Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

Washington, DC's Premier Performing Arts Venue

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, from Potomac River.
••• Dennis K. Johnson/Getty Images

The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, officially named the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is the city's premier performance venue, providing approximately 3,000 performances per year. The Kennedy Center is the home to the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Opera, Washington Ballet and American Film Institute. Performances include theatre, musicals, dance, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, & folk music; youth and family programs and multi-media shows.

World-class festivals and events are held at the Kennedy Center throughout the year celebrating the arts of China, Japan, France, and other nations, international ballet and masters of choreography, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven; Tennessee Williams and Stephen Sondheim and much more. Free performances are held on the Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer every evening at 6 p.m.

The Kennedy Center has three main theaters: A Concert Hall, an Opera House and the Eisenhower Theater. Other performance venues include the Terrace Theater, the Theater Lab, and the Millennium Stage. Two restaurants are on site: The Roof Terrace Restaurant and the KC Café. The premier performing arts venue is located right along the Potomac River and the terrace provides a great view of the Potomac and the Georgetown waterfront. There are two gift shops on-site offering a variety of items relating to the performing arts including CDs, videos, books, artwork, jewelry and more.

How to Get to the Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F. St. NW, Washington, DC near the Foggy Bottom/George Washington Univ. Metro Station. From there it is a short walk via New Hampshire Ave. There is also a FREE Kennedy Center Shuttle that departs every 15 minutes from 9:45 a.m.-Midnight Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-Midnight Saturdays, and noon-Midnight Sundays.

On-site parking in the garage is $22 per performance.  Please note, that in mid-March 2015, garage access points will change due to construction. The south entrance from northbound Rock Creek Parkway will be closed for the duration of the project.

Ways to Buy Kennedy Center Tickets

1. Online - Search for a performance
2. At the Box Office - located in the Hall of States. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday, noon-9 p.m.
3. By Phone - (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324
4. By Mail - Download a mail order form and mail it to Kennedy Center, PO Box 101510, Arlington, VA 22210

Discounts are available on a first-come, first-served basis through the MyTix program for individuals who are ages 18-30 or an active duty member of the military. There is also a 15 percent discount for teachers.

Kennedy Center Expansion Plans

In December 2014, the Kennedy Center broke ground on the first major expansion in its history. The project will include rehearsal space as well as dedicated classroom space and multipurpose rooms for the Center’s education programs. Public access spaces will include gardens, an outdoor video wall upon which simulcast performances and other multimedia events may be projected, and an outdoor performance space on the river.

The expansion will be designed by Steven Holl and senior partner Chris McVoy of Steven Holl Architects. David Rubenstein has pledged a landmark gift of $50 million to the expansion. The project is expected to be completed by May 29, 2017, the 100th birthday of President Kennedy.

Free Tours of the Kennedy Center

You may take a free guided tour of the Kennedy Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Tours depart from the parking plaza on Level A, and feature the Hall of States and Hall of Nations, the Center's main theaters, and explore the paintings, sculptures, and other artworks throughout the center. See Photos of the Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center Phone Numbers

Information and Instant-Charge (202) 467-4600
Out-of-Town (Tickets and Information) (800) 444-1324
Hearing Impaired (TTY)(202) 416-8524
Group Sales (202) 416-8400
Group Sales (Toll-Free) (800) 444-1324
Washington National Opera (Tickets) (202) 295-2400 or 1-800-US OPERA
Washington Performing Arts Society (202) 833-9800
WPAS Ticket Office (202) 785-WPAS
The Washington Ballet (202) 362-3606

Websites

Kennedy Center - www.kennedy-center.org
National Symphony - www.kennedy-center.org/nso
Washington National Opera - www.kennedy-center.org/wno
Washington Performing Arts Society - www.washingtonperformingarts.org
Washington Ballet - www.washingtonballet.org

Dining Near the Kennedy Center

There are a variety of dining options within walking distance to the Performing Arts Center. Enjoy a wide range of cuisine ranging from fine-dining to fast casual. See a guide to the Best Restaurants Near the Kennedy Center