The weather outside is frightful but the fire is so delightful.
It is the holiday season and one of the things most sought after is going to view the tree. But it is also a pandemic and that has made things far more difficult as well. And as many have asked, what has the tree visiting been like during Covid-19?
Visiting the Tree
The first thing you notice is that they blocked off the access to the tree and patio area along the walkway from 5th avenue across from Saks.
If you want to get closer to the tree. There are lines set up on each side of the plaza where the tree is held.
You need to wait in line to get your turn to visit the tree. They have huge stickers set up on the ground where each of the groups of folks stand to stay properly social distanced from other groups.
There were two rows of circles for folks to stand in. The person directing the line sent us to stand in one of the back row of circles until one of the front row of circles opened up for our group to get closer.
We lucked out very well in that when we visited, the area was very quiet, so there was no pressure for us to leave quickly. We’ve heard that during peak season you only get a few minutes of time to stand in your circle (although you don’t really need a lot of time.
Tips for Visiting
- The area gets really crowded on weekends. We saw the lines of circles going all the way down the street, so you know they are prepared for long lines
- The tree is open for viewing 6am – midnight daily (it is light for 24hrs for Christmas however)
- If you can, visit on weekdays, early or later during the view times. You’ll be thankful for shorter crowds. We barely had to wait when we were there on a Monday evening.
What else to do in the area?
The Rockefeller Center Ice Skating rink is open this year. However due to Covid restrictions it is far limited in the number of people they will allow to skate there and require far advance reservations.
You can find tickets here – Rockefeller Ice Rink Tickets
Hours / Dates: 9 am – 12am (daily) | through January 17th
Prices: ($25 – $35) | [Under 5 yrs – $10]
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Department Store Displays
The window displays of many of the department stores were sadly smaller than usual this Christmas. The Saks displays are certainly worth visiting and a quick stop next to the tree.
Bryant Park Christmas Market
The Christmas Markets in New York are one of my favorite places to visit and shop during this season. Sadly this year most of them in Manhattan are closed and Bryant Park is significantly smaller than in previous iterations.
You should still visit if you can. The booths that are there are local and definitely still struggling to make it through the season with some decent sales. I especially loved some of the local home goods and games you can pick up that are New York Themed!
The ice skating rink is also still open (although there are limits on how many people can skate.
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Do you have a favorite thing to do in New York during the Winter? Is it still open and running during Covid? Something else you want to know about? Let us know and we’ll try to cover it.