Frequently Asked Questions

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Attending a Show

How many people can the Filene Center accommodate?
The maximum capacity is 7,028. The actual number may vary due to a variety of factors, such as whether the orchestra pit is in use for a given show.

Can we bring in our own food? What are the dining options if I am attending a show?
Yes, you may bring in your own food, including alcohol. The maximum allowable size for coolers is 15” x 15” x 22”, which is approximately the size of a 48-quart cooler. For all other bags, the size limit is 14” x 13” x 10”. More detailed information can be found on the Inspection Process at the Filene Center page.

Ovations Restaurant and a picnic caterer offer a selection of food choices before Filene Center performances. Concession stands are available inside the Filene Center for refreshment during performances. Please visit the Wolf Trap Foundation
Dining and Concessions page for more information.

Food and drinks are not available at Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods performances, or during regular operating hours of the park.

Where can I buy tickets? Is it permissable to buy tickets from third party vendors on the Internet, like or Ebay?
The Wolf Trap Foundation is the only authorized vendor of Wolf Trap tickets. Patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets early for best availability. Patrons purchasing tickets through third-party ticket brokers, such as StubHub or through an individual re-selling their tickets, assume full risk for potentially fraudulent tickets purchased or obtained through unauthorized vendors.

How long before a show do the gates open?

Filene Center Performances: The gates open 90 minutes prior to the performance time and the pavilion (covered) seating area opens 30 minutes prior to the performance.
Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods Performances: The theatre opens at 10:00 am for the 10:30 am show.

Can I bring a lawn chair to sit on the Lawn?
In order to maintain clear sight lines for all patrons in the Filene Center, lawn chairs with legs (this includes the short legged beach/sand chairs) are allowed only in designated areas located on the top/back of the lawn seating area. Signs are posted to identify these areas. Chairs without legs, cushions and blankets are allowed on all areas of the lawn. Cushions may be rented from the Gift Shop, if you have not brought your own.

What happens if I have a lawn seat in the Filene Center and it rains?

All scheduled performances go on, rain or shine. There are no refunds due to inclement weather. Patrons with Lawn tickets may not take unused seats in the pavilion; however, their tickets may be applied towards the purchase of any available in-house seating through the box office.

Are the performances accessible to the mobility impaired?
Yes, please visit the Wolf Trap Foundation Accessibility page for more information.

Is there First Aid available?
During Filene Center performances, First Aid assistance is available at the First Aid Station located inside the Filene Center gates near the Gift Shop. Otherwise, please go to the Ranger Station located outside the Filene Center gates or contact a park employee.

What is the difference between The Barns at Wolf Trap and the Filene Center?
The Filene Center is located inside Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and is operated under a cooperative agreement with our non-profit partner, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation and is not part of the national park. Both facilities are world-class venues with a wide variety of musical offerings.

Is there a Lost & Found?
Yes, we keep all items turned in from performances, events, etc. If you have found an item that you suspect someone may have left behind, please bring it to the Ranger Station, located just outside of the main entrance to the Filene Center. If you have lost an item, report it to the park employee in the Ranger Station. They will make a detailed report, and contact you if the item is located. Per federal standards, lost/found items will only be kept for 30 days after they are turned in. For inquiries, please call: (703) 255-1800.

Can I purchase tickets for Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods on the day of a performance?
Yes, ticket sales on the day of performance take place at the Meadow Kiosk down from the parking area. Some shows do sell out, as the theatre holds approximately 700 people. All seating in the theatre is General Admission, so seating is first-come first-served. Wheelchair/walker accessible seating is available and held until show time. (If you need accessible seating, please contact the Ranger Station at (703) 255-1800 prior to the performance, so we are ready to provide assistance upon your arrival.)

Is Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods stroller-friendly?
Once you go over the bridge across Wolf Trap Creek, there is a short stretch along an unpaved trail leading to the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. Strollers can be taken up to the entrance to the theater seating and are self-parked along the split-rail fence adjacent to the theatre.

Are Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods performances held rain or shine?
Theatre-in-the-Woods Performances are canceled if it rains. The official call is made no later than one hour prior to the show. Call (703) 255-1824 or check the Alerts & Conditions section for updates the day of the shows.


Is there public transportation to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts?
Fairfax Connector provides round-trip service from the West Falls Church Metro (Orange line) station to all Filene Center performances.
This service is not available for Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods performances, the Summer Blast-off in May, nor the Holiday Sing-A-Long in December. It is also not available for performances at The Barns at Wolf Trap (which is not located on national park grounds). Patrons are strongly advised to consult
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority when planning a visit to the park by public transportation.

Where is the pickup and dropoff for taxis and rideshare vehicles?
The pickup and dropoff area is located through the pedestrian tunnel on the opposite side of Trap Road from the illuminated Wolf Trap sign. Because of the large number of vehicles exiting the park after a performance, it is not possible for taxis/rideshares to pick up at the Main Gate of the Filene Center. Patrons must walk down the hill and through the pedestrian tunnel to locate their specific ride along Trap Road.

Where is the nearest Metro stop?
The nearest Metro is the Spring Hill station on the Silver Line, approximately 2 miles away. However, there is no public transportation to the park from this station.

Do you have any tips to get out of the park faster at the end of the show?
We encourage you to use the Fairfax Connector bus service to the West Falls Church Metro or transportation options such as taxis and rideshare services.
TIP: If you decide to drive, it is generally faster to exit the park and head north on Trap Road toward Route 7, rather than south toward the Toll Road. Turn right (east) on Route 7 to access the Dulles Toll Road and the Beltway.
We also encourage you to carpool whenever possible to help reduce traffic congestion.

For many performances, traffic flows relatively smoothly after the show, and delays are minimal. However, for certain busy shows, you should expect delays exiting the park. Trap Road narrows to one lane outside of the park, heading both northbound and southbound. United States Park Police and National Park Service rangers work diligently to expediate traffic flow as much as possible, within the limitations of the roadway designs.

Is there a dropoff area for patrons with mobility issues who can’t walk long distances?
Yes, please notify the United States Park Police officer or National Park Service ranger directing traffic, and they will direct you to the appropriate location.

Is the courtesy cart service available after a performance?
Because of the large number of vehicles exiting the park, we are unable to operate the carts immediately after a performance ends. We are happy to provide cart service once traffic thins out and the carts can be safely operated, but this can be as much as 30 minutes after the performance.

Where do I park for Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods?
Parking is available on the large grassy lot near Ovations Restaurant. From there you can walk down the hill to Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. Accessible parking is available behind the Filene Center (ask a ranger for directions).

On Stage

How tall is the Filene Center?
125 feet, from stage level to top of visible tower (parapet wall). The structure is called a fly tower. Inside the tower is a system for raising and lowering scenery. With a usable stage opening height of 33’, you need a space 2 to 2.5 times higher in order to conceal scenery.

When was the first performance at the Filene Center?
The first performance was on July 1, 1971, featuring Van Cliburn; Julius Rudel conducting the New York City Opera with Norman Treigle; as well as performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, Choral Arts Society of Washington, the United States Marine Band, and the Madison Madrigal Singers.
The original Filene Center building was destroyed in a massive fire on April 4, 1982. The current Filene Center opened on July 30, 1984, with a performance by Placido Domingo, Rosario Andrade, and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Today, between 70-110 performances take place at the Filene Center each year.

Do you have a list of the artists who have performed at the Filene Center over the years?
Yes, and a project is underway to make this list available online.

How long does it take to set up for a particular show?
It varies greatly depending on the show. It could be as little as an hour for some shows, all the way up to three days with 50+ people working 8 to 12 hours each day for a larger production.

Is it possible to see backstage?
Backstage tours are offered during the off-season (October through April). Tours during the performance season are limited due to production requirements.

How do you decide what artists perform at Wolf Trap?
The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, our non-profit partner, makes those decisions based on our shared mission to provide a wide range of performing arts programming. They regularly seek our review of the schedule as described in our cooperative agreement.

Are there any free shows at Wolf Trap?
Yes! The Summer Blast-off, which features the Marine Corps Band and a spectacular fireworks show, generally occurs the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. The annual Holiday Sing-A-Long occurs in early December. Both of these shows are free. Seating is first come first serve and will sometimes fill up. In addition, artists appear at Pre-Performance Discussions prior to some performances (about 10 each summer), and these are free of charge.

What type of sound console is used in the Filene Center?
Actually, we have three! All are considered digital consoles. They receive audio signal and convert it to a digital signal that can be shaped and routed and sent through processing before converting back to send to amplifiers and speakers. Our main seated Audience Console is a Digico SD-7. The Lawn area has its own console, a Digico SD-8, for a separate sound system. The performers get their own mix through our Digico D5.


How many acres is Wolf Trap?
130.28 total gross acres, of which 12.39 acres are in scenic easement.

Is the park open year-round? What are the hours?
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is open to the public from 7:00 a.m. to dusk every day of the year with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Even if there is no performance taking place, the park is still open for your enjoyment!

During the performance season, (late May - mid-September) the park is closed for non-performance recreation from 2 hours prior to show time until one hour after the show concludes. The park is closed from dusk to 7:00 a.m., except to patrons attending authorized events.

What else is there to do at Wolf Trap? Are there hiking/walking trails?
While Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is primarily known for its live performances during the summer, the park is open to the public year-round. Backstage tours and other interpretive programs are offered throughout the off-season. The park is an excellent location for many Outdoor Activities, such as picnicking and quiet reflection, as well as hiking on nearly 2.5 miles of scenic hiking trails.

These trails are of easy to moderate difficulty and contain loops of varying lengths. Please consider using insect repellent, wear sturdy close-toed shoes, be alert, and stay in the middle of the trail. For more detailed information, download a copy of the Trail Map.

For kids, there is the Wolf Trap TRACK Trail (approximately 1.5 miles long). The TRACK Trail is a great way to explore the outdoors for children and families, but is also great for those interested in a more leisurely hike. The trailhead and self-guided adventures can be found in the Meadow. Complete the adventure(s) and track your hike using the Wolf Trap TRACK Trails database to earn free prizes. TRACK Trails is made possible by a partnership with Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation's Kids in Parks program.

Immediately after most Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods performances, Park Rangers offer a variety of
Summer Ranger Programs. While these programs are geared primarily towards children, visitors of all ages are welcome!

Respect the natural environment and expect the unexpected. Wildlife is wild - you can expect to see whitetail deer, raccoons, squirrels, foxes, and more. Of course, there are snakes, though the Northern Copperhead is generally the only poisonous one. You may encounter mosquitoes, spiders, and ticks which can carry diseases. Poisonous plants include poison oak and poison ivy.

You have trails! Who does the maintenance?
Trail maintenance is done by park staff and volunteers, primarily through the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). The Park has a General Agreement with the PATC to perform trail maintenance. To assist with trail maintenance, contact the park volunteer coordinator at 703-255-1893 or e-mail us.

Are pets allowed in the park?
Yes, with some limitations. Pets, except for service animals, are prohibited in the Filene Center, at the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, in picnic areas, and in any area of the park being utilized for an authorized event. Pets are permitted elsewhere in the park, but must be kept on a leash of no more than six feet in length. Pet owners/handlers are responsible for removing pet excrement. More information about responsible pet ownership in parks, please see the NPS' national guidelines.

Where can I learn more about the native plant gardens, other plants and animals in the park?
We are in the process of developing educational materials on our native plant gardens, which are maintained both by NPS staff and volunteer Master Gardeners. Please consider attending one of the “First Sunday” hikes offered by the Friends of Wolf Trap, which often include a stop at one or more of the native gardens.

Explore some of the other Natural Resources of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

Do you allow special events like weddings in the park?
Yes, we do allow weddings and other events within the park and they are considered on a case by case basis. Weddings, recreational and sporting events, 1st Amendment activities, and other uses may require a Special Use Permit. For more information, please call 703-255-1822 or visit our Permits & Reservations page. Permit applications are coordinated through the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

Are there any picnic grills in the park?
No, open fires and/or cooking devices are not permitted within the park at any time, except by written permission of the Superintendent.

Can I swim in the park streams and pond?

For your safety, swimming and wading are not permitted in the park farm pond or streams.

Is fishing allowed in the park?
Fishing is allowed in the park farm pond but not the streams. All fishing is ‘catch and release’ and a valid Virginia fishing license is required.

General Questions

How many people work at Wolf Trap?
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts employs approximately 30 permanent staff and nearly 100 seasonal employees.

What is the difference between Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts?
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is the official partner of the National Park Service for providing concert and performance programming within the Park. As a nonprofit organization, the Wolf Trap Foundation is dedicated to creating excellent performing arts experiences for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is the official name of the park, which is one of the 419 units comprising the National Park System.

Are you on social media?
Yes, the park maintains a social media presence on multiple platforms. Like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Do you sell National Park passes such as the Annual Pass and Senior Pass?
Since there is no entrance fee at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, we do not sell these passes. If you plan to visit other parks with an entrance fee, learn more about the America the Beautiful (The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series) and fee-free entrance days in National Parks. The closest National Park site that sells these passes is Great Falls Park, about a 15 minute drive from Wolf Trap.

How many units of the National Park System are there now?
There are currently 419 units of the National Park System.

How would I apply for jobs here?
All jobs with the National Park Service, as well as other federal agencies, are advertised via USAJOBS, the federal government's official source for federal job listings and employment opportunity information. We typically host job fairs in December or January to answer questions about positions and provide an orientation to the USAJOBS application process. Check our website for further details on these job fairs.

Can I volunteer at Wolf Trap?
Yes! There are a variety of volunteer positions that will accommodate the busiest of schedules and all ages. Most of our positions are for those 18 years of age and older; however, we have a few positions for those who are 13 years of age and older.
Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page for the positions that are currently open, or contact the volunteer office at (703) 255-1893 for additional information.

What kinds of activities are there for kids?
The park has a Junior Ranger program, hiking trails, and tours year-round for children, along with a 7 week season of shows at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. Visit our Kids & Youth page to learn more about all of the programs offered at the park.

Is this the only National Park Service unit that presents live performances?
No, there are a number of units that present live performing arts. However, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is the only park that was established specifically to present performing arts.

Where can I find the NPS regulations that are specific to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts?
The laws and policies enforced in Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts can be found in the Laws and Policies section of our website.

How many people visit Wolf Trap each year?
365,540 people visited the park in 2018.

Last updated: October 8, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1551 Trap Road
Vienna, VA 22182-1643


(703) 255-1800

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