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New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show and GLOW 2022-2023

31st NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW (Carole Di Tosti)
31st NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW (Carole Di Tosti)
31st NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW, Macy’s replica (Carole Di Tosti)

It’s the 31st year of the NYBG Holiday Train Show starring New York’s architectural beauties in miniature from all the boroughs in New York City to Westchester County and beyond to upstate New York. Returning for its third year, NYBG GLOW in a multitude of colors lights the pathways, trees and landscape with vibrant greens, fuscias, reds and blues making the Garden even more magical than it is year round.

31st NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW (Carole Di Tosti
31st NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW
31st NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW

The Holiday Train Show and GLOW have boasted sold-out evenings the past two years. This is because NYBG GLOW is New York City’s largest outdoor holiday light extravaganza. This year it expands covering even more of the Garden’s spectacular plant collections. These include an all-new display of 60 glowing orbs in the designed waterfalls of the Native Plant Garden.

31st NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW

During the 23 special, select evenings, the Garden’s buildings, including the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building become dramatic, striking pageantry. The Garden’s creative teams have dispersed thousands of lights (energy-efficient) in choreographed displays to twinkle and beckon to visitors throughout the landscape. The light production accompanied by a selection of music is designed to lighten New Yorkers’ hearts with a celebratory spirit of thankfulness. The botanical creators have captured beauty in their demonstrated love and talented artistry exercised in the service of joy and uplift for the 2022 winter season that is not under previous extreme duress of the pandemic that we’ve suffered through these past three years. However, if one feels to, though vaccination cards will not be checked, one may comfortably wear a mask in the Conservatory and when not eating in the Hudson Garden Grill and the Pine Tree Cafe.

Laura Busse Dolan CEO of Applied Imagination presents an overview of the NYBG Holiday Train Show 2022 (Carole Di Tosti
Laura Busse Dolan near Applied Imagination’s Westchester display of miniatures at NYBG Holiday Train Show 2022. Look for my interview with Laura Busse Dolan in future articles about this year’s Holiday Train Show (Carole Di Tosti)
The new George Washington Bridge in perspective just past the gentleman taking photos; note the lights on the bridge span and illuminating the columns (Carole Di Tosti)

The creative team of Applied Imagination in Alexandria, Kentucky reflects the energy and celebratory thankfulness in their differently arranged installations of the iconic landmarks that New Yorkers have come to appreciate more than ever during the past three years, two of which were spent in worry for older loved ones. Some of these amazing replicas include the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center and more. The trains and miniature structures are spread throughout the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Nighttime is the most mysterious and fun time to visit because of the dark beauty of the plants sheltering the buildings faithfully sculpted from plant parts arranged for the spectators’ maximum enthusiasm and delight.

Downtown Manhattan’s iconic landmarks in miniature including the Occulus and One World Trade Center (Carole Di Tosti)

This year’s show features a new addition to the190 miniatures previously displayed in the Garden’s wondrous exhibit enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is a brand-new version of an old favorite-The George Washington Bridge-with more elaborate detail and grandeur lighting. The new George Washington Bridge took Applied Imagination’s staff more than 1,000 hours to create.

Interpretative signage showing the plants used by Applied Imagination to create the beautiful miniatures (Carole Di Tosti)

Another new feature is the interpretative signage that presents illustrations and descriptions of some of the 150 different varieties of plants and plant parts used to create the Holiday Train Show miniatures. If you download the Bloomberg Connects app, you will discover the plant stories, using preserved plant specimens from NYBG’s William and Lynda Steere Herbariums, the largest plant research collection in the Western Hemisphere. The collection contains almost eight million specimens.

Downtown Manhattan, another view. See the ferry tucked away by the cathedral? (Carole Di Tosti)
360 degree display of Coney Island, Luna Park, the Elephantine Colossus and the Wonder Wheel (Carole Di Tosti)
The incredible detail of the entranceway miniature of the 1911 NY Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (Carole Di Tosti)
The size, style and model of one set of train types in the NYBG Holiday Train Show (Carole Di Tosti)

For the train lovers, as you saunter among the foliage and the luxuriously arranged plant designs among the replicas, you’ll see various type of trains trundling along tracks brushing apart foliage. A favorite house of mine is the miniature of Poe Cottage, the house in the Bronx where Edgar Allan Poe worked on some of his most famous poems. In previous years I’ve enjoyed watching a G-scale model locomotive moving past the house and imagining the train which Edgar Allan Poe took to visit cities in the Northeast from Philadelphia to Baltimore and then to parts of the South all in the service of his writing.

Poe Cottage replica where Edgar A. Poe one mile from the NYBG in the Bronx (Carole Di Tosti)

Some of the G-scale model trains include trolleys, American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s and modern freight and passenger trains. These move seamlessly along nearly 1/2 mile of track along overhead trestles, through tunnels, and across bridges high above visitor’s heads including all five New York City bridges from the Queensboro (Kock) to the Whitestone, from the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge to Hells Gate and the renovated George Washington Bridge.

Bronx Night Market Pop-Up (Carole Di Tosti

Beverages and light fare will be available at one of nYBG’s outdoor bars or the Bronx Nigh Market Holiday Pop-Up. Additionally, professional sculptors will create intricate ice carvings inspired by the Garden’s wonderland.

The finale in the Palms of the World Gallery, the Enid A. Haup Conservatory replica in holiday regalia (Carole Di Tosti)

NYBG GLOW will take place on the following dates: Friday and Saturday, November 18-19; Wednesday, November 23rd; Friday, November 25; Saturday, November 26; Friday, December 2; Saturday, December 3; Friday, December 9; Saturday, December 10; Sunday, December 11; Thursday, December 15; Friday, December 16; Saturday, December 17; Thursday, December 22; Friday, December 23″ Monday, December 26; Friday, December 30,2022; Sunday, January 1; Saturday, January 7; and Saturday, January 14, 2023.

NYBG Holiday Train Show and GLOW 2022 welcomes you (Carole Di Tosti

For more information and for ticket alerts, visit the NYBG website at:

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