John F. Kennedy Center – Washington, D.C.

John F. Kennedy Center - Washington, D.C..jpgJohn F. Kennedy Center – Washington, D.C.

If you are looking for something free to do in the evening in D.C. then you should consider going to the Kennedy Center for their free 6 pm shows. The center opened its doors on September 8, 1971 on 17 acres overlooking the Potomac River and is a living memorial to President Kennedy. It presents more than 2,000 performances each year. The free performances are presented every day of the year on the Millennium Stage featuring international, national and local artists. There is a full day of free performances during the annual Open House Arts Festival which is held on the birthday of the Center in September. 

The theatre presents everything from ballet and dance to theater, musicals, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music, and multi-media performances for all ages. Visit the KC Jazz Club on the Center’s Roof Terrace level to hear some of the best jazz performed anyplace. Both the newest and the best jazz musicians play on the roof for the enjoyment of all true jazz lovers. Jazz Club.jpg

The Kennedy Center presents annual festivals celebrating cities, countries and regions of the world: the San Francisco and Texas festivals; France Danse; Festival Australia; AmericArtes, (celebrating the arts of the Americas); The Tchaikovsky Festival; the Arts of Japan; the Kennedy Center African Odyssey; Art of the State: Israel at 50; Island: Arts from Ireland; Festival of China;UK/KC, celebrating the arts of the United Kingdom; Shakespeare in Washington; JAPAN! culture + hyperculture; and a festival of arts from the 22 countries in the League of Arab States entitled Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World. Annual festivals include The Prelude Festival; the Kennedy Center Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

The Center has co-produced more than 150 new works of theater since opening its doors, including Tony-winning shows ranging from Annie in 1977 to A Few Good Men, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The King and I, Titanic, Bounce, On Golden Pond, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. The Center also produced the Sondheim Celebration (six Stephen Sondheim musicals) in 2002, Tennessee Williams Explored (three of Williams’ classic plays) in 2004, Mame in 2006, Carnival! in 2007, and August Wilson’s 20th Century (Wilson’s complete ten-play cycle) in 2008. The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays has provided critical support in the development of 135 new theatrical works, resulting in premieres that included three Pulitzer Prize winners: Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, Robert Schenkkan’s The Kentucky Cycle, and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.

Tour Hours Weekdays:10 AM – 5 PM Weekends:10 AM – 1 PM

Public Tours Public Tours begin approximately every 10 minutes. Walk-ins are welcome.

Group Tours Group Tours (20 or more) can book a private tour by calling the Visitors Center at (202) 416-8340, 10 AM – 9 PM daily. Group tours are scheduled every half hour until 4:30 PM weekdays and 12:30 PM weekends.

For our International Visitors: For international visitors, tours of the Kennedy Center can be provided upon advance request in French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. In addition, the written tour script is available in 12 languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. For more information or to book a group tour of 20 or more, please call (202) 416-8340 or TTY (202) 416-8524.

What does the tour include? The tour highlights the historic events that led up to the establishment of a national cultural center, as well as an interactive exhibit on the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy. The tour also includes the majestic Hall of States Hall of Nations and five of the Center’s main theaters, including its three grand performance halls (the Concert Hall, Opera House, and Eisenhower Theater). From the magnificent Opera House chandelier, a gift from Austria that measures 50 feet across, to the 3,700 tons of marble from Carrara, Italy, lining the walls of the Hall of Nations, to the gorgeous Israeli Lounge, these gems reflect the many extraordinary gifts from the governments of more than 60 countries that make the Kennedy Center truly an international destination. Also featured on the tour are works of art by renowned 20th century artists, including Lucien Wercollier’s Ascension and Dame Barbara Hepworth’s Figure.

Location: 2700 F St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20566

Phone: Tickets and Information: 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600