WHO: Mom Reporter Samantha and daughter Sadie
WHAT: Tuesdays for Tots at Cheekwood (1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville)
WHEN: Every Tuesday from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
TICKETS: $20 adults, $13 ages 3 - 17, free ages 2 & younger
PARKING: $5
INFO: 615-356-8000 | cheekwood.org

Spring is just around the corner, and if the last of the winter blues has you and your kiddo longing to get out of the house, shake those parenting frets away and head to Cheekwood Estate and Gardens for Tuesdays for Tots!

Every Tuesday from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., Cheekwood hosts an educational and interactive activity geared toward ages 2 - 5 (although all ages are welcome). Set amidst Cheekwood's beautiful and historic grounds, these kid-friendly activities include arts and crafts followed by a storytime. 

A WARM, WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT

Once you pull through Cheekwood's gates, you'll find convenient parking in Lot A (unless otherwise directed). It's just a short walk away from Massey Hall where Tuesdays for Tots takes place. Massey Hall is a stroller- and snack-amicable place — my kind of spot any day! 

You will know your are in the right place because of the warm and welcoming environment. Without hesitation, volunteers or program staff greet you then walk you through the fun that's happening that day. On the particular Tuesday my toddler and I attended, the activity was based on the four seasons. It was so fun to teach my daughter about the changing shapes and colors in nature while surrounded by Cheekwood's acres of flowers, gardens and trees! 

Sadie enjoys coloring and painting with a "seasons" theme.

ROTATING THEMES WITH ART & STORIES

Each week presents a new theme, and each can be found on Cheekwood's website. With an option to color or paint, my toddler did both, so we got right down to painting the four seasons on the handout Cheekwood gave us. 

Sadie was thrilled to paint, and I was thrilled I didn't have to clean up. Yep, you read that right — Cheewood staff takes care of all the cleanup!  Our volunteer and teacher friends even graciously provided wipes to help clean up my tiny painter.

Once done making art, we made our way to the storytime area for tales at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Storytime runs about 10 minutes, just enough time to keep little ones engaged while giving moms a chance to relax for a moment. Sadie and I thoroughly enjoyed our enchanting tale! The story reflected the subject of the day's art activity, making it an easy transition for little ones and extending the day's learning.

Sadie relaxes on Cheekwood's hillside overlooking the pond after her Tuesdays for Tots experience.

ENJOY CHEEKWOOD'S OUTSIDE LANDSCAPE

After Tuesdays for Tots, if you'e not in a rush to beat naptime, I highly suggest taking your little one around the gardens, especially if you have the chance to enjoy the spectacular outdoor train exhibit! 

If you are looking for a good lunch spot, check out Café 29 on the grounds. Or, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy down by the The Robinson Family Water Garden and ponds. Both the cafe and the water garden are just a brisk walk from Massey Hall.

Tuesday for Tots runs from early spring to December. Each week features a new activity to keep your toddler engaged with activities as fresh as Cheekwood's blooming gardens.