Review of the New York Holiday Train Show

Two weeks ago, I went to the New York botanical garden to experience the glory of the train show. Unfortunately, the show’s highlight wasn’t the trains but the model buildings blended into the surrounding plants. Needless to say, I was disappointed by the naming, but hey, it was still a fun time.

In summary: I would recommend this place for anyone with kids and a fascination with New York architecture.

Traveling to the botanical gardens

The subway car itself was possibly as interesting as the trains in the show. The journey wasn’t particularly eventful; however, it was my first time going up past the upper east side. The 4 line was extremely quick, and it was nice to see the world above ground once we crossed into the Bronx. It was much colder, though; every time the train doors opened, a gust of cold wind would blow into the subway car. I also felt terrible for the residents who had to hear the train rattling along the tracks. We transferred once onto a select bus and finally arrived at the botanical gardens after a short walk.

The trains

The trains were pretty fun to watch as they went around their pointless journey. The trains were much larger than I expected, but they had trains of different speeds and decorations. One of my favorite trains was a bright blue Thomas the tank engine train tucked into the corner of the show, and a few trains carrying plants instead of coal.


We saw strollers spill into the entrance during our visit, with kids running around the exhibit joyfully. I’d say most of the audience was parents and kids, with couples and train(?) enthusiasts here and there.


We went at 4:15 PM, which was awfully close to the sunset. Because the majority of the show was in a glass rotunda with little lighting, once the sunset occured, it became increasingly harder to see the trains and the intricate designs of the buildings. My roommate and I agreed that the best time would be around 45 minutes before sunset, allowing people to see both the details and the lighting that went into designing the show.

It was a good experience. We spent around 1 1/4 hours there :). I personally wouldn’t go again, but it’s mainly due to the fact there wasn’t as many trains as I’d hoped there to be.

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