Holiday Train Show Botanical Gardens

5 Reasons to Go to The Amazing Holiday Train Show

All aboard for the Holiday Train Show!

Imagine miniature trains humming through a landscape of New York’s most iconic landmarks with their thousands of lights twinkling! And the most amazing thing is that everything (except the trains!) is made of twigs, bark and other natural materials. The Holiday Train Show is one of NYC’s favorite holiday treats — and it’s not just children that love it.

The annual display begins in mid-November and runs through late January at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.

It’s a short trip that will get you in the mood and make you feel like a kid again at holiday time. You’ll love it!

Take a sneak peek at the video below

About the creator:

Creator Paul Busse (Now retired) loves trains and gardens, and he knows what to do with twigs, bark, berries and fallen leaves. He turns them into a masterpiece of landscape design. All of the buildings, bridges and monuments are made of natural materials and the detail he achieves is amazing. After all, it is The Botanical Gardens! Read more about Paul Busse and Applied Imagination here

Cindy Johnson is now the Lead Botanical Architect of Applied Imagination creating the miniature magical display. Watch her video on making the display

Here are 5 reasons to go to the holiday train show:

1. It’s huge!

The G-scale trains travel through more than a half mile of track through over 175 accurately scaled iconic buildings and structures, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and the Statue of Liberty under thousands of twinkling lights.

Dozens of trains zip along, including, of course, Thomas the Tank Engine. The large-scale model trains also include American steam engines and streetcars from the late 1800s to modern freight and high-speed passenger trains and trolleys. It’s gorgeous!

2.  Awe-inspiring Imagination

All of these landmarks, bridges are created with bark, leaves and other natural materials. (How do they do that???) Want to know? Learn more about the making of this exhibit here

The realistic scenery the trains pass through include waterfalls, rustic bridges and tunnels, plus local landmarks like the Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Brooklyn Bridge.

3.  Every year is different

The Train Show has a new theme. This year, there are several new structures making their debut along the almost half-mile track showcasing Lower Manhattan. New models were created of One World Trade Center, the historic Battery Maritime Building, along with two vintage ferry boats that will be making their grand debuts.

There are more than a dozen large-scale model railway trains–from American steam engines and streetcars from the late 1800s to modern freight and high-speed passenger trains and trolleys.

4. Programs for kids

There’s a lot to do after you see the trains. Guides are in the Conservatory from 10—4 to share their secrets about the show. Kids can ride bigger trains, learn about plants, enjoy poetry, films tours and much more! Learn more about children’s activities here 

5.  Bar Car Nights!

Adults 21 and over can purchase cocktails and holiday nibbles from the Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-Up on location from7-10: 30 PM. Think tacos, tamales and barbecue! Along with the festive cocktails and hot chocolate, fire pits will keep you warm while you gape at live ice-sculpting demonstrations and listen to roving a cappella groups as you walk through the gardens.

6. It’s not crazy expensive!

Yes, we know this is the 6th reason to see the Holiday Train Show, but this exhibit is so big it needed another one. Tickets run between $23 and $30. (Bar nights will set you back $38.)

The Holiday Train Show truly is a treat, for kids and adults alike!

Get Directions and Visitor Information here

Buy tickets in advance, this event is a sellout.

Image via MoToMo/Flickr