Rockefeller Center is one of New York City's most famous attractions. The Midtown complex, bounded by 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues, is practically a city all its own, packed with shops, sights and restaurants. It’s a place to ice-skate, see TV tapings, get a bite to eat and, of course, celebrate the holidays. Looking for some ideas on what to do while you’re there? We’ve got 28 of them.
View from observation deck. Courtesy, Top of the Rock
1. See the skyline from
Top of the Rock. The center’s anchor building, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, has three observation decks. They all have 360-degree views and are open until midnight for a spectacular after-dark perspective on the skyline.
Rink at Rockefeller Center. Photo: Tagger Yancey IV
2. Skate on the
Rockefeller Center. The outdoor ice surface, open from October through April, is the perfect place to practice your pirouette. During December (and early January) you’ll be able to do so under the world-famous Christmas tree.
3. Walk the
Concourse. The underground space offers shops, restaurants and a subway station where you can catch the B, D, F and M trains. Subterranean shopping options include:
Posman Books and
The Lego Store. Courtesy, Lego Store
7. Do more shopping. There are a ton of other retail options at street level in Rockefeller Center, such as
Nintendo NY and
The Lego Store.
Channel Gardens. Photo: Tagger Yancey IV
14. Admire the
Channel Gardens. Located between 49th and 50th Streets (from approximately Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Plaza), these gardens are decorated all year round: in the winter, angels and holiday displays line the water fountains; in spring and summer, look for flowers and greenery.
Rock Center Cafe. Courtesy, Patina Restaurant Group
15. Get a bite at the
The Rock Center Café, which offers an up-close view of the plaza and Prometheus statue. In the summer, they have outdoor tables.
16. For another alfresco option, grab a coffee at
Blue Bottle and a cupcake from...
Magnolia Bakery, and eat on the plaza.
Courtesy, MSG Photos. Photo: Angela Cranford
18. Drop by
Radio City Music Hall for the
Christmas Spectacular (with the Rockettes), a
backstage tour or a show from a nationally touring band or comedian.
19. Get some fire-safety swag at the
FDNY Fire Zone.
Saturday Night Live. Courtesy, NBC Universal
20. See live tapings of TV shows like
Saturday Night Live,
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,
Late Night with Seth Meyers and
The Tour at NBC Studios. Courtesy, NBC Universal
24. If you love TV, also consider taking the
Tour at NBC Studios.
25. See art—like
Jose Maria Sert’s American Progress, a mural in 30 Rock’s lobby that depicts the country’s rise through intelligence and strength (and includes likenesses of Abraham Lincoln and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and…
Atlas, a bronze statue by Lee Lawrie and Rene Paul Chambellan that has stood in Rockefeller Center since 1937. Atlas is one of two Greek mythological brothers represented at the complex, along with…
Prometheus. Courtesy, Top of the Rock
27. The golden
Prometheus, probably the most famous work of art here. The Paul Manship sculpture stands in front of a fountain on the Lower Plaza; you’ll also frequently spot it in photos of…
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Photo: Tishman Speyer
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree—which, if you’re here over the holidays, you need to see.