Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting 2017

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Insider Tips on New York’s Christmas Tree

Nothing marks the beginning of the magical holiday season in New York City like the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Check our Insider Guide tips on the best views of the tree, ice skating in Rockefeller Center, Christmas Dinner, Christmas Open Attractions and more.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is officially scheduled for Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Christmas Tree Lighting Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

85th Annual Tree Lighting
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Ceremony, 7-9 pm

The unlit Rockefeller Center Christmas tree usually arrives in mid-November. Then we have Thanksgiving and Black Friday, when the department stores unveil their famous window holiday displays… but it is the week after Thanksgiving that represents the true start of Holiday Season in NYC for many New Yorkers.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a world-wide symbol of the holidays in New York City. The tree, traditionally a Norway Spruce, is illuminated by 30,000 environmentally friendly LED lights on five miles of wire, and crowned by a Swarovski crystal star. Tens of thousands crowd the sidewalks for the event and hundreds of millions watch the Tree Lighting Ceremony broadcast live across the globe.

The tree will stay up until 9pm on January 7, 2018 and will be illuminated from 5:30 am to midnight, all day (24 hours) on Christmas Day and 5:30 am – 9 pm on New Year’s Eve.

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Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Hotels Near Rockefeller Center

Some of our top value picks near Rockefeller Center include:

See the Insider Guide for dozens more Hotels Near Rockefeller Center.

Rockefeller Center runs from 47th - 50th Streets, between 5th and 6th Aves. Download our free neighborhood maps at Midtown East Hotels and Midtown West Hotels

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Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Vacation Package

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Vacation Package

Completely Sold Out in 2016 – Book Your 2017 Party/ Package Soon!!!! Choose from:

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Holiday and Christmas Cruise Specials

Just Added!!! Save $5 per ticket with code "INSIDER5"

Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise

Classic Harbor cruises has a special holiday treat just for YOU!!! Their upscale cruise line offers dozens of NYC Holiday Cruises, like Cocoa & Carols, Holiday Jazz, Holiday Brunch, Holiday Wine Tasting, New Year's and many more, all year round.

These cruises SELL OUT QUICKLY, so make sure to head over to: Classic Harbor Holiday Cruises and save $5 on any cruise ticket with code "INSIDER5"

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Rockefeller Center Discount Passes

CityPASS
Choose TOTR or Guggenheim
New York CityPASS

NY Explorer Pass
TOTR and Rock Center Tour attraction choices
New York City Explorer Pass and Go Select Card

New York Pass
Includes TOTR and Rock Center Tour
The New York Pass

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Special Holiday Tours Open on Christmas Eve and/or Day

THE RIDE Holiday Edition Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$46
View details

Exclusive Luxury Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise

Bestseller
Price starting at US$264
View details

Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise

Likely to sell out
Price starting at US$120
View details

VIP: Rockefeller Center Late-Night Ice Skating and Top of the Rock

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$96
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NYC Private Holiday Lights Tour by Limo

Price starting at US$399
View details

Slice of Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$52
View details

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

NYC Insider Tip:
When visiting the tree, enter Rockefeller Center from 5th Avenue and walk through the horn-blowing Angels toward the tree. Entering from the side, 47th or 50th streets is just not the same view or experience.

The horn-blowing Angels will lead you to the Rockefeller Tree, Prometheus and the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink. The Angels represent hope and Prometheus, the gold statue in Rockefeller Plaza, represents the ancient Greek legend of the Titan, bringing fire to mankind.

Rockefeller Center is between 5th and 7th Avenues and 47th and 50th Streets.

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Map

As you can see from this partial map of Rockefeller Center, entering from the Fifth Avenue side makes the first sight of the tree visit much nicer as you walk along the Angels, toward the Ice Skating Rink, looking at Prometheus (the statue behind the rink) and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree proudly presiding over the spectacular scene.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Map

See Rockefeller Center for a complete downloadable map and directory or check here for Top of the Rock Holiday Hours

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NYC Insider Print Map and Guide to Manhattan

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Where Should I Stand and When Should I Arrive?

Mariagiulia from Italy asked,

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

“I would like to know (because it’s my first time at this event) where precisely will the stage be where celebrities will perform and, in your experience, where is the best spot with the closest view of the stage. And at which hour should I arrive to be in front?”

Of course, I asked my friend and Rockefeller Center expert, John, Manager of Top of the Rock.

Here is his response, “The talent usually performs down by the ice skating rink, in front of the Prometheus statue. She should probably arrive at about 4pm for the closest spot possible, but she’ll get no closer than the Channel Gardens because that’s where just about everyone there has to stand.”

For those who want an up close and warm view of the live entertainment and tree lighting, check out this: Exclusive Insider’s Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Party

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New York City Holiday Lights Tours

New York City Holiday Lights Tours

New York City during Holiday season is a don’t miss! Get in the festive spirit by taking a Holiday Lights Tour. Choose from Bus Tours, Holiday Dining Cruises and Movie & TV Site Holiday tours.

New York Holiday Markets and Christmas Lights Tour

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$42
View details

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Party VIP

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$469
View details

Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise

Bestseller
Price starting at US$59
View details

Slice of Brooklyn Christmas Lights Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$52
View details

THE RIDE Holiday Edition Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$46
View details

Holiday Lights and Movie Sites Bus Tour

Bestseller
Price starting at US$35
View details

Holiday Lights Double Decker Night Bus Tour

Price starting at US$55
View details

NYC Holiday Lights Motorcoach Sightseeing Tour

Price starting at US$55
View details

Holiday Jazz Cruise

Price starting at US$86
View details

See More: December Holiday Tours in New York City

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Photos

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

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Recommended New York City Hotel Deals 

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Video

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – Ice Skating

Ice Skating New York City | Rockefeller Center

For tourists and locals alike, ice skating at Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park is a classic New York winter experience.

All three major rinks are open on Christmas Day, as are most of the restaurants surrounding them.

Here are the details for Ice Skating in New York City, including rates and dates plus NYC Insider Tips for discounts and coupons.

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Christmas in New York City

Christmas in New York City

Read the full NYC Insider Guide to Christmas in New York City to get the inside scoop and plan your Christmas holiday.

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Rockefeller Tree Lighting Performers

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The 2017 “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” telecast on NBC will feature Gwen Stefani, Brett Eldredge, Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton”), Pentatonix, Jennifer Nettles and The Tenors. As always, the Rockettes will be sure to "kick" off the holiday season. The TV special will air on NBC Nov. 29 at 8 p.m.

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Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Vacation Package

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Vacation Package

Completely Sold Out in 2016 – Book Your 2017 Party/ Package Soon!!!! Choose from:

Get your special written consent to enter the private areas at Rockefeller Center on the day of the Tree Lighting. At 9pm, the private outdoor patio will be the perfect location to watch the famous tree as it is lit for the first time. Then, have your picture taken by a professional photographer with the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree as your backdrop! As far as I know, this is the ONLY private tree lighting party in NYC!

More Info: New York City Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Vacation

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Rockefeller Center More Info

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