This Underrated Southeastern US National Park Is A Must-Visit For Art And Music Lovers

Hiking, kayaking, camping, and other outdoor adventures are the usual activities that come to mind when people think of national parks, and rightfully so. National parks are there to preserve nature as well as give people the chance to experience its grandeur. However, not all national parks have wildlife and outdoor activities at the forefront. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia is a prime example. There, musical performance is front and center.

Yes, you can hike at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and enjoy nature just like you can at other national parks, but that's not their main attraction. The theater performances and stunning architecture are what draw crowds. You can see for yourself and enjoy the live, outdoor music and theater that they offer between the months of May and September, or the indoor performances that take place in the colder months. If you're a music lover, this is a must-visit national park for you. 

The park opened back in 1971 and consists of three main attractions: The Filene Center, the Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods, and the Barns at Wolf Trap.

Theaters at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

The Filene Center is a uniquely built, outdoor amphitheater that seats over 7,000 people. There are almost constant performances over the summer months. Musical artists across genres are invited to perform, giving visitors a fun concert experience in a grand setting. When there's not a performance happening, you can sign up for a backstage tour. Another neat feature is the meadow in front of the center. Pack a lunch and have a picnic here, or sit and watch the performance.

The Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods caters to the younger set. Like the Filene Center, it's also outdoors. You can expect to find performances of lively storytelling through the mediums of dance, puppetry, and more. This is the ideal spot for families because, even though the shows are geared toward children, all ages can have a great time.

The Barns at Wolf Trap were once actual barns. They've been renovated and transformed into performance centers that host entertainment year round. A mix of artists come through most of the year, but the summer months are filled with opera performances. Unlike the other two facilities, the Barns at Wolf Trap's stages are located indoors.

Park history and tickets for events

The park is located in Vienna, Virginia in Fairfax County. You'd think that the park would be named for the town or county, or even the founder Catherine Filene Shouse. Instead, the park was named as a reminder of the area's natural history. Centuries ago, the region had a large wolf population, so the name draws attention to that.

The national park is free to visit and open year round for entry. However, the individual performances do cost money and prices vary depending on the artist. Check out the calendar and book your tickets in advance. You can also buy them in person at the Filene Center.

Musicians and those with an affinity for live performances, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is the perfect spot for you. Check this unique national park off your bucket list by planning a visit and enjoying a lively show in some beautiful, historic venues.