Riding the American Rails, in Miniature

The New York Botanical Garden, which mounts an indoor model-train display with New York City scenes every Christmas, has created its first-ever outdoor train display--this one weaving through landscapes across America.

The 6,000-square-foot exhibit, called "America's Trains and Trees," re-creates in miniature the redwoods of the West Coast, the deserts of the Southwest, Niagara Falls, the Florida Everglades and other environments. Along the way, the little train passes 25 homes associated with American figures such as Laura Ingalls Wilder's little house on the prairie, Abraham Lincoln's homestead and the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, Calif.

Visitors can walk through the exhibit, which runs through Sept. 12 at the 250-acre garden in the Bronx. Admission is included with the garden's general entrance fee of $3 for adults, $1 children 2 to 12 (under age 2 is free). Garden admission is free on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays; the garden is closed Mondays. Information: telephone (718) 817-8700.

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