White House offers garden tours

Visitors to the District wanting to check out the White House’s famed gardens will get their chance this weekend with two days of the sought-after tours.

Tours of the White House grounds, including a new garden planted by first lady Michelle Obama, will be offered on Saturday and Sunday. The opportunity coincides with GW’s Colonials Weekend, which generally sees an influx of parents and friends to Foggy Bottom.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, the tickets – which will be free of charge – will be distributed for the tours by the National Park Service at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, located at 15th and E streets.

Long lines are expected, as visitors traditionally line up hours before the tickets become available.

The tours will occur between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. Visitors will be able to see the Rose Garden, the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Children’s Garden and the South Lawn of the White House.

Those on the tour will be able to catch a glimpse of the newest garden, planted this past spring by Obama and local students from D.C.’s Bancroft Elementary School.

At the time, Obama said she wanted to help children learn about healthy, locally grown foods.

According to the White House Web site, “the Kitchen Garden, a new addition to the South Lawn, will be viewable from a distance along the tour route. There will be a visual explanation to help educate tourists on the elements of the garden.”

While cameras are permitted on the tour along with wheelchairs and strollers, visitors cannot bring food, beverages, backpacks, aerosols, knives, weapons, ammunition or animals, except guide dogs.

Tours of the White House gardens also occurred in April of this year.

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