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
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
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See what travelers are saying
  • phvi2617
    Anaheim, California565 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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, California8,740 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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, Virginia2,677 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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, Pennsylvania68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    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
  • Bridget C
    Laurel, Maryland26 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center
    Went to see Swan Lake performed by the American Ballet. It was breathtaking. The stage, the dancers, all of the Kennedy Center staff were wonderful. When you arrive you are greeted at least once by someone who is offering to help you find whatever it is you're looking for. The building is majestic and impressive. The ballet was so delightful and received a standing ovation.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written February 23, 2024
  • montanapescado
    Albuquerque, New Mexico1,363 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Totally solid venue for a variety of performances.
    I've attended concerts, opera, and theater at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Not only do they get outstanding shows, they are presented in a fine venue with interesting architecture and excellent acoustics. Transportation/parking can be tough, but it is within walking distance of a metro stop (for a healthy adult).
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 29, 2024
  • Diane S
    Fairfax Station, Virginia183 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Outstanding Performing Arts Venue
    The Kennedy Center is the premiere performing arts venue in DC. It is a stunning facility with multiple theatres catering to different performance types. The terrace offers beautiful views of the Potomac River. Dining options are fine and there are others nearby. The free performances on the Millennium Stage is an amazing opportunity for both the public and the performers.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 27, 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
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,778 reviews
Excellent
1,250
Very good
399
Average
91
Poor
20
Terrible
18

Margaret H
Manchester, UK173 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We enjoyed visiting the special exhibition outside of lanterns for the Chinese New Year. The free concert of bamboo instruments could have been enjoyable, but squashed with hundreds of other people standing only was not the best. The flags and other exhibitions are interestng and a guide answered our questions very nicely.
Written January 26, 2020
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.

Marvin F
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Couples
The performance was amazing until they had random women sitting in the seat that were watching if you were recording, couldn't even look at a txt msg or time because they assumed we were recording, wasn't pleased with that what's so ever. It's upsetting we can even take at least a photo for the amount of money we are dropping for this performance but I understand their concerns but it was just upsetting that they had these women pretending they were customers but instead were little spys watching if you were recording or taking photos. I felt uncomfortable that I left the show early. Will never be spending my money for that ever again.
Written February 16, 2022
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.

Ms. Carr
Washington DC, DC3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
My friends and I were so excited to celebrate New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center. We were seated on the tier 1 level on the right of the stage. The performers stayed on one side of stage. Everyone seated where we were had to keep getting up and leaning over ledge to see who was singing. I could hear the performance, but i couldn't see it! I want a refund!!!!!
Written January 24, 2020
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, CA8,740 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
I took a guided tour of this magnificent center and it was a wonderful experience. A volunteer docent led us behind the scenes and explained the history of the venues. We saw Presidential boxes and lounges gifted by China and Israel and so much more. If you love going behind the scenes...this is for you. And as a bonus, we got to rock out to Abba in one hall, as the sound engineers worked on the upcoming production of "Mamma Mia!"
Written January 15, 2020
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.

Patti S
Kent Island, MD8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The shows here are amazing - we usually do traveling Broadway musicals, some smaller other events. But the food is mediocre and overpriced, and the drinks are utterly terrible and super overpriced. Eat ahead of time and uber to the KC!
Written January 6, 2020
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.

coombsfamily5
Rhode Island196 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We caught the free shuttle from Foggy Bottom that brought us to the front door of the Kennedy Center. We then enjoyed the hallway of flags and the large bust of President Kennedy. We then really enjoyed the concert given by three members of the National Symphony Orchestra. What a lovely way to spend a winter's evening in DC.
Written January 21, 2020
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.

ACETraveler2014
Ellicott City, MD6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We were not sure what to expect in a broadway stage performance of My Fair Lady. Turned out to be a great production with terrific actors and amazing sets on stage. The Kennedy Center is so elegant and makes you feel special no matter where your seat is the main theater.
Written January 14, 2020
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.

Oscar L
Maryland30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022 • Couples
The staff were extraordinary. We attended the play "ain't too proud" which was crowded and with the check for vaccination, I expected a long and slow process. I was quite surprised that both the electronic and paper lines moved quickly. Staff were constantly seeking to guide us to our seats. At the end, we met Patrick who volunteered to take a group picture for us and remi ded us to do a review.
Written January 2, 2022
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
1.0 of 5 bubbles
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.

Buckeyenyc
New York City, NY20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
When I come into DC once or twice a year I look forward in seeing a production at the Kennedy Center. The Center is the next best performing arts center to Lincoln Center in NYC. This production of My Fair Lady was ever bit as good as seeing it on Broadway.
Written January 11, 2020
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 (2024)

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