I love holidays, to me they are special occasions where you get to do/see/hear/eat things you wouldn’t normally do throughout the year; my favorite holiday is Christmas. When I was young the Christmas season was kicked off with Thanksgiving. My grandmother would do a complete house makeover, changing curtains and beddings and bringing out seasonal decorations that would go through minor tweaking all the way through January 6 when the season culminated with Three Kings Day. It was all very exciting to see the transformation through this season with music, food and decorations, making my home just bit extra special during this time. This of course happened a long time ago in an island a bit far away.
Today in the mainland of The Bronx, I have looked to keep some of those old traditions alive as well as adjusting and adopting new ones. One of my holiday traditions is visiting the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) for the Holiday Train Show. Some may wonder what’s so special about trains and trees; well I’d say other than being a beautiful display of art in nature for me is that familiar feeling of the holiday transformation this time experienced throughout the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The atmosphere begins to set as you walk into the garden grounds feeling the brisk air filled with the scent of pine trees letting me know that the holiday season is here. Garden workers dressed as train conductors prepare your way into a ride of magnificent landmark replicas starting with the beautiful entrance display of the 34th Street Macy’s Department Store. As you walk into the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory you begin by to see the meticulous creations constructed of tree bark and other plant parts making you feel as a giant looking over a miniature world. From the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to the old Yankees Stadium and the Van Cortlandt House, trains transport you from landmark to landmark giving you a glimpse of history. One of my son’s favorite landmarks is Yankees Stadium and although he is getting older seeing Thomas the Train round the bend never goes out of style.
If your little one is still into the cheeky Thomas you can catch a mini performance in the Ross Hall and get a chance to take a picture with your favorite engine. The performance is entertaining and long enough to keep your child’s attention from beginning to end. If like my son, your child is a vessel of overflowing energy, dive into the Holiday Adventures in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. There your child can safely explore the garden walking through mazes and climbing through rocks and participating in the guided stations where your little one can build and learn all while having fun. If you want to experience the beauty of the Holiday Train Show and the garden at night the New York Botanical Garden hosts Bar Car Nights only for adults. So as you can see the garden has something for everyone in every season.
For more schedule and ticket prices for the Holiday Train Show visit www.nybg.org.