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Christmas is magical everywhere, whether a small village, farm country, or big city. I grew up in New York so a New York City Christmas is special to me. Nothing says Christmas to me like trains, whether real trains bringing folks home for the Holidays, or toy trains that once filled the Lionel Showroom, the Department Stores and store windows along the avenues.

Several years ago I posted a walking tour that many of you have taken. This year New York, like the rest of the world, is slowly but surely recovering from Covid19 and for me this makes the Holidays especially meaningful this year.

Some things may not be present yet this year, but the one thing that is for sure is the Holiday Spirit will will be there. Macys, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Broadway, Times Square, Radio City and FAO Schwarz, Saks 5th Avenue will all be there. I am posting some photos from the previous walking tours in hopes of sharing a little of that spirit with everyone.



Just a note: Macy's Santa Land will be reopen this year, however, there won't be a train layout in the MTA Museum Store in Grand Central this year, but should be back in 2022. The New York Botanical Gardens, a relatively short train ride, will have its train display this year.


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Last edited by NYC Fan
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As always, thanks for doing this.  Many of us have come to expect this as one of the signs of the start of the holiday season.  I know that when I can make it to NYC for Christmas one year, I will be using this as my guide as to place to visit. 

I love a small town Christmas, a mountain/woods/lakes Christmas, but there is something special about Christmas in the City.

@NIKHIL posted:

I was talking about the Lionel displays, asking if they are still in operation. The only display I still see in existence is the Grand Central Terminal one.

Santa Land had a TW Trainworx built Lionel display that should still be there. The layout in Grand Central will NOT be set up this year but should be back next year.

@johnstrains posted:

Always enjoy these great seasonal pics from New York City. Thanks!

My wife was in NYC last weekend and saw two Broadway shows, plus the Radio City Christmas offering. And she was very impressed with the new Moynihan Train Hall.

I work just off Madison ave at 52nd street, and walking along fifth ave is starting to look a little like a normal Christmas. The hot dog and pretzel/chestnut vendors are out and of course they have their tourist pricing *lol*.

The Moynihan train hall is nice, the only downside of it is that there isn't that much there, covid really hurt places opening there.  Still, lot better than the main station that is now undergoing "renovation".

i don't have a picture handy at the moment, but on a trip to NYC several years ago before the 2008 "bust," Citibank had an incredible Christmas themed HO layout in the lobby of Citigroup Center.  Another visitor mentioned the layout set-up was an annual traditional. but a year or two after the "bust" we visited again and the layout wasn't there, only to find out after our visit that the twenty year tradidtion had been squashed for budget reasons related to ongoing corporate losses and what was deemed the "banking crisis."

The layout was the most impressive model railroad layout I've ever seen...the attention to detail was supurb and the size of the layout was huge!

Last edited by Capetrainman

Back in 2019 me & my family went to NYC the weekend before Christmas.  First time there.  It was truly amazing.  I want to go back to see some of the things we were unable to see.  We did however make the trip over to Brooklyn to go to TrainWorld.  Thanks for the pictures.  Makes me want to go back even more!

I meant to comment here when Skip first posted but got delayed big time. Skip is right, whether your from the city, village, deep in the woods, Christmas is magical. I've had Christmas in the country nearly all my life here in NJ. A number of years ago we had it in VA at the beach, which was a big party house for nearly all of our extended family. While it was great, it just wasn't Christmas like what I was used to. Sure nearly everyone was there, but it didn't have that charm if you stepped outside.

I think my sister took me and her two girls in NYC in very early December one year. It doesn't seem that long ago, but it was as they are now grown. I don't think the tree was up yet, but NYC was getting into the holiday spirit, likes of which these eyes had only seen on TV(which is hardly seeing it like in Skip's pics).

We had stopped into FAO Schwarz(before they moved, if they moved) and it was incredible. My one niece led me around since she had been in there a few times. She had her allowance so she was looking to spend what she had on anything she wanted. The younger sister was delighted as well but I think she had trouble decided at first. I think we spent too much time in there as we didn't get out to see one of the other spots my sister wanted to hit.

One of these years, I think I want to get in and see when the tree is up. I don't know when that will be, but I will look forward to see it when that day comes. Until then, I guess I'll admire here from the countryside. 🎄🎄🎄🎄

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