John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Top ways to experience John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
How to get there
  • Foggy Bottom–GWU • 10 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • ElvisAndrus
    Arlington, Texas818 contributions
    Epitome of Washington
    Love this place and its mission. It is much more thn the Millenium Stage but that alone gives me five stars. I love free shows and the six o'clock start means that if you are a little older, you are not out too late and if you are younger, it is a great way to pregame your night out. The other venues are wonderful too and we enjoyed the various installations and the view from the roof. We did find it hard to find a good restaurant or bar right near so if you are planning to grab a bite or a drink before or after the show I would suggest doing some research and making a choice ahead of time. We went twice during a seven day stay, once to see folk singer Suzzy Roche and the other night to see impressionist Matt Friend. Our experience was that if you come half and hour early you can sit in the front few rows and if you come fifteen minutes you are much further back in a long thin venue- so come early if that matters.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 5, 2023
  • phvi2617
    Anaheim, California547 contributions
    National Symphony
    I was here to see the National Symphony perform a program of Star Wars music. The iconic venue has some grand elements, like the Hall of States and Hall of Nations, as well as cool artwork. The Concert Hall is a little worn, but the sightlines in the first tier are very good, and the acoustics are fine. The orchestra was excellent, and the conductor, Steven Reineke, provided great commentary.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 19, 2023
  • Stephanie V
    Silver Spring, Maryland19 contributions
    New JFK exhibit at the Kennedy Center is a beautiful tribute
    The new permanent JFK exhibit at the Kennedy Center is really special. It showcases President Kennedy’s, and his wife Jackie’s, appreciation and promotion of the arts. It is beautifully and effectively laid out. People of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy and learn from this exhIbit. You can even create your own artistic selfie! Definitely worth your time.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 4, 2023
  • Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
    Los Angeles, California8,310 contributions
    Always Great to Visit
    On my return trip (my first since The Before Times), I fit a stop in here to see an early evening performance of the hit whodunnit, Shear Madness. I allowed myself time to explore the nearby riverfront and environs (there's an actual water gate on the river that was where the Watergate Inn first did business. There's a great new exhibit on the lives of JFK and Jackie on the top floor, which I took time to peruse. A free guided tour of the center, which I took last time, is offered. I highly recommend it, as it covers the history of the center and how it came to be built. It was good to see crowds of visitors and the gift shop decorated for the holidays once again. Things are just about back to normal. Hopefully.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 16, 2023
  • MsKiesha
    Alexandria, Virginia2,469 contributions
    Terrace theatre is a beautiful theatre
    Terrace theatre is a beautiful theatre! Smaller than i imagined, but overall I had a good experience. I sat in the orchestra house right section and it was the perfect view! I am 5’9.5 and the seats were roomy and comfortable. The staff were nice and helpful. The concept of the show was good. I also paid for parking onsite which made my experience less worrisome than if I had not. I briefly walked around the gallery after my show and that was beautiful as well. I am glad I wore my mask though as there were a lot of kids and coughing everywhere. Otherwise, I had a nice experience and will be returning for more shows in the future.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written December 12, 2023
  • iholland95
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania72 contributions
    Loved seeing Frozen here!
    I saw Frozen the musical at the Opera House and it was just so spectacular. I would highly recommend it. The cafe we ate at before the show was nice too. Kennedy Center is a very clean and well kept venue.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 9, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
1,771 reviews
Excellent
1,246
Very good
399
Average
89
Poor
20
Terrible
18

Glenn S
3 contributions
Feb 2024 • Family
We went to see The Temptations show and it was amazing! We had a great view from the second balcony. It was very clean and the staff was friendly.
Written February 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jaseaton
Silver Spring, MD2,618 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
The Terrace Theater is a medium-size concert hall. Neither huge nor intimate. We attended a concert which paired Stravinsky's "Soldier's Tale" with Wynton Marsalis' "Fiddler's Tale." We liked the Stravinsky better musically. But the players -- all African-American -- were terrific, and the narrator for the Fiddler's Tale -- she played the wife on the Cosby Show -- had a great voice and nearly was able to rescue a flawed script. The acoustics were lovely, and the audience was delightfully integrated.
Written February 14, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TomR233
Gaithersburg, MD302 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
My wife and I saw Shen Yun last night. The performance is superb and one that you don't want to miss. The script & choreography are new every year.
Written January 27, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

iholland95
Philadelphia, PA72 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
I saw Frozen the musical at the Opera House and it was just so spectacular. I would highly recommend it. The cafe we ate at before the show was nice too. Kennedy Center is a very clean and well kept venue.
Written January 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dcain4uga
Arab, AL69 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
My husband and I attended the Candlelight Christmas concert. It was wonderful. I highly recommend going to this choral performance.
Written December 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MsKiesha
Alexandria, VA2,469 contributions
Dec 2023 • Solo
Terrace theatre is a beautiful theatre! Smaller than i imagined, but overall I had a good experience. I sat in the orchestra house right section and it was the perfect view! I am 5’9.5 and the seats were roomy and comfortable. The staff were nice and helpful. The concept of the show was good. I also paid for parking onsite which made my experience less worrisome than if I had not. I briefly walked around the gallery after my show and that was beautiful as well. I am glad I wore my mask though as there were a lot of kids and coughing everywhere. Otherwise, I had a nice experience and will be returning for more shows in the future.
Written December 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

erichertting
Washington DC, DC4 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
I have been attending performances at the KC for over 30 years and have subscribed to the ballet series for over 2 decades. The performances are often superb, but the overall experience has degraded to the point where after this season I will no longer attend anything here. Abolishing programs so that everyone brings in a live cell phone ensures that every performance is interrupted at least once by a cell phone ringing. This past Saturday we paid over $43 for two very small cups of very low quality wine. It has always been a rip off, but now it has reached the point of complete absurdity. The audience is mostly dressed like bums or clowns and some people feel compelled to comment loudly on the performances as if the rest of care what they think. There are many wonderful things to see and do in DC - leave the KC of your list. If you want a comparatively civilized experience go to a ball game.
Written November 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hala A
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Friends
This is by far the worst Nutcracker performance I've ever seen in my life, & I'm 62 years old. The dance company is made up of elementary school children & some teenagers & a couple of teachers who stand in the background in costumes.
All the dances are performed by children with very few exceptions. The children's performance is what you'd expect to see in a school recital where the kids know a couple of ballet steps, then just keep running around the stage.
None of the usual major solos or duets dances were performed & the wonderful music was played in vain.
Dancers who performed grownup dancers performed the same exact few steps & their dancing looked more like a warmup routine than a choreographed dance.
The Kennedy Center should have noted on the brochure that Ballet West is mostly children. Had I known that before hand, I would never have taken my friends visiting from Denmark to watch it, specially on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was a colossal waste of money.
Written November 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
Los Angeles, CA8,310 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
On my return trip (my first since The Before Times), I fit a stop in here to see an early evening performance of the hit whodunnit, Shear Madness.

I allowed myself time to explore the nearby riverfront and environs (there's an actual water gate on the river that was where the Watergate Inn first did business.

There's a great new exhibit on the lives of JFK and Jackie on the top floor, which I took time to peruse.

A free guided tour of the center, which I took last time, is offered. I highly recommend it, as it covers the history of the center and how it came to be built.

It was good to see crowds of visitors and the gift shop decorated for the holidays once again. Things are just about back to normal. Hopefully.
Written November 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jehenson81
Washington DC, DC22,264 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
So I’m a season ticket holder for the Theater Program. The 2022-2023 Season just ended in August and we had some interesting shows. The most memorable was 1776. I have seen the movie a couple of times and was excited to see it on stage. The thing that was different about this staging of it was all the roles were played by women. The play of the season was A Soldier’s Play which I had never heard of and the description seemed a bit depressing for the Christmas season. While a tragic overall story, it was magnificent with superb acting. I also saw Les Miz which had great songs but is depressing and Moulin Rogue which has great songs, though I could have done without the changes they made to the music line up. Overall not bad. Let’s see what next season brings.
Written October 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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