The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, often referred to as the Kennedy Center, is a world-renowned performing arts center located on the Potomac River. The center produces and presents music, dance, and theater performances year-round for all ages. What sets the Kennedy Center apart from other performing arts centers is that it stages at least one free performance every day, 365 days a year, and you don't need a ticket or a reservation. Just show up and take a seat. Launched under the Performing Arts for Everyone initiative, the daily performances take place on the Millennium Stage, located in the Grand Foyer, at 6 p.m. and last about an hour.
The Millennium Stage offerings are varied, with acts from near and far. I’ve seen things as diverse as a rehearsal performance for a Suzanne Farrell ballet to an Indonesian rap group and even puppeteers. On my latest visit, it was the Kalanidhi Dance Company, a group from Maryland that performs the classic Indian dance style Kuchipudi.
Arrive early to enjoy views of the Potomac River and the city from the center’s expansive outdoor terrace. After the performance, head to Foggy Bottom or Georgetown for dinner.
Insider tip: The best place to sit is on the carpeted steps just to the left of the stage. Find the right spot and there will be no one to obstruct your view.