The White House Easter Egg Roll is an annual family event to hunt for and race Easter Eggs on the White House Lawn while enjoying storytelling and a visit with the Easter Bunny. The holiday tradition has a long history dating back to 1878 when President Rutherford B. Hayes officially opened the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on Easter Monday. Successive Presidents have continued the tradition of inviting children to the White House Lawn for egg rolling and other activities and entertainment.
The White House will open the South Lawn to families to enjoy live musical performances, storytelling and the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll.
Date: Monday, April 17, 2017, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: White House,1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC (202) 456-7041. All guests will enter the event from the Ellipse and will go through a security screening process. See a map
White House Easter Egg Roll Tickets
Tickets are distributed free of charge via an online lottery system, allowing guests from across the United States to participate. All attendees must have a ticket. The 2017 ticket lottery has closed.
All attendees will be required to go through a security screening process. No food or beverages are allowed on the grounds. Duffel Bags, suitcases and backpacks are not allowed. Strollers, diaper bags, baby formula, and baby bottles are permitted.
- Egg hunt & the traditional Egg Roll
- Live musical performances for all ages
- Storytime - celebrities bring books to life
- Egg dying, egg decorating, and more
- Interactive, educational activities designed to spark scientific curiosity and creativity
2017 Special Guests
- To Be Announced
History of the 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 during the early Lincoln administration. During the post-Civil War years, the Easter egg games were played on the grounds surrounding the U.S. Capitol Building. In 1876, an act of Congress outlawed the Capitol grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds to protect the property from destruction. In 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes officially opened the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on Easter Monday.
During World War I and II, the events were canceled. Dwight D. Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower revived the event in 1953 after a 12-year absence. In 1969, Pat Nixon's staff introduced the White House Easter Bunny, a staffer dressed in a white fleece bunny costume who roamed the grounds and welcomed the egg rollers and posed for photographs. By 1974 the activities evolved into organized egg-rolling races. The 1981 eggstravaganza included assorted clowns and characters, balloon vendors, Broadway show vignettes, a petting zoo, exhibits of antique cars, and an eggxposition of specially decorated eggs (one for each state). Each egg roller received a goody bag filled with a program, toy products supplied by corporate sponsors, and food- whose wrappers littered the lawn.
Since 1987 the event's theme has been inscripted on each egg, and by 1989 George and Barbara Bush added their facsimile signatures. Today the official eggs are given one to a child (under 12) as they leave the South Lawn.
Read More About Easter in Washington, DC