If you’ve been to New York City recently, you may have seen that the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is already in place for the holiday season. While it’s currently surrounded by wooden scaffolding (after all, a 75+ foot tall Christmas tree doesn’t decorate itself), before long, the enormous tree which overlooks the skating ring will be lit up with over 30,000 multicolored lights, bringing the joy of the holiday season to Manhattan.
On Wednesday, December 4th, 2013, the 81st annual Rockefeller Center Tree lighting ceremony will commence at 7 PM. It’s the perfect event to kick off the season, featuring fun performances and celebrity appearances. In years past, the Radio City Rockettes have taken the stage and talented professional ice skaters have put on a show on the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink. You can expect similar performances in 2013, and as always, the crowds will certainly be filling Rockefeller Center early, so make sure you arrive on time to get a good viewing spot. However, if you do miss the ceremony, you can still catch the lights every day through January 6th.
Of course, there’s so much to do in Rockefeller Center that you can make a whole day out of this attraction. Start exploring the “city within a city” with a Rockefeller Center Tour, which take you to all of the most popular and important buildings, gardens, and landmarks. This national landmark is the culmination of entertainment, history, culture, and architecture in the heart of New York.
The Rockefeller Center Tour includes an inside look at the “30 Rock” building, Radio City Music Hall, the Associated Press Building, Paul Manship’s gilded bronze sculpture of Prometheus, and of course the outdoor rink and Christmas tree which really provide the atmosphere for the holiday season at Rockefeller Center.
The one attraction to which the tour doesn’t take you (but that you should most definitely add to your itinerary) is the Top of the Rock Observation Deck atop the infamous GE Building (“30 Rock”). This three-story viewing deck, 70 stories high, has arguably the best views of the New York City skyline—that’s right, some are even saying it’s better than the Empire State Building for a stunning panoramic view. One thing for sure is true: It’s the best place in New York to get a view of the iconic Empire State Building. Professional photographers are even on hand to snap photos of you in front of the city backdrop. Day and night are both great times to visit this attraction; in fact, you could even do both!
One way to see all of these attractions and more at a price you can afford is to take advantage of the New York Explorer Pass, which offers your admission to 3, 5, 7, or 10 attractions of your choosing at a discounted price. This is the perfect pass for those who wish to plan their trip by ear. On the other hand, if you know in advance what you’d like to see, check out some of the packages offered by Go Select New York. These include the New York Holiday Attractions package, featuring a Night Sightseeing Tour, the Top of the Rock, and the American Museum of Natural History; the fantastic 30 Rock Package, featuring the Top of the Rock, the Rockefeller Center Tour, and an NBC Studio Tour; or the popular Radio City Package, featuring a tour of Radio City Music Hall, the NBC Studio Tour, and the Top of the Rock.
Whatever you choose, you’ll enjoy big savings while basking in the season’s festive ambiance. don’t miss a trip to Rockefeller Center this holiday season, and if you can, catch the nation’s favorite tree lighting ceremony live and in person.