Seeing live shows is one of our favorite family (and date night/moms’ night out) NYC activities. Here's a complete guide to saving $$$ on tickets.
* Buy at the theater’s box office if possible to avoid online/phone service charges and get tips on the best seats. Tickets for all Radio City, Beacon Theater and Madison Square Garden shows available at any of the three locations.
* See shows at off-peak days/times, weekdays and when less tourists are around like fall and January/February.
* Current kid-friendly options include Lion King, Cats, Aladdin and Wicked on Broadway and Stomp, Blue Man Group and Gazillion Bubble Show. Off-Broadway. See petitseat.com for age guidelines and more tips.
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2-for-1 Broadway Week tickets go on sale Jan 9 at 10:30 am. Get two tickets for the price of one to select Broadway shows Jan 21-Feb 10. Kid-friendly options include Aladdin, Anastasia, The Lion King, Frozen and Wicked. Some shows sell out quickly. See Petitseat for age recommendations and other tips plus our shows for less guide for info on more discounts all year round.
Get tickets to Big Apple Circus’s intimate family-friendly shows for $10–$40 (usually $43-$73). Watch clowns, horse-riding dogs, horizontal juggling, aerial duos, flying trapeze and more in a one-ring Big Top tent with comfortable arena style tiered seating.
Young fans age 4-18 can see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult during Kids’ Night on Broadway (Tuesday, Feb 26). Tickets go on sale December 6 at 10:30 am and sell out fast (but don’t give up, sometimes tix are released from other shoppers’ carts). Kid-friendly options Lion King, Wicked, Frozen and Aladdin. See Petiteseat.com for age guidelines. Use code KBWAY19.
* Playbill.com and Theatermania.com offer discount codes for up to 40% off for many shows.
* Unlike most discounts, you get to select your own seats. Free online registration required to access deals.
* Codes can be used at theater box office’s to save on service fees.
How Much: $35+ depending on show and seat location
Participating Shows: Varies by season; currently Anastasia, Stomp, Gazillion Bubble Show and many more
More Info On Playbill/Theatermania Discounts
Get online tickets to a variety of Broadway, Off-Broadway, stadium (i.e. Sesame Street Live), Radio City and other live shows for up to 50% off.
How Much: Tickets for some shows start as low as $5, discounts up to 50% off
Participating Shows: Changes often, currently Gazillion Bubble Show, Met Opera, Blue Man Group and more.
More Info On Goldstar
Download the fabulous free app for discount tickets to tons of shows at your fingertip, plus easy virtual entry into online lotteries. Enter code ‘NDUGS’ at checkout for $10 off your first order.
How Much: $20+ depending on show and seat location
Participating Shows: Blue Man Group, Fiddler on the Roof, Matilda, School of Rock, Stomp, also some BAM shows and Met operas
More Info On TodayTix App
SAME DAY (CHEAPER BUT RISKIER)
* Many show lotteries are moving online, which makes entering easier but also lowers your odds.
*Enter through Today Tix app or through show websites for The Lion King, Aladdin, Frozen and Hamilton.
* Entry times vary, usually the morning of the show or the day before.
* Each winning entry only gets two seats, and they’re often in the very front or very back.
How Much: $10-$35
Participating Shows: The Lion King, Aladdin, Hamilton
TKTS Discount Booths
* Get same-day tickets (next day for matinees) for a wide selection of Broadway, Off-Broadway and dance shows for 20%-50% off.
* Lines can be long, especially in the summer, and sometimes shows sell out. Shorter lines at South Street Seaport, Downtown Brooklyn and Lincoln Center Atrium locations. Hours vary between location.
* Times Square has a shorter ‘express’ line for non-musical plays (and pregnant women can go to the front of any line).
* See historical and current availability on the TKTS app.
How Much: $50+ depending on show and seat location
Participating Shows: Changes daily; current available shows listed online
Theater Lotteries & Standing Room
* Feeling lucky? Enter an in-person drawing for cheap seats (sometimes in less desirable locations like the front row or way to the side) 2 to 2.5 hours before showtime in front of the theater.
* Chances depend on the competition; go mid-week for better odds.
* Feeling strong? Some popular shows let people stand in numbered spaces in the back of the orchestra when performances are sold out.
* Standing room tickets go on sale at the box office either in the morning or 1-2 hours before showtime.
How Much: $20-$40, some shows are cash only
Participating Shows: Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Wicked
* Some shows offer a limited amount of same-day deeply discounted rush tickets at the theater’s box offices as soon as it opens (usually 10 am). Limit 2 per person.
* More deals are available to students with current IDs who can usually bring one non-student with them, so find a studious niece/neighbor to be your date.
* Opera fans can enter Metropolitan Opera’s online rush tickets.
How Much: $20-$40, cash only
Participating Shows: Beautiful, Chicago, School of Rock
Enjoy any show that much more after you read this hilarious and heartwarming behind-the-scenes Broadway book for older kids (and fun grown-ups). A small-town boy hops a bus to New York City to crash an audition for E.T.: The Musical.