HomeEventsHoliday Lights Returns to Cheekwood on Nov. 18

    Holiday Lights Returns to Cheekwood on Nov. 18

    The following is a press release:

    Joyful. Jubilant. Jolly. Holiday LIGHTS, Nashville’s classic holiday tradition returns  Saturday, November 18, 2023, and runs through January 7, 2024, featuring elegant and creative  displays of lights that set Cheekwood Estate & Gardens aglow. With over one million lights on a one mile walk shining throughout the gardens, Holiday LIGHTS is a memory-making experience not to be missed.  

    “This year’s Holiday LIGHTS is brighter than ever,” says Cheekwood President and CEO Jane MacLeod, “Each year we add a little something new, while still offering the traditional displays our guests have  come to know and love. An equally festive experience awaits guests inside the historic Mansion where  this year’s theme of candy canes and gingerbread will bring cheer to visitors of all ages.” 

    Displays of twinkling lights and dazzling delights bring a spectacular sight amongst the beauty of  Cheekwood’s botanical gardens. The newest feature, the Enchanted Esplanade, on the Carell Dogwood  Trail is comprised of nine trees wrapped with programmed RGB string lights, and ground effects along  the path. The trees will show distinct colorful patterns in motion, while the ground effects will  envelope the walk with shimmering waves of rainbow colors. Enchanted Esplanade joins other  whimsical installations including Peppermint Path, Tunnel of Light, Star Field, Bejeweled Bridge,  Luminary Lanterns and the always popular Dancing Lights of TRAINS!

    Holiday Décor in the Mansion 

    With themes of candy canes and gingerbread, the bedecked Cheekwood Mansion is sure to bring joy to  the young and young at heart. A 14-foot candy cane tree will greet visitors in the foyer. The red-and white striped theme continues up the grand staircase and into the Drawing Room. The iconic 20-foot tall live poinsettia tree on display in the Loggia will also feature a candy cane inspired motif, created by  Cheekwood’s garden team. In the Library, a nutcracker tree will complement Cheekwood’s impressive  nutcracker collection, with the wooden figurines nestled throughout the period rooms. Gingerbread  takes over the Morning Room with gingerbread men and houses, and a 10-foot gingerbread themed  tree. 

    2023 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nguyen Exhibition 

    On view in the special exhibition galleries are intricate artworks by Artist-in-Residence, Sarah Nguyen.  Working primarily with paper, Nguyen carves both recognizable and abstract forms out of paper fiber  panels. Her technique is reminiscent of Jewish paper cutting, with intricate designs incorporating flora  and fauna, bringing together new stories as well as those reminiscent of the past. 

    Holiday Marketplace 

    Open day and night, the Holiday Marketplace returns to the Frist Learning Center Great Hall with a  nine-foot garden-themed ornament wall and a wide range of gifts and decor. This year, the  Marketplace features an amazing selection of nutcrackers, reindeer, and cardinals. Other highlights  include new Cheekwood ornaments and an expanded selection of Jellycat holiday soft toys. Shop for  gifts for loved ones or a memento of the holiday experience at Cheekwood. 

    S’mores Stations and Seasonal Libations 

    While out exploring the luminous landscape, guests can stop by one of the many kiosks throughout the  grounds for hot cocoa or festive holiday spirits, including spiked cocoa and apple cider. S’mores kits will  be available for purchase to roast at the stations behind the Holiday Marketplace in the Frist Learning  Center. 

    Daytime Visits with Santa for Families and Dogs 

    Families can come visit with St. Nicholas every Saturday and Sunday, beginning December 2 through  Saturday, December 23 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The visits on December 2, 3, 9, 16 and 23 will be  held in the Frist Learning Center. While there, children can bring their letters to put in Santa’s mailbox.  On December 10 & 17, special dog visits take place in the Frist Learning Center courtyard, where four legged family members can join in on the merriment.  

    Thanks to our Sponsors 

    Holiday LIGHTS is presented by Truist Bank and sponsored by Amazon. Proceeds benefit Cheekwood’s  programs and preservation. With special thanks to Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

    Holiday LIGHTS Tickets 

    The seasonal festival is open from 5 – 10 p.m., seven nights a week, except for Thanksgiving Day and  Christmas Day. Timed-entry tickets must be purchased online in advance. A ticket pre-sale for  Cheekwood members begins October 2. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Monday, October 16. Members receive discounted tickets throughout the festival and are also invited to view Holiday  LIGHTS before it officially opens to the public, at a special preview on Friday, November 17.  

    Late Night Lights will offer a discounted ticket price for those who wish to experience the displays later  in the evening. The $20 per person Gardens Only passes allow entry at 8:30 p.m. or later Monday  through Thursday. 

    The ‘Merry & Bright’ package returns this year with two adult garden and mansion admission passes,  two drink vouchers, two s’mores kits and 10% off at the Holiday Marketplace, all in one convenient  purchase. The package costs $100 for members and $125 for not-yet members. Admission for the  package can be used any evening of Holiday LIGHTS without advance reservations. 

    Cheekwood is pleased to offer Military Mondays throughout the festival. Military members (active or  retired/veterans) along with up to five immediate family members, receive a 50% discount on Gardens  Only admission Monday evenings. In partnership with Truist Bank, guests may purchase from a list of  gifts in the Cheekwood shops to a donated to a military family. 

    Advance reservations required at To learn more about Holiday LIGHTS and to  purchase tickets, visit


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here