Rockefeller Center Christmas

When you think of New York City at Christmas time, you think of Rockefeller Center. You think about the tree, the Rockettes, and the iconic ice rink. As aptly described by John D. Rockefeller Jr, you think of it as a “city within a city”. The Rockefeller Center is an array of 19 buildings that cover 22 acres, from 48th Street to 51st Street in Manhattan, New York City. Throughout the walkways, past the fountains and sculptures, you’ll see many famous buildings and landmarks.

Within Rockefeller’s streets, you will see the famous Radio City Music Hall, home to The Rockettes. You’ll see 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or 30 Rock, the building where Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Meredith Vieira Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Today Show are all filmed. There is even a sitcom inspired by 30 Rock, of course called, 30 Rock. You’ll also see NBS Studios, and inside you’ll get a better look behind the scenes of your favorite shows and more. The Rockefeller Center is “filled with art, style, and entertainment, it’s a story that is being added to every day.” (

John D. Rockefeller had a vision for a complex of commercial buildings to attract business. The idea blossomed after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, and the center was built 2 years later, between 1931 and 1940. “Rockefeller Center was intended to be a symbol of prosperity and a public space where New Yorkers could appreciate art,” ( The buying of the Christmas tree became a tradition in 1931, when the workers at Rockefeller Center all put money towards buying one. 

For decades, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting has been a big deal, and it has always been lit the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. This year the tree was donated from Elkton, Maryland, and was lit on December 1, of 2021. In 1933, when it was lit, everyone at the center had decided to make the lighting of the tree an annual tradition open to the public. The annual lighting of the tree has “stood as a holiday beacon” ( for anyone coming to Rockefeller Center. Then in December of 1936, the new ice skating rink opened for a skating pageant, and brought many more people to Rockefeller Center. Even after the tragedy that struck New York City in 2001, the tree was still put up, only this time it was covered in red, white, and blue.

Rockefeller Center is known as one of New York City’s most iconic attractions. Whether it got that name from the famous Christmas tree, or the famous Rockettes that perform in the Christmas Spectacular, or even the ice skating rink, it will forever be iconic. From annual traditions to memorable performances. Rockefeller Center definitely holds the title as the “must-see-destination” at Christmas in New York.