| There is something magical about The Holiday Train Show® at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in Bronx, New York that captures the imagination of all ages. Celebrating its 28th year, The Holiday Train Show® has captivated the hearts of New Yorkers and visitors who make the train show part of their annual holiday tradition. If you live in the New York City area or will be visiting there for the holidays, be sure to put the NYBG on your "must visit" places. The Holiday Train Show® runs until January 26, 2020.
We love beginning the holiday season by celebrating with an annual visit to the New York Botanical Garden to see The Holiday Train Show® as it starts our season off on an especially joyous and festive note. For the past three years we have attended the show and have been enchanted with the imagination of designer Paul Busse and his creative team at Applied Imagination who create the stunning New York landmark buildings and the tracks and bridges for the trains. What makes the show especially interesting is that Paul and his team create the New York landmarks and the bridges using elements from nature including twigs, seeds, pods, nuts, leaves, moss, bark,etc. If that was not demanding enough, the show also changes its presentation each year making returning visitors eager to see what's new.
We attended the show on opening day, Saturday, November 23, 2019, which was a gorgeous sunny day with a slight chill in the air; a day perfect for leisurely strolling through the grounds appreciating the poems of the celebrated poet Billy Collins written on large signs and placed strategically along the walkways to enhance the visitor experience.
Macy's Department Store
Entrance for the show is timed, which made for a smooth transition and allowed visitors to easily flow through the large-scale tented show area, something new for 2019 as the palm dome in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the usual home for the show, was being renovated thus requiring a new venue.
For the 2019 show, the focus was on the Central Park and its many iconic buildings, as well as other remarkable New York landmarks, for a total of 175 creations made from nature. As our eyes took in the breathtaking sights of the imaginative designs and sounds of the trains running on twig and branch bridges overhead, running on tracks in front of the buildings, or through log "tunnels" we could not help but feel joy. Also, watching the delighted expressions on the faces on the small childrenin attendance who watched the trains in amazement, pointing their little fingers and exclaiming with exuberance added to the overall festive experience.
After visiting The Holiday Train Show® we strolled through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory to once again experience its exquisite beauty of its permanent collection. As if expecting guests, the water lilies in the attractive reflecting pool were in bloom and dazzled the eyes with the vibrant purple color. We also learned about some very usual plants.
Part of the festive experience is taking time to listen to the Sounds of the Seasons Performances (1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm) provided by area a Capella groups, which change throughout the season. We had the pleasure of hearing Uptown Vocal, a Jazz a Capella group from Columbia University, which delighted the audience with their performance against a background of gorgeously decorated trees.
Always a must for us before we leave each year, was a visit to the NYBG gift shop where we purchased gifts and narcissus bulbs, which we will put in small vases, add water to cover just the lower portion of the bulbs and wait for them to bloom indoors in 3-4 weeks, providing us with a beautiful display for the holidays and a stunning reminder of our day at the NYBG.
Luxury Experience Tips for Experiencing The Holiday Train Show®
Allow a minimum of 3 hours to fully experience the show, the gardens, tram ride, the outdoor a cappella groups, and cafe
Be sure to look high as well as low, as trains glide by overhead on bridges, and through tree trunk "tunnels"
Look at the small details of the creations - seeds, twigs, etc.
Allow your inner child to be captivated by the magical creations
Wear a packable jacket and bring a tote bag to carry it in for the show
Make time to visit the gift shop for an amazing assortment of usual and practical gifts
There are many exciting special holiday programs to coincide with The Holiday Train Show® including:
All Aboard with Thomas & FriendsTM
Annual Bird Count - December 14, 2019
Bar Car Nights
Holiday Favorites Film Classics
Holiday Landmarks Tour
Holiday Lighting Ceremony - December 8, 2019
Sounds of the Season Performances
The Poetry of Trains: Billy Collins and Young Poets - December 15
Winter Wonderland Ball 2019 - December 13, 2019
Winter Wonderland Tree Tour
Please visit the website for additional information on current and upcoming programs: www.NYBG.org.
The New York Botanical Garden is a 250-acre oasis located in Bronx, New York. Founded in 1891, the garden attracts year-round visitors with its exquisite beauty, spectacular exhibitions, and interesting programs.
Tuxedo Station 1885
The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is a National Historic Landmark located in Bronx, New York where its nearby neighbors include Fordham University and the Bronx Zoo. Do allow a minimum of 4 - 5 hours to thoroughly experience the New York Botanical Garden and its many programs.
Admission: Advance Reservations strongly recommended as tickets do sell out.
Please visit the website for admission pricing for The Holiday Tram Show: https://www.nybg.org/event/holiday-train-show/tips-for-your-visit/
Hours: The Garden is open year-round and holiday Mondays. Tuesday through Sunday: Hours are typically 10:00 am until 6:00 pm. Winter Hours for mid-January and February are 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Other special exhibitions and events, such as Members-Only Previews, may cause early closing of Garden areas. Exceptions are also made for evening events, which may take place after normal Garden hours. For specific hours on the day of your visit, please see their calendar on the website: www.nybg.org/plan_your_visit/
The Garden, its buildings, and its tour vehicles are accessible to people with disabilities, except for a few areas where the terrain is naturally uneven. Wheelchairs are available free of charge at both Garden entrances, on a first-come, first-served basis (reservations are not accepted). An ID must be left with Visitor Services. Visit the website for additional information: www.nybg.org/visit/accessibility.php
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10458-5126
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