Spark some joy.
The 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, December 2nd will be closed to the public. The tree will be lit during a live national television broadcast on NBC at 9:45 pm.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit and on display starting Thursday, December 3, through early January 2021 from 6 am to 12 am daily. The tree lighting on Wednesday, December 2, will be closed to the public. You can enjoy the ceremony by watching the live national broadcast on NBC.
To ensure a safe experience for everyone, visiting the plaza will be a bit different this year. There will be special tree viewing entrances and traffic patterns, tree viewing time limits, and masks and social distancing will be required at all times.
How to arrive and see the tree:
- Tree viewing entrances will be located on 49th and 50th streets and 5th and 6th Avenues ONLY. Once you have entered, you will follow social distancing markers as you proceed to the tree viewing zones on 49th and 50th streets. Center Plaza, where the tree is physically located, will be closed to the public.
- Each distancing floor marker accommodates four people. There can be no more than four people in one pod (a six-foot diameter circle decal outlined on the ground.) Groups of more than four people will be separated into two or more pods.
- Once you have reached the tree viewing zone, you have a five-minute time limit to enjoy the tree and take photos.
- Masks are mandatory at all times.
- Social distancing will be enforced by specially trained staff and NYPD and visitors should maintain a distance of six feet between themselves and other parties.
- This year, we will be utilizing virtual queuing to help manage the flow of visitors viewing the Tree during busy times. Look out for QR codes around Rockefeller Center to begin virtually queueing when the lines are long. Once you have signed up, you will receive a wait time and SMS message when it is your time to return to view the tree.
How to visit shops and restaurants:
- The Channel Gardens (located between 49th and 50th Streets just west of 5th Avenue) will be open for retail customers and office tenants only. This area is not open for tree viewing.
- Shops and restaurants in the Concourse can be accessed from 49th and 50th Streets.
To stay informed about all the details, be among the first to know by signing up for The Center newsletter.
- Nov. 14—The Tree arrived at Rockefeller Center.
- Dec. 2—The Tree will be lit for the first time on Rockefeller Plaza.
- Dec. 25—On Christmas Day, the lights shine for a full 24 hours.
- Dec. 31—On New Year’s Eve, visiting hours are from 6 am to 9 pm.
History of the Tree
For more than eight decades, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has stood as a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike. While the lights, decorations, and stars have changed through the years, visiting the Tree remains a quintessential New York experience.
The Christmas Tree FAQs
How big is the Tree?
The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a 75 feet tall Norway Spruce, 45 feet wide, and weighs 11 tons.
How old is the Tree?
The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is between 75 and 80 years old.
Where is this year's Tree from?
The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree hails from Oneonta, New York.
How many lights are on the Tree?
There are more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights on approximately 5 miles (8 km) of wire.
How big is the star on the Tree?
Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018, the three dimensional Swarovski star weighs approximately 900 pounds (408.23 kg) and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals.
When does the Tree arrive in New York City?
To allow adequate time for it to be decorated before it’s lit, the Tree arrives November 14.
How do I watch the Christmas Tree lighting?
Because there will be no public access to the tree lighting ceremony, the public is invited to view the live national broadcast “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” from home on NBC.
When does the Tree go up?
When is the Tree lighting?
The 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will be on Wednesday, December 2, and will be closed to the public. The tree will be lit during a live national television broadcast on NBC at 9:45 pm.
When does the Tree come down?
This is yet to be determined, but details about when the Tree will come down will be announced in the coming weeks. To stay informed about all the details, sign up for The Center newsletter.
Contact & Directions
Habitat for Humanity—A Gift that Keeps on Giving
Donate Your Tree
The Holidays in The Center Magazine
Featuring seemingly as many holiday happenings as there are lights on the Tree, our Holiday Stories cover past and future events here.Read Our Stories