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.
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.
2. Skate on the Rink at 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:
4. Jacques Torres,
5. Posman Books and
7. Do more shopping. There are a ton of other retail options at street level in Rockefeller Center, such as Free People,
8. J. Crew,
9. Brooks Brothers,
11. All Saints,
12. Nintendo NY and
13. The Lego Store.
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.
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...
17. Magnolia Bakery, and eat on the plaza.
19. Get some fire-safety swag at the FDNY Fire Zone.
20. See live tapings of TV shows like Saturday Night Live,
22. Late Night with Seth Meyers and
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…
26. 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…
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…
28. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree—which, if you’re here over the holidays, you need to see.