It’s become a holiday tradition for us to visit New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show each year. If you’ve never been, the incredible display, running through Jan. 16, has something for everyone. The kids adore the G-scale model trains looping around buildings, chugging across bridges and popping out of tunnels, while the grownups marvel at the exquisite details of the New York City landmarks on display in miniature, all made from plants, sticks and stones. If you’ve ever tried to landscape your backyard, you’ll definitely appreciate the amount of work it took to set all this up!
New this year, the 25th anniversary, are more trains than ever (back again are Thomas and his friends), an added NYC bridge (the Queensboro), and a charming display of Coney Island, including the Cyclone and a brightly lit and spinning Wonder Wheel.
Tickets are pricey, ranging from $10 to $18 per child over 2 and $20 to $30 per adult, but no one can argue that a ton of work goes into the display each year. Definitely get your timed tickets in advance. Admission also includes access to the beautiful grounds (holiday card photo ops abound) and the Adventure Garden, where kids can participate in quality arts and crafts projects such as making balsam fir sachets and bird feeders.
We always go on a weekday to avoid the crowds — there were only about a dozen other visitors with us when we went last Tuesday — but do note that the Gingerbread Café next door, where you can pick up food truck fare and other snacks, is only open on the weekends. Dress in layers, as it’ll no doubt be chilly outside, but downright tropical indoors.
NYBG Holiday Train Show, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx; 718-817-8700