By: Joseph Ferris
One World Trade Center is going to The Bronx for the holiday season — sort of. For the first time ever, the New York Botanical Garden will feature a wooden replica of New York City’s tallest building in its ever-popular Holiday Train Show running from November 17 through January 21.
At the same time, in Lower Manhattan, the real life One World Observatory will again be turned into a Winter ONEderland with Santa and fun for kids and those young at heart.
But you don’t have to choose. You can visit both!
Below is an uptown/downtown itinerary with info about both skyscrapers, fun things to do near the Gardens and in Lower Manhattan, and the best way to get here from The Bronx.
New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show
More than 175 replicas of New York landmarks dot the half-mile of model train tracks at the Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Among them are the Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center and Ellis Island. Debuting alongside One World Trade Center is the Battery Maritime Building, complete with two vintage ferry boats. All buildings are re-created with bark, leaves and other natural materials!
For those looking to make an evening of it, Bar Car Nights are back. For those 21 and over, the show will be open from 7-10:30p on select Fridays and Saturdays. Drinks and bites are available at the Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-Up. Sculptors will shape art out of ice blocks, dueling pianos will face off at the Pine Tree Cafe, and roving a cappella groups will guide you through the Garden.
Exploring The Neighborhood
Just a short uber ride away or a brisk 20 minute walk past Fordham University is Arthur Avenue – what some New Yorkers say is the city’s true Little Italy.
In need of a bite to eat after exploring the Gardens? Michelin-rated Tra Di Noi serves food freshly prepared with ingredients hand-picked by their Italian born and trained chef. The Lasagna Alla Bolognese and Ravioli con Pomidori & Basilico are local favorites.
Or if you’re in the mood to sate your sweet tooth, stroll Arthur Avenue, where a bevy of bakeries await. Morrone and Madonia Brothers Bakery are on Arthur Avenue, while Artuso and DeLillo are on nearby E. 187th Street. When you leave the Bronx, don’t forget to take the cannoli.
Getting to Lower Manhattan
Metro-North commuter rail provides frequent service from Fordham and Botanical Garden Station to Grand Central Terminal. With at least two trains per hour, you’ll be whisked into Midtown in 25 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at a platform kiosk or on the MTA eTix app. There’s a surcharge for tickets purchased on-board.
Once at Grand Central, hop on a Brooklyn-bound 4 or 5 Train. In just three stops, you will have arrived at Fulton Center. From there, it is a short walk through the WTC Oculus to One World Trade Center where your next batch of wintry fun awaits.
One World Observatory Winter ONEderland
Winter ONEderland is family-friendly holiday fun at the top of the city! This includes a multi-media experience where you’ll join ONEderland’s mascot, Ollie the Owl, as he journeys across the world before arriving in Lower Manhattan — just in time for the holidays!
Start at the subterranean Glacier Cave which leads you to the Snowy SkyPod Journey that brings you all the way up to the Observatory. A Giant Snow Globe and Santa’s Village round out the fun. For more details and tickets, visit One World’s website.
Want to get the most out of your time in Lower Manhattan? Grab the The Sightseeing Pass so you can see all of Lower Manhattan’s top tourist attractions, including the The Skyscraper Museum, Fraunces Tavern Museum and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
Exploring Lower Manhattan
After a day of model trains and miniature One World Trade Center at the Botanic Gardens and a trip to the North Pole at One World Observatory, you will have worked up quite the appetite.
You’re in luck — Lower Manhattan is one of the hottest foodie destinations in the city.
Looking for something a bit fancy? Take to the sky once more at the 60th floor of 28 Liberty Plaza with dinner at Danny Meyer’s French-infused Manhatta.
Looking for hearty pub fare, check out one of many buzzing spots on Stone Street or step into Water Street’s Dead Rabbit, consistently ranked one of the best bars in the world.
Even those in a rush can find something here too. Brookfield Place’s Hudson Eats offers fast-casual options that range from Num Pang and Fuku to Mighty Quinn’s and Blue Ribbon Sushi.