30 Rockefeller Plaza (5th Ave. between 49th and 50th streets)
New York, NY 10020
Rockefeller Plaza Description
Although trees are brightly decorated all over New York City, none compare to the majesty of the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree. Set amongst a glorious display of holiday decorations throughout the Plaza (including the gossamer-winged, horn blowing angels that guide visitors from 5th Avenue), the tree and its 30,000 multi-colored lights, magnificently topped by the glittering 9.5-foot Swarovski star, draw millions of visitors to the Plaza each year. The tree is the main attraction, but there's more to do: skate in the ice rink, browse through the Plaza shops, and head to the Top of the Rock for a birds-eye view of the tree and the festive city down below.
Seasonal / Holiday Store
School-Age Kids: The timed music (it's their own rendition of "Carol of the Bells") and snowflake light show on the Saks Fifth Avenue building directly across from the Rockefeller Center tree will particularly delight kids this age.
Pre-Teens & Teens: If the wait for ice time in the skating rink is too long, consider heading north to Central Park's Wollman Rink or southwest to The Pond at Bryant Park for outdoor skating fun.
- Tree lighting. The official tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for December 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. After that, it will be lit from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily, throughout the day and night of Christmas, and until 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The tree is removed in early January and recycled, providing nearly three tons of mulch that's donated to the Boy Scouts of America.
- See it earlier. The tree is typically in place about two weeks before the official lighting ceremony, while crews decorate the tree.
- Crowd control. Although loosely enforced, the official approach to the tree is from 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th streets.
Just the Facts
Hours: December 3 to early January: Daily 5:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
Recommended Time: 1 - 2 hours