How to Have the Perfect Day in Midtown Manhattan

How to Have the Perfect Day in Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan is so much more than Times Square. It’s got lots of museums and tons of food options. Here’s my guide for the perfect (fully packed!) day in Midtown.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central
Grand Central

Start your day at Grand Central. It’s a gorgeous building that has been open since 1913 with 750,000 visitors passing through each day. Start in the Main Concourse and watch the commuters pass by before venturing to find some breakfast.

Gorgeous open faced sandwiches at Great Northern Food Hall

You’ve got plenty of options – I love the Great Northern Food Hall for Scandinavian options from casual to sit down. You can also check out the Market for some grab and go options or Irving Farm Coffee Roasters for delicious coffee.

Grand Central Market Midtown
Grand Central Market – it’s a traditional food market & perfect for grab and go

After you’ve eaten, head back  to the Main Concourse and grab the audio tour for $9. You can do it in as little as 30 minutes and gives an interesting history as well as architectural details you might normally miss.

MoMA

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol at MoMA

Museum of Modern Art (or MoMA) is an awesome art museum. It’s got famous artists like Warhol and Monet. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop. Admission is $25

Lunch

For lunch, check out The Little Beet for healthy options or City Kitchen for an upscale food court with lobster rolls, sushi and gourmet doughnuts for dessert. Be warned though that midtown lunch places can have lines out the door between 12-2pm.

Radio City Tour

 

Radio City
Radio City – view from the Stage

A tour of Radio City is a must. It’s a stunning theater and so cool to stand onstage. See where the animals live during the Christmas show. Meet a Rockette (and get a photo!). Tours run daily and are $26.95 each. Advance reservations are recommended.

Happy Hour (with views!)

Have happy hour at the rooftop of La Quinta. It’s got great views and is a hidden gem. There are deals everyday from 4-7pm and might be the cheapest drinks you’ll ever find in Manhattan.

Dinner

For dinner, you have to go to Carmine’s. Everything is served family style and is absolutely incredible. So grab a bunch of friends or prepare for a lot of leftovers. If you’re not too full, order the Titanic. Like the name suggests, it’s pretty epic.

Broadway show

After dinner, see a show. I may be biased, but you can’t come to New York without seeing a Broadway show. With 41 theaters, there are so many options and even if you think you’re not into theater, give it a try. Here’s my guide to getting tickets here.

Times Square

After the show, head to Times Square. It’s best at night so you can really admire all the lights and the people watching should be pretty good. But don’t spend too long, it’s a bit overrated.

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How to See the Tony Award Winning Shows

How to See the Tony Award Winning Shows

ICYMI, the Tony Awards were this past Sunday. They’re a celebration of the past year’s Broadway shows and a celebration of all things Broadway. It’s also a huge marketing tool for all shows – whether they win or not. Here’s how you can see this year’s top shows:

 

Best Musical

Dear Evan Hansen

Courtesy of show’s website

Check out the Tony performance by Ben Platt (who also won Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical) here.

 

If you can wait, you can buy tickets on the website. A new block starting in January 2018 was just released so that will be your best bet.

If you can’t wait, try the digital lottery. It opens online at 12:01am on the date of the performance (except Saturday evenings) and closes at 10am for matinees and 3pm for evening performances. You can buy up to 2 tickets for $40 each. 

Or you can try for standing room but you will need to arrive before the box office opens because lines do start the night before (yep, people sleep out on the street for tickets). You can get up to 2 tickets for $42 each.

Dear Evan Hansen also won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Book. 

 

Best Play

 

Oslo (Hurry! Show closes July 16th)

Photo from Playbill

Your best bet is to buy tickets  between July 2nd and July 16th. Thanks to the Tony Awards, the show extended an additional two weeks. So you can easily buy tickets to any of the performances during those dates.

If you’re looking for cheap tickets, enter the digital lottery the date before the desired performance. The lottery is drawn at 10am the day before and winners can buy up to 2 tickets for $39 each.

On TodayTix, tickets are currently on sale for $59 each and up. Use referral code ‘AOOSA’ for $10 off your order.

TDF: Oslo is often on the website TDF for $41 tickets. (TDF or the Theatre Development Fund is a nonprofit that gives ticket discounts to its members. For $34 a year, you can become a member too. AND you don’t even have to be a theater person to join – you can be a student, teacher, recent grad, retiree, or FREELANCER. Here’s the full list.)

TKTS: It’s sometimes at the booth and is worth checking out.

Oslo also won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

 

Best Revival of a Musical

Hello, Dolly!

Hello, Dolly!
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

Watch the Tony performance of David Hyde Pierce here.

Even better, watch Bette Midley’s acceptance speech for Best Leading Actress in a Musical here.

This is probably the hardest ticket to get right now because Bette Midler. If you absolutely must see her, there is currently some good availability at the end of the year.

If you don’t mind standing, you can do standing room for $47 each for up to 2 tickets. As far as I know, people aren’t lining up the night before so as long as you arrive a little before the box office opens, you should be OK.

If you don’t mind seeing Donna Murphy (who is sharing the role with Bette Midler), you can get tickets much easier. TodayTix has tickets available starting at $39 through August. Use referral code ‘AOOSA’ for $10 off your order.

Hello, Dolly! also won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and Best Costume Design.

Best Revival of a Play

Jitney

Unfortunately, Jitney closed in March.

 

What didn’t win but you should still see

Come From Away

Watch the full company’s Tony performance here.

Rush: You can purchase up to 2 tickets for $38 each. Arrive before the box office opens (I recommend an hour early because there are lines). Once rush tickets run out, standing room tickets are available for $32 each. The show is only 100 minutes so it’s not a bad option.

TodayTix: It’s not always on the app, but the show is currently on sale for a few dates in June and July starting at $117. Use referral code ‘AOOSA’ for $10 off your order.

Come From Away was nominated for Best Musical and won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. 

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Watch the full company’s Tony performance here.

Rush: $39 each for up to 2 tickets when the box office opens. There is usually a line, so arriving early is recommended.

Digital Lottery: Lottery opens at 12:01am the day of the performance and closes at 10am for matinees and 3pm for evening performances. Tickets are $39 each for up to 2 tickets.

 

TKTS: It’s sometimes at the booth and is worth checking out.

The show was nominated for Best Musical and won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. 

If you’re interested in finding cheap tickets to other Broadway shows, check out my guide here.

 

Tony Awards Pinterest Graphic

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How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets

How to Get Cheap Broadway Tickets

I’ve been working on Broadway and off-Broadway shows since I moved to the city 5 years ago. Needless to say, I’ve seen A LOT of shows and I have rarely ever paid full ticket price. Here are my tips so you can too.

Playbill keeps a great list of rush and lottery policies for all Broadway shows here.

 

Digital Lottery

Ticket won from digital lottery
Ticket won from digital lottery for $40

A certain number of seats for each show are chosen (usually front row or limited view) and a lottery is drawn, with the seats generally between $30-40. You used to have to go in person which made entering multiple lotteries difficult. But now almost all are exclusively online so you can enter multiple at a time.

Broadway Direct and TodayTix do a lot of the lotteries but a few shows hold their own. Check the Playbill website for more info.

If you win, you’ll have about an hour to pay and then you’ll pick up the tickets at the box office.

 

Rush

You show up at the box office when it opens, wait in line, and a certain number of seats are available for purchase. For certain shows, it may be beneficial to get there even earlier as people will line up early to ensure a cheap ticket. But don’t fear because often they will give a deal to those at the back of the line.

Tickets are general $27-50 and require an ID. If you are a student, there may also be an additional rush for you with your ID.

 

TodayTix

Ticket purchased from TodayTix
Ticket purchased from TodayTix for $42

TodayTix is an app where you can buy tickets up to two weeks in advance. You purchase on the app and then meet a TodayTix Concierge agent outside of the show 30 minutes before (they’re wearing a bright red shirt or jacket so you can’t miss them) and then you’re off!

TodayTix also offers a few lottery & rush tickets to Broadway shows, plus off-Broadway and even Met tickets.

For $10 off your first order, use code AOOSA.

TKTS

I’m sure everyone has heard of the TKTS booths for discount tickets. It’s great for day of tickets, especially if you are flexible as it is first-come, first-serve. Download the app and you can see what they’re offering, as well as the wait time.

 

TDF

TDF or the Theatre Development Fund is a nonprofit that gives ticket discounts to its members. Tickets are never over $47 and Broadway shows, as well as off-Broadway, concerts, opera and more are offered.

For $34 a year, you can become a member too. AND you don’t even have to be a theater person to join – you can be a student, teacher, recent grad, retiree, or FREELANCER. Here’s the full list.

 

Now here’s the real question – how do I get Hamilton tickets?

img_4092It’s no secret that Hamilton is the hottest ticket in town. I have seen the show but I know people through the Broadway community and I did still pay a pretty penny. But there are ways for a normal person to get tickets. Here are my tips:

 

Win the Lottery – Literally. Enter the digital lottery for every performance you can. Tickets are only 1 Hamilton each (haha) or $10. You can enter at Broadwaydirect.com

Cancellation Line – Since most people buy tickets so far in advance, cancellations do happen. You can check at the box office from the time it opens until show time. Since cancellations can happen during the day, tickets are offered to the next person who walks up to the window. So you can get lucky.

Standing Room – When Broadway shows are sold out, standing room is offered – they’re spots along the back of the orchestra. You will be standing but you get a pretty good view and you’re still in the room where it happens. Since all Hamilton performances are sold out until eternity, standing room will always be offered. You can purchase these seats at the box office the day of, same deal as the cancellation line.

Buy Far in Advance – Tickets are released in blocks, therefore there are tickets in X amount of months that have not been purchased yet. Follow Hamilton on social media or enter your email address on the website for the latest news. When you get word that a new blocks of tickets have been released, run to Ticketmaster ASAP and grab your seats.

 

WHAT NOT TO DO:

Do NOT buy tickets from a reseller. You will pay a crazy amount of money and the show (including its creator and original cast who receive royalties) will get none of it because robots are able to scoop up tickets and charge you hundreds, or I’ve even heard thousands, over what the ticket price is and they get ALL the profit. The show is good but it’s going to be here for awhile so wait your turn, save some money and try my tips above.