A major venue in the greater D.C. area, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year in a beautiful outdoor setting. In warmer months popular and classical music, opera, dance, and comedy performances are given in a partially covered pavilion, the Filene Center, and in the Barns at Wolf Trap—two 18th-century barns transported from upstate New York—the rest of the year. Many food concessions are available; picnicking is permitted on the lawn, but not in the fixed seating under the pavilion.
Children's programs are emphasized at the outdoor Theatre in the Woods, including mime, puppetry, animal shows, music, drama, and storytelling. (No food or drink other than water is allowed in the theater.) At any event, allow extra time for parking, and expect a traffic jam after the performance. The 100-plus acres of hills, meadows, and forests here are closed to general use from 90 minutes before to one hour after performances.
Parking is free, and on performance nights Metrorail operates a $5 round-trip shuttle bus between the West Falls Church Metrorail station and the Filene Center. The fare is exact change only, and the bus leaves 20 minutes after the show, or no later than 11 pm—but it's almost unheard-of for any show to last longer than that.