Cheekwood has been on my to do list this summer ever since the Cracking Art Exhibit opened. The Homeschool Day on August 15 gave us the perfect opportunity to check it out!
The Cracking Art Exhibit is an installation running from June 16 – Sept 2, 2018. Larger than life 100% recyclable plastic animal structures of many colors are installed all around the gardens. Definitely something that can hold my kids’ interest and went along well with the theme of Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine.
Homeschool Day started off at 9am and we arrived around 9:30. Many people had already arrived, but we had no trouble parking or getting tickets (we did not purchase ahead of time). Ticket prices ranged from $18 – $23 per family, depending on how early you registered.
After checking in, we received a map and schedule for the day.
Also, a nice little supplemental activity booklet with interactive questions and facts:
We started off by checking out the massive snails and color garden then made our way down to the wolf pack at the herb garden.
What I especially loved about this exhibit was that the kids could touch, hug, pet, all the plastic animals. No stress about destroying anything, it’s just all big plastic models!
We moved on to a craft table where we made a bird feeder and seed starter out of the recycled items. It went along well with the theme and it gave me some ideas how to reuse a few products we would normally toss in the recycling can.
We tried getting in to the home tours and art museum, but they were so busy we never made it in (15 person limit for each).
We ended up going on the Woodland Trail tour and it was so neat! I’ve been to Cheekwood a handful of times and I never knew it was back there. Our tour guide was very knowledgable and shared loads of interesting information about each of the structures.
I really enjoyed the Woodland Trail, but the attention span of my kids waned so we veered off to the Japanese Garden. A group of red bears were displayed around the garden and a bonus one they could touch 🙂
We ate our picnic lunch, grabbed ice cream from a food truck, then wandered around under the colorful swallows. Along with beautiful flowers, we saw many butterflies, bees, and even a few chipmunks.
We were a bit too late and missed the last recycled art class by Turnip Green Creative Reuse. We just peeked into the classroom and got a glimpse of the new Frist Learning Center – what a nice building! I’m looking forward to the future activities they will hold there. They also have a new garden in progress near the Learning Center, The Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden.
And no visit to Cheekwood with kids can ever be complete until checking out the trains!
A few tips for anyone who has never visited Cheekwood:
- It can be HOT in the summer. Go early and take lots of water. The buildings have water fountains so you can refill bottles, but bring several.
- Bring a baby in a carrier instead of a stroller. Some of the trails and entrances can be difficult to navigate with a bulky stroller.
- Be ready for lots of walking. Again, bring plenty of water because you could drink it all and be a good walk from a nearby fountain. It is totally do able for children, just make sure everyone has comfortable shoes.
We had such a wonderful time at Cheekwood, we would definitely consider getting a membership in the future. As homeschoolers, we do get a discount on an annual membership. Check out that discount and several others HERE
Also, Cheekwood offers free admission to teachers and students that book a field trip (minimum group size for booking is 10 students). For homeschool groups, each family is allotted one free teacher admission. Additional parents or grandparents that attend the field trip will be charged the $16/person discounted group admission rate. Click here to submit a request form for a field trip.