If you are looking for the Abraham Lincoln experience you cannot miss making a stop at Ford’s Theatre, the fateful place where Lincoln would be assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. I remember going to Ford’s as an 8th grade student, but I think I would enjoy it much more as an adult (all I really remember was the gum tree outside!). Here are some of the things you can do at and around Ford’s Theatre.
Rent a headset and take an audio guided tour of Ford’s Theatre. Available in both youth and adult versions. Click here for audio samples.
Take a self-guided tour of the Ford’s Theatre Museum where you can explore Lincoln’s election, presidency, assassination and legacy. See such artifacts as the gun used by Booth on display.
Listen to a talk by a National Park Ranger inside Ford’s Theatre.
During the spring and summer watch a one act play, One Destiny. This is a play with two actors representing Henry Hawk (the actor on stage during the assassination) and Harry Ford (the proprietor of Ford’s). It’s a 35 minute play focusing on what happened on the night of April 14, 1865. You can check out dates/times and reserve tickets here.
As Ford’s is still an operating theatre, consider staying to watch an evening production. Experience what it is like to sit in the historic theatre and see a great production. Shows for 2011-2012 season include: Parade, A Christmas Carol, Necessary Sacrifices (about the Lincoln/Douglas Debates), and 1776.
Included in your ticket to tour Ford’s Theatre is admission to the Petersen House – the boarding house across the street from the Theatre when Lincoln was taken to spend his last hours. Here you can learn about Lincoln’s last hours and those that attended him.
Opening in February 2012 you can visit the brand new Center for Education and Leadership (also included in your admission to Ford’s). Here you can explore, among other things, the hunt for Booth following the assassination.
And finally, if you are interested in taking a walking tour of the area you can try Investigation: Detective McDevitt – which gives you a look at the Assassination Conspiracy. This is about a 2 hour tour that covers about 1.5 miles spanning from Ford’s to the White House.
Or if you are looking for a private tour you can try A Free Black Woman: Elizabeth Keckley – a confidante to Mrs. Lincoln. Explore Lincoln’s impact on history and learn social details of the time. This is approximately a 90 minute tour covering 1.5 miles.
Both tours are hosted by costumed actors.
And, if you can’t get to D.C. – check out this virtual tour of Ford’s Theatre.
I hope if you get the chance to go to D.C. and are a Lincoln fan you will check out some of these great historical activities that Ford’s has to offer. I know if I get there I want to take one of the walking tours! If you have been to any of these places I would love to hear about it!
Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court