Watch CBS News

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Chosen, But Holiday Celebrations Of All Kinds Will Be Different In NYC This Year

NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The holidays will look a lot different in New York City this year.

Many iconic events are changing to keep people safe.

A tree in Upstate New York is getting ready for the world stage. (Credit: Rockefeller Center)

As CBS2's Cindy Hsu reports, a 75-foot Norway Spruce from Oneonta has been chosen to become the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this season. It'll be lit up on Dec. 2, but there's been no decision yet on how the tree lighting will be done, and what access visitors will have to the 11-ton tree.

MORE: NYC Officials Urge People Not To Travel For Thanksgiving As De Blasio Says City Is Seeing Worrisome COVID Increase

"I think that kind of ruins the whole vibe, because I love all the people and the people around the tree," said 10-year-old Emma Gomez.

Emma and her 9-year-old brother Carson Gomez are pretty disappointed with the scaled back version of holiday attractions. The Nutcracker and the Radio City Rockette's Christmas Spectacular have been canceled for this year.

"Do you think they'll be here next year?" Carson asked.

"I hope so. I really don't know. What do you hope?" Hsu replied.

"I hope so too, because we've only lived here for four years, so we haven't experienced all of it," Carson said.

MORE: Cuomo Orders New COVID-19 Restrictions As Cases In New York Climb

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is going virtual and so is Macy's Santa Claus visit - he and the elves will take part in an interactive video available to children starting the day after Thanksgiving.

Some malls will have Santa, but he'll be behind clear acrylic sheets.

Ice skating rinks like the one at Bryant Park are opening with some restrictions for social distancing. The same goes for the skating rink at Rockefeller Center which opens Saturday, Nov. 21. Tickets go on sale Nov. 12.

Stores will be decorating their windows along Fifth Avenue, and holiday shops like the ones at Bryant Park are open.

Christopher Heywood with NYC & Company says tourism is down significantly and the hope is that locals will keep the economy moving with staycations.

"This is a great time to support small businesses, shop in our department stores," Heywood said.

Carson and Emma went shopping in Times Square. They ended up with six mini hand sanitizers.

As far as New Year's Eve and the ball drop, Times Square won't be crowded, and for the first time the festivities will be virtual, so we can all thankfully watch the end of 2020 from afar.


You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.