Explore the memories and moments shared by visitors new and old as we gather recollections from throughout the Holiday Train Show®’s history. Perhaps these stories will inspire you to recount your own experience—you'll be entered for a chance to win an all-new NYBG book highlighting the past 25 years of the exhibition.
Here’s what others have shared from their favorite trips to the Holiday Train Show.
Virginia Cantone from New York said:
I have two stepsons, Elijah, 12, super into trains, and AJ, 14, and not into trains at all. My husband and I decided we were going to take the boys to see the train show at the NY botanical gardens. (He had been wanting to do it for two years but always missed it.) AJ put up a huge 14 year old and older sibling fight about going. Claiming that it was baby stuff and all we do is spend time thinking of his younger brother (mind you, we went to POLE position races for him the prior day). By the end of the exhibit AJ said, "I don't know why I put up such a big fight about it. It was great." and "we have to do this again next year" and one more quote, "why am I the only on having fun here? Elijah looks bored" (which I can assure you he was not) so we had a successful day with our boys and comingled with so many lovely people while we were there. In short, the train show is a must see for all ages.
Sheila McVeigh from Middletown, NJ said:
I have brought many friends and relatives to the train show over the past 7 years and it is now a tradition for the holiday season for my family. We love seeing the old buildings which has been important to us during the years (such as Yankee Stadium when someone's # was retired that year) or when something new was added. It is so important that we talk about it and plan it before Thanksgiving so that we can add more family and/or friends to the trip!!! Then afterwards we have a wonderful dinner together and share the photos and talk about all the different buildings and trains. It really is so special to my heart and the hearts of my family!!!
K Schumann from NY said:
Since I have an unusual last name, I was intrigued to see one of the buildings name Schumann's Sons 1909 at 76 Fifth Avenue. Would love to know the story behind the creation of this building?
Sara Nolan from Milltown, NJ said:
On a quiet weekday when my first baby was just 3 months old, we visited the train show for the first time. Perfect gentle snow was falling and we enjoyed hot chocolate and then the magic of the trains. I never expected something so big! Bridges overhead and kids saying "choo choooo" below! Gorgeous down to the detail. What a wonderful part of Christmastime! We will definitely make this a part of our family holiday tradition.
Kelly Olson from Hoboken, NJ said:
We got engaged at the Holiday Train Show in 2013. Happily married for two years and we come back every December! It is always as magical as that first night!
Teresa berger from Bronx ny said:
Love this show Family tradition
Rosanne Puchal from Brooklyn, NY said:
Such a beautiful show
Michael Barabash from Bronx, New York said:
I took a lot of pics that day. This is 1 of my favorite as it shows the enormity of the Train Show. The picture show how much is represented in the limited space there is. Picture was taken early on in the day before it got crowded as it always does. I always enjoy the show as well as the crowds of people especially the young kids. A great day for all!
Susan Holdun from Bronx, ny said:
We love the train show and haven't missed a year. We look forward to it. It brings out the kid in us!!!
Catherine Regenhard from Woodlawn, New York said:
It's always wonderful to visit the New York botanical garden! The train show is always wonderful and so is the menu at the Hudson Garden Grill at NYBG! My friends and I love it!'
Simon Handler from Austin, TX said:
Had a great time goofing around with my dad and brother at the Holiday Train Show!
Isaac Fromm from teaneck N.J. said:
My grandson and I love the train show..........have been for the last 3 years.
Jen Gonch from Harrison, NY said:
My family took my nephew, Jake, to the holiday train show for the first time last year. He was so excited to see all of the trains and would not stop talking about his favorite, the ladybug train. He still talks about it to this day. We can't wait to take him back to see it, along with all of the amazing feature, this year!
laura ackerly from hartsdale,ny said:
Loved it! Came back two days later with my daughter and grandson.
Kevin Haber from Danbury, CT said:
This was one of the first pictures taken of our new family that we were able to share publicly as we were in the final stages of finalizing the adoption after over a year of waiting
Michael J. Ludwig from NY said:
This was one of the first years we came to the Train Show (2008). It was November 22, 2008 even though the file says today because I saved it in a new place. Anyway, we go every year. This picture shows my children in the middle with my son with his arms around my daughter. The other boy is my son's friend from pre-K and the girl is my daughter's friend from pre-K. After the garden we always go to one of the fine Italian restaurants over on Arthur Ave. We love the show--even though it has almost gotten too popular. We try to go on Member Days so as to not have so many people.
Lauren Conlon from New York said:
A holiday treat before the Thanksgiving break- Close to home making it a great NYC tradition
Lisa Kimoto from Plainview, NY said:
A lovely family tradition of visiting the train show every year. just love how all buildings are replicated using plant materials! Just a wonderful experience.
Sandra Weiner from Trumbull, CT said:
This is a photo of my husband while we were waiting to enter. His face captures the joy and wonder of the exhibit. In fact I used it as a basis for a portrait I drew of him. BTW having the lady conductor on stilts was such a good idea!!!!!!!
Anthony Granda from Forest Hills,ny said:
My daughter Amalia loves the train show
David George from NJ said:
I went for the first time ever with my sister this year. My sister has been a member for years and has tried to get me to go for years, but with two jobs free time is tight. We went in January of this year. All I can say is what a beautiful display you had. The imagaination and commitment your workers have is amazing. Thanks for a memorable visit.
Bob Nemser from Mt. Vernon, NY said:
As a longtime member of the NY Botanical Garden, I find that I utilize this membership most of all my other memberships. I go to the Garden all seasons of the year, with Spring being my favorite time with the colorful explosion of the Magnolia Trees, Cherry Blossoms, Lilacs, Daffodils, and Azaleas culminating in the striking beauty of the Rose Garden. I constantly see and experience my membership dollars at work, maintaining and improving, caring and revitalizing. I average at least 35 visits a year that include all Orchid Shows, Special Exhibits, Kiku, Monet, Emily Dickinson, and of course, the Holiday Train Show. The Train Show brings back the wonderment of my first set of trains and my father’s return home from WWII. The festive lights and the nip in the air constantly remind me a a gentler time gone by. As a Visual Communicator, I revel in and appreciate the talent and recreations of our city, its bridges, and historic locations. The attention to detail and the way it transforms me into a Gulliver exploring a little city with all the lights and variety of trains, trollies, and Thomas the "Engine That Could,” puts a constant smile on my face as it speaks to my creative psyche. My camera tries to capture what my eyes and mind have witnessed. It becomes a futile attempt with minor success that can only be experienced and not retold or recreated. Every year and every train show, I’m presented with new additions, nuances, and wonders. Those wonders I see on the faces of the children who are also at the exhibit, and I’m certain that look of wonderment is on my face, too. The Garden is my happy place, my Neverland, where I’m forever that lost boy. --Bob Nemser
Jill glass from Hewlett, ny said:
We took our two year old son, Ryan. He loves trains and couldn't help but yell with excitement and joy as they passed. He especially loved the trains that would pass him then turn around and come back. "It's coming back to me!" He would yell!!
Debra from Frenchtown nj said:
We had a great time at the show and my kids just couldn't get over the amount of buildings. They also loved the trains but wanted to know if we could ride them.
Maria Osso Morin from Old Tappan, NJ said:
a new tradition... with the gift of a NY Botanical Garden birthday membership to my mom, we were able to attend the Train Show with her for the very first time!
Maria Osso from Old Tappan, NJ said:
My mother has always loved and nurtured flowers and her garden, and was always interested in the tradition of setting up trains at Christmas time. So on her birthday Jan 17th 2015, we brought her to the NY Botanical Garden to see the Train Show (that she had never attended) with some of her grandchildren and gave her the gift of the NY Botanical Garden membership. It allowed us the opportunity to attend the garden throughout the year as well as return to the train show for the for the Dec 2015 show with the other grandchildren who didn't attend the first time. We have renewed her membership and have attended more this year than last year. She is always so happy to attend and to share her love of the garden with all of us!
Simon Handler from Stamford, CT said:
This is a picture of my brother Ian at the Holiday Train Show. He had just found out that he was accepted to Duke University and was giving his best impression of one of the legendary "Cameron Crazies"!
MARY T BULEY from Norwalk, CT said:
We enjoy meeting up with friends to go to all the exhibits at NYBG but the Holiday Train Show is by far our favorite exhibit. Attached is a picture from the 2013 Holiday Train Show.
Karen Knox from BloomingGroveNY said:
Three generations of family enjoying the Holiday Train Show, not sure which generation enjoyed it more!
Placido David Perez from Bronx, New York said:
NYBG Holiday Train Show Jan 2012. I had a fantastic time photographing and enjoying this beautiful Holiday Train Show.
Emily Venugopal from NEW YORK said:
We adore the holiday train show and have been taking the kids since they were one month old and 1 respectively. It's a great chance to see the gardens in the cold weather, the beautiful holiday tree and the fabulous show itself and has become something of a holiday tradition for us, along with our cousins.
Phyliss Grodofsky from Merrick, NY said:
This picture is from our Nov. 21, 2014 visit. My husband and I were celebrating our 42nd anniversary that day. Visiting the Train Show at night certainly added sparkle to our very special celebration.
Greg Hong from NY said:
This photo is from December 29, 2010 when my son was 4 years old and was his first Holiday Train Show. He's was such a train fanatic and was amazed at all the decorations with plants. The grounds were beautiful as it was after a large snow storm. We try to come back every year to continue our tradition.
Chris Tams from Trenton, NJ said:
Ever since I was young, I loved and had toy trains. I had several different types of trains while I was growing up. Each year for the holidays I would add to my train collection. I stopped collecting trains after I got married and moved into a townhouse because there wasn't enough room. I visited the train show this past January and was in awe of this spectacular event. This brought me back to my childhood immediately. It is just amazing how much work is put into putting on this event. Keep up the great work and I will do my best to visit each year. Thank you so much for the opportunity to see this magnificent piece of art.
Jacqueline Lynch from New York said:
My daughter and I attended the Holiday Train Show in 2004 and in December 2015 we were happy to be back, less than two weeks after her wedding. She purchased a garden membership for me after that day as a Christmas gift.
Sydney Valerio from Bronx, NY said:
The Candelaria sisters, Valerie & Victoria, are always aware of the little tykes that visit our neighboring Botanical Gardens during the Holiday Train Show. It is the one exhibition that always makes the younger children reach out and interrupt the flow of the trains because they cannot hold in their joy at the sight of the such beautiful displays. My daughters are guaranteed smiles not just because of the wonderful holiday spirit these structures inspire but also the mischevious spirit of the little ones as they run away from their parents-reminding these girls of how much they've grown.
Cari Balderama from Belleville, NJ said:
Before we were married, my husband took me to the train show for the very first time and I fell in love. He has taken me every year since, when we were engaged, when I was pregnant with our daughter and again after she was born. It has become a tradition I hope my daughter can continue with her children one day.
Paul Wangenstein from Ronkonkoma NY said:
A great holiday tradition for all of us, young and old. A very special treat we look forward to year after year.
Lillian flores from Bronx New York said:
My father passed 2015 of last year ...and I remember him buying tickets for me and him , my dad was very fond of trains and had a passion for it since I was a little girl . Unfortunately he never got to experienced it ..the following month I Attended ...I thought I would be fulled with sadness, with just him not being here . But when I walked through the doors the lights the trains the friendly faces I knew it was a memory I would remember and keep dear because I that moment I knew my dad was with me . I was blessed to have gone and enjoy it for the both of us
Cristina Basic from Connecticut said:
This photo was taken by our 13 year old daughter Isabella. It's symbolic for us "under the Manhattan bridge" since NYC is where we met and fell in love 16 years ago.
Lisa Greenhut from New Jersey said:
My son sat on the floor staring at the trains going by over & over again. He never got tired of it! We can't wait to go again this year!
Kelly Foley from Yonkers, N Y said:
Always come to the train show with my son, niece and nephew. It's a great yearly tradition
Janet B murphy from Eastchester, NY said:
Love the Train Show
Kristy Buller from New York, NY said:
Since moving to New York 13 years ago, the Holiday Train Show has become one of my favorite Christmas traditions. While I thoroughly enjoy admiring the intricate details of each City landmark (in miniature!), I have always had a special love for the "Artist's Studio" and seeing the magic behind the creations. Two years ago, very soon after my grandfather passed away, I made my annual trip to the show. With a heavy heart and this recent loss fresh in my mind, I had been feeling as though the holiday season was missing its special spark. Yet, when I walked in to discover that the "Artist's Studio" centered on past Worlds Fairs, I was absolutely amazed. Not only was the model of the Unisphere stunning- but the exhibit also represented one of the most beautiful and cherished memories of my grandfather. As a child, he hitchhiked to the 1939 Worlds Fair in Queens with a dollar in his pocket. When I first moved to New York at the age of 18, we bonded over this story. He gifted me the souvenir coin he had received upon entry and a handwritten account of his adventure. From that point forward, we shared a love of Worlds Fair history and memorabilia, and I know how much he would've loved seeing the NYBG's version via its models. That visit to the train show single-handedly restored so much hope and happiness during a sad time in my life, and served as a reminder that my grandfather is still very much with me. The Holiday Train Show brings the magic of the holiday season to life, for adults and children alike. I look forward to, once again, experiencing year's show and wishing it a very happy 25th.
Samantha from Queens,New York said:
I visited the New York Botanical Gardens with a friend of mine in March. Despite the weather being really cold we explored all areas of the garden. As we hiked through the Family Forest a white owl swooped so close above our heads we can feel the wind from its wings. It was remarkable! It was a special moment for sure!
Daniel Yannaccone from New Jersey said:
My sister has season passes to the Botanical Gardens and thought my children, six year old daughter and twin 4 year old boys would ejnoy the train show. I would say the attached photo expresses their amazement! Dan
sarit from NY said:
With my daughter, Eden, 3 weeks old :) It was a beautiful day. I hope to take her again this year, she is already walking and loves to smile.
Theresa Bauman from Rye Brook, NY said:
Joseph Bauman's first visit to the NYBG train show. He could not have been more excited and amazed by the wonderful presentation at the NYBG that day!
Maria Marchione from Glen Ridge, NJ said:
Marvelous show that starts the holiday spirit in my family! We can't wait to return this year!!!
Maria Novoa from Glen Ridge, NJ said:
My children loved the NYC landmarks and kept looking for the building where I work... the United Nations. We couldn't find it at our 2015 visit, maybe we will be luckier this year?
Peg O'Connor from Esperance,NY said:
My long time friends and I are now separated by miles..........one in New Jersey, one in Rockland County, NY and I am in upstate NY....Montgomery County...........we try to get together every year and the train show is the perfect spot........the photo is of my 2 friends sitting in front of my other favorite NY spot......the Statue of Liberty....
Pam DelSonno from NY said:
One of the most spectacular holiday events in the New York Metropolitan area. A must-see year after year as it changes and gets better. Do yourself a favor and take yourself, your kids and grandkids. You will enjoy it and make a memory!
Joe Valastro from Highland, NY said:
We thoroughly enjoy our visit to the Holiday Train Show. A walk through a great exhibit and lunch is a great way to spend the day.
Matthew Mastroianni from West Islip, NY said:
This event has been a tradition since I was a little boy. It would be great to see it again as I am now grown up.
Ling Chan from Brooklyn, NY said:
I enjoy coming to the train show every year. My favorite moment is last year event. It was snowing. It was perfect weather to walk around the park in a winter wonderland.
mike kiriakou from white plains,ny said:
It's about the children. The faces of the children witnessing the incredible craft that goes into making each display in the Christmas Train show so special and unique. For me, it's also about the model trains that i've loved since I was a young boy.
Audrey Zaweski from Calverton, NY said:
We've been attending the Holiday Train Show for many years and it has become a family tradition.
gary kobrosky from New York, NY said:
Looking forward to another wonderful celebration of the Holiday Train Show.
Judy Walloga from Wharton, NJ said:
I really enjoyed the train show, it was a fun way to spend a day with friends.
Tamara Sulzbach from Bronx, NY said:
My niece loves the Statue of Liberty and was excited to see this part of the exhibit.
sara k debrosky from NY said:
My mom, my two friends, and I had all bought tickets to the Holiday Train Show, without doing any real research on what it actually was. We had thought we were going on a holiday train ride through the gardens. We walked up and grabbed our drinks and got in line for the "train ride"... All of a sudden the realization hit me and I turned to my mom and friends and said "Guys... I don't think we are actually going on a train." We all started laughing. We then entered the exhibit and continuously laughed at how silly we were. It turned out to be such a great time. We were all in awe of the exhibit. It was wonderful. Such a great and silly memory. My mom passed away this summer so it makes writing this bittersweet. But I can't help but laugh remembering what a fun time we had. Thank you for the memories!
Jennifer from Morganville, NJ said:
The NYBG's Holiday Train Show has been a family tradition of ours for a few years now. I love looking back at photos of the garden and the kids and seeing the changes.
Donald Weekes from Ontario said:
Our son, Justin first visited the Holiday Train Show in December, 2009. He loved it from the first visit, and we try to make there every Christmas season from our home in Ottawa! He is fifteen now, and he is looking forward to visiting it again in December, 2016.
gary kobrosky from New York, NY said:
Looking forward to another wonderful celebration of the Holiday Train Show.
Faith Webster from CT said:
Has become our yearly tradition and we have already bought tickets for this year
JoJo Demirel from Ossining,NY said:
our godsons absolute favorite holiday show, can't miss it! we go every year, sometime twice a season ;)
Tiffany from New York said:
The first time I saw the Holiday Train Show - was in 2007. I thought it was going to be childish. Instead, I was blown away by the artistry of the buildings, the magical environment, and the overwhelming spectacle of this mini-New York all made out of plant parts. It is a tradition to go every year, and now to go for the Bar Car Nights as well.
Tintes y Colorantes de la Costa (Dyes and Colors of the Coast) portrays the life of 74-year-old Habacuc Avendaño as he travels to the rocky Oaxacan coastline to milk the purple dye tixinda from an endangered species of snail that lives in the seaside precipices. He describes the endangerment of tixinda due to poaching, which also threatens the traditional weavings created by the village women, prized by museums and collectors worldwide.
Los Posohuancos follows the Mixtec weaver Margarita Avendaño, the oldest weaver in her group, whose huipiles were featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Textiles in Oaxaca. She tells of her history and how she learned to hand-spin the natural brown cotton called coyuchi, as well as how to weave posohuancos, a traditional long skirt worn by the Mixtec women.