Trips into NYC for the holiday to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree are a tradition for many families, and this year your visit will look different so plan ahead before you go. To keep everyone safe, the plaza has some new rules, which include special tree viewing entrances and one-way traffic patterns, viewing limits, masks and social distancing.
The 88th tree to grace Rockefeller Plaza is on display now through early January, and you can visit from 6 am to 12 am daily, but you won’t be able to get as close as you have in years past. The center plaza (the area right in front of 30 Rock near the tree), is closed to the public. Visitors will be guided to viewing zones on 49th and 50th street in the Plaza.
If you’re visiting, masks are required the entire time, and you’ll need to enter from 49th and 50th street and 5th and 6th avenue. When you’ve entered a queuing area, follow the strict social distancing markers that are laid out and keep your distance from other visitors. If it’s busy and the queue is filled, you’ll need to use a QR code for a virtual ticket to get back in line. The QR codes are placed around the plaza, when you scan one with your phone and sign up, you’ll be given a wait time, and can return to the line at that time for your chance to view the tree.
You can only wait in groups of four (a pod) in designated a 6-foot circles on the ground. If your group is larger, you will be separated into different pods. When you reach the tree viewing zone, you’ll have a five-minute time limit to take your pictures.
There will be staff around checking to make sure that social distancing is maintained, and that people are wearing masks.
If you want more information, visit Rockefellercenter.com. Or if you want to view the tree without heading to the city, check out the live stream where you can see a feed of the skating rink and tree.