Recommended for ages 6 and under with a grown-up’s assistance.
All aboard! Train lovers and toy enthusiasts big and small are invited to use this guide to go on an I Spy hunt. Head to the Geduld Family Rotunda by our 77th St. entrance (near Parliament Coffee Bar) to start your I Spy adventure. On your mark…get set…explore!
This year at Holiday Express we’re going to the carnival! Take a stroll around the entire rotunda case. What is the most exciting carnival ride you see? Point it out to your grown-up!
I spy with my little eye…a roller coaster! Can you find it?
Did you know that one of the nation’s very first roller coasters was built at Coney Island right here in New York City in 1884?
Take a closer look at the toy roller coaster. How many flags can you spot on top?
I spy with my little eye…a swing ride! Can you find it?
Swing rides are a big hit at the carnival and can also be found at everyone’s local park. What’s your favorite thing to do when you go to the playground? Do you like to get on the swings? Take a ride down a slide? Climb up high?
I spy with my little eye…a Ferris wheel! Can you find it?
Did you know that by 1900 Ferris wheels were popular rides, and inspired the creation of many steam driven and wind up toys? The Ferris wheel you see here can be attached to a steam engine, or even operated by hand!
I spy with my little eye…a miniature restroom! Can you find it?
Although maybe not the most exciting or glamorous, restrooms are super important to have at a carnival! Peek inside the door of this miniature restroom. Can you spot the miniature mirror above the sink inside?
I spy with my little eye…animals! Can you find some?
Tucked among all the carnival rides and trains in this exhibition are some animal friends just waiting for you to find them.
Can you spot the horse pulling a carriage? The six birds lazing about in a pool? How about the polar bear?
Continue this I Spy hunt around the corner in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History (across from the wall of windows). There’s a lot more to explore!
I spy with my little eye…this black locomotive! Can you find it?
This toy train was powered by a real working steam engine. While exciting for kids, it was also risky! The boiling water needed to create the steam was a burning hazard for people playing with the trains.
I spy with my little eye…an Onion Dome station! Can you find it?
This station gets its name, Onion Dome, from the unique shape at the top of its central tower. Can you spot the actual onion dome?
I spy with my little eye…the Hell Gate bridge! Can you find it?
This bridge is modeled after a bridge spanning the East River in New York City. The real bridge was the longest steel arch bridge from 1916-1931. The bridge is still in use today and is a part of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line. Have you ever taken a ride on an Amtrak train? You can always ask your grown up if you’re not sure!
I spy with my little eye…a wooden snap train! Can you find it?
Does this wooden train set remind you of one you might play with at home? If yes, there’s a very good reason why. Modern day wooden toy train sets, like Thomas the Tank Engine toys, take inspiration from the train plays of the 1930s.
Wooden toys surged in popularity then because the production of metal toys was suspended due to wartime rationing.
I spy with my little eye…a lot of toy trains!
Take a good look through all of our Holiday Express cases to find your favorite toy train. What color is it? Point it out to your grown up and tell them why it’s your favorite!
Congratulations, you did it! You’ve completed our I Spy Family Guide.
Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.