When one says the words “NYC Christmas Tree” the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This is in fact the most famous not only in all of NYC but in the whole world. With its 50,000 lights and millions of visitors each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has always been an unmistakable symbol of Christmas in New York City.
However, if you are planning a trip to New York City during the Christmas Season, you should be well aware that there is more than just the NYC Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. On the contrary! There if many others scattered around Manhattan that, while much less famous, are still beautiful to see.
In fact, this article today from my New York Blog is about what I think are the best Christmas trees in NYC.
So buckle up and get ready to discover with me the list of my favorite Christmas trees in the Big Apple!
In this article in my NYC BLOG I will cover the following topics:
If you are reading this article about my favorite NYC Christmas Tree, then it means that you are most likely planning a trip to New York City during the Holiday Season.
If so, then I recommend you visit my section of the Blog completely dedicated to Christmas in New York 2023.
In this section you will find everything that will help you plan your trip. I cover not only New York Christmas trees as in this article. On the contrary! I talk about the best Christmas lights in New York, including those at Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson Yards. I talk about little-known areas of Manhattan but no less fascinating, such as beautiful Zuccotti Park. You will really find everything to help you plan your 2023 NYC Christmas trip well in advance.
By clicking on the image below you can visit the section of my NYC BLOG directly.
Now instead let’s focus on what I think are the best Christmas trees in NYC. Most of the ones I have selected to offer you in this article are in Midtown Manhattan. This is the area where Times Square is located and where most tourists choose their NYC hotels.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City needs no introduction. In fact, this Tree is the symbol of Christmas in New York City. Millions of people each year eagerly await the tree’s arrival in the city and then go to visit it.
In 2023, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will arrive in NYC on November 11. After about 2 weeks of non-stop work, there will be the NYC Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Center on November 29, 2023.
In my NYC BLOG I have devoted several articles to this iconic Christmas tree. Among them I would like to point out 2 of them.
This article from my NYC Christmas Blog is the 2023 guide to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Inside you will find everything you need to know about this tree including: the date it arrives in NYC, the date it is lit, how to get to Rockefeller Center by subway or on foot, how long it stays lit each day, and when it will be removed in early 2024.
In my article on the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 2023 I cover everything you need to know about this iconic event. In addition to the 2023 date, I also write tips on what time to arrive to view the ceremony and where to position yourself around Rockefeller Center to best view it.
The NYC Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center will be one of the pivotal events of Christmas in New York in 2023. If you want to attend, you need to prepare in advance. There will indeed be hundreds of thousands of people.
In the list of NYC Christmas Trees, the one in Bryant Park could not possibly be missing.
Bryant Park is a beautiful park located in Midtown Manhattan, New York. To be specific, it is located between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue on 42nd Street.
This park cannot not be visited during the Christmas season in New York because it is in fact less than a 5-minute walk from Times Square.
In the title of this paragraph I write that Bryant Park’s is the most complete NYC Christmas Tree. This is because, in addition to having a beautiful Christmas tree, Bryant Park also has a fantastic Christmas Market and the largest ice skating rink in all of Manhattan.
The Christmas tree at Bryant Park is not as glitzy as the one at Rockefeller Center. In fact, it is usually decorated with only yellow lights. That doesn’t mean it is any less beautiful or worth visiting, though.
The lighting ceremony of the NYC Christmas Tree in Bryant Park is held one day before that of Rockefeller Center. So in 2023 it will be on November 28. Be prepared to see not only the iconic countdown to light the tree but also beautiful fireworks and ice rink performances.
With more than 80 vendors, the Bryant Park Christmas Market is a regular stop for anyone visiting NYC during the holiday season. As you walk through Bryant Park, you will find plenty of typical New York products. In fact, all the vendors at Bryant Park Winter Village are carefully selected and from New York State. Here you will find souvenirs, decorations for your Christmas tree but also clothes, paintings, photographs and much more. Not to mention the delicious culinary stands where you can try food from all over the world.
The Bryant Park Christmas market opens on October 27, 2023. If you are in New York City in the Fall or Winter, visit it!
New York Christmas Trees can be divided into two broad categories. The first is the public Christmas Trees, those that are in plazas or avenues and can be freely visited at any time of the day or night. Examples are the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Wall Street Christmas Tree.
There are more private Christmas trees. That is, those that belong to Hotels, Banks, Private Buildings. Among these, one of my favorites is definitely that of the Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
The Lotte New York Palace Hotel is located on Madison Avenue, right behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Although the one at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel is one of the most beautiful and elegant Christmas trees in New York, it is still unknown to so many visitors to the city.
that is why I have written an article entirely dedicated to the NYC Christmas Tree at the Lotte New York Palace, so that when you are in New York during the Christmas season, you will definitely go and see it.
Like the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, the world-famous Plaza also has its own beautiful Christmas tree. Actually, there are even eight Christmas trees inside the Plaza Hotel! The best thing about the Plaza Hotel Christmas tree in New York is that their visit is not restricted exclusively to (wealthy) Plaza guests. In fact, anyone visiting New York during the Christmas season can enter inside the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and visit its beautiful Christmas Trees. There is one catch: access to the Plaza Hotel is not allowed at all hours of the day, but only at specific times. In this section of my NYC Blog on my favorite Christmas Trees in New York, I first explain where the Plaza Hotel is located and how to get there. I will then tell you about how and when to visit its Christmas tree.
The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan is located in the most touristy area of New York City during the holiday season. In fact, this very famous and very elegant hotel is located on 5th Avenue at the intersection with 59th Street. In terms of geography, the Plaza Hotel is practically at the beginning of Central Park. Getting here is super easy. When you are visiting Rockefeller Center, for example, go to Fifth Avenue and walk north for about 15 minutes. To make sure you are going in the right direction, namely north, look at the number of streets. If the number goes up, it means you are going north. If the number goes down, it means you are going south. Once you arrive at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street you will find on your right the world-famous Apple Store in Manhattan with its transperent glass cube. To the right, on the other hand, you will see the beautiful Plaza Hotel rise.
To make it easier for you to reach the Plaza Hotel, I leave the link to Google Map that you can simply click and follow, or the embedded map directly below.
The Christmas tree at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan cannot be visited 24 hours a day unless you are a guest of the hotel.
Visiting hours at the Plaza Hotel are restricted to mornings before 10am or evenings after 10pm.
So, from a time window perspective, you can visit the Plaza Hotel and its beautiful Christmas tree from 10pm to 10am every day.
I recommend doing it early in the morning, around 8am, when there are still few tourists around the city. Then from there you can take the opportunity to go inside Central Park and explore some of its most iconic places, such as the very romantic Bow Bridge.
As mentioned earlier, the Plaza Hotel is located in a highly touristic location. Within walking distance you will find Rockefeller Center, the Saks Fifth Avenue Sound and Light show, and also the fantastic Lotte Hotel.
Once you are in front of the Plaza Hotel and have visited its beautiful Christmas tree, take the opportunity to go and visit other iconic Christmas in New York places as well.
Below, by clicking on the images, you can find guides I have prepared for you that will surely help you explore the Midtown Manhattan area to the fullest!
The Fox Square Christmas tree is less well known than the one at Rockefeller Center, but if you are in Midtown Manhattan you should definitely go and visit it.
Let me tell you just one statistic: while the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has 50,000 lights decorating it, the Fox Square Christmas tree has 300,000 colored lights. So, 6 times as many as Rockefeller Center.
In terms of height, the Fox Square Christmas Tree is much less tall and majestic than the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. All its lights, though, make it easily visible to anyone walking down 6th Avenue.
The Fox Square Christmas tree is located at the intersection of 6th Avenue and 48th Street.
To visit it, therefore, you do not have to go to 5th Avenue, but to 6th Avenue.
48th Street is practically at the height of Rockefeller Center or Radio City Music Hall.
Once you are in front of Radio City Music Hall, go slightly south and you will see the beautiful Fox Square tree on the west side of the street.
To help you find the Fox Square Christmas tree, I’ll leave you the link to Google Maps and also the map below.
The Christmas tree in Fox Square, as well as the one in Rockefeller Center and the one in Bryant Park, is public. You can therefore visit it at whatever time of day or night you prefer.
One of the things I love most about this Christmas tree is that its 300,000 lights are never turned off.
My advice is to visit it as the sun goes down. In December in New York, the sun goes down around 4:30 in the afternoon. So take the opportunity to take a nice walk in the late afternoon, go to 6th Avenue and enjoy the view of this spectacular Christmas tree.
Some of you will surely remember: in late November 2021, someone set fire to the Fox Square Christmas Tree. The news bounced all over the news. The surprising thing was that the tree was rebuilt in a very short time: after 3 days in fact there ‘was a new Christmas Tree in Fox Square.
Since that time the tree has been made of 100% material that does not catch fire and is monitored day and night by the NYPD.
When I think of Lower Manhattan and Christmas, the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly the Wall Street Christmas Tree.
Wall Street is located in lower Manhattan, New York, the same location as other famous landmarks. These include the Brooklyn Bridge, Little Italy, China Town, and One World Trade Center.
Wall Street is also known as the New York Stock Exchange, or also simply by the acronym NYSE.
Although smaller than the one at Rockefeller Center, the Wall Street Christmas tree is in my opinion just as beautiful.
What I love most about this Christmas Tree is the fact that in addition to having thousands of colored lights, it also has real Christmas ornaments. The latter is missing from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which instead is decorated “only” with 50 thousand colored lights.
The Wall Street Christmas tree is located right in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Once you are in Lower Manhattan and visit Wall Street, you really cannot miss it.
To help you find it, I leave here the useful Google Map Link that you can click on to create directions from where you are to the Wall Street Christmas tree, or the map below.
The Wall Street Christmas tree lighting ceremony is always held on the same day as the one at Rockefeller Center.
Thus, in 2023, both ceremonies will be on November 29.
While Wall Street’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony is at 6 p.m., Rockefeller Center’s is later in the evening. In fact, the Rockefeller Center tree is lit at exactly 9:57 pm.
The biggest difference between the 2 ceremonies is that the one at the Wall Street Christmas Tree is easier and faster. Instead, the one at Rockefeller Center also includes music and dance performances, including the world-famous Rocketters from the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.
Wall Street’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony is also less famous and as a result you will find far fewer people to see it. Keep it in mind as a very viable alternative if you want to attend a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in New York City.
If you want to read everything you need to know about the Wall Street Christmas Tree, then read my 100% NYC Guide dedicated to this Christmas tree in Lower Manhattan. You can find it by clicking on the image below!
Did you like this article? Then I give you 2 tips.
The first is to check out the section of my BLOG devoted entirely to Christmas in New York. Here you will find everything you need to plan your next NYC vacation during the holiday season. In addition to talking about Christmas Trees, I also cover Christmas Markets, Light and Sound Shows, the best neighborhoods to visit in New York at Christmas (including beautiful Dyker Heights), and much more!
If, on the other hand, you are looking for general tips for your trip to New York, then check out my entire NYC BLOG. Easily navigable, you will find plenty of articles that will help you tremendously both in the planning stages of your trip to the United States of America and once you arrive here in NYC.