A winter visit wouldn’t be complete without enjoying one of the city’s most celebrated traditions. Each winter, visitors lace up their skates and twirl away at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Here you’ll find New Yorker and visitors alike skating at the base of the iconic Christmas tree in the heart of Rockefeller Center. And with room for only 150 skaters at a time, it is as intimate an experience as it is incredible.


This year’s lighting ceremony took place on December 2nd, while we were on our Southern Caribbean Cruise. We really wanted to see the tree so upon our return we spent one more night in NYC. We were very happy that we had not missed seeing this beautiful sight. Its crown: a 550-pound Swarovski crystal star, made of 25,000 individual crystals, 720 LED bulbs, and 44 circuit boards. We were so impressed and we have been—it’s worth a cool $1.5 million. Add to that another 30 thousand energy-efficient LED lights cascading down the rest of the evergreens branches, and you can understand why New evergreens Christmas tree is a world-renowned spectacle.

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Bonus fact to help spread the seasonal cheer: Every year the tree is re-purposed after the holiday season, taking the shape of everything from wood chips for walking paths to paper for a book whose proceeds went to charity. An estimated 500,000 people visit the tree each year. We think half of that number was there with us on the 11th of December. We had to make a human chain so we didn’t lose anyone. The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is pictured framed by angels during the unseasonal warm weather. We were thankful for the unusual weather.