Experience Wolf Trap Like a Pro: Your 2024 Summer Survival Guide

Experience Wolf Trap Like a Pro: Your 2024 Summer Survival Guide
May 23, 2024

Attending your first Wolf Trap show this summer? Here’s your go-to guide on how to have the best experience. Get pro tips and answers to common questions, such as:

What can I bring to Wolf Trap shows?

How do I access my tickets?

What’s the best way to drive to Wolf Trap?

What Concessions and dining options are available?

What can I do before the show starts?

Welcome to America’s only National Park for the Performing Arts, the perfect place for a music-filled excursion with nature. If you’ve never been to the Filene Center before, you’re in for a treat! This outdoor amphitheater can accommodate over 7,000 music lovers for each show and is surrounded by gorgeous natural views.

Pack Your Concert Kit

Captured at Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, VA on 22 Jul, 2023 shot by Karl Magnuson for Wolf Trap.

At Wolf Trap you don’t need to pack everything into one teeny, tiny bag or overload your pockets. You’re free to bring your own concert snacks, drinks (including alcohol), and more! Here’s a recommended packing list:

See the full listing of items you can bring by visiting wolftrap.org/faq.

Prep Your Tickets

Before the show, double check that your tickets are in order. Log in to your account to digitally save tickets on your phone. Picking up tickets on the day of the show? Head over to the Box Office’s Will Call windows with your photo ID and confirmation number.

Get There on Time

There are many ways to travel to Wolf Trap. Here are the most popular options and tips for a worry-free journey!

  • Driving yourself? Check out the different route options to get to the Park. If traveling on Dulles Toll Road (Route 267), to avoid potential traffic on the Exit 15 ramp, take Exit 16 onto Route 7. Or you can take Route 123 in Vienna to Trap Road to avoid tolls.

Parking is always free at the Filene Center. Arrive early and carpool as spots are limited, especially for sold-out shows. If parking in the West Lot, use the Pedestrian Tunnel to safely cross below Trap Road to the Filene Center.

  • Have an accessibility need? Notify Patron Services before the performance and when you arrive tell parking staff to guide you to the ADA parking lot. Courtesy cart rides are available.
  • Use a Rideshare or Taxi. Drop-off and pick-up areas are located on the west side of Trap Road, opposite the big marquee sign. Please use the Pedestrian Tunnel to safely cross below Trap Road.
  • Take the Metro. The Wolf Trap Shuttle offers roundtrip service from the McLean Metro Station (Silver Line) for all Filene Center summer performances (*does not apply for shows at Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods or The Barns).

Watch the “How to Use the Wolf Trap Shuttle” video to learn more!

Wolf Trap Shuttle, operated by Fairfax Connector, begins two hours prior to show time and runs every 20 minutes until the performance starts. The last bus departs at show time. Buses back to Metro begin leaving the Filene Center 20 minutes after the performance ends, but no later than 11:15 PM Sunday through Thursday and 12 AM on Friday and Saturday.

For more information, please visit wolftrap.org/visit/directions and WMATA’s alerts page.

Dine Your Way

Filene Center gates open 90 minutes prior to show time, but you’re always welcome to enjoy the Park earlier—especially if you want a pre-performance fuel up! Here are some options:

  • BYO picnic and enjoy the picturesque Meadow and terraces on Meadow Ridge before the gates open. You can also eat your picnic on the lawn once the gates open.
  • Check out the Concessions of the brand-new Meadow Commons to supplement your picnic with grab and go items, main meals, and alcoholic or zero-proof cocktails.
  • Treat yourself to The Fermented Pig by Ovations, which offers buffet-style, al fresco dining with scrumptious farm-to-table dishes. Note: The Fermented Pig at Ovations will be closed until further notice due to a death in the family. If you preordered a picnic box, please contact info@thefermentedpig.com for additional information.

Additional food and drink options are also available inside the Filene Center once gates open. Check out the menu at both the Meadow Commons and the Concessions stand on the upper Plaza since they offer different selections. Food is not allowed in the covered seating area to keep it clean and critter-free, but you can feast on the lawn or upper Plaza.

Settle in for the Show

Each evening, excited fans—like you—gather on the Plaza in anticipation of the show. Meet up with friends, snap pics by the chalkboard, find fun mementos at the Gift Shop, and watch a gorgeous sunset. For select performances, you might also discover exciting pre-show activities or see Wolfie giving out high fives!

Here’s what to expect as you make your way into the Filene Center:

  • At the gates, you’ll go through a quick security screening before scanning your tickets.Simply walk through the detectors and everything will be automatically scanned as you pass through.
  • Gates open 90 minutes before performances and the Filene Center’s covered seating areas open 30 minutes prior to show time. Guests on the lawn can pick their favorite concert-viewing spot as soon as they enter. Explore the seating map to find your spot!
  • Familiarize yourself with the Park Amenities Map. You can also ask Park Rangers (easily spotted with their signature tan flat hats) or ushers (wearing a Wolf Trap lanyard) for guidance and assistance.
  • Restrooms are located throughout the Park, from the main gate entrance to the left and right of the Filene Center stage and the ADA lot entrance. The Meadow Commons also offers numerous restrooms, including accessible and family options.
  • All levels of the Filene Center and upper Plaza can be accessed with the brand-new elevators located in the Meadow Commons.

Once you’re settled, check out Center Lines Online, Wolf Trap’s digital program book and hub for artist info, giveaways, and Park insights. Also be on the lookout for ways to be featured on Wolf Trap’s social media (hint: use #WolfTrap on your posts). You never know, your selfie or video might make it on our big screens!

It’s Show Time!

At long last, the Plaza lights dim and the bell sounds. That means the show is about to begin! If you need more details, look at our FAQs or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and TikTok. Get ready to enjoy a music-filled summer!