Broadway tickets prices are through the roof but did you know that one night a year you can get free tickets? The 21st annual Kids’ Night on Broadway takes place Tuesday, February 28, 2017. You get one free child ticket for each adult ticket purchased. Even better, kids are defined as up to age 18. Here’s what you need to know.

Take your children to a Broadway show for free on Kids' Night on Broadway

Participants at previous Kids’ Night on Broadway. Photo Jeremy Daniel

Kids’ Night on Broadway – for teens, too

Taking children to live theater is the way to build a life-long patron of the arts and regularly exposing your kids to high quality Broadway theater is a wonderful family activity. But it can break the budget. The annual Kids’ Night on Broadway is an amazing way to see hit shows at a huge discount – children up to age 18 get in free!

Kids’ Night on Broadway has been a tradition in my family, though my youngest daughter just aged out of it. With three kids and two adults, we needed a third adult to come along to fully take advantage of the buy one, get one free discount.  If you have a mismatch if your family, invite a grandparent and treat them to a night of theater. If you have one child going with two adults, let your kid bring a friend.

Kids' Night on Broadway - unique chance to score free tickets

Getting ready for the show. Photo: Jeremy Daniel

The fun doesn’t end with a free ticket. When you buy tickets for Kids’ Night on Broadway, you can also get free entrees(for the kids) at many restaurants in the theater district, plus access to a party before the show. Some theaters also have post-show chats.

Seventeen area restaurants have specials this year: Basera Indian Bistro, Café Un Deux Trois, E&E Grill House, 5 Napkin Burger-Hell’s Kitchen, Glasshouse Tavern, Gossip Bar and Restaurant, Havana Central-Times Square, HB Burger-Times Square, Heartland Brewery and Chophouse-Times Square, Le Rivage, Matt’s Grill, Playwright Celtic Pub, Playwright Tavern, Schnippers, Toloache 50, Tony’s Di Napoli-Times Square, Utsav NYC.

Popular shows sell out fast!

Tickets went on sale December 6 at 10:30am, and popular shows sell out quickly. This year, the list of shows includes:

  • Aladdin
  • Beautiful: the Carole King Musical
  • A Bronx Tale
  • Cats
  • Chicago
  • Come From Away
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • In Transit
  • August Wilson’s Jitney
  • Kinky Boots
  • The Lion King
  • Natasha
  • Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
  • On Your Feet!
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • School of Rock the Musical
  • Significant Other
  • Waitress
  • Wicked

If you can’t make it to New York for the special night, note that many of these shows are often sold at a discount on the day of, at the TKTS booth in Times Square. You also may be able to take advantage of this deal closer to home. Theaters around the country offer their own Kids Night on Broadway.

You don’t have to be Jewish

Theater-goers of a certain age will remember the Levy’s ad, “You don’t have to be Jewish to Love Levy’s Real Jewish Rye” or Gilda Radner’s fake ad: “You don’t have to be Jewish to wear Jewess Jeans,” … “But it wouldn’t hurt.” If you fall in that demographic, you will enjoy Monica Piper’s one woman show, “Not that Jewish.”

This off-Broadway 80 minute show is filled with humor, love, and the story of her transformation from a non-observant Jew to a single mom who sends her son to Hebrew school. You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy the show, but some of the jokes are strictly insider. And though Piper wrote for Rugrats, her show is definitely not for the little ones. The Mickey Mantle anecdote is alone worth the price of admission – even for a New York Mets fan!