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White House Easter Egg Roll Day – Easter Egg Roll at the White House

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.

An array of decorated Easter eggs on the left side of the image with the text "White House Easter Egg Roll Day" in hot pink lettering over the blue background on the rest of the image.

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.

A clip art image of three children playing participating in an egg race called the White House Egg Roll on Easter Monday.

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.

A small wicker basket of dyed Easter eggs next to tulips and a blank note in an envelope.

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.

The White House during Easter, before the Easter Egg Roll.

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.

A clipart image of two children participating in the Easter Egg Roll at the White House with the background behind them shaped like an Easter egg.

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).

A ticket to the White House Easter Egg Roll Day with the words "admit one" and "ticket" on it.

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! 

The image completely covered with brightly colored Easter eggs decorated with white designs.

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.  

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.

Share this post about the Easter Egg Roll at the White House with your friends on twitter:

If you enjoyed learning about the White House Egg Roll don’t forget to share them with your friends. Here’s a tweet to get you started:

The Monday after Easter is White House Easter Egg Roll Day. Head to Always the Holidays for ways to celebrate and the history of the day!🐰 💐 🥚 🥄#EasterEggRoll #NationalDays Click To Tweet

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.

An April calendar with eggs and flowers.

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.

Five decorated Easter eggs on a grassy patch with a blue sky above them, with a text overlay reading "White House Easter Egg Roll Day".

Yield: 1 coloring page

Easter Coloring Page for White House Easter Egg Roll Day

A square Easter coloring sheets with a baby bird sitting on top of a decorated Easter egg.

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.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $1

Materials

  • Paper
  • Coloring pencils

Tools

  • Printer

Instructions

  1. Load your computer paper into your Deskjet printer.
  1. Choose portrait layout and if possible "fit to page" in your settings.
  2. Print the coloring sheet and color with markers, crayons or colored pencils.

Notes

A rectangular Easter coloring pages with a baby bird sitting on top of a decorated Easter egg.

Jess author photoAbout the author

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.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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