Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Free: White House Spring Garden Tours

As I'm sure I've said before, one of my favorite things about living in the Washington, DC area is that there are so many fabulous things to do for free! If you live here or live within reasonable driving distance, take advantage of these great things and have fun (while you are saving on the cost of entertainment). If you don't live here, DC is an awesome place for an affordable, fun vacation. You could really fill your days with all sorts of free activities.

What I consider to be one of the coolest free things is coming up next weekend: the White House Spring Garden Tours! This year it is being held on Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13. It's free, but you do have to get timed entry tickets for everyone (including small children).

The inside of the White House is definitely a terrific (free) tour. But to me, the gardens are special because they are just as famous as the interior (i.e. Rose Garden). After spending a lot of time as a tourist on the outside of the iron fence, it's interesting to see what's in the President's yard. You get to see some hidden areas like the Children's Garden and the tennis court. You can also see the outside of the Oval Office! None of these things are on the regular White House (interior) tour.

Michael and I have gone on the Spring Garden Tour as well as the Fall Garden Tour. Both times, we've gone on a Sunday and went to worship service at St. John's Church across from the White House in the morning before the tour. It's known as "The Church of the Presidents" and is where every president since James Madison has attended on occasion or a regular basis. The President wasn't there either time we went, but it was still really cool to go to a service there.

Here are some pictures I've taken at the White House and St. John's Church when we've gone for a garden tour:

St. John's Church Jacqueline Kennedy Garden

Rose Garden Oval Office

View from the South Lawn

Bush Twins' Hand Prints in the Children's Garden (done when their grandfather was president)

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