The annual New York Botanical Gardens’ Holiday Train show is a delight for both children and an architecture junky like me. Over 150 scaled historic, iconic New York buildings and bridges are recreated by Paul Busse and his team at Applied Imagination with stunning detail in leaves, twigs, nuts and bark, set amongst the tropical landscape of the Enid Haupt Conservatory.
It’s really quite magical. This year for the first time, I attended one of the Bar Car Nights – strictly adults only!
My friend and I arrived shortly before 7.00 pm and were luckily let in almost right away.
We grabbed our complimentary cocktails (Box Car Punch for me, Streamliner Sangria for her) and stepped inside to an enchanting scene: 19th Century row houses, robber baron mansions, New York City bridges and historic buildings like (the demolished) Penn Station, The Guggenheim, Chrysler building and Yankee Stadium, set amongst flowers and fairy lights, with model trains winding their way around the vignettes.
Outside the conservatory, under the stars, were fire dancers and a mesmerising ice sculpture demonstration. Inside the warmth of the Pine Tree Café, while dining on delicious flat bread pizza’s, we were delightfully entertained by the jazz group Les Chauds Lapins (“the hot rabbits”) who specialize in French swing classics from the ’20’s, ’30’s and ’40’s.
Overall it was a wonderful festive night and well worth a trip up to the Bronx to go see it. If you miss out this year, make sure to add a trip to the Holiday Train Show to your holiday entertainment calendar next year.
The Train Show runs until January 19 and there are two more Bar Car Nights left on Friday, January 9 and Saturday January 10, 7.00 – 10.00 pm. There is timed entry to see the Holiday Train Show, so you must pre-purchase timed tickets.