John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The center houses nine theaters and stages, five public galleries, nine special events rooms, and the new REACH expansion. In addition to a variety of ticketed performances, free shows are held at the Millennium Stage daily. Free guided tours of the center are also available. An interactive exhibit highlights the life and presidency of JFK, numerous gifts and artwork from other nations, and flags from around the country and world. The center is included in a number of DC sightseeing tours, though some only pass by the venue, and do not actually stop inside.
Things to know before you go
- A discounted ticket program is available for students, young professionals, and military members.
- Regular guided tours are available on a walk-in basis; sign up for special guided tours in advance.
- A rooftop terrace offers incredible views of the Potomac and city.
- The center offers accessible entrances, seating, and restrooms for guests in wheelchairs.
- There are two restaurants and a gift shop on-site.
How to get there
There’s a free shuttle bus that runs from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro station to the center. You can also take the number 80 bus. For those driving, paid parking is available in a garage.
When to get there
There are multiple performances at the center every day of the year. Look up showtimes online and book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Guided tours are available Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 1pm.
The REACH is an extension of the center. Spanning 4.6 acres (1.9 hectares), it’s an experimental public space that offers flexible indoor and outdoor venues that can accomodate performances, film screenings, workshops, classes, rehearsals, and other events geared towards the community. Guided tours of the REACH are also available daily.