Get into the holiday mood...in a jungle in New York
If you want to get into the holiday mood, see the annual Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Gardens which has become an annual tradition for lots of families. In the middle of luscious plants and trees, model trains run through New York landmarks, all made of natural materials like leaves, steams, pine cones and bark. It’s a festive world inside a green tropical setting in New York City.
I only recently discovered this unique place after having grown up in NYC. Everybody goes to see the tree at Rockefeller Center or the store windows on Fifth Avenue. But the Holiday Train Show is unique and fun. You really admire the craftsmanship that goes into each building and bridge that are created as part of the scenery (and all done by hand!). And it’s indoors so even if it’s full-on winter and freezing outside, you can stroll and admire the show in the warmth of the atrium.
There is a timed-ticket system which helps visitors flow through the show and cafes throughout the Botanical Gardens for a hot chocolate break. It doesn’t get any merrier than this and even a Scrooge can’t resist smiling at the toy trains that are running through a mini-New York.
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The New York Botanical Garden had an exhibit where designers had taken tens of thousands of orchids and arranged them into replicas of broadway stages throughout the city. These were as beautiful and vibrant as the cherry blossoms outside.
The best part of the visit was in the cafe where we met a lovely 90+ year old lady who was there with her friend of 40 years. They met on a train in Europe and have been traveling together ever since.