Things To Do in Washington DC in April 2018

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Spring is one of the most popular times to visit Washington, DC thanks to the Cherry Blossom Festival, but there are many more things to do in April in Washington, DC, especially as the Cherry Blossoms might bloom in March this year!  The city is at its prettiest in the Spring so its a great time to take a walking tour, but in addition to learning about the sites, why not check out some of the sounds of the city.

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White House Garden Tour Tickets

White House Garden Tour

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This post explains how to obtained timed tickets to the White Garden Tours, which take place 2 times every year. While you can request to tour the White House any time of year, only twice a year are the White House Gardens open to the public. You can stroll through the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the White House Kitchen Garden and South Lawn of the White House.

Check out our Guide to Things to Do in DC, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Washington DC attractions, including our Free Things to Do in DC.

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Below, is a short video describing the most famous of all the gardens at the White House – the Rose Garden.  This garden is adjacent to the Oval Office and is the location where the President of the United States will often announce new Cabinet or Supreme Court nominees or new legislation that he has proposed.

 

 

How to Obtain Tickets for the White House Garden Tours

The White House Spring Garden Tour dates have not been announced.

Open to guests are the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and the White House Kitchen Garden and the South Lawn of the White House Grounds.

Unlike the White House Easter Egg Roll, there is no lottery for this event. If you want to tour the White House Gardens, free timed tickets are distributed at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Street Northwest on each tour day at 8:30am.  

Federal Triangle (Orange, Blue and Silver lines) is the closest Metro station to the ticket pavilion.  It’s approximately a 9 min walk from the station.  You can also easily walk from Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue and Silver lines). Click here for directions to the pavilion from anywhere in the DC area.

Tickets for White House Garden Tours

Tickets are distributed at 830 am on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are distributed in 30 min intervals.  If you have a specific time you need to tour or want to get in right away, we recommend getting there early. Even if you’re there at 830 am, you might get a ticket for 2 pm that afternoon.  Like most attractions in Washington DC, the earlier you go, the less crowded it is likely to be.  There is a limit of one ticket per person so if you want to go with your whole family, they all need to wait in line.  You must go through a security screening before entering on the White House lawn.

Please note the following items are not allowed on the White House grounds:

  • Tablets, iPads, Tripods, Monopods, or Selfie Sticks
  • Video Recorders
  • All Bags, including Purses, Backpacks, or Suitcases
  • Animals other than Service/ Guide Dogs
  • Bicycles, Folding Chairs, Umbrellas with metal tips, Balloons, Coolers, Glass, Thermal or Metal Containers
  • Signs or Flags of Any Kind
  • Any Pointed Object(s), Including Pocket Knives
  • Diaper Bags
  • Food, Liquids, Aerosols, Tobacco Products, Lighters
  • Firearms, Ammunition, Fireworks, Laser Pointers, Stun Guns/Tasers, Mace/Pepper Spray, Toy Weapons or Knives of Any Kind
  • Any Other Items Determined to be Potential Safety Hazards

You may bring strollers, wheelchairs, cameras and umbrellas without metal tips.

For those not staying downtown, ask your hotel concierge or inn manager if he or she knows a concierge at a downtown hotel, where you could leave your purses and travel bags.

Jacqueline Kennedy Garden

The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden has been a part of the White House landscape for some time before JFK’s presidency but had been all but forgotten. Jackie Kennedy had helped with the redesign and the garden had been planted by the time of JFK’s assassination. The rose garden had been replanted but the East Garden was still in progress. This East Garden was renamed in her honor.

In the current garden, you will find Littleleaf lindens and Kennedy saucer magnolias bordered by low hedges of boxwood and American Holly. Perennial flowering plants include delphinium, hollyhock, lavender, and roses. Spring blooming bulbs planted in the rose garden include jonquil, daffodil, fritillaria, grape hyacinth, tulips, chionodoxa and squill. Summer blooming annuals change yearly. In the fall chrysanthemum and flowering kale bring color until early winter.

White House Vegetable Garden 

There has been a vegetable garden on the White House grounds since 1800 but the current first lady, Michelle Obama, is probably the more well known for hers. Eleanor Roosevelt had a victory garden during WWII and Hillary Clinton added a garden to the roof of the White House, but Mrs. Obama created the largest vegetable garden in 2009. It came as part of her efforts for a healthier America and the garden provides fresh vegetables and herbs to the First Family, White House guests and also food banks and soup kitchens.

You can see the vegetable garden from E Street on the South side of the White House but if you’re travelling with a student or community group, you can request a tour.

How to tour the White House Vegetable Gardens? The White House will arrange a free tour for groups of 25 or less who request it online on their website. The tour will visit the garden and the beehive and if you’re lucky, also the White House interior. Tours are subject to availability but often occur on weekday mornings.

Watch the video below for a glimpse Inside the White House Vegetable Garden

Washington DC White House

White House Easter Egg Roll 2018

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This post explains what the White House Easter Egg Roll is and how to get tickets (lottery).  Spring in Washington DC is one of the best times of the year to visit the nations capital.  With the cherry blossoms in bloom, warm weather finally here, it is the a great time of year to get out and enjoy some of the many activities Washington, DC has to offer. 

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If you are planning a visit or live in the area, the White House Easter Egg Roll will be on April 02, 2018 and it is is the hottest ticket in town.  If you have children age 12 and under, get your tickets and join the first family on the South Lawn of the White House grounds from 8 am to 5 pm for a day full of activities; visit with the Easter Bunny, enjoy storytelling, sports, live musical performances, cooking classes, and the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll.


How to Get Tickets to White House Easter Egg Roll

White House Easter Egg Roll tickets are given out as a lottery. The date that the lottery is usually about six weeks before the event.

The lottery opens Friday, February 9, 2018, at 12:00 PM ET, and closing on Thursday, February 15, 2018, at 12:00 PM ET. Entering the lottery is free of charge, and winners will be notified via email no later than Monday, March 5, 2018. T

To enter the lottery, you will be prompted to create an account on the Recreation.gov website. You will presented with a list of available times and should rank them in order of preference. Each household is limited to one lottery application. You will need to list how many adults and how many children with a maximum of six tickets.

Here is an example lottery screen from 2013 (subject to change for 2018).

Alternatives:  If you can’t get tickets to this event, you can apply for a separate tour of the White House. Learn how to tour the White House here. Or plan on going on one of our National Mall tours we offer that day. Book Online Now

Easter Egg Roll Information

white house easter egg roll

Date:  April 02, 2018

Location:  White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington DC; Phone (202) 456-7041.

All guests will enter the event from the Ellipse and will have to go through a security screening process*.

* No food or beverages are allowed on the grounds.  Duffel Bags, suitcases and backpacks are not allowed.

What is allowed are baby strollers, diaper bags, baby formula, and baby bottles.

Cost:  Just like our tours, FREE!

 

History of the White House Easter Egg Roll:

white house easter egg roll

Since 1878, Presidents and their families have celebrated Easter Monday by hosting and “egg roll” party, which is held on the South Lawn of the white house.  This is one of the oldest annual events in the White house history.  Although the Easter Egg roll was previously held on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol building, in 1878 celebrants were not allowed to roll eggs on the grounds of the Capitol over concerns and eventual bill that banned the rolling of eggs on the grounds.

In 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant signed that bill into law and the following year heavy rain cancelled the day’s activities.  The following year, 1878, egg rollers came to the Capitol grounds but were ejected by Capitol Hill police.  President Rutherford B. Hayes gets word of the disappointed children just down Pennsylvania Avenue at the Capitol and invited them to come to the White House South Lawn.

Since then, young children and their families have come to the White House on Easter Monday to enjoy the annual festivities.  Be sure to take home or order an official 2014 White House Easter Egg, which is made of hardwood and comes in four custom colors, which includes the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady.

Washington Mt. Vernon

Guide to Visiting Mount Vernon

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Visiting Mount VernonA trip to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, is a great idea and will be a rewarding addition to any trip to our nation’s capital. Washington wrote that he knew of no place that was more pleasantly situated than his plantation, and he may well have been right! The house is amazing, the grounds are gorgeous, there is an interpretive education center that is second to none, and so much more! You could easily spend an entire day enjoying Mount Vernon and its grounds, there are so many great things to see and do. Here we have highlighted the many things to see at Mount Vernon, and detailed the logistical nuts and bolts so that you and your family can make the most of your visit.

Check out our Things to Do in DC post, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Washington DC attractions

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Top 12 DC Bus Tours (And Which You Should Take)

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This post compares the various different bus tour options available in DC, from hop-on, hop-off to more premium shuttle bus services that combine guided walking tours with bus service.  Bus tours are a great way to see the most sites in the least amount of time. Though the sites on the National Mall are close, there is much more to see off the Mall.  Some sites, like the Iwo Jima and the Air Force Memorials, are not easily accessible on foot!  So, which Washington DC bus tour is best?

 

 

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Visit DC During Government Shutdown (What’s STILL Open) | 2018 Edition

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government shutdown

Looking for what to do in DC during the government shut down?

While some sites will be closed, you can still visit DC during government shutdown! WE’RE STILL OPEN! The city doesn’t shut and in fact, there are often special events and discounts accommodate all the visitors locked out of museums.

THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED AS MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE!

Think of this as a way to see the lesser known side of DC and sites that are often, sadly, skipped over. Some of the best places in DC are the smaller historic house museums.

Have a school/youth group visiting? Contact us for discounted private tours if the government shut downs so your group can still enjoy their trip.

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What is the Weather in DC (And How to Prepare for It)

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If you’re planning a visit, you’re likely wondering about the weather in DC. What to wear outdoors? What to pack? With so many great things to do in the great outdoors – such as our name your own price walking tours – you need to make sure you’re prepared for whatever the weather may bring. Use this guide to make sure you know what the average day is like whenever you’re vacationing in DC.

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Visiting the Smithsonian National Zoo

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The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution so you’ll find no admission prices or tickets to visit. As one of the oldest zoos in the United States, the National Zoo is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Washington, DC, especially for the young and young at heart. Use this post to explore the options at the National Zoo.

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