5 Tips For Seeing the Rockefeller Center Tree Without Huge Crowds
As many as 800,000 people visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree every day but there are some secrets that will let you visit without standing in a crowd.
An estimated 125 million visitors flock to New York City every year to witness the most popular Christmas tree in the world. If you've ever been to Rockefeller Center during the month of December, you know just how insane the area can be.
The line of people waiting to get a glimpse of the tree can start blocks away. And then, when you finally get anywhere near Rockefeller Center you can find yourself in a moving wave of people that never stops, It's certainly not the intimate experience most Hallmark Channel movies make it out to be.
But if you're insistent on visiting the tree for yourself, there are some tips you can follow to make the experience less taxing, if not downright magical.
Living in the Hudson Valley, it's tempting to plan to take the train in to see the tree on the weekend. Unfortunately, that's exactly what everyone else is planning to do. If you can take off on a weekday, you'll avoid the bridge, tunnel and train crowd and find that the visiting the tree is much more manageable.
If you know that you want to see the tree, do it now. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more crowded Rockefeller Center is going to get. After the initial excitement of the tree lighting settles down this weekend, the fist full week of December is a great time to visit. You'll get a jump on all of the other visitors who have yet to plan out their trip to the city.
See the tree during the day
From now until Christmas the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit from 6am to Midnight. And on Christmas, the tree will stay lit for 24 hours. Obviously, most people want to see the tree in all of its glory when it's dark outside, but the tree is still pretty spectacular during the day. If you visit before 5pm on a weekday there won't nearly be as many people there. A bonus reason for visiting during the day is that you'll be able to get some great photos of your family in front of the tree that aren't blurry and dark.
Go late at night
OK, we get it. You really want to see the tree all lit up at night. If you must see the tree in the dark consider waiting until late in the evening. Crowds begin to thin out during the last hour the tree is lit. And, if you were smart enough to visit on a weekday, you may find the crowd to be completely gone after 11pm.
Wait until after New Year's Day
If you don't mind waiting until after Christmas, the best time to see the tree is after the holidays are over. Not many people realize that the Rockefeller Center tree remains lit until mid-January. A trip to see the tree the week after New Year's Day will result in much fewer crowds and give you a chance to snag the perfect shot for next year's Christmas card.
Will you be visiting the Rockefeller Center Tree this season? Let us know your plan of attack in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.