This year's Rockefeller Center Christmas treea scrappy 75-foot Norway Spruce that arrived from upstate bearing an owl—will be ready for the annual tree lighting on Wednesday, December 2nd. However, as we are in a pandemic, the annual event will be closed to the public this year, and Rockefeller Center has provided tree viewing protocols which will be in effect following the lighting.

Like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the lighting will be off-limits and only available through an NBC broadcast (which takes place from 8 to 10 p.m. on December 2nd). After that, new Christmas tree viewing procedures will be in place, which Rockefeller Center says has been approved by New York State and New York City. Expect "virtual queueing" (more details to come on that), a "five-minute tree-viewing limit," and limits of four people to your tree-viewing group.

Tree Viewing Protocols

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 through early January 2021 


  • 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 activated to manage lines. Guests can scan a QR code to see wait time and receive an SMS to return to the line.
  • 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.

The tree will also be available to view in its 50,000-multi-colored LED glory at Rockefeller Center's website.