Where to See Holiday Train Shows in NYC

Where to See Holiday Train Shows in NYC

Visit New York Botanical Garden, Grand Central Terminal, and New-York Historical Society for their holiday train shows and plenty of other family-friendly activities for the 2017 winter season.

There is nothing like a train show to delight children (and adults) of all ages. Come see the intricate and amazing displays in NYC and the surrounding area this holiday season. It’s the perfect way to spend time with family and marvel at holiday attractions. 

Holiday Train Shows in New York City

Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection
WHEN: Through Feb. 25, 2018, Tuesdays-Thursdays, 10am-6pm; Fridays, 10am-8pm; Saturdays, 10am -6pm; Sundays, 11am-5pm
WHERE: DiMenna Children's Museum at New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side
WHAT: Discover the wonder of hundreds of toy trains, figurines, and miniature models from the renowned Jerni Collection at this annual holiday exhibition. Immersive scenes and displays captivate children and adults as they hearken back to a bygone era in our shared transportation history. Holiday Express begins at the West 77th Street entrance, where trains appear to roar through the museum with the help of four large-scale multimedia screens, and extends through the first floor.
WANT TO GO? $21; $16 teachers and seniors; $13 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children younger than 4. 212-873-3400. nyhistory.org/childrens-museum.

FREE 16th Annual Holiday Train Show
WHEN: Through Feb. 4, 2018, daily, 6am-8pm
WHERE: Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store, Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St., Midtown
WHAT: Kids can watch in awe as little Lionel trains roll along a 34-foot-long, two-level track that looks just like a mini NYC with a nearby countryside. The scenery even includes its very own North Pole. Plus, parents will love spying vintage trains from the Transit Museum’s collection.
WANT TO GO? 212-340-2583. nytransitmuseum.org.

Holiday Train Show
WHEN: Nov. 22-Jan. 15, 2018, Tuesdays-Sundays 10am-6pm
WHERE: New York Botanical Gardens, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx 
WHAT: More than 150 miniature landmarks are created from plant materials. Come watch trains make their way through the Statue of Liberty, and so much more. This year's show features replicas of the Empire State Building. 
WANT TO GO? See website for weekday and weekend pricing. 718-817-8700. nybg.org.

Historical Train Weekend
WHEN: Dec. 9-10, Saturday-Sunday, 1-4pm
WHERE: New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W., Upper West Side
AGES: 3-6
WHAT: Bring the whole family to explore the NYHS’s train show, Holiday Express. Take part in a special train scavenger hunt, make a train car of your very own, and play at the train table.  Conductor Abe will also be on hand to entertain.
WANT TO GO? $21; $16 seniors; $13 students; $6 children ages 5-13; free for children 4 and younger. 212-873-3400. nyhistory.org.

Extra Train Fun in New York City

Train Operators Workshop
WHEN: Through Dec. 23, Saturday-Sunday, 3:30-4:30pm
WHERE: New York Transit Museum, Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Downtown Brooklyn 
AGES: Tween, Teen
WHAT: Drop by the Computer Lab to take control of a NYC Subway car and operate it over virtual miles of track in an incredibly realistic game.
WANT TO GO? $7; $5 seniors and children ages 2-17. 718-694-1792. nytransitmuseum.org.

Watson Adventures’ Grand Central Scramble Family Scavenger Hunt
WHEN: Nov. 24-25, Friday-Saturday, 10:30am
WHERE: Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St., Midtown NY 10017
AGES: Young elementary, Tween, Teen, Adult
WHAT: In this family scavenger hunt, kids and adults work together to uncover the secrets of midtown's most stunning train station. To win, you’ll have to go nuts in the Whispering Gallery, learn a secret about the stars in the “sky”, find TV celebs in the food court, stand on fish under an upside-down tree in the Grand Central Market, learn the arrival time of a “ghost” train and think like Willy Wonka in the Transit Museum Gallery.
WANT TO GO? $17.50-$21.50. 877-946-4868. watsonadventures.com.

Holiday Train Shows in the Surrounding Area

The Model Railroad Club Holiday Light and Sound Show
WHEN: Nov. 24-26, Dec. 1-3 & 8-10; see website for times
WHERE: A. Paul Mallery Model Railroading Center, 295 Jefferson Ave., Union, NJ
WHAT: Theatrical 30-minute show on one of the largest model railroads in the country with stage lighting, sound, and with the trains serving as the actors in the play.
WANT TO GO? $8; $6 seniors; $5 children.

Greenburgh Nature Center Holiday Train Show
WHEN: Dec. 2-17, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm
WHERE: Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale
WHAT: See model-sized scenic wonders of upstate New York and the Greenburgh Nature Center at this indoor display of model trains, presented by the Yonkers Model Railroad Club.
WANT TO GO? $10; $9 seniors/students; $8 children ages 2-12; free for children younger than 2 and members. 914-723-3470.

Fairfield Museum Holiday Express Train Show
WHEN: Dec. 1-Jan. 7, 2018, daily; see website for times
WHERE: Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT
WHAT: A Fairfield Museum holiday tradition! Kids and adults alike will delight in the magic of this wondrous display of model trains winding around beautiful holiday scenery.
WANT TO GO? $5; $3 seniors and students (6-22); free for members and children 5 and younger. 203-259-1598. fairfieldhistory.org.

Build Your Own!

GingerBread Lane 2017 Workshops
WHEN: Nov. 26-Dec. 30, Saturday-Sunday, 1pm and 3pm
WHERE: New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Corona 
WHAT: Participants will make their your own GingerBread Lane form of transportation. These workshops will take participants to the road, track, and water with all of the fixings to design a truly sweet car, boat or train. Each participant will receive a kit with all of the materials that Chef Jon Lovitch uses to create his GingerBread Lane exhibit: gingerbread pieces, icing, and candy. (Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.)
WANT TO GO? $15 per project. 718-699-0005. nysci.org. 

Build a Train Workshop
WHEN: Dec. 26-28, 11am-12pm and 1-2pm
WHERE: Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT
AGES: 5-12
WHAT: Put together wooden parts to make and paint a mini train!
WANT TO GO? $5. 203-259-1598. fairfieldhistory.org.


Find More Holiday Family Activites in Your Area

Holiday Windows in New York City

Main image: The New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show features more than 150 replicas of New York City landmarks made entirely from natural materials.
Courtesy New York Botanical Garden