There are a number of ways to get tickets for Shakespeare in the park. You can get tickets by physically waiting on line or remotely, online via lottery. I have done both, but strongly prefer the physical standing on line experience when it fits my schedule.
Getting Free Tickets in the Park
This past Friday I had off of work and spent the morning physically on line to get Shakespeare in the park tickets. Once you get to the front of the line, you can choose 1 or 2 tickets for the event.
On Friday I woke up a bit early and got on line at about 8am. Luckily for me, it was a gorgeous day! At 8am it was about 62 degrees and by 12:30, the time when I purchased them it was 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
What’s waiting on the line like? See for yourself! –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-00TiI0vN6E
Getting in line for Shakespeare in the park involves walking into central park, locating the venue where Shakespeare in the park happens and finding the end of the line. It’s pretty deep into the park if you ask me, so be prepared for a bit of a walk to get there. Then you follow the line to the end and plunk yourself down!
I brought a chair to sit on, a hat and a book and slathered myself with sun tan lotion. Happily my fellow attendees were well spaced around me and I lucked out and was in the shade for most of the time that I was waiting.
Being in the park, with nowhere to go for 4.5 hours was surprisingly chill. Other than some of the people around me talking at a high volume I got to relax and enjoy the sounds of the birds and truly enjoy the weather. Better yet, I got to text photos to my favorite people about the line and what I was doing or reading.
The true reward was getting the tickets for the show, “as you like it“. Our seats were good, in fact I have never had a bad seat at the public theater in central park. I asked people around me how they got their tickets and it seemed 50/50 between the on line lottery and people who waited in the physical line. The only difference is that waiting in the physical line to get tickets pretty much guarantees that you’ll get one. On line, it is not as probable.
Watching the show can be great, this night in September it was perfect. The weather was not to warm, the sun was not blasting our faces and the humidity and rain held off for the night. The challenge with Shakespeare in the park can sometimes be wether you are willing to brave the weather both in the morning AND the evening and for this night it was perfect. If you go to Shakespeare in the Park in the middle of summer, it can be more challenging both waiting in line and attending the show at night so be prepared.
More Things to do in NYC
The public theater, who presents Shakespeare in the Park