When visiting Washington DC, please go to the Kenney Center. It is not only the National Cultural Center, but also a memorial to President John F. Kennedy. The Kennedy Center is one of the nation’s busiest and finest performing arts centers, according to their website they host approximately 2,000 events each year. Events ranging from theater, symphony orchestra, ballet, hip hop, contemporary dance, world music, chamber music, and festivals. And it is not only busy, but it is amazing as well. It is one of my family’s favorite places to visit, in the Washington, DC area.
We love the Kennedy Center! It is a splendid building, with breathtaking 60 ft. ceilings, and hallways dressed with 3,700 tons of Carrera marble, a gift from the people of Italy. Boasting an elegant red carpet and the most beautiful Orrefors cystal chandeliers hanging from the stunning 6 stories high ceilings. Each chandelier weighs a ton, it is 15 feet long, and were a gift from the people of Sweden. In addition to its interior beauty, the view of the Potomac River from the Kennedy Center’s terrace is one of the most picturesque in the nation’s capital. Also, do not forget to explore the grounds, you will find beautiful artworks such as the Don Quixote bronze and stone sculpture created by artist Aurelio Teno, a gift from the people of Spain.
Free Guided Tours:
The Kennedy Center offers free guided tours every day of the week. Mon-Fri 10 am- 5 PM and Sat-Sun 10 AM- 1 PM. All tours are wheelchair accessible and assistive. Listening devices are available upon request. The tour provides the center’s history and includes an interactive exhibit of a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. There is no reservation required to tour, and on special festivals and events, they offer tours in foreign languages. The tour includes visits to the Hall of States, Grand Foyer, Eisenhower Theater, Memorial Bust of President John F. Kennedy, Opera House, Concert Hall, Hall of Nations, Theater and Terrance Theatres, Roof Terrace, and visits to some of the Lounges. One very cool feature of the Guided Tour, was, that it included a visit to the US Presidential Theatre Box. A lot of history, and many Presidents have enjoyed performances in that Box.
The Millennium Stage:
In their Millennium Stage, The Kennedy Center offers a free performance every day at 6 PM, 365 days a year, and no ticket is required! We have taken advantage of the Millennium’s stage performances and have enjoyed theatre and music ranging from Flamenco, salsa, jazz, folk, opera, puppet shows, and many, many, more. If you are not physically present in Washington, DC, you can always enjoy the Millennium Stage performances from wherever you are. There is a daily live internet broadcast at 6 PM EST, you can view by accessing Kennedy-Center.org/millennium.
Getting to The Kennedy Center is very easy, arriving by Metro is really the best option, as there is a hop on free shuttle from the Metro station to the theatre. Take the Metro to Foggy Bottom-GMU-Kennedy Center Metro station, once you exit the Metro station, look for the sign for the Kennedy Center shuttle. It is free and departs every 15 minutes. The shuttle runs until Metro close. Bus route 80 takes you directly to the main entrance of The Kennedy Center as well. Or you can park your car in the underground garage lot. Parking is $23, if you pre-pay your parking you get a $3 discount. There are several public parking lots in the area as well, usually charging about $12 for parking.
The Kennedy Center has two restaurants, Roof Terrace, which serves a la carte dining, using traditional French techniques. They offer a Sunday buffet with a seafood bar and made to order omelets. It is open for dinner at 5 PM and on Sundays opens at 11 AM for brunch. There is also KC Café, which offers delicious food in a more casual environment. There is also a bar, and during performances, including the Millennium Stage’s daily performances, you can buy wine, soft drinks, and snacks in the lobby’s intermission bars. If you are coming to enjoy the free daily performance at The Kennedy’s Center Millennium State, come early, there is a happy hour offering food and drinks specials nightly, from 5-6 PM, in the Grand Foyer Bars.
The Gift Shop:
When visiting The Kennedy Center, stop at one of their gift shops, my favorite items are the Jacqueline Kennedy’s jewelry collection, the pieces are beautiful. In addition to jewelry, you can find books, CD’s, apparel, home and kitchen items, as well as children books and toys. You may also visit the shop online and your purchases can be mailed home.
The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F St., NW, Washington D.C. 20566
For information 202-467-4600 or toll free 800-444-1324