Free Guided Tours given by Friends of the Kennedy Center Tour Guides
Thank you so much for my "private tour" of the Kennedy Center. Your knowledge and time were appreciated. The Center truly epitomizes President Kennedy's mission to make the performing arts available to everyone. With individuals like you striving to inform and educate both visitors and locals alike, I see an extraordinarily successful future for the Center."
A tour of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, situated on the banks of the Potomac River, is a highlight of any visit to Washington, D.C. As the nation's performing arts center and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, the Kennedy Center welcomes three million visitors annually. The tour highlights the historic events that led up to the establishment of a national cultural center, as well as an interactive exhibit on the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy. Tours of the Kennedy Center are offered daily, free of charge, and given by the Friends of the Kennedy Center volunteers.
The tour also includes the majestic Hall of States Hall of Nations and five of the Center's main theaters, including its three grand performance halls (the Concert Hall, Opera House, and Eisenhower Theater). From the magnificent Opera House chandelier, a gift from Austria that measures 50 feet across, to the 3,700 tons of marble from Carrara, Italy, lining the walls of the Hall of Nations, to the gorgeous Israeli Lounge, these gems reflect the many extraordinary gifts from the governments of more than 60 countries that make the Kennedy Center truly an international destination. Also featured on the tour are works of art by renowned 20th century artists, including Lucien Wercollier's Ascension and Dame Barbara Hepworth's Figure. View a list of gifts given to the Kennedy Center.
The tour concludes with a breathtaking 360-degree view of the nation's capital from the Center's Roof Terrace.
Serving Visitors with Disabilities
Touch tours, sign-interpreted tours, and tours with assistive listening devices are available upon request with at least two weeks' advance notice. To request an Access Tour, please contact the Accessibility Office at (202) 416-8727 (voice), or firstname.lastname@example.org.; or to request an Access Tour online, please follow this link to our online Access Tour Request form.
Foreign Language Tours
For international visitors, tours of the Kennedy Center can be provided, upon advance request, in French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish. In addition, the written tour script is available in 17 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. To request a foreign language tour, please follow this link to our online Foreign Language Tour Request form.
As a supplement to our foreign language tours, we have informational brochures in Arabic, French, German, Japanese and Spanish about the Kennedy Center available for viewing online and in print at the Tour Desk.
20-60 individuals in party
If your party has 20 to 60 members, you can book a group tour. Group tours are scheduled every half hour until 4:00 pm weekdays and 12:30 pm weekends. To request a group tour online, please follow this link to our online Group Tour Request form.
If your group of 20 or more would like to attend a performance before or after your tour, our Group Sales office can help. Special discounts and terms are available for most group ticket purchases. Whether you are a group of seniors, students, professionals, or friends, the Group Sales office delivers unique service tailored to your needs. Visit Group Sales
Special Groups approved by the Friends of the Kennedy Center management
VIP tours include international visitors coming to the United States with a special interest in the arts or groups that have a special connection to the arts or to the Kennedy Center. To request a VIP Tour, please follow this link to our online VIP Tour Request form.
For the General Public
Walk-ins are always welcome since our tours go out about every 10 minutes. Just visit our Tour Desk on the A Level of the Kennedy Center. A Friends tour guide will be waiting for you.
For more information or to book your tour over the phone, please call the Kennedy Center Visitors Center at (202) 416-8340 or TTY (202) 416-8524.
Introducing our new Tours for Young People program!
Tours specially designed to introduce young people to the Kennedy Center and the performing arts are now available for three different age groups: Elementary School, ages 4-10; Middle School, ages 11-14; and High School, ages 15-18. All three age brackets will experience an in-depth look into the nation's performing arts center.
Special emphasis is placed on the artwork, the life of President Kennedy as well as interactive exercises that speak to the "live" aspect to our national performing arts center. These tours can be tailored to the particular group's level of performing arts knowledge and interest.
To book your Tour for Young People with a Friends of the Kennedy Center tour guide, click on one of the following options for your tour reservation form:
Once your reservation has been received, you will be notified within three to five business days. Tours for Young People are subject to availability and require two weeks' advance notice.
On this Page
- Accessibility Tours
- Foreign Language Tours
- Group Tours
- VIP Tours
- Walk-In Tours
- Introducing our new Tours for Young People Program
Tell us about your tour experience!
- 10 AM - 5 PM
- 10 AM - 1 PM
All tours are wheelchair accessible.