2013 Christmas in Rockefeller Center

rock center christmas tree

rock center christmas tree

It’s that time of year again! We have sugarplums on our mind and we can almost feel the chill of NYC in December. It’s time to start planning for the holidays in New York City!

When you think holidays, one thing comes to mind before all else: The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. This year, the Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 4, and will remain lit until January 7. The ceremony typically begins around 7 p.m. and will feature live performances by some of the top names in the music industry. Be sure to get there early in order to find the best viewing spot possible.

While in NYC, be sure to see the winter beauty of the whole city on our Lights of the Holiday Tour.

Check back soon for more updates on who will be performing, where the tree will comes from, and much more!

rockefeller center christmas tree

rockefeller center christmas tree

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Hop-off spots of the year

 

Rockefeller Center came in at #4

Rockefeller Center came in at #4

2012 has come and (is almost) gone, and what a year it has been.  Without further ado, let’s count down the 10 best places to hop-off our double-decker tours in the year that was:

10. Metropolitan Museum of Art

In September, huge news came out that the Met was planning on opening up 7 days a week.  Since 1975, the Met has closed one day each week to save on operating costs, but talk about this extra day (which is expected to begin next May) is enough to get stop #13 on the Uptown Tour in the top 10.

9. Empire State Building

Always one of our favorite hop-off locations, the Empire State Building cracked the top ten in 2012.  This year, the most famous building in the world flaunted its interactive side, for by changing the color of the lights in real time as the presidential election results poured in, and also during the buildings inaugural light show.

8. Central Park Zoo

The Central Park Zoo isn’t just on the list because we love the zoo (we do, by the way).  On the other side of the Zoo in the park is where SummerStage is held, and in 2012 they blew the figurative roof off.  We’re so excited for next year’s SummerStage lineup that the Central Park Zoo comes in at 7.

7. Battery Park

Battery Park was hit hard during Hurricane Sandy, but it is back on its feet.  That kind of resilience, plus the fact that the Statue of Liberty reopened (only for a day or so, but we’ll count it) has earned it #5 on the list.

6. City Hall

The Giants marched down the Canyon of Heroes this year which makes City Hall worthy enough.  But this is also the closest stop to the Brooklyn Bridge, and I don’t have to tell you how big of a year it’s been for Brooklyn.

5. East Village

The Giants won the Super Bowl in 2012!

The Giants won the Super Bowl in 2012!

The East Village is always one of our trendiest hop-off spots on the Downtown Tour, not to mention that the village was another stop victimized by Hurricane Sandy and is still in the process of rebuilding.  It is one of the most fun places to just hang out in New York City and has come in at #5 on our list in 2012.

4. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is another one of those hop-off spots that it’s hard to keep off of the list.  You can go to the Top of the Rock, the shopping is fantastic, Radio City Music Hall has some of the best shows in the city, The Tree is NYC’s biggest attraction this time of year, and Rockefeller Plaza is constantly the host of fantastic events all year long.  The perfect example is their presidential election coverage which featured Democracy Plaza.

3. South Street Seaport

Like Battery Park, the South Street Seaport was also blasted by Hurricane Sandy.  It took a while, but Pier 17 has since reopened.  Before the hurricane came, and before the community came together, the South Street Seaport was already making a push for the top spot on this year’s ranking.  Parked! Food Truck Festival was one of our favorite events of the year.  Every holiday South Street Seaport host some of the best family friendly events in town.  I haven’t even mentioned the everyday food and drinks and shopping the seaport has to offer.

2. The Apollo

Few would consider The Apollo Theater to be a small venue, but when you’re selling out Madison Square Garden seconds after the box office opens, that’s exactly what it is.  Despite being the most popular act in the world, Justin Bieber made sure to make a stop at the world famous theater in 2012.  As did Bruce Springsteen.  As did Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto.  Oh, and a guy named Barack Obama even sang a verse on stage at the Apollo in 2012.  And with all of the popularity the venue has seen, they still featured Amateur Night every week.  That is why we truly love this spot

1. Times Square

A 21-foot Stanley Cup Came to Times Square for the Rangers remarkable playoff run.

A 21-foot Stanley Cup Came to Times Square for the Rangers remarkable playoff run.

We hold Times Square to a tough standard here because every day there is something awesome going on.  Despite that, it is impossible not to give the crossroads of the world the honor of being our hop-off spot of the year.  We landed on Mars there, we elected our president there, we brought the Stanley Cup there, we laughed there, we smiled there, and we took about a billion pictures there.  Times Square had to be #1 in 2012.

To see all of these spots and more, check out the All Around Town Tour and tell us what your top 10 would have been!

When is the 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting?

Typically, the enormous Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center is lit on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving.  Since we have an early Thanksgiving this season, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting will be Wednesday, November 28th, 2012.  The ceremony itself will take place on Rockefeller Plaza from 7-9 p.m. and will feature live performances which will also be aired on National TV.

Normally, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree illumination hours are from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. every day.  On Christmas, the tree is lit all 24 hours, and on New Year’s Eve it goes dark at 9 p.m.

Miles of lights are used for decoration of the tree each year, and this year, Rockefeller Center is keeping the environment in mind.  30,000 energy efficient LED lights will be used to make the Christmas Tree glow this season.

Performers at this year’s ceremony will be:

Mariah Carey
CeeLo Green
Il Volo
Rod Stweart
Victoria Justice
Trace Adkins
Chris Mann

The tree is an 80-foot Norway Spruce which was found in the backyard of a man from Flanders, New Jersey.   The tree was quietly selected in mid October, however there was lots of worry when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast.  the tree survived and is now standing tall in Rockefeller Center.  It will be decorated over the next two weeks and lit on the 28th.

Photo credit: Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com

NFL Season Opens Tonight With the New York Giants on NBC

The Giants are defending Super Bowl Champions

It seems like just yesterday we were giving the New York Giants a lift as they rolled through the Canyon of Heroes, but alas, football is here again.  Tonight the defending Super Bowl Champion will take the field against division foe, the Dallas Cowboys.  To help kick off the season, Mariah Carey and No Doubt will be performing at Rockefeller Center as part of NBC’s football coverage.

The Jets will also open the season at home at MetLife Stadium.  They will be playing the Buffalo Bills this Sunday at 1 p.m.  Will Gang Green be able to recover after a season without the playoffs?  Can Big Blue step up to the challenge of defending the most coveted prize in football?  The only way to find out is to watch.

New York football is back!

So what time is the Giants game tonight? Well, the game begins at 8:30, but NBC’s coverage will start one hour before with the performances from 30 Rock.

Where is the NFL Draft?

image via radiocity.com

By now, you probably know that tomorrow is the first night of the NFL Draft.  It’s the most important day of the year for all 32 teams as they hope to find the next Eli Manning.  Andrew Luck will be the first pick selected, right after the 8:00 p.m. start time, but where is the event taking place?

Yeah, you know it’s in New York City, but there are so many venues in Manhattan that it could be held anywhere.  Well, fret not my friend, because we’ve got the answer: Continue reading

Tim Tebow Takes Manhattan

In case you missed it, yesterday professional football player Tim Tebow was traded from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets.  The NFL quarterback is known for many things: his unique running ability, his larger than life size and strength, his uncanny ability to win football games when all hope is lost… And of course, his devout religious beliefs.  Luckily for Tim, New York City has more than its fair share of churches to choose from.  So in honor of Tim’s upcoming arrival in New York, let’s take a look some of the best places of worship that we have to offer:

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Located right across the street from 30 Rockefeller Center, more than 5 million people walk through the doors of St. Patrick’s Cathedral each year.  The Cathedral opened in 1879 and more than 150 years later, is now one of the most popular attraction in New York City.  Despite its popularity and tourism draw, St. Patrick’s still holds mass every day of the week.  Hop-off at the Downtown Tour Stop #18 and walk over to 5th Ave to find St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Riverside Church – Riverside Church opened its doors in 1930 from the funding of John D. Rockefeller Jr.  Located on Riverside Drive in Harlem, the church’s gothic style architecture makes it a focal point of the community.  Riverside Church is also the only interdenominational church on our list.  Hop-off at stop #30 on the Uptown Tour for access to the Riverside Church.

Trinity Church – Sitting at Broadway and Wall Street, Trinity Church was built in 1846 and is listed in the National Register of Historical Places.  The church is the third Trinity Church to sit in this location and was designed by architect Richard Upjohn.  Trinity Church has a beautiful green courtyard and is the resting place of forefather Alexander Hamilton.  Hop-off at Downtown stop #12 and the church is just a few short blocks uptown.

Grace Church – Architect James Renwick Jr. finished this gothic revival style church in 1846.  Located on Broadway at 10th Street (Where Broadway begins to bend) Grace Church has become a New York City landmark.  In fact, in 1977, Grace was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark.  To visit, you can Hop-off the Downtown Tour at Stop #7 and head up Broadway until you hit the church.

Photo via stjohndivine.org

Cathedral Church of St. John The Divine – Hop-off at stop #29 on the Uptown Tour to see The Cathedral Church of St. John The Devine, the largest church in the United States.  The cathedral is open 7 days a week and the beautiful grounds and gardens are open during the daylight hours.  Construction of the Cathedral began in 1892 and to this day has yet to finish.

St. Paul’s Chapel – Known as “The little chapel that could” after surviving the 9/11 terrorist attacks without a scratch, St. Paul’s is one of the most beautiful chapels that New York City has to offer.  It was built in 1766 and is located right across the street from the World Trade Center site, on Broadway.  St. Paul’s is the Chapel that George Washington worshiped at after his inauguration and hosts a beautiful memorial to the victims of 9/11.  Hop-off the Downtown Tour at location #11 and the Chapel is just a few blocks downtown on Broadway.

To book a tour that will bring you past all six of these churches, check out our website now.  Welcome to New York, Tim!