When it comes to my Bucket List, I’ve been blessed to mark a lot of items off of the list in recent years. One huge feat that I’ve been longing to do for about twenty years is to visit New York City during the holiday season to witness the magic of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. I grew up watching the Tree Lighting Ceremony on television and silently dreamed that one day I would get the opportunity to see it in person.
Finally, that time has come.
During a whirlwind trip to The Big Apple, my first trip there since the pandemic, I got to check yet another item off of my Bucket List. I can now say that I’ve seen the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree up close and personal (or as close as I could get to it, anyway).
Here’s a recap of my time visiting Rockefeller Center and the Christmas Tree.
I can tell you this: no photo that you’ve seen does the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree justice. As one of the most photographed Christmas trees each year, there is nothing like seeing it in person. The lights, the brightness—so perfectly wonderfully beautiful. This is such a majestic tree, and the lights make it even more spectacular.
The 30 Rock complex and all of the other buildings that make up Rockefeller Center make it a place for the holidays that you have to see for yourself. I think for my next trick, I will visit Rockefeller Center during the Today Show so I can try to get on television–holiday season of course. Adding that to my Bucket List as we speak.
During the holiday season, there’s so much to see and do in Midtown Manhattan. Radio City Music Hall, Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Light Show, Bryant Park skating rink, and so much more, there is no shortage of things to do and see. On the night I visited, the city had several streets blocked off from traffic so we could all walk and enjoy the seasons greetings.
Between the ice skating rinks at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, and Central Park, you can definitely partake in a favorite holiday activity. If you are planning to do so at Rockefeller Center’s The Rink, however, be prepared to wait–possibly hours. It’s best to purchase your tickets online first, which will cost you between $20-$54.
Here are a few additional things to keep in mind when visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree:
- Try to visit during off-peak times (weekdays are best) as it isn’t as crowded. I visited on a Saturday evening and there were a lot of people there. If I do this again, it will be during an off-peak time.
- Bundle up because New York nights can get cold. Make sure to layer and bring a hat, scarf, and gloves, especially if you plan on skating.
- Bring someone with you so you can try to get the best shot possible. Selfies are very hard to take with a tree this size.
- Be patient. Even during off-peak hours, there still will be plenty of people on the scene who all are vying to take photos in front of the iconic tree.
I am so happy that I got to experience the excitement that is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in person. It is a memory that I will treasure always, and to be honest, I may try to make it a yearly tradition.