Do you need a ticket to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree? There are changes in place this year

New York News
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — There are new changes in place if you want to check out the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this holiday season.

Additionally, don’t expect a long visit. There’s a five-minute viewing limit.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is traditionally one of the city’s most popular holiday attractions that draws huge crowds.

The 2020/21 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree viewing guidelines, approved by New York State and New York City, will follow social distancing and capacity control protocols. The guidelines were released on Monday morning.

“This is what we need to do to protect everyone,” said Mayor de Blasio. “It’s a different approach but it’s an approach that will keep people safe.”

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, December 2 will be closed to the public.

If you want to view the Rockefeller tree from Thursday, December 3, 2020 through early January 2021, here are the viewing protocols:

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.

– 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues will be closed to vehicular traffic (limited loading dock access for Rockefeller Center tenants only).
– Tree viewing entrances located on 49th and 50th Streets at 5th and 6th Avenues ONLY.
– Dedicated tree viewing zones located on 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues ONLY.
– The Rink at Rockefeller Center will be accessible on 49th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.


– The Tree will be lit from 6 a.m. to midnight every day.
– Virtual queuing will be used to help manage the flow of visitors viewing the Tree during busy times. Look out for QR codes around Rockefeller Center to begin virtually queueing when the lines are long. Once you have signed up, you will receive a wait time and SMS message when it is your time to return to view the tree.
– Five-minute tree viewing limit.
– Masks mandated at all times.
– Six feet social distancing will be enforced.
– Guests will be directed to delineated pods, spaced six feet apart, with no more than four people in one pod. Groups of more than four people will be separated into two pods.
– Center Plaza, where the tree is physically located, will be closed to the public.
– Entrance to tree viewing and social distancing will be managed by Tishman Speyer security.

– The Channel Gardens (gardens located between 49th and 50th Streets just west of 5th Avenue) will be open for retail customers and tenants only, not open for tree viewing.

– Shops and restaurants in the Concourse can be accessed from 49th and 50th Streets.
– Rockefeller Center tenants will have regular access to their spaces with tenant ID.

This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a 75-foot-tall, 45-foot-wide Norway spruce from Oneonta, New York. It is wrapped in 50,000 multi-colored LED lights and topped with a Swarovski crystal star.

RELATED: The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree’s 88 years of history

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree made its journey from Oneonta, New York to Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown.

Officials say the 75-foot Norway spruce was driven to Rockefeller Plaza, raised off of its 115-foot-long trailer and put into place by a crane.

This year, there was a tiny stowaway aboard the tree. A tiny saw-whet owl. She has since been released into the wild.

Another thing you’ll need tickets for…the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink which is now open.

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