THINGS TO DO IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER BESIDES THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Wintertime in New York City conjures images of that most famous of Christmas trees adorning Rockefeller Plaza each year. Home to much more, Rockefeller Center offers a whole day filled with architecture, shopping, art and broadcast history. One of Manhattan’s most revered landmarks, Rockefeller Center hosts some of the most celebrated shows in television history, including Saturday Night Live and the Today Show. If planning a trip to New York this winter, be sure to set aside a full day to tour Rockefeller Center and enjoy all it has to offer.
Start your day off with a chance to be featured on live national television alongside your favorite morning show hosts on the plaza outside of the Today show studios. A time-honored tradition; viewers are invited to watch the show from outside of the studio and interact with the hosts as they broadcast live from the plaza. Guests are encouraged to arrive on the plaza by 6 a.m. to secure a good spot (the anchors tend to broadcast close to 49th street), and to bring a sign commemorating a special occasion or their love for the show. Dress appropriately for cold New York mornings and be sure to bring a camera to capture your TV debut.
No trip to Rockefeller Center in the winter would be complete without a spin around the world’s most famous urban ice skating rink. Located on the lower plaza under the watchful eye of Prometheus, the rink only accommodates 150 skaters at once making for a delightfully intimate experience. There are different skate packages available for visitors. Packages include the First Skate, which allows you to start your day with an exhilarating skate in the fresh air, and the VIP package, which guarantees premium access to the ice.
Boasting world-renowned gardens and art, the grounds and buildings of Rockefeller Center are reason enough for celebration. From world-famous Atlas bearing the weight of the world, to the Fraternity of Men celebrating the prevailing unity of humankind over the struggles of its past, Rockefeller Center is home to some of New York’s most esteemed sculptures. Take a stroll through the Holiday Garden, a sanctuary quietly nestled within the bustle of Manhattan celebrating holiday cheer and goodwill towards men in a winter wonderland of ice sculptures, greenery and twinkling lights. Be sure to top off your tour with a birds eye’s view of the big apple from the “top of the rock”, the 70th-floor observation deck open daily from 8am – 12am. When planning your visit, consider purchasing the all access “Rock Pass” which includes the guided tour and tickets to the observation deck.
Not to be overlooked, the Rockefeller Center concourse is a veritable underground city of shops and eateries sheltered from the New York elements. From Brooke Brothers to Bill’s Burger and Bar, the concourse is the perfect place to browse, unwind and explore all that this underground treasure trove has to offer.
If visiting New York this winter, don’t make the tree your only stop at the marvel that is Rockefeller Center.