How to Get Discounted Tickets for Broadway Shows, Museums, Music, and Movies in New York City

New York City Budget Travel
by Katka Lapelosová Feb 16, 2016

New York City is where you can explore the arts and entertainment industry from all angles. We’ve got everything from Broadway shows to completely eccentric, one-off happenings. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Broadway for super cheap

TKTS line provides discounted seats for Broadway shows. Playbill has the most up-to-date list of rush tickets, student tickets, or lotteries. Also check Hamilton, which allows you to input a form from your phone. Get $27 standing-room-only tickets to see The Book of Mormon, Chicago, and a few others.

Up and coming productions

Don’t overlook up-and-coming productions. Pay $19 to watch a naked dance concert, or nothing at all to hear an improvisational voice band at Dixon Place. Or catch performing arts students make their university stage debut at Julliard or NYU. Maybe it’s strange, maybe it’s bad, but it’s one of those quintessential, “I went to New York City and things got weird at a cafe” experiences you’ll remember for years to come.

Museum discounts

Always Free: American Folk Art Museum, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Hamilton Grange, The Hispanic Society of America, Leslie–Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Queens County Farm Museum

Pay what you wish (yes, you can pay $1): The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Museum of Natural History, The Cloisters, The Brooklyn Museum, The Bronx Zoo (Wednedays)

Free on select days: 9/11 Memorial & Museum (Tuesdays, 5pm to close), The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Tuesdays), Brooklyn Children’s Museum (Thursdays, 2 to 6pm), Museum of Modern Art (Fridays, 4 to 8pm), Studio Museum in Harlem (Sundays).

Worth full price: El Museuo Del Barrio ($9/adult), Museum of Art and Design ($16/adult), The Whitney ($22/adult), The Museum of the City of New York ($14/adult).


SVA Theater in Chelsea gives exclusive premiers and free films from emerging filmmakers. The Film Society of Lincoln Center hosts international film festivals with bonus post-screening lectures or Q&A sessions.


The Metropolitan Opera offers $25 Orchestra Rush tickets. There’s no dress code, so you can totally show up in jeans and a T-shirt, and every seat back has a translation screen so you can follow along if you’re super confused.

Cooking classes

The League of Kitchens offers small-group cooking classes in the homes of NYC residents who want to share their culture through cooking. Learn to make Bengali palak paneer in Bay Ridge, or listen to stories of women who grew up in Mendoza, Argentina as you cook asado in Forest Hills.

NYC music scene

Highlights: Music Hall of Williamsburg for latest indie folk band. Jazz legends at Iridium. Great artists-in-residence at the newly-opened Bronx Music Heritage Center.

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