Botanical Garden Holiday Flower and Train Show Celebrates ‘Gathering for the Feast’

Welcome in the holiday season at the Missouri Botanical Garden with a stroll through an indoor wonderland of amazing sights and sounds! The annual Gardenland Express: “Gathering for the Feast” holiday flower and train show promises to delight visitors of all ages with six tracks of animated model trains and hundreds of traditional holiday plants.

Experience this seasonal favorite on display from Saturday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (closed Christmas Day). Show admission varies by date: Nov. 23 through Dec 19: $5 (ages 3 and up) and Dec. 20 through Jan. 5: $7 (ages 3 and up). Free for Garden members Nov. 23-Jan 5. All prices are in addition to regular Garden admission ($8 adults; $4 St. Louis City/County residents; free for children ages 12 and under and free for Garden members). For more information, visit

Hundreds of amazing plants, incredible model trains, fanciful animals, and decorated banquet tables produce a lively, festive display to conclude the Garden’s 2013 Foodology theme featured in 2013. Visitors of all ages will enjoy woodland creatures gathering edible plants for their grand holiday feast. These include bears picking berries, mice gathering grains, a gardening fox and pollinating bees.

Enjoy the holiday spirit as you listen to festive music and stroll through a wonderland of edible plants that make some of our favorite dishes for Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanza. The holiday dishes featured in four distinct tablescapes will list all the plant species used to create them. You’ll learn how some of your favorite foods come from these plant families: Solanaceae (nightshade), Fabaceae (pea), Poaceae (grass), Brassicaceae (mustard) and Rutaceae (citrus). You’ll also discover how bees play a critical role in pollinating the food that we eat.

Always a favorite, the Garden’s G-scale model trains will delight visitors as they travel throughout the 5,000-square-foot Orthwein Floral Display Hall. Six LGB trains from the Garden’s private collection speed around the display on 1,800 feet of elevated track. Seeing these miniature trains zip around the exhibit is always an exciting experience for children and adults.

The six-week Gardenland Express holiday show is created from the ground up every year. The incredible design is under production by horticulture staff and volunteers at least 12 months prior to the show. Colorful poinsettias, trees and edible plants make their holiday debut in Gardenland Express after being carefully tended to for months in the climate-controlled greenhouses.

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