Happy New Year! It's time to set a course, check off your goals, and do the things you've always wanted to—including finally having the NYC experiences of your dreams. These are five Rockefeller Center musts for 2017:
1. The Rink at Rockefeller Center: Whether you've gazed upon skaters spinning around the world-famous rink on TV, in the movies, or from the balcony at Rockefeller Plaza, why not be one of them? The Rink just celebrated its 80th birthday on Christmas, and it's bright and sparkling as ever. This week is a wonderful opportunity, as the crowds have ebbed, but the Tree is still up through January 7. And anytime you go, you'll find yourself basking in the glow of the golden Prometheus. The Rink stays open till April, and there are lots of packages (such as Après Skate and Afternoon Tea) to round out a day or night on the ice.
2. Top of the Rock: A favorite for all ages, the Rockefeller Center observation deck—ascending all the way up to the open-air 70th floor—offers some of the most spectacular views on earth. With the Empire State Building directly to the south, Central Park unfurling to the north, and all the majesty of the skyline, the rivers and miles of landscape beyond the city, it's a thrill that's not to be missed. Daytime and evening visits each have their own magic, so consider a Sun & Stars ticket to do both in one day. (Plus you can take in another Manhattan treasure—MoMA—with a combination pass.)
3. Rockefeller Center Tour: Pair it up with Top of the Rock, or take the tour on its own for an eye-opening exploration. You'll learn about the origins and history of New York's "City Within a City," dating back to the 1930s, while gaining a new appreciation of the art, architecture and technological innovations that make Rockefeller Center unique. Informed, witty guides take you from iconic works around the Plaza (such as "Atlas") to lesser known yet equally transfixing pieces marking the interiors (such as "Sculptures of Light and Movement"), providing colorful details along the way. It's a highly enjoyable 90 minutes that will take you to a new level of NYC expertise.
4. The Tour at NBC Studios: Relaunched in the fall of 2015, the renowned tour at 30 Rock—led by a bona fide NBC page—is one of the ultimate behind-the-scenes TV experiences. Along with stepping into the studios (such as 8H and 6B, the ones for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live, respectively), you take an inside look at the production and broadcast facilities, and even make your own late-night clip. A perk for architecture lovers is the beautifully restored Art Deco rotunda as well. In addition to the tour, you can take a shot at attending a live taping or rehearsal—here's your how-to guide to reserve in advance, with info on nabbing standby tickets to Late Night With Seth Meyers.
5. Rainbow Room/Bar SixtyFive: There's nothing like the 65th-floor Rainbow Room when it comes to fabled NYC glamour. So many greats, past and present, have dined, danced and partied amid its opulence that it remains one of the most sought-after venues in Manhattan for private events. Fortunately, it's also open for a sensational Sunday brunch with live jazz (not to menion a bacon bar), so plan your special occasion now. A touch easier to achieve is a visit to SixtyFive next door, where the views are stellar, the atmosphere's hopping and the drinks are out of this world. Open weeknights only, it makes for a night on the town like none other, and reservations are recommended.