The Holiday Train Show has more than 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys humming along nearly a half-mile of track past re-creations of iconic sites from all five boroughs of New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and other locations in New York State. Artistically crafted by Paul Busse’s team at Applied Imagination, all of the New York landmarks are made of natural materials such as bark, twigs, stems, fruit, seeds, and pine cones. Try to pick all of them out!
American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s, and modern freight and passenger trains ride underneath, and overhead trestles, through tunnels, and across rustic bridges and past waterfalls cascade into flowing creeks. Thomas the Tank Engine™ and other beloved trains disguised as large colorful insects delight children (and adults as well) as they zoom by.
I attended the pre-opening of the Holiday Train Show, which opened to the public on November 22 and runs through January 15th. It was like looking at New York City dwarfed among gigantic palms, plants, bushes and ferns. I felt as though I was walking in a prehistoric jungle and seeing the city as I’d never imagined it. The show is a marvelous feat of creativity and ingenuity.
It’s easy to get to the NYBG. Staying in the city? Don’t drive. I took the Metro North RR from Grand Central and was at the NYBG in 20 minutes. No crowds, and no need to pay to park. All visitors, including Members, need tickets for entry to the Garden. Reserve your tickets online and print them at home in advance to avoid lines at entry gates. For more information visit the New York Botanical Garden.