The exhibition begins almost seven hundred miles away, in a small town in Kentucky. In the skilled hands of the artisans of Applied Imagination, raw materials of the woods – tree limbs, pine cones, nuts, leaves, twigs, branches – are transformed into landmarks of the city of New York. Under the watchful eye of Paul Busse, his workers recreate the five boroughs in exquisite detail. Once complete, these buildings are driven to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, to be assembled within the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Each year, the Holiday Train Show takes place from mid-November to late-January, displaying over 175 miniature New York landmarks amidst the gardens, with over a dozen model trains criss-crossing over a half mile of track. Children of all ages walk in wonder through the exhibits, ringing in the holiday season.
On the Sunday between Christmas and New Years, my wife and I headed to the New York Botanical Gardens to get in touch with our inner child and take in this fascinating exhibit. Despite cold temperatures and snow showers, we set off in my Accord to celebrate the holidays and share in one of our Christmas gifts to each other.
Perhaps this small video will also help to give you a feel of what the train show was like:
The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is quite impressive. The Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Tickets give you admission to the grounds and the train show, and cost $30 for adults, $28 for seniors and students, and $18 for children ages 2-12 (prices are slightly reduced during weekdays). One word of caution: we arrived before 10:00 am, were able to park close to the front gate, and entered the train show with no waiting. By the time we left at 1:00 pm, the parking lot close to the gate was full and people waiting to enter the train show were queued in rope lines that snaked through the entrance hall of the conservatory – a fair guess would be approximately two hundred people were waiting to get into the event. If you plan to attend this terrific event, make sure you go early! But do go – it’s a holiday treasure of New York!
Thanks for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead. And best wishes again for a happy and safe New Year!