Rockefeller Center Tuba Christmas
Kat Harris Photography

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree takes center stage every year, but there are more holiday traditions to explore at Rockefeller Center! The historic Art Deco plaza is home to a variety of holiday events and art installations that help bring festive cheer to the city every year. From a massive tuba concert to a Santa meet and greet 800 feet in the air, discover 5 quirky Rockefeller Center holiday traditions (that don’t involve the tree!)

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1. Blessing of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Nativity Animals

Every year, before they make their debut on stage, the real-life animal stars of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Nativity scene are blessed. Just before rehearsals start in November, the sheep, camels, and donkeys that appear in the show are ceremoniously doused in holy water. This year, the blessing was conducted by Cardinal Dolan just outside the famous music hall.

Live animals have been a part of the annual Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular since its very first show in 1933. In addition to the live animals, the show features the high kicking performances by the Rockettes and an appearance by the big guy himself, Santa Claus!