There are few cities in the world that are as exciting as NYC, and, as part of the NYC Destination series, today’s column focus on the 2011 Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. The 2011 Christmas at Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 7PM – 9PM Eastern Time.
Planning your trip
It’s important to remember that December is considered peak times in New York City and hotel and airline prices will be at their highest.
Booking early can help you save a bit of money – waiting until the last minute isn’t recommended since the demand is so high.
As you may know, air fares do fluctuate, however, in the case of booking a trip to NYC during the peak pre-holiday shopping season, it is best to book as soon as you know you are going. Currently – as of 7/26/2010 . – airfare pricing is as follows:
Note: Pricing is based upon arriving on Saturday, November 26, 2011 and departing on Saturday, December 3, 2011 on mid-day flights using Kayak.com
From Salt Lake City to NYC
United Airlines with 1 stop in Denver $360 per person coach class (that’s $71 less than this time last year)
Delta Airlines with 1 stop in Las Vegas or Minneapolis $360 per person coach class (that’s $161 less than this time last year)
Hotels Around Rockefeller Center
This is a random sampling of hotels within close proximity to Rockefeller Center. New York City literally has hundreds of hotels for nearly budget and taste. Pricing is based upon arriving on Saturday, November 26, 2011 and departing on Saturday, December 3, 2011.
Holiday Inn Express (http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/nycff) 2.5 star hotel
15 West 45th Street
.10 mile to Rockefeller Center
Double occupancy (2 people sharing 1 room) is $359 per night or $2,908 for a 7 night stay in a king bed room. Pricing includes taxes and is based upon advance purchase rate.
Omni Berkshire (http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/NewYorkOmniBerkshire.aspx) – 4 star hotel
21 E 52nd Street
.20 mile to Rockefeller Center
Double occupancy (2 people sharing 1 room) is $569 per night or $4,4595 for a 7 night stay in a king bed room. Pricing includes taxes and is based upon best available rate on 07/26/2011.
New York Palace (http://www.newyorkpalace.com/) – 5 star hotel
455 Madison Avenue
.20 mile to Rockefeller Center
Double occupancy (2 people sharing 1 room) is $980 per night or $7,692 for a 7 night stay in a king bed room. Pricing includes taxes and is based upon best available rate on 07/26/2011.
The Actual Tree Lighting Ceremony
You’ll realize you’re in New York the day of the tree lighting ceremony. On this day you’ll hear about the city being in a “gridlock alert day”. This means traffic is so bad everyone, including regular commuters are highly encouraged to take public transportation. It’s that conjested, but, don’t let that scare you off – it’s part of the fun!
If you are going to the Tree Lighting Ceremony be prepared to go VERY early and to have a very long wait. While activities at Rockefeller Center start around 7pm, people start arriving and claiming their spots as early as 12 noon. (Yes, really!) The actual lighting of the tree takes place around 8:55 PM. So that’s why you are being cautioned it will be a long day.
Tickets/Cost: The tree lighting ceremony is free and no tickets are needed. However it is advised you arrive early to secure a prime viewing spot for the 2 hour lighting ceremony. The ceremony begins at 7pm and will last through 9pm and the tree will be lit at 8:55 PM Eastern time. Many people will begin arriving as early as 12 noon to secure their viewing spot. Plan accordingly.
Weather: The average high in December in New York City is 44 degree Fahrenheit (6.66 Celsius) and average low is 32 degree Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). The average precipitation is 3.56 inches. Rain or snow can happen anytime in December in New York City. Dress accordingly and if rain or snow is predicted be sure to wear water-proof coats and bring an umbrella. For weather conditions during your visit to New York City visit :http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/local/USNY0996
How to Dress for the Tree Lighting
Dress WARM. December in New York City is cold. Heavy coats, hats and gloves are a must for standing in the cold. Even if it feels warm out, remember the temperature drops at night and layer dressing is highly recommended.
For more information about Rockefeller Center visit: http://www.rockefellercenter.com/