Spring is beautiful in Washington, DC and it’s especially beautiful at the White House. But how does someone get a close-up look at the beautiful White House in the spring? The general public is not usually allowed or invited to the White House.
Oh, there are ways!!
Here are two ways to actually step your feet onto the White House lawn!
#1 Bring Your Favorite Child and Participate in the 2018 White House Easter Egg Roll
The Easter Egg Roll is the longest held annual presidential tradition. Informal egg roll parties were recorded at the White House as far back as the early Lincoln administration. Right after the Civil War, these Easter egg games were played on the grounds surrounding the U.S. Capitol Building. But by 1876 the event had become so popular that to protect the Capitol grounds from totaly destruction, an act of Congress was passed to outlaw the use of the Capitol grounds as playgrounds. So the hunts could no longer be held here.
But the Easter egg parties were to continue! In 1878, a group of bold children walked up to the White House gate, hoping to be allowed to play egg-rolling games there. President Rutherford Hayes told his guards to let the children enter, and soon Easter Monday on the White House grounds became an annual tradition. President Benjamin Harrison added music to the festivities in 1889 having the United States Marine Band perform.
This year there will be live musical performances and storytelling as well as the familiar egg rolling event.The 140th White House Easter Egg Roll will be hosted by Melania Trump on Monday, April 2, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a fun event that happens right on the South Lawn of the White House. Yes, you actually get to walk on the lawn!
It’s just for children and their adult companions so don’t plan on coming without your favorite child!
Attendance is by lottery so get to https://whitehouse.gov1.info/easter-egg-roll/ and put your name in!!
Explore the registration site a bit and take a look at the live streaming of last year’s event. Here you can also order an official White House Easter Egg. However if you attend the event, your child (if under 12) will receive an official egg as you leave the South Lawn.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll/ --- for great images of egg rolling in the early years.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/apr/06/easter-egg-rolling-white-house-europe-tradition --- for information about European egg rolling traditions.
# 2 Dust Off Your Favorite Garden Book And Head to The White House Spring Garden Tour - 2018
The White House Garden Tour is held twice a year, Fall and Spring and the gardens are absolutely beautiful!! If you are lucky and get tickets, it’s true --- you really do get to explore the White House grounds. The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the White House Kitchen Garden and the lovely South Lawn are all open for exploring.
Bring your camera. The tour takes place over a weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. There’s NO need for advance tickets and NO need to contact your congressperson. Tickets for the tour are free but everyone must have one, even for small children. They will be distributed at a National Park Service tent located near the corner of Constitution Avenue, NW and 15th Street NW in the morning on the day of each tour. They are given out on a first-come, first-served basis so you need to get there early!! Only one ticket per person so everyone who wants a ticket needs to be in line.
The date of the garden tour is usually announced within a week or two of when it takes place.
Here’s a link to a video of the 2015 Spring Garden Tour. There’s also a nice map of the tour.
See photos on Instagram, too!
President John Adams was the first president to live in the White House. But was he the first president to plan a garden on the White House grounds? Hmm! Come take our Pickle Pea Walk Musings with a White House Gardener. Your guide will be John Ousley, the first official White House Gardener (1825-1852). He knows all about the White House Gardens and what they tell about the presidents who loved them or were not interested in them.