If you are in or near New York City for the holidays, you might want to check out this working model display of garden trains at The New York Botanical Garden. No annual event is awaited with as much anticipation as the Holiday Train Show. Running through January 9, the Train Show offers New Yorkers (and visitors too!) a chance to see their city in a completely new way.
Within the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, model trains zip over bridges and past replicas of New York landmarks made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves. Show favorites include the original Yankee Stadium, Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn Bridge. Landmarks from around the country and the world make their debut in The Artist’s Studio, where you will get an insider’s look at how the replicas are constructed and get up close to G-gauge (garden) trains.
ABOUT THE HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW
The enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory displays more than 140 scaled iconic buildings and structures under thousands of twinkling lights. Artistically crafted by Paul Busse's team at Applie Imagination, the landmarks are made of natural materials such as bark, twigs, stems, fruits, seeds, and pinecones and include the original Penn Station and Yankee Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The New York Public Library on 42nd Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Large-scale model trains cover a wide variety of ground--a quarter-mile of track, to be specific. Late-1800s American steam engines and streetcars travel alongside modern freight and high-speed passenger trains and trolleys. Cable cars travel over the Conservatory’s reflecting pool. Even Thomas the Tank Engine™ joins the fleets, which traverse across rustic bridges, along overhead trestles, through tunnels, and past waterfalls that cascade into flowing creeks.
The Artist's Studio
Back by popular demand, The Artist’s Studio shows how the replicas are constructed and displays models in varying stages of completion, from the framing of the landmark structures to the addition of plant part details such as magnolia leaf roof shingles and radish seed marquee lights.
New This Year
A replica of Macy’s flagship location (“the miracle on 34th Street”) greets you as you enter the Haupt Conservatory. The Artist’s Studio features two botanically inspired trolleys and a train, each running on their own separate tracks.
Also in The Artist's Studio, see Applied Imagination's other creations, including replicas of national and international sites and landmarks such as the Sphinx, Route 66 Diner, the Parthenon, and the Boston Harbor Lighthouse.
Avoid lines at the gate by purchasing your tickets online and printing them yourself at home. All-Garden Pass tickets for the Holiday Train Show start at $20 for Adults and $10 for Kids 2-12. See prices by date.
Advance reservations are strongly recommended as tickets do sell out. Tickets are timed and sold in 15-minute increments.
Holiday Train Show Hours
Weekdays: Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Weekends: 10 a.m.–7 p.m., including Friday, November 23 (day after Thanksgiving)
Holiday Weeks (Monday, December 17–Tuesday, January 1): 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Early closings: December 14 and 24; 3 p.m.
Closed: November 22 (Thanksgiving) and December 25 (Christmas)
Founding Sponsors: Victoria and Robert Zoellner
Major Sponsor: Alpine Associates Advisors
Presenting Sponsor: Pepsico
Generous support also provided by the Karen Katen Foundation
Additional support provided by Brooks Brothers
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photos courtesy of
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