The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in NYC, with its lighting ceremony, its lights and decorations, is the Symbol of the Holiday Season in New York.
IMPORTANT! This NYC BLOG is the updated guide to the 2023 Christmas Season on the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Visit my Christmas in New York Blog for the most complete Holiday Season articles in NYC
Below is the list of topics that I will cover in this NYC BLOG:
2023 Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Rockefeller Center is located in Midtown Manhattan. Geographically, it is between 5th and 6th Avenues and 48th and 51st Streets.
The exact address is 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
Use this GOOGLE MAP link to get directions to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
The most famous points of interest near Rockefeller Center are St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue and Radio City Music Hall on 6th Avenue.
If you are unfamiliar with NYC, below the best ways to get there from some key points in Manhattan.
Starting point: Times Square’s Red Steps
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First, walk on 7th Avenue heading north. Feeling lost about north and south? Check the number of streets: increasing numbers mean you are going north, whereas ecreasing numbers mean you are going south.
When you reach the intersection between 7th Avenue and 50th Street, turn right.
Then walk on 50th Street from 7th Avenue to 6th Avenue.
At the intersection of 6th Avenue and 50th Street you will see Radio City Music Hall, one of the most iconic theaters in NYC. Continue walking on the 50th Street.
Hence, halfway down the block, between 6th and 5th Avenues, after walking past the entrance to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, you will be in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Starting Point: Bryant Park on 42nd Street between 6th and 5th Avenue
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First, walk on the 42nd Street direction 5th Avenue. To make sure you are going in the right way, go in the opposite direction of the Times Square Lights.
After that, once you get to the intersection of 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, go north. To ensure that you are going north, look at the number of streets: if it increases, it means you are going north. If it decreases, it means you are going south.
On 5th Avenue, between 49th and 50th Streets, look left and you will see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Instead, on the right side of 5th Avenue you will see the beautiful Saks Light and Sound show.
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Starting Point: Entrance of the Plaza Hotel, at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 59th Street.
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First, walk direction south on the 5th Avenue. If you want to be sure that you are going in the right direction, look at the number of streets: if it decreases, it means you are going south. If it decreases, it means you are going north.
St. Patrick Cathedral is at the intersection between 5th Avenue and 51st Street. Next, continue walking direction south on the 5th Avenue for one more street and look at your right: you will see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in NYC and its amazing Christmas Lights.
The nearest subway stop to the Rockefeller Center tree is the B/D/F/M lines. The stop is called 47th – 50th Rockefeller Center.
If you want to get more info about the NYC SUBWAY, we suggest you to read the dedicated section in our NYC BLOG.
The first Christmas tree was decorated at Rockefeller Center back in 1931. So 92 years ago!
Its history is truly beautiful and compelling. In 1931, workers excavating for Rockefeller Center set up the site’s first Christmas tree. The workers decorated a 20-foot balsam fir using wreaths made by their families and the tin foil ends of explosive caps. The site of the celebration was in the same area of the square where the tree is now raised each year.
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The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is usually a Norway Spruce and is between 69 and 100 feet tall. In meters, between 21 and 30 feet.
The 2022 Holiday Tree was 82 feet tall, so 25 meters.
The tree is decorated with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. Their wire is approximately 5 miles (8 km) long.
The Christmas tree will arrive at Rockefeller Center on the morning of Saturday, November 11, 2023. If you are in New York on that day, I recommend you go and see it. The moment of the tree’s arrival and then the process of hoisting it is one of the most iconic of the Christmas season & its lights in NYC.
The Rockefeller Center tree goes up on Saturday, November 11, 2023. Following this, starting from that day, there are about 2 weeks of assiduous work to decorate it with more than 50 thousand lights. As early as the afternoon of Saturday, November 11, 2023, the tree is covered with scaffolding.
Scaffolding is taken down about 3 days before the Tree Lighting Ceremony.
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The area of the tree is open 24/7 however it is not always lit.
Starting November 30th, 2023, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit daily from 5 a.m. to midnight.
On Christmas Day, the tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 5 am to 9 pm.
If you are looking for great ideas for your NYC NIGHTS, check the related section in our blog.
The Rockefeller Center tree remains lit until Jan. 13, 2024. This allows so many visitors to NYC in January to see it and enjoy its beautiful Christmas Lights in NYC
Since 2007, after each Christmas season in NYC with its amazing lights, the famous tree has been dismantled and turned into lumber. Afterwards, the lumber is then donated to Habitat for Humanity, which uses it to build houses for people in need.
The Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting ceremony will be Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.
In fact, it is tradition for the tree to be lit on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving.
Therefore, in 2023, Thanksgiving Day being Thursday, November 23, 2023, the tree will be lit on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.
The tree will be lit at exactly 9:57 p.m.
Yes, it costs nothing to attend the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony. Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
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The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony can be seen on NBC starting at 8 p.m.