Next stop, Riverdale


Across several rooms in the conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden, model trains wind their way through and around some of New York’s most iconic buildings. 

In the spirit of the garden, the replica buildings are made from natural materials: twigs, fruits and seeds, among other things you might find on your lawn.

The show is brought to life thanks in part to the efforts of the team at Applied Imagination, a company that specializes in creating these kinds of natural displays. The Kentucky-based company has been behind the train show for more than 20 years.

Each building, bridge, statue and structure has a small placard indicating what it is, and their natural composition gives them a fairy tale quality that proves especially captivating for kids. The show is a composite portrait of New York in all its architectural wonder, including some local landmarks like the Riverdale Monument and the Van Cortlandt House.