Don’t let high ticket prices keep you from enjoying fantastic cultural events around D.C. Explore these enriching options that provide exceptional artistic experiences for the entire family at a low price.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Hours: Mon-Sun, Free performances begin at 6 p.m.
The Millennium Stage offers free performances, seven days a week in the Grand Foyer of The Kennedy Center. Dubbed as a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, the center operates in the spirit of the late president, making art affordable for everyone. A variety of performances are presented on The Millenneum Stage including classical, jazz, opera and gospel. Check the Kennedy Center website to view the monthly calendar of performances.
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Price: Discounted tickets and free performances monthly
Hours: Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun Noon-6 p.m.
The Shakespeare Theatre has discounted tickets for students, military members and senior citizens. See how much you can save by visiting the website. Free performances are also held monthly at noon, providing the perfect chance to become acquainted with local actors and actresses. You don’t have to travel far to enjoy quality theatrical productions. Located downtown and surrounded by restaurants and other attractions, you can easily make it a part of a fun-filled evening.
National Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra
The Music Center at Strathmore
Price: Free tickets for children under 18
Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Wed 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Under the direction of Maestro Piotr Gajewski, the National Philharmonic makes it affordable for families to enjoy classical music concerts together. Free tickets for youth ages 7-17 make the National Philharmonic concerts an enjoyable night for the entire family at the Music Center at Strathmore. The free tickets may only be obtained in person at the Strathmore ticket office or by phone listed above.
The Phillips Collection
Price: Donations accepted, free first Thurs monthly
The Phillips Collection is open to the public and admission is based on donations, with the exception of special exhibits. “Phillips after 5,” which runs from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month, presents jazz performances, food and drink, gallery talks and films.
Related: Best art museums in D.C.
Friday Morning Music Club
Hours: Varies, check concert calendar
The Friday Morning Music Club offers various free performances by students, as well as professional musicians. The Friday Morning Music Club Chorale and Orchestra present several free concerts throughout the year. Under the direction of Webster Alexander Rogers, the chorale and orchestra present several major works each season.
Patrick D. McCoy lives in Washington, D. C. where he is active as a performing arts journalist, educator, church music director and radio show host. His work can be found here.