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Christmas at Rockefeller Center

New York City Holiday Destination


Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City
Rockefeller Center, home of New York City's most famous Christmas tree, is a favorite holiday destination for locals and tourists alike.


The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up in 1931 by construction workers building the complex, and the first formal Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony took place in 1933. Today, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is the biggest, brightest, and most famous evergreen in the U.S.

The Tree

Every year, the manager of the Rockefeller Center gardens searches for the perfect tree. Trees have been shipped from as far away as Ottawa, Canada. The chosen evergreen tends to be between 75' and 100' tall and is decorated with 30,000+ lights. The holiday season in New York officially begins with the tree lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center shortly after Thanksgiving and the tree usually stays lit through early January. See photos of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Festive Decorations

The Christmas tree is only the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center at Christmas. Among the other holiday decorations are the herald angels, wire-sculpted angel figures that have decorated Rockefeller Center during the holidays since 1954. The holiday lights and the picturesque ice skaters also add to the festive scene at Rockefeller Center every holiday season. See photos of the Rockefeller Center Christmas decorations.

Great Rockefeller Center Christmas Gift Ideas

The Art of Rockefeller Center by Christine Roussel -- This full-color art guide provides an in-depth look at the art and architecture of Rockefeller Center. Also available in paperback.

Redbird at Rockefeller Center by Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas -- Kids will love this beautifully illustrated story about tiny Redbird, who wakes up in Rockefeller Center after the giant spruce he calls home is transported to New York for the holidays.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree by Nancy Armstrong -- Read all about the history and lore of the world's most famous Christmas tree.

Rockefeller Center 1932 (Resting on a Girder) by Ebbets -- Display an art print of the iconic photograph by Ebbets that depicts 1932 construction workers napping on a girder dangling high above Rockefeller Center.

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