Magical Miniature World of Trains at the New York Botanical Garden

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



There’s a fascinating, whimsical world awaiting guests just a car or train ride away at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx! The Holiday Train Show has become “a must-see tradition where G-scale model trains hum alongside of more than 150 iconic replicas of New York landmarks.” The 26th annual show opened on November 22 and runs through January 15, 2018, which is perfect for visitors looking for places to go to celebrate the holidays or school recess.

Our family has made it an annual tradition to visit this amazing display of buildings all created from natural materials such as bark, twigs, seeds and pine cones, done by designer Paul Busse’s team at Applied Imagination. Starting with a huge replica of Macy’s 34th street at the fully decorated tented access, each building mesmerizes as viewers look closely at what materials are used in the duplication of such buildings as Grand Central Terminal, the Brooklyn Bridge, original Yankee stadium and the NYBG’s breathtaking crystal conservatory where the Train Show is held.

Included this year are new renditions of the Empire State Building, now with changing internal lighting schemes, the Chrysler Building, and the General Electric Building, in addition to a replica of St. Bartholomew’s Church. While walking through the exhibit and warm interior of the palm forest and exotic plants, visitors will see model trains zipping in and out of the displays on nearly a half-mile of track. While any time of day is lovely for a tour, after dusk is the most enchanting for viewing the twinkling lights and glow of this miniature world that beckons both adults and children to its charm.


In addition to the Train Show, the NYBG has scores of events that coincide with the holiday theme. Programs such as All Aboard with Thomas & Friends, Evergreen Express, Nutcracker presentations, holiday film screenings, Holiday A Cappella, bar car nights (an adult only event), poetry readings and more, run through January. Food is available at The Gingerbread Café for a snack or meal.

For tickets or information visit

The NYBG is an iconic living museum, a major educational institution, and a renowned plant research and conservation organization. Founded in 1891 and now a national historic landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world and the largest in any city in the United States, distinguished by the beauty of its diverse landscape and extensive collections and gardens, as well as by the scope and excellence of its multidisciplinary exhibitions and programs.

December 13, 2017 |

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