For the last 138 years, the White House has hosted an Easter Egg Roll where kids race across the South Lawn rolling an egg with a long wooden spoon. This year was different from all others—this year my family and I were among the 35,000 guests.
Free tickets for the White House Easter Egg Roll are made available every year for six days in February through a lottery system on the Recreation.gov website. The last two years, we signed up with no luck.
Thanks to some wonderful cousins with White House connections, we scored three tickets. We found out Thursday March 24; thirty-six hours later we started our 11-hour drive to DC. The White House Easter Egg Roll was that Monday.
We were beyond excited. Not just for the fun of it; not just because we were part of an annual White House tradition. We had wanted to celebrate President Barack Obama’s last year in office somehow. This was our chance.
On Sunday, we arrived about noon and parked near the U.S. Capitol. We couldn’t get out of the car quick enough. It was time to take in the sights, and that we did. We walked through the National Mall and enjoyed the outdoor areas of the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. We hit the National Museum of Natural History, which was surprisingly busy considering it was Easter Sunday.
Our walking tour continued through the nearby cherry blossoms, fully in bloom and a sight to behold. We walked around the National World War II Memorial then along the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool until we got to the memorial itself.
At the end of the day, we were all exhausted. We headed to bed early that night, excited to see what the next day had in store for us.
On Monday, we arrived to the White House two hours before our 12:30 p.m. time slot. We took our place at the front of the line and start plotting which activities we wanted to participate in.
About 12:15 p.m. it was ready, set, go. Our son, Graham, led us to the South Lawn, where everything was set up. Graham eyed the Eggspermint Zone to make paper airplanes. Along the way we passed booths and stands where free water, juice and food samples were handed out. Representatives from Organization for Bat Conservation showed off some really neat small brown bats. Later when we passed by again they had a huge bat just hanging out, eating fruit. He was incredible!
Graham dyed eggs at the end of the South Lawn. The view was incredible. After that we started to see some familiar faces—Angry Birds, Daniel Tiger, Stormtroopers and other cartoon characters. Sadly, my son passed on the photo op.
There was a big activity area with a Yoga Garden, hula hooping and Soul Cycle cycling. A stage hosted performers including Idina Menzel, Daya and Silento.
There were healthy cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Broadcaster Robin Roberts read to children on the Storytime Stage.
By 1:30 p.m. my son was exhausted. On our way out, he received a commemorative wooden egg, a wonderful keepsake from our time at the White House. While we didn’t get to see the First Family, we did catch a glimpse of Bo and Sunny, their adorable pooches. And that was good enough for us.
For more information on the White House Easter Egg Roll, visit www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll.