we were enchanted with the Holiday Train Show® at the New
York Botanical Garden (NYBG)
located in the Bronx, New York. For over
30 years, the NYBG has continued their tradition of creating a holiday fantasy
that deftly combines over 190 iconic models of New York landmark buildings all
made from natural items found in a forest with more than 25 G-scale model
trains and trolleys. Delightful for all ages, we have made the Holiday Train
Show® one of our annual traditions since 2017, and every year it keeps getting
better. The magic of the holiday season at the NYBG and the Holiday Train Show®
runs until January 16, 2023.
250-acre NYBG is always wonderful to visit at any time of the year, however
there is something extra special about the holiday season, when the Garden
takes on an almost magical quality. Besides a chill in the air, there is
boundless energy and excitement, and a celebration of the season. Like many NYBG
visitors, we have made the Holiday Train Show® part of our holiday tradition.
Every year the show is different and attracts locals as well as visitors who
travel great lengths to attend the show. While the creative buildings attract
the adults, the trains captivate the young and the young at heart.
Edward F. Nesta and Debra C. Argen
the show on opening day, Saturday, November 19, 2022, to jump start our holiday
season. Tickets for the Holiday Train Show are by timed-entranced; however, once
inside, you can stay as long as you like to appreciate all the nuances of the
show, as well as enjoy the gorgeous display of decorated Christmas trees.
Apollo Theatre Circa 1913-1914
For over 30
years, Applied Imagination founded by Paul Busse in 1991, has been the creative
force behind the iconic landmark buildings made from bits of nature found in a
forest. Where other people might just see a pinecone, Paul and his team would
perhaps see turrets. Using bark, twigs, lotus pods, seeds, moss, berries, and
other items found on a forest floor they create buildings that delight and
dazzle the senses. Now under the guidance and artistry of his daughter Laura
Busse Dolan, Applied Imagination continues to inspire the imagination with
TWA Circa 1962
Each of the
more than 190 buildings have informational plaques that provide a little
history about them, and new for the 2022 show, there was information on some of
the items used in the designs. As an example of the creativity behind their
work, they created the Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight Center (circa 1962) at
John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, New York by using large Cocoloba
pubescens leaves to create the roof.
Thomas the Train
interesting to note, is that the trains used in the "Holiday Train Show
are based on actual lines on the Northeast - past and present, and include
trolleys, passenger and freight trains, steam and diesel engines." Among the
many trains running on the tracks are Thomas the Tank EngineTM and his friends
Annie and Clarabel who have been a part of the Holiday Train Show since
2009. It was delightful to see and hear young children shout with excitement
when one of their favorite trains would come into view as they rounded the bend
of the tracks.
The World's Largest Store
Two of the
large-scale buildings in show include the model of Macys, "The World's Largest
Store," which welcomes guests as they enter the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
entrance, and the model of Penn Station, which is the largest building in the
show, and has a footprint of 20 square feet. Interesting to note is that the
original Penn Station building occupied two city blocks on approximately eight
New York Public Library Lion
Chrysler Building is one of our favorite landmark buildings in New York City,
and Applied Imagination deftly captured its distinctive architecture.
Positioned with other tall buildings and a waterfall set against lush greenery
created a fanciful environment to delight visitors.
intricate details of the buildings and the bridges are astounding and must be
seen to truly appreciate them. One of the bridges in the show was a model of
the Hell Gate Bridge, a railroad bridge that connects the Bronx and Queens that
took more than two months to build and weighs more than 500 pounds! What is
even more exceptional is that all the items used were gathered from nature.
Trains pass by buildings at floor level, through tunnels, and even overhead on
bridges, making the show a multi-sensory experience.
spent time renewing our "acquaintance" with the other collections in the Enid
A. Haupt Conservatory in the Rainforest and the Desert sections where once
again we found something new and interesting to capture our attention (and the
lenses of our cameras).
Riding the Tram
tram is the best way to see the extensive grounds of the NYBG and we enjoyed
taking a ride on the tram and seeing the gardens in their Autumnal glory. As we
had a rather warm November, many of the gardens still had flowers in them and
some of the trees still donned their leaves in an array of oranges, golds, and
reds to inspire an artist's canvas.
Brass by the Slice
has live music, workshops, lectures, and special nights to fill the holiday
season with merriment and wonder. On the day we were at the NYBG, there was a
wonderful brass performance by Brass by the Slice, which had the audience in a festive mood with their high-energy
entertainment with two trumpets, a drummer, a tuba, and two slide trombones. (Check
the NYBG website (www.nybg.org)
for information on which groups will be performing and their dates and times.)
leaving the Garden, we made a stop in their Gift Shop where we purchased
holiday gifts, and purchased paperwhite narcissus bulbs, a tradition of ours to
give to friends as small gifts to bring the beauty of nature inside their homes
during the long winter months. We spent several hours at the NYBG and recommend
that you allow a minimum of 3-4 hours to experience the Holiday Train Show®,
listen to the live music, have lunch, or sip a hot chocolate while walking
through the gardens, take a ride on the tram, and make a stop to their amazing gift
time, keep enjoying travel with Luxury Experience. Wishing you the happiest of Holidays!
Train Show Dates and Special Information:
SAKS Fifth Avenue Circa 1924
Train Show runs until January 16, 2023.
The Season Brass and Percussions Performances during The Holiday Train Show: November 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27;
December 23, 24, 26, 27, 28,29, 30, 31, 2022; January 1, 2023, from 11:00 am -
Evenings, NY City's
largest outdoor holiday light experience: November 18, 19, 23, 25, 26;
December 2, 3, 24, 9-11, 15-17, 22-23, 26-30, 2022; January 1, 7, 14, 2023,
from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm.
Lyndhurst Circa 1865
with Thomas & FriendsTM:
January 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, and 22, 2023.
Admission: Adult: $30, Senior (65+): $28, Student
(with valid ID): $28, Child (2-12) $15, Child Under 2: Free, Patrons/Members:
additional information on tickets and pricing, please visit the NYBG website
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. It 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 3 hours to thoroughly
experience the New York Botanical Garden and its many programs.
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/
La Esther T. Mertz Library Circa 1901
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
visit the website for additional information on the NYBG, The Holiday Train
Show, upcoming programs and events, and admission: www.nybg.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nybg/ @nybg
Follow the New
York Botanical Garden on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/NYBotanicalGarden
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