It’s that time of year again! Dates this year are: November 19, 2016–January 16, 2017
Here’s our experience of this fantastic show from last year:
After hearing about this train show for years, I finally made it. It was so far beyond my expectations I am smiling as I write this post. The train show is set up in a huge gorgeous glass atrium, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. I was already snapping pictures like crazy before we even entered because the atrium itself is remarkable.
When we got inside there was no line (bonus for weekday visits).
The adventure began with a 10 minute movie which described how these enchanting displays were created throughout the year. I had no idea the miniature mansions were made from bark, leaves and other bits of natures offerings. I was also surprised to learn the models created are based on real landmarks, most in NYC. We walked through a wonderland of beautifully crafted models surrounded by lush vegetation, providing ambiance, mystery and a magical sensory experience.
The trains themselves are G-scale locomotives, these are the largest model trains available and so awesome to watch. We spent over an hour walking through the show watching the trains chug along nearly a half-mile of track. My four year old and her three year old friend were mesmerized, as was I. I was worried they’d be too young and it wouldn’t hold their attention, I was wrong, very wrong. They adored wandering through the exhibit and were tickled when they spotted Thomas.
You definitely get your money’s worth with this experience. It’s such a huge, impressive, rambling display that seems to go on and on. I was quite satisfied by the exquisiteness of it all.
When the train show section ends you’re still in the conservatory and can walk through rain forests, then deserts. The girls loved exploring these impressive gardens.
Afterwards we rode the tram which drives you through the whole grounds of the botanical gardens in a 25 minute, narrated, open air tour. Most of what we saw was already dead for the winter, but I got bit by the botanical garden bug and will definitely be visiting again this spring.
- If you can visit during a weekday, do it. It’s a reduced admission and much less chaotic.
- It’s warm inside the train show, we carried our coats, but had a backpack to stuff our hats and gloves.
- You can check your strollers.
- I found a promo code and saved 30% off admission, try discount code 9095 at checkout online.
- You can bring in food and drinks.
- Tickets are sold in timed slots, you can enter anytime after your slot if you miss it, but have to wait if you’re early.
- Parking is $15.