Ford's Theatre
Ford's Theatre
4.5
About
The site of the April 14, 1865, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Ford's Theatre is a working theatre, historical monument, world-class museum and learning center. The theatre produces musicals and plays reflecting the unique, diverse character of American life. With its inspiring theatrical productions, live historic interpretation, and rich collection of artifacts, Ford’s is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. A daytime visit can include the museum, theatre, Petersen House (the house where Lincoln died) and Aftermath Exhibits at the Center for Education and Leadership. Advance tickets are required (convenience fee). From September to May, Ford’s presents evening and matinee productions of renowned plays, vibrant musicals, and newly commissioned works that captivate and entertain while examining political and social issues related to Lincoln’s life and legacy.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Ford's Theatre
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Downtown
How to get there
  • Metro Center • 4 min walk
  • Gallery Place • 5 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Jessica K
    Tarpon Springs, Florida455 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ford’s Theater
    Although free to visit, one must get a ticket to visit. The main theatre is not original, but a recreation. They have you sit and listen to a very entertaining presentation of the history of the assassination before going across the street to the building where President Lincoln died. There are several narrow stair cases and steps. The building where Lincoln died has a really good little museum of the assassination, man hunt, and aftermath.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 June 2023
  • Bob C
    Middletown, New Jersey22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great History lesson
    What a wonderful experience. I found the theater experience and the Park Ranger that did the narration facinating. The Gift Shop is a bit underwhelming but the tour which included the Museum,the Theater and the Peterson House across the street is top notch. Plan on spending 2-3 hours on this experience.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 July 2023
  • Pat
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great added stop in DC
    On our last day, before leaving for the airport, we fit in a visit to the Ford theater and museum and were glad we did! It was an interesting for the whole family. We had a short wait in line before being admitted. Once in, the museum is easy to follow (it does take reading, so perhaps choose guides options for smaller children) to learn the history and politics of the period, and about Abraham Lincoln, his assassinator and assassination. The presentation and Q&A were good too!
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 2 July 2023
  • Tom K
    Dowell, Maryland32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome tour of American history.
    The whole tour is put on by the National Park Service and was done very well. The tour begins self guided in the museum in the basement for about 30 minutes. Then proceeds to the theater where a NPS ranger gives a 15 minute presentation on the history of the theater and events leading to the assassination. The tour concludes by proceeding across the street to the Peterson house which is where Lincoln actually died. A must do tour. There is no cost.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 July 2023
  • phvi2617
    Anaheim, California585 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historic and engaging
    Unfortunately, the basement museum was closed the day of our visit due to flooding, but we thoroughly enjoyed visiting the historic theater. The gentleman who gave the ranger talk was very engaging, and I learned a lot about the events and people surrounding Lincoln's assassination. We did not visit the Petersen House due to big crowds, but listening to the talk in the theater was well worth the visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 19 July 2023
  • Cara
    Toledo, Ohio27 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t Forget Your National Park Passport Book!
    We booked a morning tour and were pleasantly surprised at how much we all loved Ford’s Theater. Everyone in our group (ages 12-40+) gave it 5-stars! We spent time exploring the basement and looking at the artifacts. I would encourage you to spend the extra money and get the audio tour. We all felt it enhanced our time here. Definitely plan to sit in on the Ranger talk (about 25 minutes). You will sit in the theater during the presentation and we all learned interesting facts we didn’t know previously. When this tour is over, you can walk across the street to the Peterson House where Lincoln died. Definitely add this to your list of things to do in D.C.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 July 2023
  • Mechele A
    Noblesville, Indiana431 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth the time and money.
    WOW - never, ever thought I'd be at this place. Fascinating place in history. Worth the cost and the gift shop had some great gift ideas for relatively decent prices. This is what I'd consider a DO NOT MISS visit but then again, I'm a history buff.
    Visited September 2022
    Travelled with friends
    Written 23 July 2023
  • David H
    Bury, United Kingdom1,634 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A piece of history
    The online bookings were full, so I turned up early in the morning and joined the queue for same day tickets. I was fortunate to obtain a theatre tour for later the same afternoon. Queues for the tour started early, but once the queue was moving we moved swiftly down to the museum where we were left to view the items on display. At this point it got very warm in the unventilated area with scores of visitors waiting to proceed. Eventually the door was opened and we were able to go up to the theatre. It is well maintained - a typically laid out theatre - and of course the highlight for all was to see the box where Lincoln was assassinated.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 27 July 2023
  • flo220
    New York City, New York349 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting (free) tour
    After learning about the Lincoln Assassination many years ago I finally got to see the inside of Ford's Theatre. Advance reservations are recommended but we were lucky that we could just line up and get a ticket to enter. After an interesting historical exhibit you are brought into the theater by a park ranger and given a tour of it. Definitely worth a visit.
    Visited August 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 27 July 2023
  • Josh G
    Portland, Indiana978 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A really historic spot!
    A really cool place to visit! It is truly a moment that changed the direction of history, and they have a great set up for you to experience it. The Good: They are very informative people. Good freedom to move around the museum Great coverage of Lincoln's history A great collection of items related to the assassination (they actually have John Wilkes Booth's pistol in the museum.) A beautiful revamping of the theater. Not So Good: They really complicate the ticket process. You can buy tickets online in advance, but not the day of. It really led to some confusion. There are a ton of tour options making it confusing as to what you are actually getting.
    Thank you for your feedback! We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your time at Ford's Theatre. To clarify our ticketing process, we do offer a select number of day-of tickets, but they are available first come, first served. We encourage people to purchase in advance to guarantee their preferred time-slot, but are more than happy to provide day-of tickets as available.
    Written 31 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 July 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles4,413 reviews
Excellent
2,958
Very good
1,085
Average
271
Poor
72
Terrible
27

Brian S
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
My wife and I visited the Ford Theatre the first week of May. Overall it was a good visit. Very interesting museum and the stage and the house where Lincoln died was a memorable experience. The only con was that there were a couple of very large school field trip groups that made for over crowding, especially in the museum. Some tired students were sitting/laying on the floor blocking other visitors from seeing some exhibits. Also felt rushed going through the house that Lincoln died due to the hundreds of students and other people behind us. I'm all for fields trips for students but in small museum and house the proper amount of visitors makes it a better experience for all.
Written 26 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diana L
Omaha, NE135 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
This is a great tour. You start in the basement level and there are lots of reading materials and objects to look at that explain what happened up to the assassination of President Lincoln. Then you go into the theater itself (it's still a working theater). I would sit in the upper level on the opposite side of Presidential booth so you can have a good view of it for photos. A national park guide will then come on stage and tell you the whole story of what happened that day as well. He was a great storyteller too.
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris V
North Las Vegas, NV172 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Walking though a profound moment in history. It was an amazing experience to see where Lincoln sat, and to step across the street and see the where he finally passed. The silo of books written about him is not only impressive but signifies his place in US history...
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jon
York, PA86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We were fortunate to get tickets about an hour before the 11:30 entry. Grandson and daughter went to the Illusion Museum. They had time to meet us at Ford's Theatre after a little over a half hour there. My wife and I had time to go into the house across the street where Lincoln was taken after being shot. BTW Ford's Theatre is free.
You enter the theatre and sit in the auditorium seats. We didn't know to go up the stairs to the balcony, the same route Lincoln went to his box. There is seating there as well.
It is a working theatre, so the props are for the current show.
The speaker allowed time for pictures and then began his narrative of events. He said he would speak 1/2 hour, and I thought that seemed long.
It was the most informative, well-spoken, thought-provoking talk I may have heard.
I learned so much. Thank you.
Picture is from the house across the street where Lincoln was taken.
Written 4 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dlenane78
Rochester, NH602 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
You can get access to the theatre where Lincoln was shot, plus on the bottom level, there is a “museum” all about Lincoln. I found this very informative and fascinating. Then you get to go across the street to the house where Lincoln died. A lot of history here!!
Written 23 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle B
Novi, MI67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
It was a perfectly delightful evening. The actors were awesome. The sound, lighting and scenery were great. A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening.
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Launcherman
Merritt Island, FL102 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Started tour in lobby and there was Park Ranger there which made us feel like we would get an awesome experience like we have with other NPS events. We were shuffled to the basement where we were confined with no one to answer questions me or my son had about the historic relics and posters and other artifacts that were presented quite well. Anyway after some time folks were allowed to make their way upstairs to the theater. We were in the last part with about 15 folks behind us. When we got to the top of the stairs there was a locked gate across our path next to an exit door with no one from our group in site. We called out a few times but couldn't find anyone and had to just exit to the outside. We went back to the lobby and tried to rejoin our group or find out what happened and they said the actual theater was closed for rehearsal and that was it. We came to see Fords Theater where perhaps our most beloved president was killed but instead saw nothing and felt ripped off. Not a good experience
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We’re sorry you were not able to enter the historic theatre. As we are still a producing theatre, there are times when the theatre is not accessible to visitors due to rehearsals and productions. Our schedule is posted on our website at www.fords.org, and we encourage visitors to check the schedule before coming to visit. If visitors have questions regarding the schedule, they can call us at (202) 347-4833.
Written 27 March 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mike1046
108 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
You can get your tickets in advance on the website, you have to pay a $3.50 processing fee, or take your chances and get them free when you arrive, we recommend getting them in advance and paying the fee that way you can see what you want at the time you want. Make sure you read carefully some tickets don't include the theater just the museum and the Petersen house. Entry starts every 30 min, line up outside main door (arrive at least 10-15 min early if you don't want to be at the end of the long line), it's all self-guided, spend as much time as you want in the museum, theater and Petersen house. There is bathrooms and a gift shop inside the main entrance that you can access at any time prior to the tour, and a parking garage directly next-door. Also remember this is still an active theater, so some dates will have performances and you will not be able to access the theater at certain times.
Written 20 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nolarolla
new orleans1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Poor communication…. we were unaware we would not actually be able to see the theater at the 11:00 am time slot. Apparently only has limited times in the morning which should be better disclosed. Some interesting artifacts in the museum and the Peterson house where Lincoln died was mystical. Had I known the theater itself was out of commission for a dress rehearsal we probably would have skipped or rescheduled it. Do yourself a favor and double check the theater is open before going.
Written 14 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cassie S
34 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
The Ford theater was fantastic. It had a great museum. It showed the gun that killed Lincoln and one of the pillows he died on. The theater part of the tour is great. Although you can really get close to where he got shot. The rooming house was good. But they don't have the original bed he died in. Overall, it's pretty good.
Written 9 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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FORD'S THEATRE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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