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“Best part of the day” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre
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Private Half Day Narrated Washington DC Tour
Ranked #20 of 418 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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 Theatre is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. A daytime visit to the Ford’s campus traces the story of Lincoln’s presidency, assassination and legacy. The campus includes the museum, theatre, Petersen House (the house where Lincoln died) and the new Center for Education and Leadership. Tickets are required. Admission is free; advance tickets have a convenience fee.In the evenings and on weekends, Ford’s presents dynamic productions of renowned plays, vibrant musicals, and newly commissioned works that captivate and entertain while examining political and social issues related to Lincoln’s legacy.In the spring and summer, Ford’s produces one-act plays and walking tours exploring Civil War Washington. These immersive experiences provide an authentic glimpse into a singular and transformative moment of America’s past.Throughout the year, Ford’s provides engaging educational programs for students, teachers and life-long learners, using Lincoln’s speeches and legacy to build speech, writing and leadership skills.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
130 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Best part of the day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2011

We live in DE and go to DC once or twice a year. The last time I went to Fords Theater was probably 15 years ago and you walked right into the theater. Then when we went last year theater it was under construction. So glad to see it open this time and what an improvement! First, you need to get a ticket because the talks are timed. Entry is free unless you want an audio tour then its $5. We chose the free and its fine. The museum is small but really nice w lots of artifacts and a small room w a movie. Then you go upstairs to the theater. Take the time to read whats on the walls. On the left is the itinerary of Booths Day and on the right is Lincolns. When you get up there you can go up to the balcony. If you sit on the left you have a direct view of the booth Lincoln was sitting in when shot. Now, if you have kids, this is where it can get tricky. Mine are 8 and 11 and were fine but both expressed disappointment in that it was just a park ranger giving the details and not a show. Its a 15 minute recap of what happened that day. I have to say though, our park ranger was really good at capturing your imagination. And when we got home, my 8 yr old son was able to recap the whole thing to his father! Its great to go to a museum but if you're in DC the two things that are the biggest part of US history are the White House and Fords Theater. Been to both and loved being a part of it!

Visited August 2011
2 Thank kathen302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Layton, Utah
Level Contributor
318 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2011

I visited Ford's Theater in 1996 and found it to be in need of updating. At that time they had a small visitor's center under the theater with very limited information and artifacts. Boy, has it changed. The museum is amazing, with many Lincoln family items to see, as well as the items pertaining to the assassination. Everything was very informative and nicely displayed. After the visit to the museum we were invited into the theater. The park ranger did a nice job recounting the events of the day Lincoln was shot and he was very knowledgeable about other events of the time period, as he stayed around and answered questions when he'd finished the actual presentation. The theater itself is very beautiful and the box, draped in flags with a picture of Washington (as it was on the night) was impressive to see. Since this was such an important place in our Nation's history, it is wonderful to see it so beautifully maintained.

Visited July 2011
Thank Go2theZoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Worth the Trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2011

We were planning a day trip into DC to visit the National Building Museum. On our way there, we decided to first stop at Ford's Theater. We had never been before and the kids are to the age now where they could appreciate a visit (8 & 11 yrs).

Not sure if we had "dumb luck" or if it is typically this easy of a place to visit. We walked in the front doors (~10:40am) and immediately grabbed free tickets at their ticket booth. We handed our tickets to the ranger and walked downstairs to the museum area. Lots of interesting tangible pieces of history on display along with pictures and descriptive narrative to assist with what you are looking at. I also saw people walking around with the audio tour style of speakers. Not sure if we missed an offering of that since we breezed into the place so quickly.

After spending about 30 minutes browsing the display pieces (a boot of John Wilkes-Booth, the weapon that he used, a letter written by Lincoln, one of the pillows he laid his head on-still with bloodstain....) we headed upstairs to the theatre where you grab any available seat to listen to the Park Rangers presentation, approx. 20 minutes in length. Pictures are allowed. The presentation was nice and the ranger gladly took questions afterward. It was fascinating to sit in the same theatre where the assassination took place.

The only "disappointment" was not seeing Lincoln's hat (is at one of the Smithsonians, I believe) nor being able to look into his box seat where he was shot.

A very educational stop, especially important for the youth of today.

Visited August 2011
1 Thank AKUS1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heyworth, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Seeing One Act Play is a MUST!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2011

I purchased our tickets on-line and that was a huge time saver! Seeing that a one-act play was performed at the theater, I got the 5:00 time that would allow us to go through the museum in the basement for about 30 minutes then up to the theater to watch "One Destiny" which lasted about 45 minutes. It was a fantastic experience to sit and watch a performace in Ford's Theater. I didn't know the seating was "open" so we actually got front row seats! The museum downstairs is relatively new and very well done - similar to The Lincoln Museum in Springfield, IL but much smaller of course.

Visited June 2011
1 Thank RhondaGlan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
227 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Great history and well done”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2011

As with any site you are seeing the early you go you don't have to wait in line. We arrived at 9AM when it opened and didn't have to wait. We didn't do the audio headphones but heard an employee say that if you didn't get finished you could come back after the tour to finish up. I really liked the placards in the musuem that explained each person's part of the kidnapping and then murder scheme. I didn't realize there were so many people involved. The ranger talk was very well done and brought out new facts that we didn't know......especially about how John Wilkes Booth moved each step of the during that fateful night.

Visited August 2011
Thank GoHawksAnkenyIowa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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