The swagger is back! This “guest blog” entry is from Josh K., a valued member of our dads group and friend, who continues to man-up and plan & organize exciting activities for the dads in our group. With the awesome combination of dads, kids, and trains, Josh shares a recap of our event last week for many parents that are trying to decide if they will get the bang for their buck on an adventure at the Bronx Botanical Gardens Holiday Train Show…
On Wednesday, December 2nd, the NYC Dads Group meet-up was set for The Holiday Train Show at the Bronx Botanical Gardens. The train show is one of my 4.5-year-old son Miles’ favorite things to go see, and this is his third year in a row attending. The show combines two major “attractions,” model trains and model architecture, with the buildings of New York City, complete with bridges, made out of plants (remember, this is the Botanical Gardens).
The show was about the same as previous years, with a few new buildings (Penn Station before it was torn down to build Madison Square Garden, for example) but as the audience are generally older folks and younger children, it’s unlikely they’ll remember what they saw the previous time.
Building highlights include Yankee Stadium, the Empire State Building, the Apollo Theater, and the Brooklyn Bridge. They even have the Little Red Lighthouse to complement the George Washington Bridge. The trains are all large scale and extremely cool. The kids like to get close-up (unfortunately, there is very little you can actually touch) and it’s also fun to watch the trains go overhead across the bridges.
The show can get very crowded, especially during peak season, which is why I suggested we get our tickets for the start of the day at 10am. Tickets are timed, which means that you can’t enter until the time on your pre-purchased ticket, but once you are in, you can stay in as long as you like.
The exhibit is one big loop, and you can go around the loop as fast or as slow as you like, but as one dad pointed out, you might have to deal with a “codger bottleneck” or a pack of school kids. Security prefers that you not go the wrong way on the path. My daughter Stella (15 months), enjoyed walking through, so I stayed at her pace anyway. A couple of the dads made two loops because their kids were napping during the first go round
The show is a little pricey ($20 for adults, $10 for kids 2-12) but it’s a good chance to do something you can’t do year round. Strollers aren’t allowed, as there is no room, so bring a carrier if your child doesn’t walk. However, there is stroller parking for those parents that do bring their strollers. I drove up there with a friend which is the easiest way to get there, but parking is $12, if you don’t have a membership. Metro-North is also a fast option, and right across the street. To get there via the subway requires a bus or a schlep as well.
All in all it was a fun experience, if not a little redundant for me on my third trip. Fortunately, the kids loved it and that’s what matters!