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Everything to Know About the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rockefeller Center!
When the weather cools down and the holidays roll around, New York City's Rockefeller Center becomes abuzz with activity — and lit with an iconic Christmas tree. Visiting Rockefeller Center during the holiday season is an unforgettable experience that everyone should have at least once.
Whether you're in the Big Apple or across the country, NBC's annual tree-lighting telecast will make you feel as if you're there in person. Tune in to the Christmas in Rockefeller Center on November 29, 2023, and you'll find a certain singer, Voice Coach alum and talk show Host "Underneath the Tree": Kelly Clarkson. She's set to host the two-hour live special.
In addition to hosting the evening's events, newly-minted New York City resident Clarkson is also among the scheduled performers at the tree lighting — fitting, since this year marks the 20th anniversary of Clarkson's first Christmas in Rockefeller Center performance.
"I’m so excited to consider this city and Rockefeller Center my new home, and I can’t imagine a better way to kick off Christmas this year than to be a part of this beautiful New York tradition with the lighting of the tree," Clarkson said in a statement ahead of the big night.
Below, you'll find everything you need to know about the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting special, from the performers and celebrity guests to how to watch.
When is the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting?
The 2023 lighting ceremony will take place live on Wednesday, November 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, and simulcast on Peacock.
Prior to the special, an additional live hour will be broadcast starting at 7/6c on various NBC channels and affiliates nationwide; check local listings for details.
The live hour will be led by ACCESS Hollywood Host Mario Lopez and WNBC anchors Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery.
Who is hosting the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas special?
Kelly Clarkson! The singer moved The Kelly Clarkson Show to New York City for Season 5, so she's getting well-acquainted with 30 Rockefeller Plaza already. Clarkson announced her upcoming hosting gig to her show's audience on October 26.
NBC News’ TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin will also appear.
Who is performing at the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas special?
In addition to Kelly Clarkson, other performers set to rock Christmas at Rockefeller Center include: Chloe Bailey, Adam Blackstone, Cher, David Foster, Liz Gillies, Darlene Love, Seth MacFarlane, Barry Manilow, Katharine McPhee, Keke Palmer, Carly Pearce, Manuel Turizo, and more.
Blackstone and Palmer, Foster and McPhee, and Gillies and MacFarlane will perform holiday duets while Cher, in addition to performing solo, will be joined by Love for a special song. In line with tradition, the Radio City Rockettes, the stars of the annual Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, will wow viewers with a festive performance.
How to watch the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting will be broadcast during the Christmas at Rockefeller Center special, airing Wednesday, November 29 from 8-10 p.m. ET on NBC and simulcast on Peacock.
How long does the Rockefeller Center tree stay lit?
After the lighting ceremony, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree will be lit daily until January 13 from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.
On Christmas Day, the tree is lit for 24 hours, and on New Year’s Eve, it's lit from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Per tradition, when it's time to take the enormous tree down at the end of the holiday season, it will be donated to Habitat for Humanity so it can be turned into lumber to build new homes.
How tall is the 2023 Rockefeller Christmas tree?
Learn more about 2023's tree, from details about the star to how many lights will adorn the mythic pine here.
Why is the Rockefeller Christmas tree famous?
Since 1933, Rockefeller Center has been decorating an extravagantly-large Christmas tree with thousands of twinkling lights and decor to transform its courtyard into a winter wonderland.
Nine decades later, thousands of New Yorkers and tourists still flock to the dazzling Rockefeller Christmas Tree to immerse themselves in the quintessential holiday experience.
Visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
Visiting the beautiful Rockefeller Christmas Tree—and then lacing up some ice skates or seeing a seasonal show nearby—is a cherished NYC tradition.
Making the trip? Check out additional exciting ways to celebrate the holiday season at 30 Rock below.
Chill out while skating at The Rink
If you've made the trip to check out the dazzling lights of the Rockefeller Christmas tree, don't miss out on The Rink, the center's historic ice skating site, located between 50th and 49th Street.
It's hard to beat the skyline views from the ice as friends and family zoom around the rink with glee. A stop by The Rink paired with a hot cup of hot cocoa is a match made in NYC holiday heaven. Buy tickets here.
Kick back with the Radio City Rockettes
If you're trying to curate the ultimate holiday experience at Rockefeller Center, you must see a show at Radio City Music Hall.
Aside from the jaw-dropping interiors and gorgeous architecture, the energizing Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes has been a hot holiday itinerary item since 1925. Buy tickets here.
Originally published Oct 26, 2023.