Rockefeller Christmas Tree & Saks Fifth Avenue 2021

Hi friends, welcome back to my NYC Christmas Tour! I’m picking up where I left off after the Bryant Park tour. As you know, I previously shared our experience at the Rockefeller Tree lighting ceremony, but I had to go back for more and also watch the Saks Fifth Avenue light show. Rockefeller Center is my absolute favorite spot at Christmastime, and I wanted to spend as much time here as I could, so this post contains pictures taken on a few different days.

The Monday after the tree lighting, I hopped on the subway uptown to get pictures of Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller. The closer I got to Saks and Rockefeller, the more crowded the sidewalks became. I got to Rockefeller during a light show, so I was hoping I’d be able to sneak through the crowd and get the iconic picture of the tree in between the angel horns while everyone was distracted watching the show. I was on a mission and I really had to fight for a spot to take a picture haha.

After getting a few pictures, I went and found a spot to watch the Saks light show. I absolutely LOVED it! There’s just nothing like it and I love how the 700,000 LED lights are so in tune with the music. My favorite part was when they played part of the song “Happy Together”, it just made me feel so happy, for lack of a better word.

The Saks window displays hit it out of the park this year with the theme of reconnecting with family and loved ones. Saks asked kids to draw their dream holiday with loved ones and then artists and engineers recreated the drawings for the windows, how cute! You can’t help but feel joy looking at these adorable window displays.


Saks also showcases more glamorous window displays but I personally like the kids ones better.

After soaking in some time at Rockefeller, I headed to Avenue of the Americas to see Radio City and the famous giant ornaments across the street.

I also spotted these fun, giant candy canes after discovering them on Instagram.

It started to rain after I saw the giant ornaments, so I had the bright idea to head back to Rockefeller to get my coveted picture. I was hoping the rain would scatter the crowds, and I was right. I might’ve gotten soaked in the process, but I got my picture! Oh the things I do for Christmas ha. I would’ve been dressed prepared, but I foolishly trusted the weather channel app when it said light rain…

While I was there I embraced the rain and watched the Saks light show again and it just doesn’t get old!

This year the Rockefeller Tree is extremely blocked off from people. We used to be able to walk up so close, but not this year. Makes me very grateful we got to go to the tree lighting ceremony because that’s as close as we could get unless we skated on the rink.

I came again one last time Tuesday morning with my cup of coffee ( can you believe Starbucks ran out of holiday cups?) to soak in every final minute I could with the Rockefeller Tree. I will say, it’s so much more enjoyable during the day without all the crowds.


I don’t think it’s any question that Rockefeller takes the number one spot of places to visit at Christmastime. It’s THE most iconic and popular spot during Christmas, so be prepared for the inevitable crowds. The least crowded time is during the day, at night it can be hard to even move through the area, especially during the Saks light show. I’d say it’s necessary to go at night too so that you can see the tree all lit up and catch the light show. Kevin McCallister made it to the tree, so you should too 🙂 Next stop, a stroll down Fifth Avenue!

19 thoughts on “Rockefeller Christmas Tree & Saks Fifth Avenue 2021

  1. The one photo towards the end of the post ties it all together, showing the Saks building at the end of the Rockefeller Center corridor. Didn’t realize they were so close together, and no wonder the crowds are constant. The angels and horns are magnificent. Is the tree real? I can’t get over the size of it.

    1. Yes they stare at each other all day, it’s quite the spot to be! The tree is a real 79ft Norway Spruce from Maryland. It’s absolutely massive

  2. Great post and captures Lyssy. So worth the effort, crowds, rain, daylight and all. Gorgeous displays. The city seems alive with hope. Thanks for sharing another beautiful NYC tradition. Allan

    1. Thank you! The city is very alive and buzzing with optimism and excitement. It sure is a special time of year in the city 🙂 So glad you enjoyed, Allan!

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