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NYBG Holiday Train Show 2013: Best things to do for kids

All aboard! The annual Holiday Train Show returns to the NYBG. Here's what your family won't want to miss.

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Holiday Train Show 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden


The holiday season is officially in full swing, which means it’s once again time for the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show. The annual event kicks off in the garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on November 16 and runs through January 12 (we recommend you make reservations in advance at nybg.org; tickets may sell out). With new features joining the classic model train exhibition this year, and the return of the kiddie sing-along show “All Aboard with Thomas & Friends” in January, there are more reasons than ever to choo-choo up to one of our favorite family attractions for some holiday fun. Here are five of them:

RECOMMENDED: Sneak peek of the NYBG Holiday Train Show

The exhibition
We dare you not to ooh and ahh over the NYBG’s display of over 140 replicas of New York City landmarks—including Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Brooklyn Bridge—all constructed with plant parts and natural materials like twigs, leaves and bark. The greenery serves as a lush backdrop for a set of scale trains and trolleys (including Thomas the Tank Engine and a brand-new Metro-North train) that range from the historical to the whimsical.

The artist's studio
Little locomotive-lovers can learn the secrets behind the exhibition at this informational area. They’ll see the landmark replicas at every stage in the construction process, from bare-bones framing to the final adornment with leaves and pine cones. For more information about the model trains, take advantage of the holiday guides that will be present in the conservatory every day between 10am­ and 4pm. Kids can see behind-the-scenes pictures from the exhibition’s early stages, as well as samples of the plant parts used in its construction.

The children's garden
Head over to the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden for a full lineup of train-themed activities for kids. Your little ones can rotate through the three activity areas—the artist’s station, the engineer’s station and the builder’s station—before perusing the educational display of model houses. Drop in on a weekend for holiday parades and an artist workshop (Saturdays and Sundays 11am–5pm) where families can work together to create a train landscape.

The dining pavilion
After a long day of holiday-themed activities, families can grab a restorative meal at the brand-new holiday dining pavilion. Entitled “The Streets of New York,” this unique food court is comprised of a variety of different menu stations, all positioned along a scenic, evergreen-lined path. Browse the iconic cuisines of different New York City neighborhoods, from the Italian pastas and pizzas of Arthur Avenue to the yummy soul food of Harlem.

The tree lighting
The train show will celebrate its opening day with a tree-lighting ceremony (Sat Nov 16 4–5:15pm) for its holiday evergreen. Once the flip’s been switched, families can participate in a carol sing-along with the Westchester Chordsman.

The Holiday Train Show is on view at the New York Botanical Garden through January 12, 2014.


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