Historical Landscapes: A Peek at the White House

by Editorial

For one weekend only, the public can stop and smell the White House roses.
By Tyler Sullivan

President Barack Obama walking through the Rose Garden of the White House with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, April 14, 2011. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

On Saturday, October 15th, and Sunday, October 16th, the White House will open its grounds and gardens to the public—showcasing the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and the South Lawn.

A tradition since 1972 when Pat Nixon first opened the house gardens to visitors, the White House Gardens tours are an integral part of DC life and history.

The Kitchen Garden, a new addition to the South Lawn, will also be viewable from a distance along the route of the tour, accompanied by a visual explanation on the elements of the garden.

Although the Garden tours are free and open to visitors, tickets will be required for all attendees, including small children. These timed tickets can be acquired at 15th Street and E Street, at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, on both tour days beginning at 8:00 a.m. The tours last Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., on a first-come, first-served basis.

More specifics

The following items will NOT be allowed on the White House grounds:
– Food and beverages of any kind.
– Duffel bags/suitcases/backpacks
– Animals, except guide dogs
– Aerosols of any kind
– Knives of any size
– Mace
– Smoking
– Real or simulated weapons/ammunition
– Fireworks/firecrackers

Strollers, wheelchairs, and cameras will be permitted.

Please also note that the U.S. Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items.

There is a 24-hour information line available at (202) 456-7041, to check on the status of the event, in the case of inclement weather, etc. Also, please note that tours of the White House will not occur on the dates of the Gardens tours.

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