I Really Love This Place

We had a blast at the Holiday Train Show last weekend, but it was not the only event at the Botanical Gardens. Once we left the Train Show, we headed over to the Children’s Adventure Garden to see what exactly was happening in the Gingerbread Adventures.

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The Gingerbread Adventures program is a hands-on and educational exhibit meant for children. I looked around anyways, for research purposes of course…. It’s super cute and makes me want to have children just to take them there and force them to take hundreds of adorable photos.

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After exploring the Gingerbread Adventures, we walked around the gardens in the rain just long enough to numb our feet and then decided it was time to head home.

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If you are in the city for the holidays or if you are a host to visitors during the holidays I highly suggest making the trip to the NY Botanical Gardens. It’s an experience unlike any other in this town, or most towns.

I hope you are all getting time off to spend with your loved ones and enjoy special events like this for the holidays!

Cheers!

P.S. We found this in the trains station on the way home…

Don't ask because I do not know.
Don’t ask because I do not know.

The Holiday Train Show

Husband and I have been attempting to get out to the New York Botanical Gardens for their annual Holiday Train show for weeks now. We finally made it out this past Sunday. We took the train…the real train, not the subway train, to the Bronx and found the Gardens to be raining and freezing. Boo. Not exactly cheerful weather, but the cappuccino’s in the café quickly warmed and cheered me up.

Grand Central Station...I love this place.
Grand Central Station…I love this place.
Making my way to train terminal...All Aboard!
Making my way to train terminal…All Aboard!
"Tickets!" I kept wishing Tom Hanks would check our tickets, and men would come dancing down the aisles while serving us hot chocolate.
“Tickets!” I kept wishing Tom Hanks would check our tickets, and men would come dancing down the aisles while serving us hot chocolate.

I honestly was not sure what to expect at the train show, and I can now honestly say it was phenomenal!!! It is is a wonderland of landmark replicas and over a quarter-mile of model train tracks. The whole show is inside, so it’s warm and dry. The staff is all dressed in train conductor costumes. The lines have interesting train facts posted every ten feet or so. And, I swear within the first ten minutes I heard two ten year old boys discussing their own ideas for building a train show, plus a grown man telling his little girl “It’s just so magical!” I agree; it is magical.

Just adorable
Just adorable
You learn something new everyday.
You learn something new everyday.
The Macy's building is a new addition to this year's show.
The Macy’s building is a new addition to this year’s show.

All of the replicas are made from only natural materials such as bark, twigs, stems, fruits, seeds, and pine cones. We had such a good time trying to guess every landmark without reading the labels.

Some of Manhattan's most iconic buildings.
Some of Manhattan’s most iconic buildings.
The 5th Avenue library, Penn Station, and the Brooklyn Bridge
The 5th Avenue library, Penn Station, and the Brooklyn Bridge

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Can you guess which museum this is?
Can you guess which museum this is?
Such much detail!
Such much detail!

The trains running throughout every scene are pretty cool too. There are late-1800’s American steam engines, modern freight trains, passenger trains, and trolleys chugging along the tracks and through each scene.

Central park
Central park
St Patrick's Cathedral
St Patrick’s Cathedral

It was not perfect…the lines were long, and it was very crowded, but once we were in the midst of the show we did not care about anyone around us.

I truly loved this Holiday show and I know we will be returning next year. It’s just too good to miss! Big big thanks to the NYBG for sponsoring this post. If any of you are interested in seeing the show (you know you are) check here for tickets!

Cheers!

Sunday in a Very Large Garden

Husband and I have been so busy over the last year hitting up every tourist attraction in the city that we were starting to believe we’d done it all. That is, until I came across an advertisement for New York’s Botanical Garden. We have already been to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, which was beautiful, so it kind of slipped my mind that New York had another big beautiful garden!

The ad was for their Haunted Pumpkin Garden. I LOVE Halloween and I have not had enough festivities in my life this fall so Husband and I  planned a trip (along with Zoey) for Sunday morning to check out the Gardens and the Haunted Pumpkins.

Our trip began on an empty train ride to the Bronx. Zoey and I obviously took advantage of the photo op.

Over an hour later, we arrived. Surprisingly, the weather had gone from a frigid 38 degrees the day before, to a beautiful and warm 70 by the time we walked through the front gates.

We began our day at the Herb Garden, which quickly led us to Monet’s Garden in the Conservatory. Various parts of the property have been renovated to highlight Monet’s life, work, and passion for gardening. Here, there were hundreds of thousands of plants in numerous climates. The most familiar in the exhibit were the water lilies, Monet’s most popular subject matter.

The bees and butterflies were everywhere today. I guess everyone got the warm weather memo.
Entrance to the Conservatory
Don’t you want to pick up a brush and start painting?

While walking through the Conservatory we ran into Husband’s Grandmother who was enjoy the Gardens with her friends…NYC is so much smaller than people think! Besides admiring the water lilies, we gawked over furry cacti, studied bright oddly shaped flowers, and even did a little fish whispering.

Flower Genius’s…any idea what this is? This challenge is for you, Steph!
The softest cactus I’ve ever felt
Here fishy, fishy, fishy….
Why hello, Grandma!

Just outside the Conservatory were a couple sculptures from Manolo Valdes. The sculptures looked like a combination of a jungle gym and a large bust. They were fun, and there were a few more dotted around the premises, all just as whimsical.

We began to realize we were spending way too much time in one area; this place is enormous, and we wanted to see it all! We walked to the Haunted Pumpkin Garden next which was so fun and creative that I am saving it for it’s own separate post.

Just a teaser….here’s the entrance

When we exited the Children’s Adventure Garden, we meandered around Daffodil Hill,  Crabapple Collection, and up to the Goldman Stone Mill. Luckily, we found ourselves at a tram stop. This place is so large that they provide free tram service around the garden with 9 stops. It’s really great because you can take the tram around, learn the layout, and then venture out on your own.

The Rockefeller Rose Garden, also known as stop #6, was far too beautiful and fragrant to pass. We took the term “stop and smell the roses” literally and spent an hour smelling every single rose. I had no idea there were SO MANY different rose species! One even smelled spicy!

My favorite section was the Howell Family Garden. It’s not an aesthetic garden by any mean, but it grows edible plants! If there’s any kind of plant I get, it’s the edible kind! Studying the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, lettuce, and basically anything you can find in a salad brought back memories of exploring the veggies in my Grandpa’s Garden. It was peaceful, and there was even a stranded boat left for us to relax and take a break.

Running out of daylight, we rushed to the Rondina, LoFaro, and Ross Gallery to catch a glimpse of two of Monet’s paintings, one of which, Irises, has never been displayed in the U.S! Better than the paintings though, was the photographs of Monet working in his garden in Giverny, France. There was also one of his original used palettes on display!

Our day ended just like a Disney park ride…in the gift shop. The gifts were impressive. We found pestos, jams, jewelry, books, and candles whose boxes can be planted to grow the plant that scents the candle.

Gardens, sculptures, carved pumpkins, paintings, trails, architecture, and shopping, what more can a girl ask for? Our day was perfect. It did take us an hour and a half to get home, but that’s only because we are clueless the second we get out of Manhattan.

Big thanks to Sandra at the New York Botanical Gardens for sponsoring me! Another big thanks to Husband and Lucky Dan for taking some gorgeous photos! Can’t wait to share more.

Cheers!