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My holiday visit to the New York Botanical Garden

The only word to describe my holiday trip to the New York Botanical Garden?


Located in the Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden is unique among public places in America. Inspired by an 1888 visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, botanists Elizabeth and Nathaniel Lord Britton determined that New York should house one of the world’s great botanical gardens. They launched a public campaign to establish this institution, and their new botanical garden was chartered by New York State in 1891.

My holiday visit to the New York Botanical Garden

Today, the botanical garden remains one of the world’s most comprehensive plant research and conservation program. Over the last century, the gardens amassed over 7,800,000 plant specimens. Regardless of the time of year, it’s a fantastic New York landmark that shouldn’t be missed.

My holiday visit to the New York Botanical Garden

However, when the holidays roll around, the botanical garden becomes even more spectacular.

Paul Busse launched the Holiday Train Show in 1992, and it’s only grown more incredible in the years since. Enchanting model trains zip through a display of 150 New York landmarks, each re-created with seeds, pine-cones, twigs, leaves and bark.

My holiday visit to the New York Botanical Garden

Part of the fun is trying to guess what what materials make up the miniatures. For example, how’d they create the tiny fans in the original Yankee Stadium or the windows of St. Patrick’s Cathedral? My favorite: the naked bum of a statue made from the shells of two pistachio nuts. Man, oh man. The creativity kills me!

Have you experienced the New York Botanical Garden during the holidays? What were your highlights?

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