The Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Gardens


Last year, I learned about the Holiday Train Show at the NY Botanical Gardens, and I wanted to take Lewie desperately; unfortunately, by the time I learned about the event, the show was sold out!

This year, I kept the show on my "holiday bucket list" and scored tickets.  I chose Black Friday for our date because 1) we all had the day off, and 2) I thought the lines might be less since most people reserve Black Friday for shopping.  My assumption proved correct.  The lines were much less, and we had another unexpected bonus--the weather was close to 67 degrees (in November!)

We took the Metro North Railroad to 125th Street and then hopped on another train to the Botanical Garden stop.  The railroad transportation couldn't be more seamless, and once we arrived at the Botanical Garden train platform, all we had to do was cross the street to get to our destination.

From the moment we started our little adventure, Lewie couldn't stop beaming.  Not only did he enjoy the train ride into the city, but he couldn't wait to see the model trains inside the gardens.  Stopping to have a bite to eat at the Garden's Pine Tree Café was torture for our seven year-old who didn't want to wait one second longer to see the trains.  Still, we made him eat something before we went inside.


Outside dining at the Pine Tree Café.
Once inside, we were in awe of the majestic train display running inside the gardens, over our heads, and beneath our feet.  Part of the allure is that favorite NYC monuments are painstakingly made out of twigs, pine cones, seeds, leaves, and other natural elements, which are then displayed with trains running around them.  Our favorites were Grand Central Station, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and the Statue of Liberty!

Grand Central Terminal

We spotted Thomas!

The NYC skyline

The Statue of Liberty


At the end of the show, we took a tram ride to see the rest of the gardens outside (mostly in hibernation during this time of year) and then left the Botanical Gardens to visit Central Park where we had a nice lunch/dinner at Tavern on the Green

After dinner, we asked the doorman of the restaurant about getting a cab; he politely recommended that we take a pedicab back to Grand Central, so we could weave in and out of the congested NY traffic and take in the sights.  The added expense of a pedicab wasn't part of our plan, but in the end, we couldn't be happier with the ride.  The driver gave us a little history about NY while pedaling all three of us up 5th Avenue.  He made sure to take us by Rockefeller Center, Time Square, and 42nd Street before dropping us off at Grand Central.  It was still warm outside, and so the gentle breeze hitting our faces as we took in the sights and listened to disco music (that's right--like Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff") made us giggle with delight.  Lewie was in awe of seeing the Big Apple this way, and he admitted that he loves disco music. 

Tavern on the Green - What delicious food!

Central Park

Front entrance to Tavern on the Green

The doorman

The pedicab!

My attempt at a selfie!

I saw this smile all day long!

All in all, we had an exceptional day in the city.  I knew it would be fun, but honestly, our experience went way beyond any of our expectations.  Lewie called the day "epic" (his new favorite word from classmates at school), and I couldn't agree more.  Our visit definitely inspired us to get into the holiday spirit.  What an awesome time of year!


  1. I love the family pictures by the Christmas Trees! You and your family always have so much fun together!


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