All Aboard The NYBG Train Show!

by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

Once again the fantastic Holiday Train Show® made its grand return to The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in November, and runs through January 15, 2024. For its 32nd year, the beloved holiday tradition, features model trains zipping through a miniature wonderland of nearly 200 New York landmark replicas, each delightfully re-created from natural materials such as leaves, seeds, twigs, bark, acorns, and cinnamon sticks. It is bigger than ever, with more trains and the addition of an all-new enchanted woodland outdoor train display, complementing the indoor show in the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. On 17 select nights, visitors of all ages can enjoy both the Holiday Train Show and NYBG GLOW, The NYBG’s outdoor holiday light experience. During these special evenings, families and friends can marvel at NYBG’s festively illuminated landscape and historic buildings, along with evening viewing of the Holiday Train Show. Beverages and light fare will be available at one of NYBG’s outdoor bars and the Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop Up. NYBG GLOW will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. on specific dates posted on the NYBG website. Fan-favorite Bar Car Nights, for adults age 21 and over, will also make a comeback this season on three select dates.

Set within NYBG’s iconic glasshouse, the Holiday Train Show is renowned for its vignettes of G-scale model trains enlivening botanical replicas of such famous New York landmarks as the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Musical Hall, the Apollo Theater, and many other favorites, all crafted by the creative team at Applied Imagination in Alexandria, Kentucky. American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s, and modern freight and passenger trains travel along overhead trestles, through tunnels, and across soaring structures such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the George Washington Bridge, providing merriment for all ages. The addition of the all-new display of model trains traversing towering mountains and an enchanted woodland populated with forest animals, winter-interest plants, and fantastical fungi on the Haupt Conservatory Lawn expands the exhibition, creating an indoor and outdoor experience. It gives a nod to how the Applied Imagination team gathers a multitude of diverse plant materials in the woods on the company’s property to create the botanical structures brought to life in the exhibition. It also hearkens to the roots of the Holiday Train Show, which began in 1992. The exhibition includes interpretive signage that explores some of the plants used to create the Train Show replicas. The signage links to exclusive content in the Bloomberg Connects app that tells these plant stories, using preserved plant specimens from NYBG’s William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the largest plant research collection in the Western Hemisphere, with nearly eight million specimens. The Train Show signs draw a connection between The NYBG’s cherished annual exhibition and its Plant Research and Conservation program.

During their visit, families can take part in a Train Show Treasure Hunt with the Bloomberg Connects app or the Evergreen Express Winter Activity Guide, a colorful booklet that will inspire children to explore the collections of plants growing at The NYBG. The guide features tools and ideas to engage their senses and spark their curiosity and imagination. During the day or at night, the Holiday Train Show at NYBG is sure to be unforgettable for those previous visitors or first timers. NYBG is located in the Bronx, N.Y. and is a museum of plants and gardens. It is located at the Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. Tickets for the Holiday Train Show, NYBG GLOW, and Bar Car Nights are on sale now at