The New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show is one of the highlights of Christmas in New York. I mean, yes, there is that gigantic tree in Rockefeller Center
and, sure, the Christmas windows all around Midtown are a sight to behold, but there's nothing like taking in the collection of 150 New York City landmarks entirely constructed from plant material (!) in the Haupt Conservatory. And then there are the model trains. It would be demeaning to call this special tradition "outsider art," but the near-obsessive attention to detail evokes that spirit. When Christmas is almost entirely commercialized in a city where commercialism reigns supreme, NYBG's heartfelt and homespun Train Show
is a welcome change of pace. And 2016 marks the 25th year! The Train Show runs through January 16, 2017. "Bar Car Nights"
-- select Friday and Saturday evenings in December and January where adults enjoy a complimentary cocktail while perusing the exhibition -- would make a great date activity before an Arthur Avenue dinner (just a 15-minute walk from NYBG).