The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Annual Holiday Train Show: “Enchanting model trains zip through a display of 150 landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.” – NYBG
The New York Botanical Garden displays a whole new take on showing off model trains at their annual Holiday Train Show. Not only do they feature large G-gauge trains but in the most original fashion they, with the help of artist Paul Busse, have created a miniaturized New York for the trains to zip around. In keeping with the nature of a botanic garden though, the artist uses only natural products to construct his buildings: twigs, leaves, stones, bark, moss, and other natural materials. Creating all the well known landmarks of New York into what feel like living sculptures, incredibly natural yet insanely detailed. The buildings may have placards to help distinguish themselves, but they are all so finely crafted it is quite easy to spot all your favorite landmarks.
“The trains in the Holiday Train Show are G-gauge steam, diesel, and electric. A large-scale steam locomotive can measure over two feet long and weigh as much as 10 pounds!” – NYBG
If you are visiting the city anytime during the holiday season, this is a phenomenal place to work into your schedule. As glittery and captivating as Midtown Manhattan can be during this time of year, getting out of the typical tourist death traps can be quite a relief. Even though the Holiday Train Show was somewhat busy during the opening weekend I went, the crowds felt like fellow New Yorkers who live in the city and wanted to do something to celebrate the season without being pummeled while trying to catch a glimpse of the tree in Rockefeller Center.
Having my family in town for Thanksgiving, I took my mother to the Holiday Train Show on the last day of her week long visit. She’d been to New York before when I first moved to the city but not since. After spending the week making our rounds about the city, ending at the Holiday Train Show with all its landmark replicas was a perfect cap to her trip. It helped bring full circle the number of places she’d been able to see almost like a review. It truly gave our trip a button to end on after a long week of sightseeing. And it definitely made her feel good to recognize all the structures and feel as though she’d gained a solid grasp on the geography, or at least the many ares, of New York City.
“Overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, the Gothic Revival-style house known as Lyndhurst was designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis as a country villa.” – NYBG
We took our visit during the day and I was able to get some great shots with some stellar natural light. It is good to keep in mind though that the Holiday Train Show actually takes place at night as well. The NYBG does a great job of lighting their structures in a way that provides the opportunity from some really stunning photographs of the miniature world they’ve created. And on the plus side, the evening ‘Bar Car’ nights feature specialty seasonal cocktails to enjoy while you meander throughout the exhibit!
“The recent exhibition expansion continues with more trains, an all-new Queensboro bridge, and a true New York finale featuring a whimsical tribute to the iconic Coney Island amusement park’s architecture and attractions.” – NYGB
I find model trains quite interesting having grown up near many trains by parent’s house, but if you can’t tell from my photos, I was very impressed by all the miniaturized natural landmark constructions seeing as they comprise the majority of my post. If you’re looking for a non-touristy seasonal activity for the whole family, this year’s Holiday Train Show will be up for view until January 16, 2017. In keeping to the theme of the event, an added bonus is the train trip from Grand Central Terminal out to the NYBG. You’ll get to see the train station donned with all its simple holiday decor while also spending a short 20 minute train trip together with your family. Hope you make it out for and visit! Wishing you Happy Holidays by friends!