Twice a year, for one weekend at a time, the White House Garden Tour opens on a first-come, first-served basis. Get there bright and early for tickets, and you'll get this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Every spring, the White House announces the weekend dates for the White House Garden Tour on its website. If you don't know to go there to look for it, you'll miss it! Luckily for you, we've already done the work for you. Here's everything you need to know.

WHEN

This spring, the White House Garden Tour is on Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

WHERE

DUH! It's at The White House! But, you need to know where to go to get your FREE tickets. The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at a tent stationed near the intersection of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest starting at 8:30 a.m. on the tour days. Tickets will be distributed — one ticket per person — on a first-come, first-served basis, so EVERYONE in your party has to be in line and present. Even the baby needs a ticket! (Make sure he/she doesn't eat it). There are long lines for tickets, so get there early. In the past, tickets have run out after a couple hours. The tickets are timed, so the earlier you get in line, the better chance you have of getting the time you want.

WHAT

This self-guided, timed White House Garden Tour includes exhibits about iconic events on the White House grounds over the years. Each stop on the tour has a plaque with a photo explaining what historic event happened there. The tour includes the White House Kitchen Garden, which is the WH's first vegetable garden since First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden. First Lady Michelle Obama planted the garden in 2009 to start a national conversation about the health and well-being of the nation — a conversation that evolved into the "Let’s Move!" initiative. The garden includes more than 50 kinds of vegetables, as well as berries, herbs, and a beehive. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="7375,7374"] The Rose Garden includes a broad lawn for outdoor press conferences, events, and receptions. President Nixon’s daughter, Tricia Nixon Cox, was married here in 1971. It's situated right outside the West Wing in view of the Oval Office, and it's often the site where the acting president greets foreign heads of state. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="7376,7373,7372"]
The Jacqueline Kennedy Garden was designed by Jackie herself with designer Rachel Lambert Mellon. Lady Bird Johnson dedicated the garden to Jackie in 1965. Like the Rose Garden, the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden is used for events. The president uses this garden for awards ceremonies. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="7379,7380"] The South Lawn is where the President departs in Marine One (the official presidential helicopter), and where children collect eggs during the annual Easter Egg Roll. It offers a great view of the Washington Monument. The magnolia trees planted by President Andrew Jackson can also be found at the South Lawn. [caption id="attachment_7378" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]White House Garden Tour Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

What NOT to Bring

  • Aerosols of any kind
  • Animals (except guide dogs)
  • Any pointed object
  • Backpacks (oversized)
  • Balloons
  • Beverages of any kind
  • Duffle bags and/or suitcases
  • Electric stun guns
  • Fireworks / firecrackers
  • Food of any kind
  • Guns / ammunition
  • Insulated metal containers
  • Knives of any kind
  • Mace
  • Selfie sticks
  • Cigarettes (including e-cigarettes)
  • Tablets (including iPads)
  • Toy weapons of any kind
  • Water bottles

More Info

The White House Garden Tour can be canceled at any time, so call (202) 456-7041 on the morning of the event to make sure it's still on! The use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. The Metro stations closest to the White House are Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines), Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines), and McPherson Square (blue and orange lines). If you drive, you can find nearby parking here. For more tips, click here!

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