Sunday, December 10, 2006


Today we took the kids to the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. This was the Corporate Sponsorship free day for this event, and the Raggedys are not ones to pass up something for free ;) RaggedyDad reminds me of the Russian saying that for free, even vinegar is sweet. Tell me that that's not the most Russian of sayings. I love it. Though today's outing was no vinegar. It was great.

The show was really fascinating. First off, we'd only previously visited the rose garden in late June, and a fraction of the remainder of the gardens. Walking around inside the Conservatory on the way to the show was amazing. So many different climates and regions were recreated inside the area, which itself was a sort of labyrinth of greenhouses.

Once inside at the actual event, we were able to see amazingly accurate replicas of dozens of NYC landmarks - buildings, bridges, The Statue of Liberty, everything - made entirely out of natural things like branches, bark, berries, and leaves. I really wasn't sure what to expect from reading this description ahead of time, but in actuality it was very beautiful. More exciting still was the fact that working model trains were circulating on tracks throughout the whole exhibit.

The truth is, our kids, at 3 and 1, are totally too young for all of this stuff. Definitely baby Andy. If we were paying, it would run our family ($18/adult, $5/child 2-12, free/2 and under) over $40. Pricey, no? It really was one of those things that we adults wanted to do, and shlepped the kids to, though Ann did find the trains fascinating, and also adored the "The Little Engine That Could" puppet show (also free for corporate employees - score!).

I cannot ignore the fact that for me, the train show fell decidedly between a 4 & 5 on the "other people's holiday's scale" immortalized by JT at DaBoysof905. It wasn't a Christmas show per se, and there was a big effort to use the term "The Holidays" often, but who are we kidding? The decorated trees, the color scheme, the music, and the atmosphere all had a very December 25th feel.

Having gone to a secular and then a Catholic university, and taught in public schools, this didn't really get to me that much, but I see that Ann is getting a little *jealous* of our neighbor's decorations, and going to see a holiday-ish show is a little bit confusing when you're 3. It sounds kind of lame, though, if I tell her that I know our neighbors have all those lights and candy canes outside, and I know she really likes how they look, but we have our own beautiful menorah . . . and by the way, look at the holiday trains!

In summation, the show was beautiful, and the Statue of Liberty makes me cry every time I look at it, even in a replica or in a book, and two great things we did were to bring sandwiches and to get an early start (Street parking! Shorter lines! Being home by 2!). Happy . . er, holidays!


Baleboosteh said...

Sounds great!

I am glad you had a fun day.


Hila said...

Glad you had a fun time! And thanks for checking out my answers to the meme. I understand not being able to read through it all in one sitting, it was a long one to post!

Also, I took your advice and switched my tag list. Not that I wouldn't pester PT to do the meme, but he posts enough on his own anyway, so I figure I'll tag someone else who may need a bit more of a prompt to write.


socialworker/frustrated mom said...

That sounds so nice and btw I did the meme it will be posted after my current post.

Ariella said...

You must have arrived early! We arrived around 2:30. So my husband took my daughters to the 3 o'clock puppet show while my son and I waited for just under an hour to get in. It was a nice display, but the kids did not care for the wait. When we came out the line was even longer, so my husband and daughters had to forego the trains.

Jack's Shack said...

Sounds nice.

Ezzie said...

Weird, didn't see this post until now...

That's really cool! Methinks Elianna is too young, and we can't afford it, but I'm sure I'd have enjoyed it. I mean, Serach. I mean, my nephew and niece. ;)

RaggedyMom said...

B, Jack - Thanks, it was a lot of fun.

Hila - Thanks, and good call!

SWFM - Looking forward!

Ariella - We got there at 10:00, which made a big difference, and if we go back next year, we'll aim for 9:30, wait around a bit, and sail right through. We're not the best at being earlybirds, but waiting's a pain. While on the corporate line, I overheard a garden employee telling someone that there was a 12:00 puppet show and we caught that one - since it wasn't printed on the program, it was far less crowded.

Ezzie - We actually could have brought extra people with us for free, so you may have been able to afford it with the Raggedys. We checked with some neighborhood people and no one was available.

I'll let you know when we're going places for free, and see if you want to tag along! (Don't worry, we're very good about "losing the other family" once at the event!)

Ezzie said...

RM - Sure :)

table nine said...

Sounds like a really fun day! As a "neighborhood person," I'm sorry the Nines couldn't join you.

RaggedyMom said...

Table Nine - neighborhood person, indeed. Hey, did you realize that you and Ezzie practically live next door to one another?!

table nine said...

Ezzie? Only two doors away from the Nines? NO WAY!!!

medicalmystery said...

very cool pix - tell leah i like the lights too - where is my sweet viniger