The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is a fun destination for families, with regular nature programs in the Children's Garden and Family Garden plus a variety of annual events like the Orchid Show and the famous Holiday Train Show.
Founded in 1891, The New York Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and the largest botanical garden in the United States, spanning 250 acres of rolling hills, waterfalls, and ponds. Nestled in the Bronx near the Bronx Zoo, NYBG is a museum of more than 1 million plants, featuring diverse and colorful gardens that represent flora from around the world. In addition to its permanent collections and rotating exhibits, the garden hosts a plethora of family-friendly events throughout the year, from The Orchid Show in the spring to the famous Holiday Train Show in the fall. Its education programs strive to teach visitors the importance of plants to all life on Earth.
The 12-acre Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, open year-round, is an indoor/outdoor museum where children discover plant science through hands-on programs. Playful elements such as mazes and topiaries, a natural wetland, gardens, and more create an atmosphere of exploration and fun.
The annual Holiday Train Show has been one of the most popular and magical holiday season attractions in NYC for the past 20 years. Located in the Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the show features classic model trains that chug along thousands of feet of track flanked by hundreds of replicas of New York City landmarks made entirely from plant parts. The Holiday Train show typically opens in mid-November and runs through mid-January each year.
The Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, open April to October, offers children and families the opportunity to learn about plants and nature through hands-on vegetable gardening.
NYBG hosts five major exhibits each year: The Orchid Show near the beginning of the year, a spring show, a summer exhibition, a fall show, and the Holiday Train Show. An array of events, workshops, classes, and children’s activities accompanies each exhibit.
In addition, two permanent exhibits focus on the work of the garden’s scientists: A World of Plants showcases the wonders, diversity, and uses of plants in an ecotour of 11 distinct habitats, while Plants and Fungi: Ten Current Research Stories presents examples of the garden’s biodiversity research in various regions.
The garden is home to the remaining 50 acres of the forest that once covered New York City. Visit in the fall to catch the colorful foliage.
Address: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
Hours: Open year-round, Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm and some Monday holidays.
Admission: Grounds admission: $10; $5 seniors and students; $2 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2 (does not include entry to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, special exhibitions, or Everett Children's Adventure Garden). All-Garden Pass starts at $20; $10 for children (varies by date).
For more information: 718-817-8700 or nybg.org. Search for upcoming events in our calendar section.