White House Garden Tours 2017 (Spring & Fall)

White House Garden
••• White House Garden. Getty Images

2017 White House Garden Tour Schedule:
Spring Dates and Times: April 22-23, 2017, Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Fall Dates and Times:  October 21-22, 2017, Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

The White House Garden Tours have been a tradition since 1972 when Pat Nixon first opened the White House gardens to the public. Two weekends each year, visitors are invited to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children's Garden and South Lawn of the White House.

Additionally, the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden – is also accessible to guests. The tour includes a visual explanation to help educate visitors on the elements of the garden.

See Photos of the White House Gardens

Tickets: The event is open to the public; however, a ticket is required for all attendees, including small children. The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on tour days beginning at 9:00 a.m. Tickets will be distributed -- one ticket per person -- on a first-come, first-served basis.

Location: White House. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC. Entry for the Garden Tours will begin at Sherman Park located just south of the Department of the Treasury.

Restrictions: Carry-in items will be limited. Strollers, wheelchairs and cameras are permitted.

In case of inclement weather, the Garden Tours will be canceled. Please call the 24-hour information line at (202) 456-7041 to check on the status of the event.

History of the White House Gardens

The first garden was planted on the property in 1800 by President John Adams and first lady Abigail Adams.

The Rose Garden was initially established near the Oval Office in the early 1900s. President Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. in 1935 to redesign the gardens. Today, this plan still serves as the basis for the layout of the garden. In 1961, John F. Kennedy redesigned the Rose Garden to use as an outdoor meeting place that accommodates a thousand spectators. The East Garden was also redesigned during the Kennedy administration to feature both seasonal flowers and hedges. In 1969, Lady Bird Johnson created the first Children's Garden at the White House. For generations, the White House Gardens have been the scene of both historical events and informal gatherings. Today, the South Lawn is used for the annual Easter Egg Roll and other large events. The Rose Garden is used for the annual pardoning of the turkey, and other presidential ceremonies and speeches. The garden is home to ancient oaks and elms, magnolia trees, boxwoods, and flowers such as tulips, hycinths and chrysanthemums.

Learn more about visiting the White House and see White House Photos.

See More About Garden Tours in the Washington DC Area