Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre, Washington DC: Hours, Address, Ford's Theatre Reviews: 4.5/5

Ford's Theatre
Historic Sites • Theaters • History Museums
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
The site of the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Ford's Theatre is a working theatre, historical monument, world-class museum and learning center. The theatre produces musicals and plays reflecting the unique, diverse character of American life. With its inspiring theatrical productions, live historic interpretation, and rich collection of artifacts, Ford’s is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. A daytime visit can include the museum, theatre, Petersen House (the house where Lincoln died) and Aftermath Exhibits at the Center for Education and Leadership. Advance tickets are required (convenience fee). From September to May, Ford’s presents evening and matinee productions of renowned plays, vibrant musicals, and newly commissioned works that captivate and entertain while examining political and social issues related to Lincoln’s life and legacy.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Neighborhood: Downtown / Chinatown
How to get there
  • Metro Center • 4 min walk
  • Gallery Place • 5 min walk
Popular mentions

4,293 reviews
Very good

Santa Barbara, CA919 contributions
Nov 2021
If you have any appreciation for President Lincoln and the history of the Civil War do not miss this massive hunk of US history. The tour features a guided walk through Lincoln’s life (an audio guide for $5) followed by a walk through the theater. The tour is not rushed. I must admit that I found the tour of Lincoln’s life a bit underwhelming. If you want an amazing museum experience do not miss Churchill's war rooms in London. The overview of Churchil's life is one of the best museum experiences I’ve ever had. This did not hold a candle to the War Rooms. The tour areas is at times crowded and dark. But those nits aside this is still a must-see experience. If you have only a day or two in DC you can miss this. But don't miss it on deeper explorations of Washington.
Written January 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Orleans, LA626 contributions
Sep 2021 • Family
The Ford’s Theatre is dedicated to sharing the story of Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the United States.  I decided to take my son to the Ford’s Theatre because he seemed to have limited knowledge regarding Lincoln and his contributions to the United States.  
The visit to the Ford’s Theatre cost $3.00 per person and the audio recording for the tour was $5.00.  The staff is really courteous and helpful. Your journey will begin on the lower level and once the museum visit is complete you will make your way to the theatre where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865.  It is surreal to see the box where the former President sat prior to being assassinated.  The moment definitely allows one to travel back in time and contemplate what that fateful night was like for Lincoln and all who were at his side.
Lincoln was a lover of theatre and it was interesting to discover that performances still take place at the Ford’s Theatre.  If you are interested in the Life of Lincoln and in tracing his steps prior to his death the Ford’s Theatre is an excellent stop to expand your knowledge. I definitely believe it is money well spent for a great history lesson.
Written September 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lori B
Riverview, FL157 contributions
Dec 2021
My husband and I were lucky enough to be in DC for a quick getaway and bought tickets to “A Christmas Carol”. Wonderful performance in a historic setting. Highly recommend seeing a production at the theatre which entitles you to the musuem an hour before the performance.
Written December 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sita Pfalz
2 contributions
Dec 2021
My family and I attended "A Christmas Carol" nearly every year, with the exception of 2020, and this year's performance (December 23, 2021) was beyond awful.

There were many issues related to the performance. In previous years, the performance would go into great depth detailing the story. They tried to condense the entire play into one sitting, forcing every scene. They raised the prices for tickets for a shorter play and didn't even collect donations for the local food banks they usually supported.

They cut short on the songs which were directly used in Charles Dickens's story. This was a bare-bones skeleton of "A Christmas Carol".

There were very few props/stage effects included, with the fairy of Christmas Past walking downstairs, Scrooge's "bed" was in a victorian chair, and the only stage decoration was a vinyl green chair.

They had people take their COVID tests outside, but they didn't actually check the results from the test, just waiving them in without checking.

Don't even get me started on how understaffed the cast was. They went from over 30 devoted to <10 actors. Every child in the play was 'substituted' by a high-pitched adult. The most blatant example is how Tiny Tim, a very important character to Scrooge's story, is a tall gentleman with a beard larger than the actor who played his father.

Suffice to say, my family and I didn't enjoy the play, and we won't be attending another performance at Ford's Theater anytime soon.
Written December 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bertram S
Wyoming, MI781 contributions
Jul 2021
This was a fun little museum in the basement of the Ford Theatre where Lincoln was shot. It did a really good job of talking through his inauguration, his involvement in the Civil War, his family, entertainments, and people who planned to assassinate him. The movies were particularly insightful. A wand explaining everything is available, but there’s a lot of information already written up so they weren’t really necessary. The last thing to go through is the theatre where Lincoln was fatally shot. It’s still used for shows today. Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to go through some exhibits: they announced that we only had 30 minutes left at a certain point, so we went through the theatre before the building closed. They have a really great gift shop – we bought quite a bit there.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your feedback! We're glad you enjoyed your visit and sorry you didn't get a chance to see everything. As part of our COVID safety plan, we were allowing only 45 minutes on site in order to ensure patrons move through the site promptly and to provide time for cleaning between visits. We hope you’ll visit us again when we are able to allow visitors more time.
Written August 24, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bristol, WI896 contributions
Aug 2021
We bought our timed tickets the day they went on sale online (and they sold out fast). It slowly stopped raining so our wait outside on the street was tolerable. We then proceeded inside and down into the basement museum. You are supposed to walk in chronological order among the displays, movies, and signage, but it was difficult given the crowd in our group and social distancing. That being said it was interesting to learn about Lincoln and the times in which he lived. Then it was upstairs to see the actual box where it all happened. You lean in to see the box through a plastic panel and read a little drawing outlining where everyone was sitting. Then we spoke to a park ranger who showed us some photos and talked about how they closed the theatre for decades after the assassination. All in all a fascinating if not sobering visit back in time.
Written August 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

North Carolina270 contributions
Oct 2021
I'm giving 5 stars b/c it was my husband's favorite site on our recent trip, though not his first time in DC and he's very interested in Lincoln. I got the narrated tour for all of us which was a good call going with 12 yr olds who could not have read all the information. That being said, I would have dropped to 4 stars b/c it said the tour was 30 min which I suppose is the length of the recorded info but does not including reading any of the material in the museum, checking out the theater for any amount of time, going across the street (which we didnt do b/c it was closed that day), etc. My husband could have probably spent 2 hrs in there which we couldn't do because we had another timed entry set up across town based on the '30 minute' claim. I think we spent almost an hour and could have been there a bit longer to get more of the information. Also it isn't very big and was very packed so you had to shuffle along past each exhibit area.
One kind of disappointing thing I wasn't aware of was that it is not the original theater, it was gutted years ago to be offices or something and then rebuilt as a replica. It's super interesting regardless and worth it if interested in Lincoln.
Written January 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seattle, WA127 contributions
Oct 2021
Despite the need for timed entry tickets, we found ourselves surrounded by a group of middle school students visiting from out of town. The entire facility was extremely crowded; there was no way to keep social distancing. And above all, over half of the kids and their chaperons wore their masks on their chins. If you fall in the high risk category, please be aware of what you will likely encounter.
Written October 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We require all visitors over the age of 2 to wear a mask while indoors and uphold the highest Covid-protocols related to safety and hygiene. We have shared this feedback with our staff.
Written January 26, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Jersey2,669 contributions
Aug 2021
I visited Ford's Theater in August 2021. I bought my timed-entry ticket online and they let me go in a little earlier. The museum in the basement was crowded. There were many interesting things in the museum. In 1861 there was an assassination plot against Lincoln as he traveled to Washington DC to the inauguration called the "Baltimore Plot". Lincoln gave his first inaugural address first then he was sworn in and given the oath of office (the opposite sequence compared to today). The museum covered Civil War history, the Gettysburg address, the 1864 Overland Campaign, the 1864/1865 Battle of Petersburg, the fall of Richmond and the surrender at Appomattox. The timeline on April 14, 1865 for President Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth, the assassination and the aftermath were covered in detail. The details of each conspirator were covered. The actual murder weapon / pistol is on display which I have never seen before. Upstairs, I visited the theater and viewed the Presidential Box through a plexiglass window. The Presidential Box had not been open in the past so this was the first time I saw it. The park ranger was helpful and answered my questions. The museum had a nice gift and book shop. The only criticism I have is that it was a bit too crowded sometimes. I had a fantastic visit and learned some new things about Abraham Lincoln and the assassination.
Written August 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jason B
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates119 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
There is not much here. Smaller children may not spend much time but my nine year old liked it. The guy from the penny and the 5$. For adults you just have to place yourself in history and it’s amazing. To be where he was killed is just something to experience. Great gift shop and lots of stairs but elevators are available.
Written July 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre is open:
  • Wed - Sun 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Wed - Sun 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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We recommend booking Ford's Theatre tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 19 Ford's Theatre tours on Tripadvisor