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May 21 - September 4, 2016

Playhouses open all day, every day (except Mondays)

Travel the world without ever leaving the Garden! This summer, Cheekwood presents International Playhouses, an exciting and interactive installation throughout our East gardens, that showcase six new playhouses, each inspired by and artfully designed to represent the architecture of the global destinations the Cheek family visited in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Cheek family spent many years traveling the world and finding international inspiration that would eventually lead to the construction and design of one of Nashville’s most beautiful and historic treasures.  As we look forward to 2017 and the restoration of the historic Cheek Mansion, visitors can plan to take a Grand Tour of their own, right here on the grounds of Cheekwood – interacting with the unique, internationally-inspired structures created to represent a city, country, or culture the Cheek family visited in the early 20th Century.

The playhouses were chosen by a juried panel from designs submitted by area architects, landscape architects, and artists who let their imaginations run wild. The winning designs and firms are:

Monsoon Pavilion inspired by India; design firm: Rachel DeBacker Architecture
Edinburgh Castle inspired by Scotland, design firm: ESa
Parallax inspired by Spain; design firm: Centric Architecture
Juego Tejido inspired by Chile; design firm: Aesh Design
Kyūbu inspired by Japan; design firm: Tuck Hinton Architects
Casa d’Espanya inspired by Spain; design firm: Gould Turner Group

International Playhouses comes on the eve of next year’s restoration and refurnishing of the Cheek mansion, and gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to learn more about one the finest examples of an American Country Place Era estate.

“Many of the designers took inspiration from the same architecture and culture noted by the Cheek family in historic press clippings and journals we have found documenting their travels,” said Downey. “The bold colors and patterns of India, the castles of Scotland, the cathedrals of Spain, the mastery of Japanese design – these same inspirations that captivated the Cheek family are still relevant and just as exciting today.  It is fascinating to see how each designer interpreted the Cheek family’s travel and followed their own unique vision and inspiration to come up with their final design.”


Tuesdays and Saturdays
July 12 - August 27
9:00 - 11:00 am

Experience the fun and excitement of International Playhouses in a new way with special playtime every Tuesday and Saturday morning. Families can enjoy activities at every playhouse, food trucks with cool treats, music in the gardens, hammock hangouts and more.


Playtime at the Playhouses is free with admission or membership. 

Saturdays at 10:30 am

Travel through playhouses inspired by and artfully designed to represent the architecture of the global destinations the Cheek family visited in the 1920s and 1930s. Families will take their own Grand Tour led by a docent and receive an interactive passport containing games, coloring activities, and vocabulary. Make sure to collect all six stamps in your passport!

Tours are free with admission or membership and depart from Visitor Services


   Presented by                 Sponsored by

Exhibition Supporters
Amanda and Brian Tolbert
Barbara and Greg Hagood
Becky and James Summar
Kate and Baxter Lee
Sharalena and Dick Miller

Lisa and Jamie Cheek

Alicia Morgans and Andy Snowden
Julie and Adam Dretler
Kathryn Barnett and Will Cheek
Kristin and Carter Paine
Lucy and Michael Spalluto
Maggie and Justin O’Sullivan
Shannon and Anthony Belott
Vandana and Rick Abramson

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