Radiating art deco glory, Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan is where you'll find Radio City Music Hall, NBC Studios, the Top of the Rock observation deck, and in winter, New York City’s famous ice rink and Christmas tree. Opened by John D. Rockefeller in 1933, it’s a classic NYC stop for its history as a cultural center and architectural icon.
There’s a lot to see and do in the complex of 19 buildings and gardens. Daily Rockefeller Center tours highlight the rich assortment of art deco statues, sculptures, and murals, while benefiting from expert historians telling the story of the structure, gardens, and art. Entertainment fans can go behind the scenes on an NBC Studios tour, while New York City lovers can see it all from above at the Top of the Rock observation deck. Don’t miss the famous gilt statue of Prometheus in the Lower Plaza and Atlas on Fifth Avenue, or the underground shopping concourse with more than 100 stores and 40 restaurants. Rockfeller Center is included on most New York sightseeing tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The center is wheelchair accessible and has free Wi-Fi available.
- Many miss the Rockefeller Center Channel Gardens, but it’s worth visiting the strip of fountains and plants, which change with the seasons.
- The NBC Studios tour is an interactive experience, as travelers can have their photo taken at the news desk or give an impromptu weather report.
- Stunning views of the Manhattan skyline can be seen from three observation platforms at the Top of the Rock. (Book timed tickets in advance.)
How to Get There
Rockefeller Center is located between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Midtown Manhattan, stretching from W. 48th to W. 51st streets. Rockefeller Plaza leads from 48th Street through to Roosevelt Plaza on 51st Street. Top of the Rock is located in the Comcast Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, with its entrance set on 50th Street. The nearest subway is 47-50th Street/Rockefeller Station.
When to Get There
There is always something going on at Rockefeller Center, open 365 days a year. The holiday season, however, is the highlight.
Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
Winter brings Rockefeller Center’s ice skating rink to life, starting in early October. The 90-minute skating sessions are first come, first serve, with only 150 people skating at a time for an intimate experience. The famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, an iconic and festive annual NYC tradition, is lit at the end of November and stays up through early January, while the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and its stellar Rockettes make for another worthy tradition.