With spring approaching, it’s almost time for White House Easter Egg Roll Day. Get ready to roll those Easter eggs!
White House Easter Egg Roll Day is a national day that occurs on the Monday after Easter on the South Lawn of the White House.
Since the date of Easter changes every year, the date of White House Egg Roll Day changes yearly as well.
This kid-friendly national day extends the Easter celebrations one extra day, and is a great way to get the whole family together.
National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with.
Be sure to check out our national day’s guide for the history of national days, and why we celebrate them.
What happens at the White House Egg Roll?
The White House Easter Egg Roll is hosted annually by the current president and the first lady of the United States.
This national day is for children (under age 13). The highlight of the day is an event called the Easter Egg Roll.
The Easter Egg Roll is a race where children use long handled spoons to race dyed Easter eggs across the White House lawn.
However, this national day isn’t only about the Easter Egg Roll. There are also decorated Easter egg exhibits, story time, live music, face painting and even a visit from the Easter Bunny!
White House souvenirs
In addition to interactive exhibits, throughout history, various souvenirs have been given out during the White House Egg Roll.
Lady Pat Nixon handed out like participation certificates. Ladies Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter gave out plastic eggs with a note inside from the first lady.
President Ronald Reagan and Lady Nancy Reagan even hosted a hunt for wooden eggs with famous people’s signatures on them.
Wooden eggs are now a keepsake and symbol of White House Egg Roll Day. They are handed out as gifts to children who attend the event.
They are also available for purchase as a five piece commemorative set from the White House Historical Organization.
Who started the Easter Egg Roll at the White House?
There is some confusion as to who started the Easter Egg Roll. Some historians say that President Abraham Lincoln (the sixteenth president) held early informal egg rolling parties.
Others say the idea belonged to First Lady Dolley Madison (wife of the fourth president, James Madison), who started the event in 1814.
While the Easter Egg Roll takes places on the South Lawn of the White House, the event wasn’t always hosted there.
History of the White House Egg Roll
The original location for the Easter Egg Roll was the west grounds of the U.S. Capitol building.
However, in 1876, the event caused damage to the Capitol grounds. This led Congress to pass the Turf Protection Law that same year.
“It shall be the duty of the Capitol police on and after April 29, 1876, to prevent any portion of the Capitol Grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds or otherwise, so far as may be necessary to protect the public property, turf and grass from destruction or injury.”
In 1877, the event was rained out so the law wasn’t tested until the following year. When the children went to the Capitol grounds for the Easter Egg Roll in 1878, they were turned away.
It was in this year, 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes invited the kids to the South Lawn for the first official Easter Egg Roll at the White House.
After that, the White House Easter Egg Roll became a yearly tradition, enjoyed by thousands of attendees.
Since its inception, the White House Egg Roll has been cancelled a handful of times (due to war, inclement weather, White House construction and health pandemics).
Can anyone go to the White House Easter Egg Roll?
The White House Easter Egg Roll is a popular event, so a ticket is required to attend. Tickets are free, but there are a limited number available.
To prioritize fairness, a lottery was set up in order to decide who gets a ticket. Only one lottery application can be submitted per household (for a maximum of 6 tickets per household).
As the White House Egg Roll is intended for children, the households applying must have one child under 13, and one adult. No more than two adults can be included in an application.
During the lottery application, the applicant provides an email address which is used to contact them if they receive tickets.
How to celebrate White House Easter Egg Roll Day
Would you like to celebrate White House Easter Egg Roll Day in a special way? If you are one of the lucky ones who receives a ticket from the lottery, head over to the White House to celebrate.
If you won’t be attending the official Egg Roll at the White House, don’t worry, we have plenty of ways to celebrate from home listed below including Easter recipes, holiday decorating ideas and crafts!
Some of the links below are affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link.
- Get your own Easter egg spoons, and have a race with your friends in your yard, or in a nearby park.
- If you host your own Easter Egg Race, you can make an Easter bunny gift bag filled with goodies and pass them out to all the participants!
- Have fun decorating Easter eggs with an Easter egg decorating kit.
- Try making a recipe that features candy Easter eggs, like these Easter nest cupcakes, or these no bake bird’s nest cookies.
- Parents, today would be a good day to read your children a book about presidents, so they understand a little more about the person who lives and works at the White House.
- Try making one last Easter craft project before the holiday season is over. We recommend making this Peeps centerpiece, or using our free Easter printable as decor!
- Print our the free Easter coloring page at the bottom of this post, and decorate it to celebrate this national day.
If you’d like to learn more about the history and meaning of Easter, check out our posts on the symbols of Easter like the dogwood tree, and the Easter lily.
Plus, don’t forget to read our post on the history of hot cross buns, and get the recipe for this traditional Easter bread (which has its own national day).
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More national days in April
There are close to 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in April.
To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more about the national days in April. Also check out the April word search printable of national days for some puzzle fun.
Is food your thing? Each day of the month has a food or drink associated with it, too. You’ll find all the April food holidays here.
Be sure to also check out these national days this month:
- National Find a Rainbow Day – Learn more about the science of rainbows, and find special ways to celebrate this national day.
- National Beer Day – To celebrate this national day, check out this post with the history of beer, and recipes using it.
- National Pet Day – Celebrate our furry friends with this national day dedicated to pets! You can also check out National Rescue Dog Day in May, and National Black Cat Day in October.
- National Tea Day and National Bubble Tea Day – These two national days dedicated to tea fall in the month of April. Other tea days during the year include: International Tea Day, National Iced Tea Day, National Cream Tea Day and National Chai Day.
- National Picnic Day – With the weather getting warmer in April, it makes sense that a day devoted to enjoying picnics outside falls in this month.
- National Zipper Day – Check out some fun facts about zippers, and the history of this invention!
Pin this post on White House Easter Egg Roll Day for later
Would you like a reminder of this post for about the Easter Egg Roll at the White House? Just pin this image to one of your national day boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
Celebrate White House Easter Egg Roll Day from home by coloring in this Easter coloring page! This is a great way to extend your Easter celebrations one more day. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Easter Coloring Page for White House Easter Egg Roll Day
Celebrate White House Easter Egg Roll Day from home by coloring in this Easter coloring page!
This is a great way to extend your Easter celebrations one more day.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.