FD.COM IS NOT ABOUT MAKING

FD.COM IS NOT ABOUT MAKING PEOPLE FEEL GUILTY. STILL, IF YOU'RE IN NEW YORK CITY, AND YOU DON'T TAKE YOUR KIDS TO THIS, IT'S VERY POSSIBLE YOU DON'T LOVE THEM.

We took Small and Tiny to the New York Botanical Garden's annual Holiday Train Show on Sunday. If there's a better family holiday destination in the city, well, we're listening. After a circuitous walk through the garden conservatory, where we visited cacti, mosses, orchids, and Venus fly-traps, we opened the nondescript door to the legitimately magical 6,000 square foot train space, and Small Fellow took off like a rocket, chasing around the two rooms, spotting all the trains and bridges he could and screaming for us to join him and "Come see!"

(For those not in the know, the deal is this: They make replicas of NYC landmarks, buildings, and bridges, entirely out of plant materials - bark, mushroom, berries, leaves, etc. - it's a little like the Rose Bowl parade's floats made of flowers, except not so crappy. A number of large toy trains circle the buildings, which are neither to scale, nor following the city's map - the Guggenheim is just two doors down from the Apollo Theater, for example - and that's the show. They've been doing it since 1991, and they add new buildings each year. This year, come marvel at the reimagined Brooklyn Bridge. The Guggenheim, for our money, is the architectural highlight of the show, with its spirals made of - what else? - fungi.)

As if the trains weren't enough, you follow them up with a stroll to the children's garden, where it's gingerbread season, and kids can learn about and then decorate and eat their own ginger cookies. The garden's gift shop is also one of the best.

All in all, a lovely day, unless you hate joy.

November 30, 2004 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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