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How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets

Looking for cheap Broadway tickets? In this post, I share some best tips and strategies for getting a discount on Broadway show tickets.

Interested in more ways to save in NYC? Read my post about our family’s trip to New York City. For more cheap vacation ideas, check out 4 Creative Ways to Fund Family Vacations, 9 Money-Saving Vacation Tips, and How to Save Money on Food While On Vacation.

How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets

How to Find Cheap Broadway Show Tickets

If you have ever wondered if it’s possible to find cheap Broadway tickets, you don’t want to miss this post! I went with two of my sisters to New York City this past weekend and we were determined to have an amazing weekend on a really tight budget.

Since neither of my sisters had ever been to NYC, both of them really wanted to go to a Broadway show. But we didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it.

So I put on my researcher hat and began scouting the internet, asking around online, and digging up everything I could about how to find cheap Broadway tickets.

Y’all! I was shocked with my findings! And I’m going to let you in on all the secrets I discovered in this post — including how to get tickets for as low as $10!!

Times square NYCDowntown NYC

Don’t Order Tickets Ahead of Time!

If there is one thing I discovered in all my research, it is this: You will spend a LOT more money if you order your tickets ahead of time! If you are willing to risk it and wait until the day before or the day of the show, that’s when you’ll find the best deals on Broadway tickets.

Be Flexible With What Shows You Want to See

Yes, I get it. You probably have a show or two that you have your heart set on seeing. But I would encourage you to pick a list of shows you want to see and work from that when looking for tickets. You’ll have a lot better chance of finding a deal on one of them then if you are dead set on only seeing one particular show.

Times Square NYC

Enter the Ticket Lotteries

The very best deals I found were on the ticket lotteries. Many shows offer them and you can find crazy deals. For instance, one person told me they saw Hamilton for $10. Another person told me they saw The Lion King for $30!

While not all of the shows offer tickets for as low as $10 through the ticket lotteries, there are many that offer $20 tickets and $30 tickets.

Most of the lotteries work something like this (be sure to read the details really carefully):

  • You go to a special website starting at 7 p.m. the night before the performance until 8:30 a.m. the day of the performance. After the lottery closes, you will be notified within minutes if you won or not. (To find out which shows offer ticket lotteries, head over to BroadwayforBrokePeople.com.)
  • If you won, you’ll have 60 minutes to claim your seats and pay for your tickets online. You cannot choose your seats; they are assigned to you and may not be seats with a great view. There is usually a limit of two tickets at that price.
  • Once you’ve paid, you’ll need to use your ID to pick up the tickets between 30 to 90 minutes before show time.

Yes, it’s a little complicated and you don’t know for sure if you are going to get the deal, but for the price, you just about can’t beat that deal!

I think this option would work especially well if you have some flexibility in your schedule and are in NYC for more than one night (you could enter the ticket lottery the first night and, if you don’t win, enter again for the next night!)

A photo of My Fairy Lady brochure

Check Out Rush Options

Many theaters offer a Rush option. These are extra tickets that haven’t sold, typically for seats that aren’t the best.

Theaters typically offer these on a first-come, first-served basis and they are available as soon as the box office opens for the show that day. There is usually a limit of two tickets per person.

Some shows also offer Student Rush tickets which are available 30 minutes before the curtain time. These tickets are often half price and are only available to current students and you can only get one ticket per student ID.

This is an option that is kind of risky, but if you have wiggle room in your itinerary and you enjoy adventure, it might be an option for you.

To see which shows are offering Student Rush and General Rush tickets, check out BroadwayforBrokePeople.com.

Times Square

Check a TKTS Booth

Many people recommended checking out the TKTS booths that are located around New York City. These booths offer discounted tickets for shows that are the same day.

We checked these out and this would be a good option if you were looking for more than two tickets (the Lotteries and Rush options have a limit of two tickets). The prices were around $60 to $80 for most tickets and they had quite a few to choose from. One downside is that you may have to wait in a long line and it’s very first-come, first-served.

Sign of Broadway Tickets

Order From TodayTix.com

If you don’t want to stand in a line and you are willing to pay a little more, TodayTix.com offers last-minute ticket options that are cheaper. You can order up to six tickets together and you can choose the area where you will sit.

To find the best deals, check the Bang for Your Buck section where they offer tickets for around $49 each. They offer a wide variety of shows and you can order up to a few weeks in advance.

Do note that you will pay an additional $12.50 processing fee in addition to the advertised price. You’ll pick up your tickets from a representative outside the theater 30 minutes before the show.

What are YOUR best tips for getting cheap Broadway tickets? Tell us in the comments!

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39 Comments

  • Carol says:

    Great post, will you be detailing where you ate/activities in NYC, so fascinating to someone on a budget

    • You can check out my IG post here for more details: https://www.instagram.com/p/BvIZQnNFrP_/

      Basically, we ate breakfast at the hotel (free), we ate snacks we had brought for lunch and snacks, and we ate out at Chick-fil-A the first night (the girls wanted to do this even thought I was like, “We’re in NYC!!” 😉 — $10), and Pret a Manger the second night ($10). We also bought a few things at little shops. I think the only thing I bought was a homemade pretzel ($4). We refilled our water bottles at the hotel and I got hot tea at the hotel multiple times a day (they offered free tea and coffee all day long).

      As far as activities, we just walked and walked and walked, rode the Subway twice when we went a long ways, and rode the Staten Island Ferry (free). We didn’t pay for any activity other than the Broadway show.

  • Carol says:

    Thanks so much, love your trip recaps!

  • Karen says:

    I am so excited I read your post!! I am going on my first adult trip in years, alone. I am going to see a ‘celebrity physicist’ at NYU. I added an extra day to look around. I saw your post and thought wow! I checked out the website and discovered that there are few if any shows on Mondays! That was my extra day! I went back and changed the reservation, and got the room cheaper, too! Thanks so much! You’ve made my trip even better!

  • Bethany says:

    That was a fun read! My husband bought tickets for us to go see Pretty Woman on Broadway I a couple weeks and I’m so excited. Where did you stay? We have a current reservation at the Holiday Inn but I’m interested in either good parking deals or hotels that offer a package that includes parking. We are looking to stay in the time square area so we are prepared for a more expensive stay but still like to look for a good deal.

    • When we drove to NYC, we stayed at the Hyatt Place in New Jersey and then took the bus in. That way, we didn’t have to mess with parking in downtown NYC and parking was free.

  • What method did you end up using? Did you see My Fair Lady?

    • I gave my sisters all the options and let them choose — since this was going to be the priciest item on the agenda. They decided to go through TodayTix.com. And I can’t recommend the show we saw. But I CAN highly recommend Wicked. If you ever get a chance to go to NYC, I LOVED that show when I saw it.

  • Debbie says:

    How did you end up getting your show tickets?

  • Chelsea says:

    This reminds me of when my husband and I did NYC on a budget for 1 week. We kind of made a game of making our money stretch and our goal was to visit all 5 boroughs. You’re right, it was basically a lot of walking! But there was so much to see on our walks. Some budget friendly things we did:
    -Visited all 5 boroughs simply for the experience (we learned the trains quite well by the end!)
    -Brooklyn Bridge
    -Staten Island Ferry
    -Mets game (the tickets were $10)
    -Time’s Square
    -Central Park
    -China Town
    -9/11 memorial (it was free back then and not finished, it still hurts my heart to remember the empty space.)
    -Art Museums/Science Museums (on the free days only)
    -Empire State Building- our big splurge. We made sure to go near dusk so we could get both day and night views/photos. We felt like it was more value for the money. 😂

    • Thank you so much for sharing! The 9/11 memorial is still free to visit, but the museum costs money. I love the idea of going to the Empire State Building near dusk!

    • Michelle says:

      I finally booked my trip with my son to NYC. Thanks to Airbnb I was able to afford 4 nights! So excited, yet nervous about getting around the city. We are staying in New Jersey since we are driving. I do not want to drive in the city! He really wants to see Beetlejuice so since our accommodations were 1/2 what I expected I’m going to get those tickets. Then maybe try one of these options for a 2nd show!

  • Heather says:

    Do you have a good budget-friendly hotel recommendation?

    • When we went as a family, we stayed at a Hyatt Place in New Jersey and rode the train in. This time around, I knew I wanted to try to find a place within walking distance of Times Square. I looked at a LOT of different places on hotels.com and Groupon. (I also recommend checking AirBnB and VRBO.)

      We ended up staying at the Element by Westin and were *very* happen with it. We found a deal on hotels.com and it was a lot less than I was expecting to spend — especially since we had three people. We were supposed to have one room with two beds, but when we got there, they didn’t have a room with two beds, so they gave us TWO rooms that were adjoining! The rooms have fridges and mini kitchens, which was great since we had brought some of our own food. Plus, their breakfast was good and they had free water, coffee, and tea all day.

  • Melissa says:

    Another option, if you have some spare time in your itinerary is to look for in-person lotteries. Some shows will offer an in person lottery (Mean Girls & Waitress do I believe) They have a time to show up – Generally it is an hour window – you don’t have to get there at the top of the hour, but you do have to have your ticket filled out before the end of the hour (Showing up about 10-15 min before the cutoff makes it easy… or show up first and then grab a snack and come back)… They do the drawing in person as soon as the registration window ends and you immediately buy your tickets (which can save you some time at the time of the event since you won’t have to be there early to get them from WillCall)

    One last option – if it is a show that you really want to see and can’t get tickets but are willing to risk some time (probably not good if you’re only visiting for a short time) is to stand in line at the cancelation line – they will sell tickets on a first come first serve – but there is no guarantee that you would get a ticket.

  • Kate says:

    Mondays are Broadway’s dark days! Glad you realized this before it was too late.

  • Chris says:

    When we went to NYC we used the TKTS in Times Square. They show which tickets they will have daily before you decide to wait in line or not. It is better to use if you don’t care which show you see, which we didn’t. It wasn’t too bad waiting in line.

  • Tiffany says:

    The best thing we ever did when we went to NYC was to buy the City Pass for NYC! It was a flat fee for a 7 day pass and it let us into all sorts of tours, museums, etc for “free” other than the cost of the pass. The pass paid for itself after going to 2 museums! They have it available for most major cities! And if you can wait until they are running a sale on the passes you can save even more!

  • Mary Furman says:

    TKTS in Lincoln Center or South Seaport have very short lines and usually open 1 hour before Times Square. I was in and out in 15 minutes, 4th row center for two shows, 50% off. Super pleased.

  • Susan says:

    Free tours by Foot NYC is a great way to learn about the city. Its a pay as you may and the tour guides usually know the best lesser expensive neighborhood eats. I highly recommend the Harlem tour and such great food

  • Elizabeth says:

    We went to NYC a few years back with our family of 5 and spent less than $2000 for an entire week, including gas and motel. We got a subway pass, stayed right over the line in NJ ($79/night with free parking since we drove) and took the bus into NYC every morning, took backpacks with snacks and water in them every day, and ate one great meal every day in NYC with Restaurant.com certificates. Our NJ motel had a huge free breakfast (waffles, eggs, bacon, etc) We went to all of the museums with our kids, danced on the famous piano at FAO schwartz, went to the 9/11 memorial…all kinds of stuff. The museums we paid $1 per person because I had done some research online and you can pay what you want since they are heavily subsidized by the government. The sign will say $ per person but by law they have to take what you give them. We talked to so many cool people on the bus, and in restaurants, etc. It was just such a great vacay! We didn’t do Broadway that time because my kids just weren’t that interested, but next time, I will use your tips! thank you!

  • Rose says:

    I also agree with a previous poster about going to the South Street Seaport location of TKTS. I did that and there was only one person ahead of me!

    Also, if you buy tickets from TKTS and you are planning to see another show on your visit, keep your used ticket stub. Bring it back to the TKTS booth with you, and they will put you in a shorter line.

    Finally, if you try a lottery and don’t win, read through the email. They sometimes offer discounted tickets for the same price than the TKTS booth. You can buy it online instead of standing in line.

  • Lily Krentzman says:

    If you get tix from TKTS in one day. You can go to a special shorter line with your stubs the next day!

  • Tara says:

    We used Broadwayroulette.com. It’s great if you’re open letting someone else pick the show. Tickets are either $49 or $59. You pick the day, they pick the show. You get to knock a few off the list, and if you do it on a Monday you can pretty well narrow down your options. We saw School of Rock for $49, had great seats and loved the show!

  • Stephanie says:

    Spothero is a great way to find parking. We went online and reserved same day parking at a garage in Times Square. We pulled up to the full garage, flashed our phone and the spot was waiting for us. We paid roughly $25 for 12 hours (plus they gave us 4 bonus hours we didn’t need but it was nice to not have to pay attention to the time). I think it was perhaps a block from our show (same day tickets as well). Less stress too because we knew we had a parking space.

  • Kim says:

    I’ve done Free Tours by Foot at Chicago and New Orleans also. Highly recommend!

  • Daniel says:

    I get asked all the time about how to save on Broadway tickets and I’m never exactly sure how to help, so this post is a much-needed resource. Definitely bookmarked in my NYC folder! It’s always hard to balance the desire for great seats/views with savings but it’s nice to know about the different options out there. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

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