How will your visit to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree be different this year? Check out these 11 guidelines and protocols

If you plan on seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, visiting the plaza will be a bit different this year.

News 12 Staff

Dec 3, 2020, 1:06 PM

Updated 1,319 days ago


If you plan on seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, visiting the plaza will be a bit different this year. There will be special tree viewing entrances and traffic patterns, tree viewing time limits, and masks and social distancing will be required at all times.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that spectators will have to reserve a ticket in advance to see the towering Norway Spruce in person.
The tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2 was closed to the public. The tree was lit during a live national television broadcast.

Here are guidelines and protocols you should expect if you want to visit:

1. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit and on display starting Thursday, Dec. 3, through early Jan. 2021 from 6 a.m. to midnight daily.
2. Virtual queuing will be activated to manage the flow of visitors to the plaza during busy times.
3. Guests can scan a QR code to see wait time and receive an SMS to return to the line.
4. Masks will be mandated at all times.
5. Social distancing will be enforced by specially trained staff and NYPD, and visitors should maintain a distance of six feet between themselves and other parties.
6. Guests will be directed to delineated pods, spaced six feet apart, with no more than four people in one pod.
7. Groups of more than four people will be separated into two pods. 
8. Center Plaza, where the tree is physically located, will be closed to the public. Tree viewing entrances will be located on 49th and 50th streets and 5th and 6th avenues only.
9. Once visitors reach the tree viewing zone, visitors have a five-minute time limit to enjoy the tree and take photos.

How to visit shops and restaurants:

10. The Channel Gardens (located between 49th and 50th streets just west of 5th Avenue) will be open for retail customers and office tenants only. This area is not open for tree viewing.
11. Shops and restaurants in the concourse can be accessed from 49th and 50th streets.

Other dates to remember:

Dec. 25 - On Christmas Day, the lights shine for a full 24 hours.
Dec. 31 - On New Year’s Eve, visiting hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
See more information on the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

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