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The Vibrant Live Entertainment Scene of Washington, DC

So you're taking a trip to Washington, D.C. and you have everything planned out. You're going to visit the National Archives, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Institute, the FBI, and you have tours booked at the White House and the Capitol. Now, what are your plans for entertainment while in the nation's capital?

Entertainment? That's right. Even though D.C. might be best known as the setting of political wrangling between the President and Congress, the city actually has a vibrant live entertainment scene. That is, entertainment other than what you might see from the Senate Gallery.

At some point all the heated debate about the latest legislation to hit the floor will become either boring or rage-inducing, and you will want to find something else that will better catch your attention, allow you to cool your heels, or both. So if you're going to Washington soon and are in the market for a good play, musical, or concert during your visit, keep on reading for information about some of the places in D.C. where you can catch a show.

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Address: 2700 F Street, NW Nearest Metro Station: Orange and Blue lines: Foggy Bottom/George Washington University About: The Kennedy Center is Washington's flagship performing arts center. The Center hosts dance, theater, concert, and opera events. The Millennium Stage hosts free daily shows at 6pm, showcasing acts from all across the nation.

DAR Constitution Hall Address: 311 Eighteenth Street, NW Nearest Metro Station: Orange and Blue lines: Farragut West; Red line, Farragut North About: The DAR Constitution Hall was built in 1929 by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Well before the Kennedy Center was even a thought, the hall was the premier venue for live entertainment in D.C. It hosts concert artists and comedians.

Verizon Center Address: 601 F Street, NW Nearest Metro Station: Red, Yellow, and Green lines: Gallery Place-Chinatown About: The Verizon Center is the largest of the commercial entertainment venues in Washington, hosting concerts and sporting events. It was opened in 1997 as the MCI Center and is the home of the Washington Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics.

Nightclub 9:30 Address: 815 V Street, NW Nearest Metro Station: Green and Yellow lines: U Street/African American War Memorial About: Often known simply as the "9:30 Club," Nightclub 9:30 is a concert venue. Since opening in 1980, Nightclub 9:30 has attracted rock, grunge, and metal bands. It moved from its original location at 930 F Street, NW in 1996.

Arena Stage Address: 1101 Sixth Street, NW Nearest Metro Station: Green and Yellow lines: U Street/Cardozo About: Arena Stage is a non-profit theater featuring plays and musicals. It was founded in 1950 with a mission to stage productions with themes that appeal to American audiences. Arena Stage typically hosts between ten and twelve productions a season.

All of the venues listed above host shows that are family-friendly, so they are great choices for family vacationers looking to enjoy see a show together during their stay. So when you plan your trip to Washington, schedule in some time to get a taste of the city's options for live entertainment.