Rockefeller Christmas Tree: 2023 Ultimate NYC Guide
Welcome to the ultimate guide for the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree! My name is Marco, and I’m the owner of My Christmas in New York on Instagram. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a must-see during the Holiday Season in New York City, and in this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make your NYC visit unforgettable. We’ll cover key details like when the tree arrives in NYC, the 2023 Tree Lighting Ceremony and when the tree goes down in 2024. Also, we’ll provide tickets info, hours and schedule, and tips on where to stand to see the 2023 Tree Lighting Ceremony. Lastly, you will find info on the 2023 Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink and on the best restaurants near the Christmas Tree. Our 2023 NYC Christmas Blog offers tons of useful information to help you plan your New York trip during the Holiday Season. Don’t miss out on the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree and all the magical moments it offers in NYC this year!
Table of Content
In order, these are the topics that we will cover to give you all the info about the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree in Midtown Manhattan.
- Where is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and how to get there on foot: In this section we will explain you how to reach the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree in Midtown Manhattan on foot. We will guide you through the main walking routes from nearby landmarks, ensuring a memorable experience during your 2023 NYC Christmas visit. This section include step-by-step instructions on how to get to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree from Times Square, Bryant Park and Central Park
- How to get to the Rockefeller Holiday Tree by Subway: In this part of our article, we will guide you on reaching the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree and its Lighting Ceremony by subway, highlighting the main subway stops near the Rockefeller Center and their connecting MTA lines, ensuring a hassle-free experience during the bustling holiday season in NYC.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Rockefeller Tree Lighting 2023: all the info: This section provides essential information about the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 2023, including the event date, ticket details, ceremony schedule, and advice on the best viewing spots, ensuring a memorable and magical holiday experience in New York City.
2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree Timeline
- 2023 key dates and events: In this section you will explore the comprehensive timeline of the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. We cover its arrival, decoration, lighting ceremony, and removal. Also, you will know all about the surrounding festivities and notable moments that make this iconic NYC holiday attraction a magical experience for all.
Best Restaurants near Rockefeller Christmas Tree
- This section showcases the best restaurants near the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree, adding an extra sparkle to your holiday season in New York. From Carmine’s authentic Italian cuisine to Fogo de Chao’s Brazilian churrasco, explore diverse culinary experiences amid the festive glow of Midtown Manhattan.
Let’s now get ready to discover everything you need to know about the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York City.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: a must-see during the 2023 Holiday Season in New York
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a must-see during the 2023 Holiday Season in New York. When thinking of New York during the festive season, the first thing that comes to mind is this iconic tree. While there is not officially a Santa Klaus Parade on Christmas Day in New York City, the lights and decorations in Manhattan make NYC the most beautiful city in the world to visit in December! In fact, every year, the most famous Christmas Tree in NYC is adorned with over 50 thousand lights. These lights and decorations captivate visitors from all over the world.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony is a highlight of the 2023 holiday season, featuring international stars and the dazzling Rockettes from Christmas Spectacular.
In this article, we’ll provide all the info you need to visit this beloved New York holiday landmark. You may recognize this tree from numerous films, including Home Alone II: Lost in New York.
To kick off our guide, we’ll discuss the location of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and how to get there.
Where is the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and How to get there on Foot
In this section, we will guide you step by step on how to reach the iconic Rockefeller Christmas Tree in Midtown Manhattan. We will discuss the main walking routes. Discover the exact location of the most famous Christmas tree in New York City and the distances from the main points of interest nearby. We are confident that this section will help you to better prepare for your trip. First-time travelers coming to NYC for Christmas will find these words very helpful.
The Christmas Tree Location in Manhattan
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is located in Midtown Manhattan. You will find it between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue, and between 49th Street and 50th Street. This area of NYC is easily accessible by public transportation and on foot. Moreover, this area is 100% tourist-friendly and very safe. Most of those who come to NYC during the holiday season have a hotel in this area of Manhattan. In fact, we are just a few steps away from Times Square. On top of this, in the sections below, I will also explain how to reach the Rockefeller Center and its Christmas Tree from the main points of interest nearby. If you come to NYC in December, you cannot miss this iconic Christmas tree.
Distance from Main Landmarks Nearby: Times Square, Bryant Park and more
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is surrounded by many tourist attractions. For example, Bryant Park is about a 10-minute walk away. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is right in front of the Channel Garden. The Plaza Hotel is less than 10 minutes away. Times Square, the center of NYC and the entire world, is about 15 minutes away.
How to Get to the Rockefeller Center from Times Square on Foot
Starting from the Red Stairs of Times Square, head east on 47th Street until you reach 6th Avenue. Turn left on 6th Avenue and continue for two blocks to 49th Street. Here you will see Radio City Music Hall in front of you. During the Christmas season, this theater hosts one of the most beautiful Christmas shows in all of NYC: Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. When you arrive in front of Radio City Music Hall, turn right and you will find the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree on your right. There is also the entrance to the famous Top of the Rock observation deck. I wrote an article comparing Top of the Rock to the Empire State Building. If you like, check it out!
How to Get from Bryant Park Christmas Tree to the Rockefeller Center
From the Bryant Park Winter Village, walk west on 42nd Street until you reach 6th Avenue. Turn right on 6th Avenue and walk for seven blocks to 49th Street. Turn left, and you will find the Rockefeller Christmas Tree on your left. Alternatively, you can walk on 42nd Street heading east until you reach 5th Avenue. When you see the New York Public Library, turn left. Walk north on 5th Avenue, passing the NBA Store. Once you arrive in front of the iconic 2023 Saks Light Show on 5th Avenue, you will also see the Channel Garden. During the Christmas season, Channel Garden is fully decorated with huge white angels. Take a photo of these Christmas decorations and then head towards the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree.
From Central Park to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Starting from the southeast entrance of Central Park, in front of the Plaza Hotel, walk south along 5th Avenue. But first, don’t forget to enter the Plaza Hotel; its Christmas tree is truly beautiful. After admiring the Pulitzer Fountain, continue south for about 10 minutes. Once you arrive at the Channel Garden, you will find the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree in front of you!
Now that you know the location of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and how to get there on foot, you can fully enjoy the 2023 Christmas atmosphere in New York. Don’t forget to visit the Bryant Park Winter Village, the Plaza Hotel Christmas Tree, the Times Square Christmas Store for 365 days of Christmas shopping, and the Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show as well.
In the section below, we will explain which subway stations are closest to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This will help you not only understand which New York MTA lines to take, but also how to walk from the subway stop to NYC’s most famous Christmas tree.
How to get to the Rockefeller Holiday Tree by Subway
The Rockefeller Center and its Christmas Tree are easily accessible by the New York subway (MTA), thanks to the numerous lines and stations nearby. In this section, we will explore the main subway stops near the Rockefeller Center. Also, you will discover the MTA lines they are connected to. It is important to know that the New York subway is the most famous means of transportation for getting around the city. This is especially important during the holiday season. In fact, in this period, the streets of NYC are completely full of traffic.
Attending the Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show and admiring the 50,000 lights of the most famous Christmas tree in New York will be an unforgettable experience. The tree lighting ceremony will take place on November 29, 2023. Arriving by subway is the best choice, given the large number of people in the area.
Let’s now discover the main subway stops for reaching the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree during the holiday season.
47th-50th Streets – Rockefeller Center Station
The 47th-50th Streets – Rockefeller Center Station is the closest to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This station is served by the B, D, F, and M lines. The stop is located between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue, just a short walk from the main entrance of the Rockefeller Center and its amazing tree.
5th Avenue – 53rd Street Station: Just 5 minutes from the Rockefeller Christmas Tree
Another option for reaching the Rockefeller Center is the 5th Avenue – 53rd Street Station, served by the E and M lines. The station is located at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 53rd Street, about a five-minute walk from the Rockefeller Center Holiday Tree.
49th Street Station – Right next to the Red Steps in Times Square
The 49th Street Station, served by the N, Q, R, and W lines, is located on 7th Avenue, a short walking distance from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Walk east along 49th Street for about five minutes to reach the Best NYC Holiday Tree.
42nd Street – Bryant Park Station
Finally, the 42nd Street – Bryant Park Station is a great choice if you are coming from the Bryant Park area. The B, D, F, and M lines serve this station. From here, walk north along 6th Avenue for about 10 minutes to reach the Rockefeller Center.
Conclusion: how to get to the Rockefeller Center via subway
In conclusion, the Rockefeller Center is easily accessible thanks to the numerous subway stops nearby. Whether you choose the 47th-50th Streets, 5th Avenue – 53rd Street, 49th Street, or 42nd Street – Bryant Park station, you will arrive at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and its Lighting Ceremony in just a few minutes.
Rockefeller Tree Lighting 2023: all the info
The Rockefeller Tree Lighting 2023 is an iconic Christmas event eagerly anticipated by all of New York City every year. In fact, it marks the official start of the holiday season in NYC. This section dedicated to the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony 2023 will guide you through everything you need to know to participate in this magical celebration. In particular, among other information, you will discover the date of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony for 2023. Furthermore, you will find information on tickets to attend the event and details on the ceremony schedule. If you need advice on when to arrive to ensure you don’t miss a single moment of the lighting and where to position yourself for the best view, you are in the right place! Get ready to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit and experience an unforgettable time in New York City.
When is the 2023 Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony?
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 2023 will take place on November 29, 2023. This date follows the tradition of holding the event on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving. This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 23, leading to the selection of November 29 for the anticipated holiday event. Immerse yourself in the magical holiday atmosphere and admire the 50,000 lights on the tree. It’s important to note that the Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show will not be held on November 29, as the focus will be on the Rockefeller Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. For more information on the Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show, please refer to our dedicated article.
At what time the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is Lit?
The Rockefeller Center tree is lit precisely at 9:57 PM during the Lighting Ceremony. However, the event, featuring high-profile international guests, begins around 7 PM. It’s important to note that if you want to attend the ceremony in person, you cannot arrive at the last minute. Every year, thousands of people watch this event live. Those who want a front-row spot even show up late in the morning. To secure a decent spot with a good view of the tree, it’s recommended not to arrive after 3 PM.
We invite you to continue reading the next section, where we will provide more information on when to arriveto enjoy the 2023 Rockefeller lighting ceremony to the fullest. Also, we will explain you where to position yourself for the best view of the Tree Lighting Ceremony.
What time does the lighting ceremony start?
The 2023 Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center, an iconic NYC event that marks the beginning of the holiday season, begins around 7 PM. The event lasts for about 3 hours. During this time, international artists of enormous fame, such as Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, and Andrea Bocelli, have graced the stage in past years. The highly anticipated event culminates with the famous countdown. In fact, at exactly 9:57 PM, the countdown begins. This leads to the official lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
With the Saks Fifth Avenue Light Show nearby, thousands of visitors flock to the area to experience the magic. We look forward to seeing you all on November 29, 2023. Attending the most famous event of the Christmas season in NYC in person is a memorable experience. Remember to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Fully immerse yourself in the festive spirit on the 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
What time should I arrive to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony?
It’s essential to know that arriving at the last minute for the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony isn’t a good idea, as thousands of people attend this event in person each year. If you arrive too late, the police will close the streets surrounding the tree, preventing you from getting closer. The areas around the Holiday Tree at the Rockefeller Center are marked off with barricades and dividers, creating designated zones for attendees. Once inside your zone, moving around isn’t advisable, as you may lose your spot.
If you want a front-row view, on 29 November 2023 you should arrive in the late morning, around 10 or 11 AM. For a good spot with a clear view of the tree, aim to arrive by 3 PM. As the day progresses, the streets become increasingly crowded. Arriving around 6 PM or after the ceremony has begun is likely to result in little to no visibility of the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Plan your day accordingly to ensure the best possible experience at this iconic event.
Do I need a Ticket to attend the 2023 Lighting Ceremony?
The answer is no – attending the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is completely free of charge. You do not need tickets to enjoy this magical event, making it accessible to everyone. The ceremony is one of the best events of the 2023 holiday season in New York, and as it’s free, thousands of people choose to attend.
Keep in mind that spots at the Rockefeller Center are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. As the event is without tickets, the earlier you arrive, the better your chances of securing a good spot. We suggest to arrive no later than 3 PM to get a great view of the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Ligthing Ceremony.
If you’re interested in learning more about other events during the 2023 NYC Christmas season, be sure to check out the dedicated article on my blog for more information.
Where can I best position myself to view the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony?
The ideal location to experience the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is undoubtedly in front of the tree itself, within the iconic Channel Gardens. This garden, adorned with enormous white angels, is situated between Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue, right across from Saks. However, keep in mind that the Saks Light Show will not be held on November 29, 2023. This is because the full focus is on the tree lighting for the first time. The ceremony is free of charge and one of the best events of the 2023 Holiday Season in New York. As such, thousands of people will attend. Consequently, this area tends to fill up quickly and the NYPD will restrict certain zones. Make sure you arrive early if you want to have a great view of the 2023 Rockefeller Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.
If you arrive and find the Channel Gardens area already full, we recommend positioning yourself around the Rockefeller Center ice-skating rink. This way, you’ll have an angled but clear view of the tree lighting ceremony. If you arrive too late, both of these areas will be packed. Hence, the police don’t allow you to reach them. If this happens, try finding a spot on the side of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. This is along the stretch from 49th to 50th Street. From here, you’ll be able to admire the Christmas tree countdown from a lateral position. However, the spot is still without any obstacles blocking your view.
After the tree lighting ceremony, this iconic NYC Christmas symbol, on November 29th 2023, will remain illuminated from 10 PM to Midnight. For more info about the hours of operations of the tree from November 30th till early January 2024, continue reading this article.
Rockefeller Christmas Tree 2023 Timeline: when the tree arrives and goes down
In this section, we will provide you with a comprehensive timeline of the key dates and events surrounding the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for 2023. From the moment the tree arrives in New York City to its final removal in 2024, you’ll find all the details you need right here. We will discuss the tree’s arrival in NYC, the ceremony during which the tree is hoisted into position, what happens between the tree’s arrival and the lighting ceremony, and finally, when the tree will be taken down in 2024.
We also invite you to read our article on the Christmas in New York 2023 timeline, which includes all the dates for events and shows throughout this festive season. Don’t miss out on any of the excitement and wonder that New York City has to offer during the holidays!
11 November 2023: the Christmas Tree arrives at the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan
The arrival of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, November 11, 2023. The tree usually arrives in Midtown Manhattan around 10 a.m. This event occurs about two weeks before New York’s famous Christmas tree lighting ceremony and attracts thousands of New Yorkers, eager to witness one of the most iconic moments of the Christmas season.
The tree is carefully removed from the truck that transported it to New York and then hoisted up with the help of a large crane. The process takes about two hours, and at the end of the ceremony, small pieces of tree branches are distributed to spectators as a beautiful memento to take home. If you are in New York on November 11, 2023, do not miss the opportunity to witness the arrival of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
An interesting curiosity is about Christmas 2021. In fact, during the process of hoisting the tree, the workers discovered a small owl among its branches. This little owl has become the symbol of Christmas in New York. As such, don’t be surprised if you often see a little owl on T-shirts and gadgets representing Rockefeller Center and its Christmas tree.
After the hoisting ceremony, two weeks of intense work begins to decorate and beautify the tree. Workers add more than 50,000 lights in preparation for the highly anticipated lighting ceremony. As described above, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on November 29, 2023.
12 November to 28 November 2023: intense works to beautify and decorate the Rockefeller Center Holiday Tree
During this period, November 12 to 28, there is incessant work to beautify and decorate the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. As soon as the tree is hoisted on November 12, it is also surrounded by scaffolding. These structures allow workers to reach the top of the tree to make it even more spectacular and decorate it with more than 50,000 lights.
After about a week of work, the famous Swarovski star is added to the top of the tree. About five days before the lighting ceremony of the Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Center, the scaffolding is removed. This marks the start of official preparations for November 29, 2023.
The lighting ceremony of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is undoubtedly the most important event of the Christmas season in New York City. Be sure not to miss this magical and tradition-filled moment.
November 29, 2023: Tree Lighting Ceremony
As written above, the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be on November 29, 2023. The tree is lit at exactly 9:57 PM. If you want to attend this iconic event in person, remember to arrive early. In fact, thousands of New Yorkers and tourists want to see the lighting in person every year. This is also because participating is completely free. The lighting also means entertainment and fun. Every year artists of the international caliber of Alicia Keys or Andrea Bocelli perform in anticipation of the lighting. Follow me on Instagram at the My Christmas in New York page for all the live updates on the Christmas Season in NYC 2023.
November 30, 2023 to Early January 2024: Visit everyday the Rockefeller Christmas Tree
The lights on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will be on every day between November 30, 2023 and early January 2024. If you want to see it during the Christmas season in New York, you can do so whenever you want. In fact, the Rockefeller Center never closes the area and Plaza around the tree. You can therefore visit the world’s most famous Christmas tree even at 3 a.m. if you wish. Remember, though, that the lights on the Rockefeller Christmas tree are not on 24 hours a day. In fact, between midnight and 4 a.m. each day, the Rockefeller Center switches off the lights on Holiday Tree.
As a result, the lights on the tree are on every day between 4 a.m. and midnight. Want to take memorable photos for your instagram page? Then we recommend you visit the Rockefeller Christmas tree early in the morning. In fact, around 5 or 6 a.m. there is hardly anyone in front of the tree. This allows you to take memorable souvenir photos to show to friends and family after you return from your Christmas trip to New York.
January 2024: the Rockefeller Christmas Tree goes down and ends of the 2023 Holiday Season
The Rockefeller Center hasn’t announced yet the Christmas tree removal date. This usually takes place in early January each year. In the past, they removed the Christmas tree in the first week of January, so around the 7th. For the past 2 years though, Rockefeller Center has decided to keep it longer. For example, in both 2021 and 2022 Rockefeller Center took down its Christmas tree around January 14.
So, expect to know the removal date of the Rockefeller Christmas tree around January 10 / 14, 2024. For updates, follow me on Instagram at My Christmas in New York page where I give you live info every day during the Christmas season.
The best restaurants near the Rockefeller Christmas Tree
During the magical Christmas season, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is an iconic symbol that draws visitors from all around the world. Its Tree Lighting Ceremony is a memorable event during the 2023 Holiday Season in the Big Apple. Its prime location in the heart of Midtown Manhattan makes visiting this tree a unique experience, and even more memorable is the opportunity to discover the best restaurants in the vicinity.
Among these are Carmine’s Italian Restaurant and Don Antonio, offering an authentic taste of Italy just steps away from the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. La Grande Boucherie and Gallaghers Steakhouse provide a touch of French sophistication and a true American steakhouse experience, respectively, while Fogo de Chao takes you on a tasty journey to Brazil. For a unique experience, don’t miss out on Ellen Stardust and the Papillon Bistro & Bar with its Christmas decorations.
I invite all readers to check out my dedicated article on the best restaurants near the Rockefeller Christmas Tree for more insights. Remember, Christmas in New York 2023 will be even more special with a delicious culinary break!
Conclusion: the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is a must-see Holiday Season Tradition in New York
In conclusion, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a beloved and time-honored NYC tradition. This Holiday Tree marks the beginning of the festive season in New York City. From its arrival on November 11, 2023, to its removal in early January 2024, the tree stands as a symbol of unity and holiday cheer. Every year thousands of locals and tourists come to New York City to visit this iconic Christmas Tree. The lighting ceremony on November 29, 2023, is the highlight of the season. In fact, it features live performances from internationally acclaimed artists. Also, the tree lighing moment with more than 50,000 lights is simply magical.
Throughout its time on display, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree provides a stunning backdrop for memorable photos and unforgettable holiday experiences. Whether you visit the tree early in the morning to capture serene moments or join the bustling crowds during the day, the tree’s magnificent presence is sure to leave a lasting impression. Additionally, the surrounding events and attractions, such as the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center and the many holiday-themed shows and performances, contribute to the enchanting atmosphere of New York City during the Christmas season.
The Rockefeller Center taking down the tree in early January 2024 marks the end of the 2023 Holiday Season. Yet, the memories created around the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will remain a cherished part of the festive experience. If you have the chance to be at the Rockefeller Plaza this winter, don’t miss it.
We hope that this comprehensive guide has provided you with all the information you need to make the most of your visit to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the many wonderful holiday attractions New York City has to offer.