Holiday Train Show 2021

Wednesday, Dec 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10451

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New York City’s Favorite Holiday Tradition is Back!

This beloved tradition returns for its 30th year with a miniature wonderland in the warmth of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Marvel at model trains zipping through an enchanting display of more than 175 famous New York landmarks—imagine the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, and other favorites—each delightfully re-created from natural materials such as pine cones, acorns, and seeds.

You’ll also discover a showcase of our very own New York Botanical Garden buildings such as the iconic Haupt Conservatory and—new for this year—the majestic LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building, both designated New York City landmarks.

Meet the Artists

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 have 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 some interesting tidbit that can be used in crafting one of their magical displays. Learn more about their work here.

Discover the Landmarks

More than 175 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.

Catch the Trains

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!

Date and Time: November 20, 2021 - January 23, 2022

The New York Botanical Garden is generally open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday.

Monday Openings: December 20 & 27; January 17

Early Closures: December 10 (Conservatory and Holiday Train Show close at 3 p.m.); December 24 (NYBG closes at 3 p.m.)

Ticket Information


Adults: $32

Senior (65+): $30

Student (with valid ID): $30

Children (2–12): $18

Children under 2: Free


Adults: Free

Senior (65+): Free

Student (with valid ID): Free

Children (2–12): Free

Children under 2: Free


The Holiday Train Show takes place in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, which is accessed with timed entry tickets. Although these tickets are sold in 15-minute increments, you may spend as much time enjoying the exhibition as you wish.

Get your tickets online before you visit for guaranteed access to the exhibition. Members, bring your Member Card and parking pass with your tickets.

Includes daytime access to the Holiday Train Show, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and Tram Tour, plus Garden features including the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and outdoor collections.

Safety Is Our Priority

Effective September 1, 2021:

In accordance with New York City Executive Order 225, all visitors ages 12 and older must show valid proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for entry to indoor exhibition spaces and facilities, and all dining venues.

Visitors over the age of 18 must also supply official identification displaying name and photo or date of birth.

Visitors who do not supply valid proof of vaccination and ID are only permitted entry to outdoor gardens and restrooms.

Children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by a vaccinated adult may enter indoor exhibition spaces and facilities, and all dining venues.

All visitors are required to wear face coverings indoors and in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and the Edible Academy.

NYBG continues to monitor CDC, state, and city guidelines.

This event listing provided for the Bronx community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. We want to hear from you if you have an event to share or updates to this event.

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