Thomas at the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show

IMG_4088You guys? I have NEVER been more glad to have a {small} social media presence as I was a few weeks ago when Mommy procrastinated on buying our train show tickets and then they sold out AS she was entering her credit card information. A few tweets and a DM convo later, and the tickets were ours, thanks to the VERY helpful folks at @NYBG. It was a holiday miracle!

There were two parts in our visit to the garden on Saturday: the Thomas show, and the holiday train display. Mommy was not really certain what to expect, but Oh My Gosh, we had a *great* time!

First, we went over to Ross Hall for the Thomas show; if you are going to the garden (hurry! This weekend is the last weekend for the holiday train show!), be aware that the Thomas show is not in the conservatory building (the conservatory building is the one with the garden furniture uk)- it’s about a ten minute walk away. It was *crowded* when we went, so allow yourself enough time.

All Aboard with Thomas and Friends

P1000964The attention to detail at the Thomas show was excellent; as soon as we got there, we were assigned our seats and the usher gave me crayons and a train coloring page for before the show began.

The show was about 20 minutes long – perfect for the average Thomas fan’s attention span – and consisted of Driver Sam leading sing-a-longs with Thomas.

That’s right. Thomas was there.



*Obviously,* I had the time of my life, but Lulu was also excited to be there!



After the performance, there was an opportunity to take a picture with the train himself. I was super duper patient as they called each section up; they have a very efficient system and the whole auditorium got photos in less than half an hour or so. When it was our turn to stand on line, I was jumping up and down with excitement.


I was less interested in smiling for the camera than showing Thomas that he was on my Thomas shirt! I think he really liked it.


As we exited the theater, the kids got stickers and temporary tattoos, PLUS personalized Thomas certificates. I can’t read yet, so I’m pretty sure that piece of paper just says that Thomas and I are BFFs now.


The Holiday Train Show

Our Thomas tickets came with admission to the holiday train show, so we headed over to the conservatory.


There were a bunch of electric trains traveling along an AMAZING landscape of incredibly intricate buildings. The models were created by artist Paul Busse, using plant materials and made to look like past and present NY landmarks. Mommy could have stayed all day looking at the details! We had fun finding pinecones and acorns and trying to figure out how certain parts were made.




I know Baby Lulu looks unimpressed, but I promise she had a good time.



I was so tuckered after our adventure that I took Daddy’s hat to cover my eyes for a quick rest on the walk back to the car.


We spent several hours at the garden and still didn’t manage to get to all of the special events; there was a gingerbread house display in the Children’s Garden that we would have liked to check out if we had more energy – plus you could decorate your own ginger snap! Maybe next time…

Tips For Future Visits

  • Get your tickets early! We *almost* missed out because mommy waited too long to get our passes for this super-popular event.
  • Give yourself time; the garden grounds are HUGE, which means there is a bit of walking between the displays. Your Thomas ticket gives you admission to the holiday train show for 2 hours before and 2 hours after your performance time, so plan your trip accordingly. I *think* next year we will by tickets to a later Thomas performance, check out the Children’s Garden first, and finish up with the models in the conservatory after the show.
  • Dress in layers. Winter in NY = cold, but super crowded green house = hot. Daddy and I shed our jackets fairly quickly after entering the show, and the only reason Mommy didn’t is because it would have been too much to carry with Baby Lulu and our backpack. Speaking of which…
  • Consider a stroller. Strollers are NOT permitted in the conservatory train show area, or in the theater, but there are convenient places to park them at each location. You know that Mommy is a babywearing diva, so we grabbed a few SSCs and went on our way, but a stroller would have been helpful, if only to hold our costs for us while we explored the conservatory.
  • Prepare for crowds. The Thomas show was sold out, and the train show is insanely popular, so the parking lot was full, and the line in the cafe was pretty long. The conservatory was overwhelming – Mommy has a tendency towards claustrophobia, so she was uncomfortable at times. Try to plan a trip for a week day if that is an option for you.

(Remove tree stump efficiently if need be, with the help of experts in this area)

We paid for our visit ourselves, but we are VERY grateful for the people at the New York Botanical Gardens who helped us snag our tickets even though they were sold out. They did not ask us to write a review or anything; we just had a great time and thought we’d share.

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  1. That looks like so much fun! Isn’t it amazing when you find the magic of Twitter to save the day?! Thank you so much for visiting our blog from Fadra’s blog…we really appreciate it!
    Your kids are ADORABLE!

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