If you’re planning to visit New York City during the busy 2013 Holiday season; and, would like to be in town to view the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony in person, now is the time to begin planning your trip. This year (2013) the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting (also known as Christmas in Rockefeller Center) is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, December 4, 2013.
According to the website TheTreeNYC.org, the 2013 tree is tentatively expected to be erected on Friday November 8, 2013 (with the lighting ceremony on December 4th), and, is tentatively scheduled to be removed on January 7, 2014. Once the official lighting takes place, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is illuminated daily from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. daily, except on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. On Christmas, the tree is lit for 24 continuous hours and on New Year’s Eve the lights are turned off at 9:00 p.m in anticipation of the New Year’s celebration in Times Square.
Rockefeller Center is located in Manhattan at Rockefeller Plaza from West 48th Street to West 51st Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. It is accessible by walking, bus, and, subway. Driving in Manhattan is discouraged during the holiday season, especially on peak days (known as Gridlock Alert Days) which includes the day of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting.
Tips for attending the tree lighting celebration
Each year Christmas in Rockefeller Center gains more and more popularity, and, as a result, much like Times Square on New Year’s Eve, Rockefeller Center gets crowded quickly. Many people begin arriving as early as noon on the day of the tree lighting. The preliminary show leading up to the lighting begins at 7 p.m. with the actual lighting of the tree taking place at 8:55 p.m. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, and, be prepared to stand for hours. Comfortable shoes are a must!
- Dress WARM. December in New York City is cold. Heavy coats, hats and gloves are a must for standing in the cold night air.
- If rain or snow is predicted, come prepared with umbrellas and waterproof coats, hats and gloves.
- Do NOT drive. Take mass transit to Rockefeller Center. Streets surrounding Rockefeller Center are subject to closure the evening of the tree lighting ceremony as determined necessary by the New York City Police Department.
Other related article by T.R. Threston:
2013 – 2014 New York City holiday guide preview: http://tapeunit.com/article/2013-2014-new-york-city-holiday-guide-preview