TKTS Tips & Tricks

TKTS Times Square NYC

The TKTS Booth

Purchasing tickets at the TKTS booth can be a daunting prospect, for newbies and long-time ticket buyers alike.  Here are some tips and tricks that we’ve kept in mind over the years when heading to the booth for some last-minute tickets.

Tip & Tricks

  • There is no way to know in advance which shows will be available at TKTS on any given day. So, if you absolutely, positively want to see a certain show, you should probably buy your tickets in advance and not take a chance on TKTS.
  • When first you arrive, check the list of available shows on either side of the booth and pick your top few shows. As you get to the front of the line, check the boards again to see if your choice is still listed as you get close to the window.
  • If you’re interested in a non-musical show, be sure to get into the “Plays Only” line. It’s typically a lot shorter.
  • When you get up to the ticket window, try not to ask about more than three shows.
  • Note that cell phone use is forbidden at the window itself (as it is at every Broadway box office).
  • The tickets and seat locations released to TKTS are the “left-overs” – the seats that haven’t sold yet. While some locations may be great (seats that used to be at premium prices), others will be… well, less great, and you probably won’t have a lot of seating options to choose from.
  • Each individual can purchase up to 6 tickets at the TKTS booth.
  • Cash, traveler’s checks, and all major credit cards are accepted at every TKTS location.
  • The line begins forming at the Times Square location up to 2 hours before the booth opens.
  • The greatest number of shows and largest selection of tickets will be available right when the booth opens.
  • Ticket availabilities fluctuate throughout the day on an hourly basis, as theaters release more tickets to the booth or reclaim blocks of tickets that they had released earlier. If your first choice isn’t available when the booth opens, you may want to check back later in the day.
  • As show time approaches, the lines get a lot shorter and some surprising shows appear on the list.
  • If you wait until close to curtain time to visit the booth, you’ll essentially need to sprint to the theatre to make the curtain, so only consider shows between West 44th and 50th street, with addresses in the 200’s and 300s.
  • The TKTS lines are longest during the summer and certain holidays (the ones that tend to be associated with “long weekends”). Lines tend to be shortest during January and February, and during rainy/snowy days.
  • The Times Square booth is the busiest location. For shorter lines, visit the South Street Seaport or Downtown Brooklyn locations.
  • The Times Square booth sells only day-of show tickets, but the South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn booths sell same-day tickets for evening performances and next-day tickets for matinees.
  • The Downtown Brooklyn booth also sells tickets to Brooklyn performing arts events, which aren’t available at the other 2 locations.
  • The “TKTS 7-Day Fast Pass” allows you to return to the Times Square booth within 7 days of your TKTS purchase, show your ticket stub, and walk right up to Window #1 to make another purchase, thereby skipping the lines.
  • Some folks – in costume, with flyers, you name it – may approach you to talk up the shows that they’re marketing. Talk to them if you want, but to be brutally frank, don’t place too much trust in their opinions of the shows. They’re paid to have them, and you’re the one who will be sitting through your choice later that evening.
  • BE CAREFUL:   Never, ever buy tickets from someone on the street. Only trust the people inside the TKTS booths.
  • If you have questions, ask the folks in red “TKTS” shirts.

More TKTS Information

For more information about TKTS and its 3 locations, click here.  And if you have any TKTS tips or tricks that you don’t see here, leave us a comment and give us your advice!