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Wolf Trap is the only national park in the United States which is dedicated solely to the performing arts. During any given year, there will be 100 or more performances which run the gamut of the arts. For example, this week they have Huey Lewis & The News on Thursday followed by the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players company performing The Mikado on Friday and Saturday and the Wolf Trap Opera Company presentation of Berlin Night Life featuring Stephen Blier on Sunday.
There are two primary performance venues at Wolf Trap:
The Filene Center, which really is not a former department store although much of the money to build it probably came from there, is much more ornate and tends to be the more formal auditorium usually has the more formal performances, though that is not an ironclad rule. Though I called it an auditorium, the Filene Center is actually a outdoor facility with a couple thousand covered seats up close and many more under the sky.
The Barns at Wolf Trap tend to be the less formal venue.
Updated May 28, 2007
Address: Trap Road, Vienna, VA
Phone: (703) 255-1900
What appears to be a converted, old train depot or general store was actually once a civil war hospital and now is a small town museum, gift shop and lemonade stand. In the store, you can find strange little momentos like tree-stump ashtrays or Mickey Mouse "snow" globes, irish linen or box of taffy.
The museum part of the building is on the left front and up the stairs. Most of it is local history artifacts with some general civil war memorabilia.
Across the street is an old set of train cars on unused train tracks where kids (or kids at heart) can hop aboard and pull the levers and open the cupboards.
The site is also the center for some local events like antique auctions, Easter egg hunt, book signings by local authors.
It is free and the clerks are history buffs. We spent about half an hour in the museum and the same in the store, buying and gabbing.
Updated Feb 6, 2007
Address: 131 Church Street
Right around the corner from Vienna, VA is the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and Art Education.
That's a mouthful that means a great place to visit if you are into music or plays.
I wasn't sure where to add this tip.
Could have gone into Night Life because that is when much of the performances occur.
Could have gone into Off the Beaten Path because it is not the easiest place to find.
So I put it here because it is just a great thing to do, day or night.
The grounds and landscape and architecture are fabulous. You can picnic on the lawn, prowl the building to see the great way they constructed it or get tickets (a bit pricey) for the next performance.
Updated Feb 5, 2007
Address: 1645 Trap Road, Vienna VA