosion and how it changes and shapes our world. Students will examine the Howe Garden’s rain garden to see how we are trying to slow and prevent erosion here at Cheekwood.

    Program Length: 80 minutes
    Selected Standards: 2.ESS2 ; 2.LS2 ; 3.ESS2 ; 4.ESS1

  • Standing Tall at Cheekwood: Trees and Communication | Grade 4 & 6

    Explore Cheekwood’s Arboretum collection while learning about the Emerald Ash Borer, a forest ecosystem and its food web, along with how trees communicate with one another.

    Program Length: 90 minutes
    Selected Standards: 4.LS2 ; 6.LS2 ; 6.ESS3

Self-Guided School Field Trip Options:  

  • Seasonal Garden Exploration |Grades K-12

    Explore the seasonal displays throughout the year! From Cheekwood in Bloom in the
    spring, to Harvest in the fall, this self-paced option will guide students through each
    seasonal display. Seasonal activity ideas will be included for different grade levels.

  • Garden Ecosystems: Plants and their Pollinators | Grades K – 4

    Discover the pollinators that call Cheekwood home and learn why they are crucial to the garden
    ecosystem. Dive into learning about the parts of a plant and the roles they play, and why certain
    pollinators prefer specific plants.

    Selected Standards: K.LS1; 1.LS1; 2.LS1 ; 3.LS1 ; 4.LS2

  • Animals and Ecosystems | Grades 6-8

    Have you ever wondered what animals call Cheekwood home? With this self-guided
    adventure, students will explore the different animals and their ecosystems, discuss the
    important equilibrium between humans and animals, and brainstorm how to maintain this

    Selected Standards: 6.LS2 ; 7.LS1 ; 8.LS4

  • Art in Nature on the Carell Sculpture Trail | Grades 9-12

    Explore the sculptures on the Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail. Students
    will learn how art and nature complement one another and start to create their own
    sculpture idea for the Carrell Trail.

    Selected Standards: HS1.VA.Cr1.A ; HS2.VA.R1.A ; HS3.VA.Cr1.A

NEW! Homeschool Days

Beginning in 2023 Cheekwood will be offering quarterly Homeschool Days. Join us for themed mornings
of drop-in style activities, just for homeschool groups. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy out on the grounds.
Special discounts will be available on memberships at each Homeschool Day so that families may return
often to continue their learning journey at Cheekwood.

Homeschool Days are most suited for ages 5-10 but all ages are welcome to join.

Please note that Cheekwood will no longer offer conventional field trips for Homeschool groups. The
quarterly Homeschool Days provide in-depth and enriching experiences specifically designed for multi-age audiences.

Email schools@cheekwood.org for questions about our new Homeschool Day experiences.

Tickets for Homeschool Days must be purchased in advance and time slots may sell out. All ticketed
homeschool guests will be given a wristband at check-in. Only those with wristbands will be permitted
to take part in the drop-in activities.

Gardens Only: Access to the gardens including all drop-in activities.
Adults: $15
Youth (3-17): $2
Ages 2 & Under: Free

Gardens and Mansion: Access to both the gardens, including all drop-in activities, and the Historic
Cheek Mansion & Museum where docents will be available to answer questions about the historic
rooms and galleries.

Adult: $18
Youth (3-17): $5
Ages 2 and Under: Free

Please note that tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. This event is rain or shine and will
move indoors in inclement weather.

Date: March 7, 2023

Event Hours: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Theme: Discovering Rain Gardens: Controlling Erosion Naturally

Description: Learn all about erosion and how it impacts the land around us. Explore Cheekwood’s rain
garden, learn about its role in erosion prevention, and discover the importance of the variety of native
plants that live there. Students will have the opportunity to get hands on with Metro Water Works and
see erosion in action.

March 7 Registration

Date: May 23, 2023

Event Hours: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Theme: Garden Ecosystems: Plants and their Pollinators

Description: Discover the pollinators that call Cheekwood home and learn why they are crucial to the
garden ecosystem. Students will dive deep into learning about the parts of a plant, the role each part
plays in helping the plants, and why certain pollinators prefer specific plants.

May 23 Registration

Registration for September and November dates coming July 2023

Date: September 12, 2023

Event Hours: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Theme: Traditions and Customs: Exploring Multiculturalism in the Blevins Japanese Garden

Description: Cultivate a deeper understanding of the Japanese culture by exploring the Blevins Japanese
Garden. Learn about a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, explore Japanese poetry by writing your very
own haiku, and discover the elements that make up a traditional Japanese garden.

Date: November 28, 2023

Event Hours: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Theme: Standing Tall at Cheekwood

Description: Explore Cheekwood’s arboretum and learn all about trees. Discover them as habitats, how
they change seasonally, and how we can protect them from invasive species. Students will learn all
about the Emerald Ash Borer and Cheekwood’s response program.

Cheekwood on the Road

Grades: 3 – 5
Cost: FREE!
Capacity: Up to 120 students

Cheekwood on the Road brings Cheekwood-inspired, hands-on art and science lessons to your school. During Cheekwood on the Road, students will explore landscape architecture by learning about Cheekwood’s history and dive into Cheekwood’s permanent art collection by critically examining selected pieces. Additional stations focus on temporary art and seasonal garden exhibitions. After rotating through these Cheekwood teacher-led stations, students bring home their masterpieces at the end of the day. During the 2018-19 school year, 100% of teachers that participated in this program said that Cheekwood on the Road satisfied or exceeded their expectations and that they would recommend it to their colleagues.

Cheekwood on the Road Request Form

Destination Cheekwood

Grades: K-8 students and their families
Cost: FREE!
Capacity: Up to 120 people

Destination Cheekwood brings families to Cheekwood on a Saturday for a visit filled with art, garden, and historical experiences and activities. Transportation, admission, activities, and lunch are provided, giving families the opportunity to enjoy the best of Cheekwood’s seasonal festivals.

Please note that this program is designed for Title I Schools and public schools.

Contact schools@cheekwood.org if you have any questions.

Apply for Destination Cheekwood

Cheekwood GROWS

Grade: 3
Cost: FREE!
Capacity: Up to 120 people

Cheekwood GROWS targets third grade students to provide an immersive, multi-faceted experience that teaches them about gardening while fostering an appreciation for it that will, hopefully, carry through their lives. Components of the program include:

  • Pre-visit materials to be completed in the classroom along with either an in-person or Zoom visit from Cheekwood’s Garden Educator.
  • A student field trip to Cheekwood, where students will plant seeds in the garden, work with more mature plants to learn about adaptations and pollination, taste food that grows in a garden, and plant seeds to take back to their classroom.
  • Continued engagement between the Garden Educator and the classes via emails, photos, and video chats to allow students to monitor the growth of what they planted at Cheekwood and share what they are seeing with the plants they are caring for at school.
  • A Destination Cheekwood family field trip on a weekend so that students can share what they have learned with their families and so that families can taste some of what has been grown in the garden. Families will be provided with a year-long membership to come back again and again.
  • A culminating program to congratulate the students on their hard work, talk about potential career paths they may be interested in, and to answer any final questions.

Please note that this program is designed for an entire third grade and participating schools must agree to participate in each component of the program listed above.

For more information about the program please contact Adria Osborne at aosborne@cheekwood.org

Apply for Cheekwood GROWS

Teacher Guide

Black Arts Bash Student Exhibition

We are looking for work made by rising 10th to 12th grade students in the Greater Nashville Area who identify as Black or Mix-race. Young artists may submit their work regardless of topic.
Learn More

The Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards

The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, a national nonprofit organization, was established in 1994 to provide guidance and support for the next generation. The Alliance fosters the creative development of youth across the country through The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, and the largest source of scholarships for young artists. Alumni of the Scholastic Art Awards include artists Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Cy Twombly, Robert Indiana, Kay WalkingStick, Mozelle Thompson, Hughie Lee-Smith, and John Baldessari. For more information, visit the Scholastic Affiliate page here.

Learn More

2023 Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Award Winners

Education & Outreach Programs are sponsored by

M. Stratton Foster Charitable Foundation

Cheekwood Grows is presented by

Destination Cheekwood is supported by

Cheekwood on the Road is sponsored by

The Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards are presented by

Standing Tall at Cheekwood Field Trips are made possible by

Trees for Tomorrow are made possible by

Funds raised during Fall for Cheekwood support Cheekwood’s FREE education initiatives, providing access and programs to school children and families from Middle Tennessee and beyond.

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