Everything You Need to Know About the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Every year, Christmas lovers from around the country kick off the holiday season by watching the annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting in New York City. Whether they tune in to watch or have made a visit to New York City one of their Christmas traditions, spectators are treated to a slew of festive performances all designed to celebrate the main attraction: the giant Christmas tree that sits front and center above the iconic skating rink.

What is the Rockefeller Center tree like this year?

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Rockefeller Center unveiled this year’s Christmas tree on its official Instagram page, and it is something to behold!

This year’s Rockefeller Center tree is a Norway Spruce from Queensbury, New York that measures an impressive 82 feet tall and 50 feet wide. It weighs a whopping 14 tons and is estimated to be between 85 and 90 years old. The tree is slated to arrive in New York City on Saturday, November 12. Visitors are welcome to watch the tree being raised in preparation for decorating, and a lucky few may even receive a piece of the trimmings to take home as a souvenir!

How the Rockefeller Center tree gets decorated

So what does it take to decorate an 82-foot-tall Christmas tree? You won’t find any ornaments on this tree, but it will be dressed with over 50,000 multi-colored LED lights on approximately five miles of wire and topped with a massive three-dimensional star. The star, which clocks in at about 900 pounds, was designed in 2018 by architect Daniel Libeskind and features 70 spikes covered in three million Swarovski crystals. Talk about the ultimate outdoor Christmas decoration!

How to watch the iconic tree lighting

If you want to watch the tree lighting from the comfort of your own home, you can watch the live national broadcast of “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” on NBC on Nov. 30, at 8 p.m. EST and 7 p.m. CST. After Nov. 30, the tree will be lit daily from 5:30 p.m. until 12:00 a.m. until it comes down in January.

Though it has yet to be announced exactly when the tree will be taken down, you can rest assured that it will be put to good use. Rockefeller Center will continue its longstanding tradition of donating the tree to Habitat for Humanity, so it can be milled, treated and made into lumber for home building.

Feeling inspired to go out and get your own tree? Odds are you won’t be chopping down a tree as big as the Rockefeller Center tree, but here are some Christmas tree ideas to inspire you. And if a real tree isn’t for you, take a look at these beautiful and realistic artificial Christmas trees.