The Peeps have been eaten and the eggs have been found. It would be tempting to think that all of the Easter celebrating has happened, but in Washington D. C. today, one of the largest Easter celebrations is taking place. This morning I couldn't help but think back to last year when we had the opportunity to go celebrate Easter at the White House Easter Egg Roll. It was an amazing trip!
A good friend of ours was able to get tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll. My husband was unable to get away on such short notice so the kids and I packed our bags and headed out for a Presidential adventure.
Instead of flying or driving we took to the rails and boarded the Amtrak from Boston to D.C. The kids loved getting to play cards, visit the snack car, and watch the Eastern seaboard go by as we traveled. I loved not having to stop every time someone needed to use the bathroom.
Because I was on my own with the kids, I chose a hotel that was right by the White House. Our room had a beautiful view, and was oh, so convenient. The kids loved the pool and watching the city from the window.
The Easter Egg Roll dates back to 1878 and was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes. It is now the largest public White House celebration. This year they are expecting more than 35,000 people to join the celebration. Tickets are free of charge and distributed by an online lottery.
About an hour before our entry time we walked over to the Ellipse. As expected, we needed to wait in line. Although nobody likes to wait in line, everyone was very friendly and those that were working were really helpful.
Once we arrived on the South Lawn there was the opportunity to wander around and participate in a variety of activities. Playing basketball on the White House court, hula hooping, listening to stories being read, cooking demonstrations, dancing, hunting for Easter eggs and meeting the Easter Bunny were some of the many opportunities. In the past few years activities have a healthy living theme. There are lots of ways to be active, so we were glad that the kids' outfits weren't too fancy!
Of course, we needed to take part in the traditional Easter Egg Roll. Kids are lined up and given a hard boiled egg and a wooden spoon. When the race is started, they charge across the lawn batting their egg with the spoon.
We spent our time running football drills, hula hooping, doing yoga, making crafts, visiting the garden and honeybees and generally enjoying walking around the White House Lawn. Unfortunately, we weren't on the lawn during the time that the First Family was attending, but we enjoyed ourselves all the same.
For our eldest, the true highlight of the day was meeting one of the Secret Service agents and taking a photograph with him. The photo hangs on his wall, and a year later we are still talking about the advice that the agent gave him; work hard in school, listen to your parents-they will help you make good decisions, what you do now really matters-the government will check all the way back to see what choices you've made.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend the Easter Egg Roll, go! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we hope that everyone there today is having as much fun as we did.