Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

North America

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lights Up New York City For The Holidays

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

In the middle of the hustle and bustle of busy New York City, stands an annual Christmas tradition since 1931, The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This year, the Norway Spruce stands at 80 feet tall and weighs about 12 tons. It originated in Vestal, New York and traveled almost 200 miles to its new home in Manhattan. The tree was officially delivered on November 11th and was trimmed and decorated with 50,000 multi-colored lights and topped with a Swaorvski crystal star on November 29th during the tree lighting ceremony.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lights Up New York City
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

How Is The Tree Picked?

You may wonder, how is a tree picked each year? Rockefeller Center’s head gardener, Erik Pauze, scouts out trees that could be suitable for each year’s Christmas celebration. This year, he found the tree while driving through a neighborhood in Vestal, located in upstate New York.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lights Up New York City
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The tree was towering over the driveway of the McGinley family. Pauze approached the family and told them his crazy idea. The McGinley’s decided to donate their tree as a service to others and to memorialize their tree. When it’s time for the tree to come down after the holiday season, the trunks are milled into beams and donated to Habitat for Humanity. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Tree Lighting ceremony took place on November 29, 2023 at Rockefeller Center with host Kelly Clarkson. Thousands of people attend the lighting festivities every year to see the dazzling spectacle and over the top performances.

Cher, Barry Manilow, Keke Palmer and others provided the festive soundtrack at the event, and the Radio City Rockettes helped kick off the holiday season at the tree lighting which aired on NBC.

On the tree top, a 3D Swarovski star covered in 30 million crystals twinkled in the night as the Christmas special came to a close on NBC.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lights Up New York City
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Hours of Operation

According to Rockefeller Center, the tree will be lit daily from 5am-midnight until January 13th at 10:00pm. From December 15th through Christmas Eve, the tree will be lit from 5am-1am. On Christmas Day, the tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 5am to 9pm.

The Rockefeller Center ice skating rink is one of the most famous ice skating spots in the world with a brilliant view of the beautiful Christmas tree. Tickets can be purchased for The Rink and they cost $11-79 and can be purchased here.

Visitors and guests can also purchase a professional photo in front of the tree or a picture with Santa. 

Over the years, the looks and decorations of the tree have changed, but it will always remain a quintessential part of the New York holiday experience. 

Words by Emily Cigan @emily.cigan and Amy Harris

Latest Articles

North America

Spring training has ensued once again in Arizona. C3 Presents has continued to offer music and baseball in the sixth annual Innings Music Festival...

News

The inaugural BRIGHTSIDE Music Festival will take place at Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando on Saturday, April 27, 2024. The festival, organized by Brew...

News

Odie’s, the local hang dreamed up by country act Old Dominion and Good Time Design, will open this summer in Nashville. The idea was...

News

Fans of The Love Boat will have an opportunity to set sail aboard Princess Cruises alongside original cast members. The hit show, which aired...

North America

As an avid traveler, I’m always looking for the best areas to relax in-between flights without the hustle and bustle of public seating areas....

News

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has announced that the St. Thomas Carnival will be held from April 28-May 5, 2024. It is...

You May Also Like

Interviews

The series “Departures” chronicled two Canadian friends Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach as they quit their day jobs to make their way around the...

North America

While covering MGK “Machine Gun Kelly” Day which took place on August 13 I visited the musician’s local coffee shop, 27 Club Coffee. It...

Interviews

The Warning is a Mexican rock band from Monterrey, founded in 2013 by three sisters: Daniela (vocals, guitars, piano), Paulina (drums, vocals, piano) and...

Interviews

Cincinnati-based chef Christian Gill has been taking on every challenge that the Food Network has to offer this summer. He is currently competing in...