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Ticket Information

Families/Individual Tickets:

Individual tickets may be purchased through our website on each show page.  Use the drop down menu on the right hand side of the pages to select the date and time.  You will be redirected to a secure page on the Smithsonian Associates website.  If it’s your first time, you will need to set up an account to complete your purchase.

By Phone: 202-633-8700 (M-F, 9am-4:30pm)

Seating & Latecomers

Seating for all programs is general admission AND at the discretion of House Management based on the space and how many people are attending the show.  Families will most often be asked to sit in a specific section of the theater in order to leave room for groups that cannot be spit up.  Due to sight lines, we do not allow adults (parents or teachers) to sit on the floor with their children.  Adults are asked to sit in chairs along the side OR they can sit with their children on the risers.

Late seating is at the discretion of the House Manager. If it is not possible for you to be seated late, every attempt will be made to reschedule you or credit you for a future performance.

Exchanges and Refund Policy:

All ticket sales are final. There are NO REFUNDS on tickets once payment is received.  If Discovery Theater closes (in the case of the federal government closing or inclement weather), you will have the option of rescheduling for another performance or receiving a refund.

You may exchange tickets (pending availability) by calling or emailing at least 30 minutes prior to the start time of your scheduled performance.  If you are unable to reschedule at the time of your call, a credit will be placed on your account for you to use at a later time.

Frequently Asked Questions from Parents:

What if I show up to the wrong performance (time, date, etc.)?

We strongly encourage you to check your tickets or email confirmations carefully and let us know ASAP if there was a mistake.  If you come to the wrong performance and we are sold out, you will be put on a wait list and asked to come back right before the show starts. If we have ticket holders that do not show up, you will be allowed in.  If you miss your show and we can’t get you into another performance, we can credit your account for a future performance.

What is your seating policy?
Seating for all programs is general admission AND at the discretion of House Management based on the space and how many people are attending the show.  For many of our programs, we will also need to seat large groups of school children. Families are sometimes ask to wait to enter the theater if we are about to seat a group or if the group arrived before you. Families will often be asked to sit in a specific section of the theater or auditorium. This ensures that everyone has a seat and can see and hear the performance.  If you have special needs that require you or your child to sit in front, please let us know in advance and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What if my child is sick on our show day and we can’t make it?
Please call or email the theater at least 30 minutes prior to the start time of your performance to let us know you won’t be attending.  We will put a credit on your account for you to reschedule at a later time.

Where can I park at Discovery Theater?
Parking is VERY limited on the National Mall. 3 hour parking is available starting at 10:00 AM along Jefferson Drive and Madison Drive. Metered parking is available behind the Ripley Center on Independence Avenue. Colonial Parking is the nearest parking garage to the Ripley Center at 6th St. and Maryland Ave., SW. For more information about Parking, please visit our Directions & Parking page.

Can I bring a stroller into the theater?
We have a designated area to park strollers at all performance locations.  Due to most of our performances being sold out, there is not room to keep the stroller with you in the theater during your show.  Please keep any valuables with you as we aren’t responsible for lost items.

How long is the show?
All Discovery Theater performances are 40-50 minutes in length.

Can I bring my infant?
Anyone is welcome at Discovery Theater; however, everyone needs a ticket to enter (including infants).  When purchasing tickets, please add the “Child Under 2” price type to your cart if needed.  The cost is $3.00.  If you have a runner, screamer, crier, etc, please take them out of the theater during the performance and bring them back in when they are ready to re-enter. 

Can I buy tickets on the day of the show?
On show days, please call 202-633-8700 after 8:30 AM to hear a message about the day’s show. This message will give you the ticketing situation for the day (sold out, tickets available, etc.). Our shows are very often sold out and you will be put on a wait list upon arrival to the theater. The wait list is not a guaranteed method of entry so we advise purchasing in advance as much as possible. We accept all major credit cards, checks, and cash at the door (please note cash is easiest).

I didn’t get my tickets in the mail or lost them.
No problem!  We always have a list at the door so just check in at the box office.  If you purchased them 2 weeks or less before the show, they are most likely at Will Call.  If you lost your tickets, we can walk you in or reprint them for you.  If you are unsure of your date/time, please give us a call to verify that you have tickets or check your email confirmation from your purchase.

Where can my child have a snack?
We suggest having a snack before entering the building, as we are located in a Gallery space and there is no food or drink allowed.  We do not allow eating in the theater during the show.  Shows are less than one hour, so please plan snack time accordingly.

For Disabled Patrons:

If you require special assistance, please call 202-633-8700 to speak to Discovery Theater staff, or email us at Info@DiscoveryTheater.org. If you require the services of an interpreter, please contact us at least 2 weeks prior to your performance.