4/22/15

White House Easter Egg Roll 2015 #gimmefive #DC

For the past few years, I have entered the White House Easter Egg Roll lottery online in the hopes that we would be chosen.  {The lottery rolls around in February and is an easy process.  Just create an account with recreation.gov and fill out the information when the lottery opens.  Then cross your fingers!} 

Each year I've been disappointed.  I've watched it online wishing that I could experience it with my kids in person.  After all, it isn't every day that you have the opportunity to see the White House up close.

This year I received this magical notice in my email saying that we were chosen.  I was over the moon excited to say the least!  {Just ask my hubby how I yelled from the computer}
2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, Michelle Obama, President Obama, FLOTUS, POTUS, DC Events, The White House

After receiving the initial email, I waited for the day that I could download my tickets and print them.  And while we waited for the Monday after Easter to arrive, I attempted to prepare my four year old for her first visit to the White House.  We talked about who the President was, read a few children's books, and watched clips again from last year's egg roll.    Then we prayed for good weather and for all of us to be healthy enough to go (we'd been fighting the flu bug and a nasty virus for a couple of weeks).



Taking Metro to the White House

There are a few ways to travel to DC to the White House, but we chose to take the Metro to avoid traffic and parking issues.  We rode the orange line from New Carrollton to the Federal Triangle stop.   Then we walked a couple of blocks to the line for the ellipse.


Washington Monument, The White House,


Waiting in Line

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as waiting in line to get into the event.  I figured that it would be pretty busy, but I did not expect the 2 hour wait that we had.  {We had already spent nearly an hour and a half in travel time to get to DC. }

The first line was a queue of sorts to get to the checkpoint where they scan your tickets and then send you to security.  It was a warm sunny afternoon without any shade.  I had my four year old sitting in the umbrella stroller we'd brought for her sister and the Attic baby was in the baby carrier with her daddy.  Needless to say, this was a long wait for little ones.

Once we had our tickets scanned and moved through security {the security check went very smoothly as I'd been careful how I packed the diaper bag}, we were pretty much body to body being herded toward the drink station.  There were also fun little activities but it was so crowded with the stroller, that we stayed with the mass of people and skipped them.  

We were given a little goody bag for each child with a program and schedule inside.  And then we were herded into another section of ropes and more waiting in the sun.  Luckily my preschooler didn't have to use the bathroom during this time.  I saw other moms walking with volunteers back through the line to get to the port-a-johns.  

AK & AB were both good sports; AB slept in her carrier that her daddy tried to shade and AK sat in the umbrella stroller munching on a few snacks I'd brought.  And we waited.  And waited....





Activities at the White House Easter Egg Roll

Easter Egg Roll 2015, Michelle Obama, President Obama, FLOTUS, POTUS, DC monuments, Tips for Visiting The White House Easter Egg Roll


Our entrance time was supposed to be 12:15 but we didn't make it in until nearly 1PM.  After the 1 1/2 hours of travel time and 2 hours in line, my 4 year old was already asking to go home.  So I knew there wasn't any chance she was going to wait in yet another long line to do the actual egg roll. 

So we got in a few of the smaller lines for photo opps on the south lawn.   Attic Guy took our 4 year old around to various stations and to see characters while I sat with AB on the lawn and fed her a bottle.

There were more drink stations at the event thankfully so we could all rehydrate.  While the weather was beautiful, it was still a good 75 degrees {and even hotter without the shade}.

Word to the wise:  no outside food or drinks are allowed {I was allowed baby formula and baby food} so you will want to eat a big meal before you get to the event.


2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, The White House, South lawn, DC monuments, President Obama, Michelle Obama
2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, Michelle Obama, President Obama, DC Monuments, DC, The White House

2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, DC monuments, The White House, President Obama, Michelle Obama, #GimmeFive
2015 Easter Egg Roll, DC monuments, DC, President Obama, Michelle Obama



Besides the egg roll, there were lots of activities to choose from including egg decorating, crafts, and sports activities of all kinds.    There were also performances at the main stage {near where I was sitting} and people reading at the Storytime Stage.  

We had gotten in the gates too late to see Sesame Street, which was a bit disappointing.  But we did see Mrs. Obama from a distance reading with the Cat and the Hat and Genevieve Goings.


FLOTUS, The Cat & The Hat, Genevieve Goings, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Dr. Seuss, 2015 White House Easter Egg Roll
Genevieve Goings, Thing 1, Mrs. Obama, Cat and the Hat, Thing 2


DC, The Obamas, President Obama, monuments
Mr. Easter Bunny

 
White House, DC, President Obama, Michelle Obama
Mrs. Easter Bunny


GimmeFive, DC, Michelle Obama, Baraq Obama, President Obama
Woodsy Owl


PBS Kids, 2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, GimmeFive, Michelle Obama, President Obama, DC monuments
Daniel Tiger


At the performance stage, we were able to see MKTO perform as well as Cat Deeley and the So You Think You Can Dance All Stars.  My hubby and I watch that show so it was pretty neat to see them so close!  We didn't see Mrs. Obama perform in person, but she was awesome in Uptown Funk!



2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, The White House, DC monuments, President Obama, Mrs. Obama, POTUS, FLOTUS



2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, Cat Deeley, President Obama, DC, The White House, Twitch, Travis Wall2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, GimmeFive, President Obama, Michelle Obama, DC monuments, The White House, So You Think You Can Dance

Cat Deeley, 2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, DC Monuments, Michelle Obama, President Obama, Travis Wall, Twitch

2015 White House Easter Egg Roll, DC events, DC monuments, The White House, Michelle Obama, President Obama, Cat Deeley, Travis Wall, Twitch



At the end of our designated time, we walked toward the exit to get our souvenir White House eggs.  {These are only given out to the children}  They also gave each of the girls a lollipop, a packet of seeds, and a pin to put in their bags.  


DC events, DC monuments, #GimmeFive, President Obama, Michelle Obama


It truly was the opportunity of a lifetime and I am so glad that I was able to bring my kids to the White House Easter Egg Roll this year!  Although my girls are young and the baby definitely won't remember this, we will have great photos and souvenirs to show them of their visit. And we made some great family memories!  



Insider Tips to enjoy The White House Easter Egg Roll

Travel:  Plan your travel time carefully so that you don't end up waiting more than is necessary.  Metro was convenient for us. Your ticket will tell you what time the line opens and what time you are supposed to be allowed in.  But you may want to plan on getting there earlier so you won't be as far back in line when it starts moving.  We weren't in the actual event until 45 minutes past the time listed on our ticket.  This limits the time you have to do activities as you have to exit at a certain time too.


Food:  They do not allow outside food or drinks at this event.  You will want to eat a big meal before your visit and I suggest packing some small snacks to eat while you wait in line.  Just make sure those snacks are gone by the time you get to the security checkpoint {I saw a few moms having to throw out items at security}  They will provide water, and sports drinks.  And there are several food trucks at your exit point if you want to grab some food then.

Bathrooms:  There are port-a-johns by the roped areas where you wait in line, but no baby changing stations that I could see.  If someone in your party needs to use the bathroom, a volunteer can walk you back through the line area.  Once you get onto the White House grounds, there are some better bathroom areas with changing stations.  Those lines can be long so plan accordingly.

Strollers:  Depending on how crowded it is at your time slot, strollers are great for tired little ones.  We brought an umbrella stroller and that was difficult to maneuver on the dirt and rocks with the packed crowds.  But it was easier than a full size stroller for us.


Activities:  You can get a general idea of what is available and what celebrities/athletes will be there on the recreation.gov website in advance.  But you won't know who is in what time slot necessarily during your visit until you see the program when you enter.  Make a priority list of what you really don't want to miss {the egg roll for example or catching a story reading}.  The President and his wife make appearances throughout the day, but you never know if you'll see them while you're there.



Take Lots of Photos:  There are lots of photo opportunities throughout your visit.  Volunteers are standing at the stations and will take a photo of your entire group for you if asked.

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