Ford's Theatre
Ford's Theatre
4.5
Historic SitesTheatresHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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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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
  • teknoge3k
    Rocky Mount, Virginia1,558 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very historic and informative
    This is a very historic theater where President Lincoln was killed. We had our tickets and we entered to the downstairs museum first where we saw lots of artifacts including the gun that killed President Lincoln as well as his bloody pillow. There was many things to see in the museum. From there, we went to the main theater where we heard the ranger talk, where he described the events of the night Lincoln was shot. It was very informative and we learned a lot. From Ford's Theater, we went across the street to the Peterson House which is where he died. The admission is included with your Ford's Theater pass. There you saw the house and bed where Lincoln died. This is a very old house and is interesting to see. Don't skip the Peterson House if you go to Ford's Theater!
    Visited April 2023
    Written 19 April 2023
  • Rosie C
    11 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    informative visit to Ford's Theatre
    The Ford Theatre Museum was excellent. There was a lot of good information to read. We didn't have enough time there before we were ushered to the performance in the theatre itself. We needed more time in the museum. The theatre performance was excellent.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 11 May 2023
  • C H
    36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Tour Experience
    Great historical site with free same day tour tickets giveaway at the theatre box office starting in the morning. The exhibits were great. The host at the Ford's theatre was outstanding and very knowledgeable. He answered all questions very well. The two hosts at the Peterson's house were great. They were funny and gave good tips to tourists. They have great knowledge to our questions. We greatly enjoyed this tour and we highly recommend it.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 2 June 2023
  • SteveR1789
    Sacramento, California3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great learning experience - likely no need for audio tour
    Very interesting and worthwhile experience. One tip: I don’t recommend the extra audio handset. The exhibits are well documented and self explanatory. Their main value would be for the theater itself, but the ranger gave an outstanding lecture on the events of the assassination, making the audio tour unnecessary. If the ranger doesn’t speak, then they might be useful.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 4 June 2023
  • 907blaked
    Tampa, Florida1,419 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful museum downstairs, free entry
    We stumbled upon Ford's Theater after trying to go to the American Art Museum, only to find that it doesn't open until 11:30am; with a couple of hours to burn, we walked to Ford's Theater and were lucky to walk right in. I was surprised there was no admission cost. The museum downstairs was excellent, filled with informative content and well-organized. Then upstairs to a view of the actual theater (including the spot where Lincoln was shot). We left at that point (1.5 hours), but apparently there is another museum across the street (and maybe even something else) included as well. I would highly recommend a visit.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 June 2023
  • Jessica K
    Tarpon Springs, Florida278 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 Jersey14 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, California553 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
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Michelle C
Coventry, UK10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
This was such a great place to visit and also you get the added bonus of going to visit the boarding house over the road where Lincoln sadly passed away.

The museum itself was really well presented and informative. Upon arriving the front of house staff including box office are lovely and there is also an audio guide available for $5 which you need to swap for a photo ID, so make sure you take your's with you if you want to rent a guide. Personally for me it was worth it as it gave additional information to the presentation boards and this one also bleeps at you to display photos on the screen so you know what it relates too which I thought was a great additional. The museum itself is full of exciting items and history with plenty to see plus things I actually didn't know about! Also when entering the theatre itself you can view the presidential box and capture some great photos! When I was there, there was also a Park Ranger giving a history download on the theatre and the night of the event and he was great! gave lots of information and made the story come alive, he was also at the boarding house by luck when I went across the road and again gave us additional information about the house and its history!

And the final thing, all this was only $3.50! money well spent and came away very knowledgeable and pleased I had visited :)
Written 27 February 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.

David H
Alexandria, LA62 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
This is a must see for anyone interested in history. There is a free, self-guided tour and an interesting exhibit in the basement. The day we visited, we were able to walk up to the Presidential box. It's a moving experience. The whole tragedy of this remarkable life, cut short by Confederate fanatics, becomes apparent.
Written 12 February 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.

92OB107
San Diego, CA275 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
The visit to the museum, the theater with the talk by a ranger, and the visit to the house across the street were very interesting. You should know that the tour is free the day of the visit and $3.50 each on line with a timed admission. We were there on a frigid January day, and there were free admission still available, but in high season, you would definitely be taking your chances not to have a reservation.
Written 20 January 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.

Kevin B
Mount Juliet, TN2,318 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Friends
My wife and I love history and try to visit as many historical sites as we can when we travel. We were lucky to be able to visit Ford's Theatre this past May and it was extra special that we got to bring along several of her students as we were in town for a conference. We opted for the self-guided tour and we spent a while exploring the museum as it had excellent information on the Civil War and really helped you prepare for what happened inside the theater. We got to explore the theater as well and it's humbling to be inside a building that was so pivotal in American history. It's a must-see when you come to D.C. and it's a great way to spend an afternoon. Make sure you also go across the street and visit the Petersen House (where Lincoln died) as well.
Written 12 January 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.

sallyann4961
Hadleigh, UK39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
This lovely little theatre gets overlooked. It's fascinating history deserves your attention. The Rangers on duty were so full of interesting information and very willing to share and help. I learned a lot!!
Written 8 January 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.

Amanda
Maryland74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
We did the historical site visit which included the museum, theatre ranger talk and walkthrough and Petersen house. The ranger talk was really good, even my kids were entertained while learning even more about the history and events leading up to the assassination and after.

Make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time as they sell out. Online they were $3.50 each but at the box office they are free.

You first enter and go to the museum which is in the basement of the theatre. You then go into the actual theatre and can look around until the ranger talk begins. Afterwards you go across the street to the Petersen House, this is a quick stop as all you see is the room where Lincoln died.

There is a passport stamp by the box office. A bookstore in the main building and another bookstore in the museum.
Written 3 January 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.

William M
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Very interesting. The speaker was engaging and informative. I would thoroughly recommend. A great museum as well. Worth a visit.
Written 4 December 2023
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.

Jennie T
Jersey City, NJ35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
I ordered tickets minutes before the next tour was starting at 10am; it was nice that there was an available slot last minute. But, do be aware that I came in late November, so this can vary if you visit at a more popular time like June-August. The first part of the tour wasn't too fun, with having to maneuver around a lot of people to read information on the walls. Half of the time, I skipped reading because I felt like I was standing in someone's way. However, for what I did learn, it was valuable and opened my mind beyond the act of the attack on Lincoln and saw how that moment came to be.

For instance, do you really know who John Wilkes Booth is? How was he able to get so close to the President? What was his motivation? All this and more, you can learn from this exhibit.

I was much happier when it was time to sit inside the real theatre the infamous event took place in, and guests were treated to a detailed story about the build-up to the assassination, including what Lincoln did that day- humanizing the former President in a way than most outlets tend to forget. The story is 20-minutes long with no video accompaniment, so without paying attention, you could get bored. Fortunately, you would not be shamed for skipping this portion of the tour or stepping out for any reason. But, I highly suggest to sit through all of it because by the end, I truly felt like I had a better perspective on history.

Afterwards, you're guided across the street to visit the home that Lincoln died in- which was itself a surprise. Did you know he didn't technically die in the theatre? Find out how when you visit this home that illustrates the aftermath of the assassination and how the United States was forever impacted by their loss.

You can choose to skip this part too, but I feel like you'd miss out. There's some great thought-provoking questions that you can carry in your minds afterwards, with my favorite being: Who is your Lincoln? Which president since him has most closely resembled his character & ideals? The options sure were interesting...

Overall, both buildings were clean and respectful to the President, and you get a full view of where he sat on that dreadful day. The crowds were very high for the tour having spare tickets, so a face mask would suffice (and fast reading is helpful). But I learned so much that now when I hear about this historical incident, I can observe it from a new angle, and see what can lead a man to take another one's life, and how we can try to prevent this from happening again.
Written 1 December 2023
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.

Katie S
35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
It was so interesting to get to see the theater and hear the ranger tell us the story about the event and immediate aftermath. The ranger mentioned something that I took for granted (What if Lincoln got to finish his 2nd term?) until I was in the national portrait gallery and read about the president who succeeded Lincoln. What would have happened during Reconstruction if Lincoln was our leader?

The museum was okay - lots of artifacts were missing.
Written 22 November 2023
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.

TSa
Texas61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
We watched the production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Ford Theatre and were very impressed by the show. They add did an excellent job and was Broadway quality. It was also neat to see a show at the same theatre Lincoln was in
Written 20 November 2023
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 (Washington DC) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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