Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Real NYC #22 - The NY Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show

Grand Central Terminal
There are a lot of ways to celebrate the winter holiday season in New York City. One of my favorites is the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens in The Bronx. All year long the Gardens collects the detritus of its plants. Paul Busse and the crew at Applied Imagination, Ltd create the NYC landmarks and displays for the show.

Using G gauge model trains you are led on a tour past 150 iconic NYC buildings and structures.  From the Brooklyn Bridge to The Little Red Lighthouse. From Gracie Mansion to the NY Public Library. All made out of natural plant materials.

The Haupt Conservatory

Detail of Grand Central Terminal

The Brooklyn Bridge

Yankee Stadium

Thomas The Tank Engine

Radio City Music Hall

Rockefeller Center
  The is also a display showing the process of building the structures , in this case Kykuit:

First the walls of the structure are built

Then plant matter is added to make the model

Finally details are added to make it look like the original
Many iconic structures are also present:

The TWA (now Jet Blue) terminal at JFK airport

The Statue of Liberty

The George Washington Bridge

The Washington Square Arch

Detail from the NY Public Library

The Little Red Lighthouse
And then there are the trains:


  • Tickets are a timed entrance during the day. So I suggest buying your tickets in advance, and early for a time early in the day. Get to the park about 30 min before your entrance time so that you can be at the Conservatory at least 15 min early.
  • It will be crowded, and there will be lots of kids.
  • The main parking lot of the Gardens fills up quickly, there is a second, larger garage at the corner of Bedford Park Blvd and Webster Ave., next to the Botanical Garden MetroNorth Station. Parking costs $15/car.


The show runs through Jan. 18th, 2016 and tickets are available here. Tickets range from $20-30. Show tickets include tickets for the entire Gardens.

Getting There:

Public Transportation - Take The Harlem Line of Metro North to the Botanical Gardens Station. the entrance is right across the the street. Or take the B,D,4 train to Bedford Park Blvd and then transfer to the Bx26 bus to the Botanical Gardens.
Driving - The main gate is at 3900 Southern Blvd. You can get there from the Bronx River Parkway (exit 7W - Pelham Parkeay/Fordham Road) or from Mosholou Parkway.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutley loved this exhibit. It is amazing what these artists go with the dry and dead remains of summer vegetation. Photos are nice but can't possibly capture the beauty of the actual displays. There is something about the relationship between the size and scope of spectators' and the exhibit. There was a surreal feeling of standing just under the bridges or above the statues at Rockefeller Center. It certainly gives you a unique perspective.