Woman leaves grandma in ‘happy tears’ with surprise trip to see the Radio City Rockettes

A woman stunned her 96-year-old grandmother with the surprise of a lifetime. 

Shelby Hoefling noticed her grandma’s admiration of New York City’s Radio City Rockettes. Her grandmother was born in the city and got to see the Rockettes perform for the first time on her 12th birthday in 1937. Hoefling wanted to make sure that wasn’t the last time. So she gave her grandma the ultimate surprise.  

“[She] has no idea what surprise is coming her way,” Hoefling said in the caption. “Surprising my grandma with a trip to NYC, where she was born 96 years ago, and two tickets to see the Rockettes.” 

Hoefling handed her grandmother a letter with an itinerary. 

“To New York — we’ve got a hotel tomorrow night,” Hoefling told her grandma. 

“No,” the grandmother said in disbelief. 

“And I got us tickets to the Rockettes,” Hoefling said for the big reveal. 

“No! No! Did you really?!” the grandmother shouted. “I can’t believe that. Oh my god! I can’t believe that.” 

Hoefling described her grandmother’s reaction as “happy tears.”

“Oh, it is a sur—surprise!” the grandmother said, stumbling over her words in excitement. 

The granddaughter also noted the moment “when she lost her breath at the end” as particularly emotional. The official Rockettes TikTok even responded. 

“Our hearts are bursting with joy. We can’t wait for you to see the show today! We are working on a special surprise for you,” the Rockettes said

It turns out the big surprise was that they got to meet the Rockettes after the show.


It still feels like a dream 🥰❤️ @rockettes <— the sweetest girls you’ll ever meet!

♬ original sound – Shelby Hoefling

The grandmother complimented the dancers, telling them it was magic the first time she saw the Rockettes 84 years ago and magic this time around too. Some things never change!

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