Kennedy Center Freebies!

This weekend you can switch up your normal routine by attending Washington D.C.’s premier performing arts venue at the best possible price: free. All it takes is a love for something different and the motivation to march down to The Kennedy Center for an afternoon.

In honor of its 33rd year as the nation’s most sought-after location to take in the arts, the Kennedy Center is putting on its 20th annual Open House Arts Festival, which takes place throughout the entire building. Aside from spending some time on the River Deck, this may be one of your only chances to experience some of the finest that the Center has to offer, minus the obligation to dress up in your Sunday best and pay steep prices for admission.

The festival’s biggest highlights include the opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, a preview of the Kennedy Center’s upcoming 1940s festival, various types of dance, comedy, music and opera. You name it, and someone is representing it.

Love ballet? Then check out a performance by the Washington Reflections Dance Company, who will be presenting Washington Swing, a ballet dedicated to the 1940’s and presented in a “uniquely African American voice” by the Dance Institute of Washington.

Is opera more your style? Then head on over to watch members showcase highlights from the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Authors reading their own works? Done, if you take in Edwin Fontanez’s narration of his new children’s book “On This Beautiful Island,” and then stick around for his art workshop incorporating Puerto Rico’s ancient Taino culture.

Along with over 30 different performances, there will also be a variety of activities and events to take part in across the Kennedy Center grounds in order to show off the recent make-over to the North and South Plazas, and the re-opening of the River Terrace. Check out the full schedule of events at (, and write yourself a memo to get off your collective behinds and add some culture to your life. Invite a friend, drag your roommate, ask that girl from across the hall, or just fly solo. This is an amazing schedule of events that you shouldn’t snooze away.

The Kennedy Center Open House will take place Sunday, Sept. 12 with events beginning at noon. Some free events may require advance tickets.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.