Each year, there are several seasonal events at the White House that are open to the public, including those staying in serviced apartments in Washington DC on holiday or business. Among them, the most famous seasonal events are those surrounding major holidays, with some lesser-known events throughout the year, too.
First up is the Annual Easter Egg Roll which began with President Hayes over a century ago. This year, twenty-one thousand lucky guests from the surrounding D.C. area and throughout the nation gathered on the South Lawn of the White House for egg rolling, storytelling, and entertainment for all ages.
The annual White House Garden Tour is held during a weekend in both the fall and the spring. Guests have the opportunity to see the property’s two formal gardens, the Rose Garden near the West Wing and the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden near the East Wing. Visitors can view many of the ornamental trees planted by former presidents and the Kitchen Garden which was established in 2009.
Fourth of July at the White House is a spectacular affair established by Thomas Jefferson. In the first Fourth of July celebrations, President Jefferson opened the house to diplomats, civil and military officers, and Cherokee chiefs. Festivities have changed since that time and now include parades, fireworks, and live music.
Each Thanksgiving, the president can “pardon” the turkey, a tradition dating back to President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 where a turkey was brought to the White House for Christmas dinner and President Lincoln’s son Tad interceded on the turkey’s behalf. Today, the tradition has been moved to Thanksgiving and those visiting or who call Washington DC home can watch the local news stations for the decision.
The most lavish events at the White House are the Christmas celebrations. The National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is a cherished tradition now featuring LED lights and repurposed ornaments. For the past 54 years, GE has had the honor of providing the lighting for this event. The tree is lit every day during December and goes dim on January 1st with the new year. Don’t forget to stop between the hours of 4:30 – 10:30 p.m. to see this stunning display. You can also walk through the White House to see the Christmas decorations through the month of December. The annual Candlelight tours of the White House are scheduled on three days in December – so make sure to get your tickets early!
Whether you’re staying in serviced apartments in Washington DC for business or pleasure – no matter the time of year – you’ll feel right at home with holiday celebrations at The White House and throughout the area.