Sipping hot chocolate, ice skating in Bryant Park, and meandering down Fifth Avenue while browning shops with cheerful window displays all combine to create the quintessential New York City holiday moment. Christmas in New York City distinctively holds unparalleled magic: Once you experience it, it will ruin you forever — in the best way, of course.
In a tradition established more than 80 years ago by Italian immigrants pooling their earnings during the Great Depression, the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree draws locals and visitors to celebrate the merriest time of the year. Here’s everything you need to know to best enjoy this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
When is the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lit?
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, an 82-foot Norway spruce from Queensbury, New York, arrived in Manhattan on Saturday, November 12, 2022. At approximately 14 tons, this year’s impressive tree has a 50-foot diameter. It will be decorated with more than 50,000 multicoloured LED lights and a dazzling Swarovski star topper that weighs about 900 pounds and includes 70 spikes covered in three million crystals.
The tree lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at Rockefeller Center, and the televised special will be broadcast live on NBC from 8 pm to 10 pm ET (December 1, 6:30 am to 8:30 am IST). Expect special festive performances that will fully immerse you in the Christmas spirit. The event is open to the public, so make sure to arrive with enough time before the crowd starts to form.
How long does the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stay lit?
The tree will remain lit daily from 6 am to midnight throughout the holiday season and into early January, so plan your visit accordingly. The only notable exceptions are on Christmas Day, when the tree is illuminated for 24 hours, and on New Year’s Eve, when the tree is lit from 6 am to 9 pm.
Once the holidays are over, this tree will then be milled into lumber and donated to Habitat for Humanity to help provide housing for families in need. Since 2007, this yearly tradition ensures the tree itself is more than just a grandiose sight to behold; it becomes a symbol of hope in the true spirit of Christmas.
What do I need to know before visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree?
Whether this is your first visit or you regularly schedule time to bask in the glory of the Rockefeller Center tree, be sure to prepare for cooler temperatures between -1 and 4 degrees Celsius. Visiting the iconic Christmas tree is free for everyone and the perfect way to bring loved ones together this holiday season. Bundle up and make an afternoon adventure of it at The Rink at Rockefeller Center as you ice skate beneath the sparkling lights of the Christmas tree.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
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