Home » Postcards from The Holiday Train Show 2022 at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, USA

Postcards from The Holiday Train Show 2022 at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, USA

by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta
Penn Station - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
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NY Yankees Stadium - photo by Luxury Experience

Once again, 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.


Penn Station

The 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 & Debra C Argen - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Edward F. Nesta and Debra C. Argen

We attended 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 - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
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 their creativity.

TWA circa 1962 - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
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.

Thmmas The Train - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Thomas the Train

Also, 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.

Macy's - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
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 acres!

NY Public Library - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
New York Public Library Lion

The 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.

Bridges - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Amazing Bridges

The 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.

Child Wonderment - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Wonderment Abounds

We also 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 - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Riding the Tram

Riding the 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 - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Brass by the Slice

The NYBG 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.)

NYBG Gift Shop - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Gift Shop

Before 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 shop.

Elephantine Colosuss - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Elephantine Colosuss

Until next time, keep enjoying travel with Luxury Experience. Wishing you the happiest of Holidays!

The Holiday Train Show Dates and Special Information:

Saks Fifth Avene circa 1924 - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
SAKS Fifth Avenue Circa 1924

The Holiday Train Show runs until January 16, 2023.

Sounds of 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 – 2:00 pm.

NYBG GLOW 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 - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Lyndhurst Circa 1865

All Aboard 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: Free

For additional information on tickets and pricing, please visit the NYBG website at: www.nybg.org/visit/admission/

About the NYBG

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. 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.

Yankee Stadium - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
Yankee Stadium

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/

La Esther T Mertz Library circa 1901 - NYBG Train Show 2022 - Photo by Luxury Experience
La Esther T. Mertz Library Circa 1901

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

Please visit the website for additional information on the NYBG, The Holiday Train Show, upcoming programs and events, and admission: www.nybg.com

New York Botanical Gardens - Bronx, New York, USA

New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10458
United States
Telephone: +1-718-817-8700
Website: www.nybg.org
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/NYBotanicalGarden
Twitter: @nybg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nybg/ @nybg

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