High on my holiday bucket list this year was heading to the Bronx to attend the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show. I’ve been meaning to do this for years and years now, but December somehow always flies by before it happens.
Alas! This year we planned to integrate a visit with celebrating Augusten’s 2nd birthday, since he’s currently OBSESSED with trains and planes and automobiles. Perfect timing! So we purchased tickets well in advance (pro tip: purchase well, WELL in advance for weekend reservations!) for the earliest time slot they had available, and headed up to be there for our 9:45am reserved ticket time.
Words of warning: even with getting there early, the show was PACKED to the gills. This certainly didn’t effect Augusten’s delight (or the grownups’ either!), but if crowds aren’t your jam, plan ahead and perhaps attend on a weekday? Or if weekends are the only times that work, maybe super early in the season (think: November) or after Christmas? Or, if you aren’t going with any kiddos, consider attending one of their 21+ events during a Bar Car Night (it includes the show, sing-alongs, Snow Globe Dancers, plus a bonfire and champagne…sounds pretty fabulous to me!)
Anyhow, I was absolutely blown away by the attention to detail that went into this entire exhibit–I can’t even imagine how long it took to put together! Everything is made out of all natural materials (bark, plants, flowers, etc.), and the result is absolutely magnificent. With the crowds, it took us about 45 minutes to move through the entire exhibit, so you’ll still have plenty of time after to stroll around the rest of the gardens. Also, don’t leave without heading to the Gingerbread Cafe, which is set up for the season and an absolute joy! The large (heated!) space has TONS of tables and room, and includes goodies such as hot chocolate, coffee, popcorn, pretzels, baked goods, and candy–not to mention an entire forest of lit up Christmas trees! It’s the perfect place to let your little ones move about in the warmth, while you settle in and enjoy a nice warm beverage.
This year’s show is up through January 15th, 2018. The gardens are easily reachable via MetroNorth from Grand Central Terminal (you may remember I did the trek solo with Augusten in his baby carrier this summer–the train stop is literally across the street from the entrance!) If you haven’t been, I promise this will rank at the tippy top of your holidays in NYC bucket list!;-)
A most happy birthday to my sweet two year old! Exploring this city through your eyes of wonder and awe is my very favorite.