Planning your day at the Rockefeller Center


New York is known as the city that never sleeps. It is one of the biggest states in the world with endless entertainment opportunities. With that being said the Rockefeller Center is an iconic center that attracts millions of tourists all over the world. If you are planning to visit the city and spend your day at the Rockefeller Center, you are guaranteed to have the best entertainment experience due to restaurants, shopping malls, and plenty of other popular attractions existing near each other. 

Go-Skating At The Rink

The Rink is amongst the first few places you should visit if you do not mind a bit of attention from the spectators. It is basically a skating area that is the first one to open for the season. It opens in November and if you plan to do skating, you should know that you will be skating with the Prometheus status in the background along with the biggest Christmas tree in town. The tree arrives at the Rockefeller Plaza in the early days of November and will light up on the night of December 4th. Furthermore, know that only 150 people are allowed to skate at once. Therefore, if you visit at the busiest time of the day, you might have to wait a bit. However, if you want to avoid waiting in line and wish to be the first to hit the ice in the morning, you can make a booking in advance as well. 

Attend Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

As mentioned earlier, the biggest Christmas tree in town arrives at the Rockefeller Center in the early days of November and will light up on the night of December 4th. There is no better way to get festive than to attend the tree lighting ceremony. The tree will continue to remain lit through mid-January next year. In addition to that, the tree used for the previous year is also donated to Habitat for Humanity. Once the holidays have passed and the crowd has switched to the busy life, the tree is brought down and made into lumber that is used for home building. 

Have Breakfast With Santa

Just when you thought that New York entertainment had ended, there is always something new for you to discover. For instance, you can have breakfast with Santa and his elves under the giant tree located at Rockefeller Center. Yes, believe it or not, you can do it at the Rock Center Café. This restaurant is located near the rink and features a Throne Room where the kids can spend some time and entertain themselves by sitting on Santa’s lap and having the Candy Bar Experience. Since it is Christmas, expect things to be a bit crowded. 

However, if you are willing to put down some money, you can reserve your spots three times a day with different admission rates for both adults and children, also including access to the rink. Another great alternative is The Sea Grill, which overlooks the Rink. It offers a unique menu with the chef utilizing his creativity and skills to come up with delicious dishes. Plus, the festive Santa will most probably walk in as well to give you guys and a lot of photo opportunities.

Linger At 5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

Your visit to the Rockefeller Center is not going to be complete without taking a minute or two to admire the beautiful Holiday Window Displays from SaksFifthAvenue, especially during the holiday seasons. Although the theme of the windows has changed over the years but from the past couple of years, the theme has remained mostly Disney. Back in 2017, Saks used 14 animated windows to honor the 80th anniversary of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to re-tell the classic fairy tale. Last year, due to the release of Frozen 2, the theme included Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff on their new adventure to the magical forest. 

Visit The Glittering American Girl Place

The northern edge of the Rockefeller plaza features a 38,000-square foot, two-story doll’s haven that welcomes its visitors with a glittering chandelier and a large window display filled with all things American Girl. Its original location offers dining and salon services, shopping, and many other things. However, this location is more focused towards little ones and adults alike. Having visited this place, you can take your kids to the “Truly Me” collection where they can come up with their own custom dolls. However, it will take some time to craft them until they are finally shipped to your address. In addition to that, the doll salon also offers manicures, spas, and even ear piercing for both the dolls and kids. 

Head To The Top Of The Rock

The Manhattan skyline is perhaps the most iconic thing you will ever get to see in New York. And if you are looking for a spot, then visit the Top of the Rock, which is a top site of the Rockefeller Center. Located on the 67th-floor, this platform is surrounded by glass panels to allow an unobstructed view of the Empire State Building, Central Park, and the hustling Times Square. The Top of the Rock deck remains open all days during the week from 8:00 AM to midnight. You can also choose to visit during the sunset by paying an extra $10 but the place is going to be crowded since people at this particular time visit for photo sessions. 

Play At Nintendo NYC

If you are a gamer and love to play games, then you should definitely visit this two-story 10,000 square-foot of Nintendo world. Back in 2016, it underwent some renovations and after 10 years of operation, the store was upgraded with the latest tech, games, and popular characters. The highlight of this area is the 15-foot gaming screen located on the second floor, where the gamers wait anxiously to try their hands at the newest games. However, if you do not want to wait in line, you can visit the first and second floors that include individual screens. Plus, all the equipment here features the latest technology so be sure not to miss out on this location. 

Challenge Your Imagination At the Lego Store

Located right next to the Rink is the display window of the LEGO store that you cannot miss. You will find a lot of mini versions of NYC’s landmarks such as the Empire State Building made entirely from LEGO bricks. Inside the store, you will find innovative displays, consumer-friendly play areas, and family events delivering entertainment experiences to people of all ages. 

See A Live Taping Of A Daytime Or Late-Night Talk Show

Even though NYC boasts a lot of live tapings but the most popular tend to be the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live. While free tickets are released a month before the Tonight Show, the SNL does it via the lottery system. Furthermore, you can also reserve your tickets by visiting However, that does not guarantee you a ticket. 

Instead, you are just on the waiting list. Then, you will simply receive a confirmation email along with the details of where you need to go and when. If you have missed out on the tickets, you can hope for standby tickets. They usually allow atleast 30 people from the standby during the taping. To get standby tickets, you will need to call the ticket office to confirm the dates along with the availability. 

Take A Guided Tour To NBC Studio

The Rockefeller experience is incomplete without having to visit the NBC studio, which is known to have filmed some of the most popular U.S TV shows. You will not be needing tickets to explore the NBC studio because the only way to do it is by signing up for a tour. The tour will provide an insight into how TV shows are made and even catch a glimpse of different studios belonging to shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live etc. 

Final Word

Rockerfella is one of the most iconic New York destinations, where you are guaranteed to have a unique experience. Although you can visit any time of the year, we suggest arriving a bit before Christmas so that you get to witness and experience the ultimate festivities of cultural event.

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