Why you might roll your eyes:
Derided as an architectural blight when it opened, the building—cut off from town by a tangle of freeways—has always seemed more important to out-of-towners than to locals.
Why you’ll love it:
The moment you step onto the center’s red carpet, beneath gleaming chandeliers, the night takes on a special-occasion glow. Wander out to the terrace—one of our favorite spots in the city—to take in views of Georgetown, Rosslyn, and the Potomac River.
The Kennedy Center has the clout, the acoustics, and the space to attract big productions (The Book of Mormon, The Lion King) and superb troupes (Sydney Theatre Company, Royal Shakespeare Company, New York City Ballet). Sure, you can see a free show at the center’s Millennium Stage. But for the ultimate experience, splurge on box seats to a great show. Wear your pearl necklace or fanciest cuff links. This is a date night that feels old-school but not dated. 2700 F St., NW; 202-467-4600.