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Everything We Know So Far About the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

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|by Mikey Miller |


Witness the beginning of the Christmas season in New York

Spooky season is almost over, and many consider Nov. 1 to be the start of the holiday season. After all, Thanksgiving is just a warmup for the December holidays, right? One of New York City’s most famed holiday traditions is the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. We’re going to help you get a head start on your holiday planning by giving you all the details we know so far. For starters, the 2019 Rockefeller Christmas Tree Light Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 7-9 p.m.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is an annual tradition dating back to 1933 (Photo: iStock)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is an annual tradition dating back to 1933 (Photo: iStock)

This year will mark the 87th annual lighting. If you’re unfamiliar with where Rockefeller Plaza is, you can find it between West 48th Street and 51st Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. The ceremony is appropriate for all ages, and it’s free and open to the public, but be sure to arrive early enough to snag a prime viewing spot! 

If you’re unable to make this Rockefeller Center spectacular, the ceremony is always broadcast on NBC, and will include performances by A-list musical guests to bring the holiday spirit to life. And, of course, no holiday season would be complete without a visit to the area to take in the legendary Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes.

After the lighting, the tree will be lit daily from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. through the first few days of January 2020. This year, the Christmas tree, a Norway spruce that stands at a whopping 75 feet, hails from the Village of Florida in Orange County, New York. Each year, Rockefeller Center looks for a tree that is nearing the end of its life cycle and plants a new one in its place. When the tree is removed from the plaza, it is donated to Habitat for Humanity, which recycles the tree as lumber for its building projects. The tree attracts an estimated 125 million people annually.

If you just can’t wait for Dec. 4, to get your fill of the Christmas tree, you can be among the first to see it in its new Manhattan glory, as it arrives and is unloaded into its new home the plaza around 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9.

There is much more to do at Rockefeller Center during the holiday season, as well. Its world-famous ice rink, which sits just beneath where the tree will reside, is already open for the season, and you might want to reserve tickets online to ensure you get to experience this ever-popular wintry activity. You can also purchase a tour of Rockefeller Center to experience the Top of the Rock and the tree alongside a guide who can give you all the insider secrets and historical tidbits you never knew.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in New York!

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