Holidays: Trains & Displays

It’s still November, but the holidays are already happening in full force in NYC. Here is the first of our holiday guide – info on trains, gingerbread houses and gorgeous displays guaranteed to give good cheer, many of them in the dry, warm indoors. Info on Santa, markets, shows and more coming soon.

One-time holiday events can be found on our weekly events listing (and keep checking our deals page for disounted gift-giving).

**All events are free unless noted otherwise.**


New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

New York Botanical Garden (2900 Southern Boulevard)
$10-$20, admission varies by day; free for under 2
Use this link for discounted $15 adult tickets, $8 ages 2-12 tickets

Through Jan 15
9:00 am–6:00 pm

Marvel at model trains zipping around stunning New York landmark replicas made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves, and enjoy hands-on holiday fun for the entire family (most of it in the climate-controlled indoors). This year’s exhibition showcases Coney Island, with working models of the Wonder Wheel, Cyclone and more. Buy tickets online before trekking up to the Bronx (take the Metro-North Harlem local line to Botanical Garden Station) as tickets sometimes sell out. Go right at opening or on a weekday to avoid the crowds (though the traffic patterns have improved in recent years). Take breaks in the tropical rainforest wing where there are no trains but lots of room to roam freely.



Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection

New-York Historical Society (70 Central Park West at 77th Street)
Free with museum admission
Through Feb 25
10:00 am–6:00 pm

Train enthusiasts of all ages can explore an immersive multimedia winter wonderland featuring theatrical lighting, an ambient audio “soundscape” and lots of historical model trains, scenic elements and toys. Pick up an “I Spy” Holiday Express trains and toys hunt to match pictures and rhyming facts with whimsical and intricate objects. See if for free and enjoy train0related actovities every Friday morning during Rise and Ride the Holiday Express



Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal

New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex (Grand Central Terminal)

Through Feb 27
Monday-Friday 8 am - 8 pm
Saturday & Sunday 10 am - 6 pm
10:00 am–6:00 pm

Watch models of the MTA’s vintage and current trains and subway cars travel deaprt from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole in this small yet charming display full of delightful details. This year’s exhibition showcases Lionel Metro-North, Polar Express, and vintage subway train sets against a cityscape backdrop designed by Brooklyn-based artist Josh Cochran.



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