The NYBG 2023 Annual Holiday Train Show




NYBG Holiday Train Show

The Holiday Train Show returns bigger than ever with more trains and an all-new, outdoor train display. Watch model trains zip past nearly 200 famous New York landmarks in the warmth of the Conservatory…or head outsideto capture your perfect holiday photos at our all new outdoor mountainscape. After dark, join us for NYBG GLOWand discover the beauty of our landscape and historic buildings, illuminated across the grounds. And don’t miss the return of our fan-favorite Bar Car Nights, 21-and-over evenings featuring the Holiday Train Show and curated cocktails. These special evenings feature music, experiences, food, and more—making for the ultimate night out this season. On view beginning November 17th.

See the Battery Maritime Building ~ a recent addition to the collection. Image courtesy NYBG.

Let’s begin by meeting the artists ~ Paul Busse and his daughter, Laura Busse Dolan.

What one may see as just a piece of bark or a fallen berry, Laura Busse Dolan and the creative team at Applied Imagination envision as stone on the Brooklyn Bridge or an ornament on St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

In 1991, Paul Busse founded Applied Imagination. Applied Imagination was a great artistic convergence of Paul’s work with landscaping, garden railroads, and his unique use of plant material to create “botanical architecture.” Since Paul Busse first brought his wondrous landscapes of trains and plant-based structures to The New York Botanical Garden with the first Holiday Train Show® in 1992, Applied Imagination has gone on to produce special exhibits for many other venues around the country.

Paul is now retired, and the company is owned and operated by his daughter, Laura Busse Dolan. On a walk through the woods on the Applied Imagination property in Alexandria, Kentucky, Laura and the artists of Applied Imagination inevitably bring back interesting tidbits that can be used in crafting one of their magical displays.

NYBG Holiday Train Show

Nearly 200 scaled iconic buildings and structures such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and the Statue of Liberty are displayed under thousands of twinkling lights. Step into a miniature city where famed New York architecture is re-created using bark, leaves, and other natural materials.

The addition of the all-new display of model trains traversing towering mountainscapes sited on the Haupt Conservatory Lawn expands the exhibition, creating an indoor and outdoor experience, and hearkens back to the outdoor roots of the Holiday Train Show, which began in 1992. It’s sure to be an ideal location for holiday photos!

See more than 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys hum along nearly a half-mile of track. Don’t forget to look up—NYC bridges come together to create an aerial display of trains soaring overhead and outdoors on our all-new Conservatory Lawn display.

American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s, and modern freight and passenger trains travel along overhead trestles, through tunnels, and across familiar NYC structures, providing merriment for all ages.

NYBG Holiday Train Show

A favorite Holiday Train Show Event – Bar Car Nights! Save these dates: December 7 & 14, 2023 and January 5, 2024, from 7:00 to 10:00pm at the Garden. Tickets Here.

The Merchant House (in miniature at NYBG)

Don’t miss NYBG Glow: An Outdoor Color & Light Experience. November 17, 24, 25; December 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 26–30, 2023; January 6 & 13, 2024

This holiday season, don’t miss NYBG GLOW as it returns for its fourth year! Discover the beauty of our landscape and historic buildings after dark, breathtakingly illuminated.

During these special evenings, the Garden’s iconic sights and buildings, including the Haupt Conservatory and the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building, become dramatic, glittering canvases. Thousands of dazzling, energy-efficient choreographed lights and sound along with picture-perfect installations create a spectacle not to be missed. While you’re exploring, enjoy drinks and light bites for purchase at one of NYBG’s outdoor bars or the Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-Up.

NYBG Holiday Train Show

Know before you GLOW ~

  • Prepare to be outdoors. NYBG GLOW is an outdoor experience, rain or shine. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable attire for exploration.
  • Haupt Conservatory Access. Access to the Holiday Train Show in the Haupt Conservatory is included with your NYBG GLOW ticket.
  • NYBG GLOW. GLOW will be on view until 10 p.m. The last Tram Tour will depart at 4:30 p.m. Please note that select Garden features, including the Tram Tour, and select outdoor gardens and collections, are not available during GLOW.
  • Strollers. Strollers are allowed throughout the Garden grounds with the exception of the Haupt Conservatory, where the Holiday Train Show takes place.
  • Accessibility considerations. Wheelchair loans are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the Leon Levy Visitor Center and Mosholu Entrance. If you require a mobility device, we encourage you to bring your own. The experience includes sudden changes in light, darkness, bright colors, flashing lights, and music; however, there is no strobe lighting.
  • Travel light. NYBG does not offer bag or coat-check facilities.
  • Photography. You are welcome to take personal, non-flash photography. Tripods, monopods, easels, selfie sticks, and lighting equipment are not permitted in the Haupt Conservatory. Check our Visitor Guidelines for more information about photography at the Garden.

The New York Botanical Garden’s Annual Holiday Train Show will be on view from November 17, 2023 through January 15, 2024 at New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York.

Tickets Here

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