The White House Visitors Office 24-hour tour information line, 202-456-7041, states:
All White House tours are free. Occasionally, tours are delayed or cancelled for an official event and notice is not given until that morning. Visitors should confirm tour schedules by calling the information line the night before and the morning that they plan to visit.
On-street parking is not available near the White House and use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. The closest Metrorail stations are McPherson Square (blue and orange lines) and Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines). Public telephones and restrooms are not available at the White House; the nearest ones are in the Visitor Pavilion on the Ellipse, the park area south of the White House.
Self-guided tours are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Once inside the House, the self-guided tours usually take 20 to 35 minutes.
Until Saturday, March 4th, tickets are not required for the self-guided tours. The line begins at the southeast gate, which is at E Street and East Executive Avenue. People in line by 11:30 a.m. are generally assured of admission. However, the tours are sometimes stopped earlier because of an official function.
From Tuesday, March 7, until Saturday, September 2, 1995, free tickets are required for the self-guided tours. The National Park Service distributes the tickets from the new White House Visitor Center on E St., at 15th Street. This is not the Visitor Pavilion on the Ellipse. The closest Metrorail station is Federal Triangle (blue and yellow lines). Tickets are timed from 10 a.m. until 12 noon.
Advance tickets are not available. They are issued on the morning of the tour only, on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8 a.m. One person may obtain up to six tickets. The ticket counter closes at noon, or earlier if the supply for that day is distributed. As the number of tickets for each day is limited, it is advisable to arrive early.
Each ticket indicates the time when that tour begins at the bleachers on the Ellipse. After receiving tickets, visitors may leave the area but should return in time for a Park Ranger to escort them from the Ellipse to the White House. Groups arriving by bus during the ticket season should use the "bus zone" ticket area; the westbound curb lane of Constitution Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets, Northwest. Beginning at 8 a.m. on tour days, National Park Service personnel board buses parked in the zone and distribute a timed ticket to each person on the bus. About one-third of each day's tickets are set aside for group tours. As with individual public tickets, the bus zone closes at noon, or earlier if all tickets have been distributed. Buses may not remain in the zone after tickets have been issued. It is advisable to arrive early. Again, once inside the House, the self-guided tours usually take 20 to 35 minutes.
People in wheelchairs, or with other mobility disabilities, on the self-guided tours, should use the northeast gate on Pennsylvania Avenue, and with up to six members of their party, are admitted without waiting in line and without tickets. The Library and Vermeil rooms on the ground floor are not viewed when entering at the northeast gate. Photos and a text description of these rooms will soon be available to visitors using this entrance.
The annual Easter Egg Roll festivities are scheduled on Monday, April 17th, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Children ages 3 until 6 are admitted to the South lawn, with accompanying family. Activities for other ages are on the Ellipse, just south of the White House.
The 1995 Spring Garden & House tour will be held on a weekend in April. Saturday hours are usually 9 a.m. until 12 noon and 2 until 5 p.m. Sunday hours are 1 until 5 p.m. The event is first-come, first-served; no advance tickets nor group reservations are used.
Armed Forces Day is observed on Saturday, May 20th, 1995, with admission to active-duty U.S. military and families only from 7 until 10 a.m. Regular public tours are held as scheduled from 10 a.m. until 12 noon.
On Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4th, 1995, tours may be held from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. Please check closer to the date for the most up-to-date information.
The 1995 Fall Garden & House tour is scheduled on Saturday, October 14th, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon and 2 until 5 p.m. and on Sunday, October 15th, from 1 until 5 p.m. The event is first-come, first-served; no advance tickets nor group reservations are used.
On Friday, November 10th, the White House is closed to observe Veterans Day. No tours are available.
On Thursday, November 23rd, 1995, the White House is closed to observe Thanksgiving. No tours are available. Tours are scheduled as usual on Friday and Saturday, November 24th and 25th.
The White House is closed on Friday and Saturday, December 1st and 2nd, in order to decorate for Christmas.
The Christmas decorations may be viewed from Tuesday, December 5th, until Saturday, December 30th, 1995.
The 1995 annual Candlelight tours of the White House are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, December 26th, 27th, and 28th, from 5 until 7 p.m. No tickets are used, nor are group reservations accepted. Please note that the Candlelight tours view the same rooms as the regular self-guided tours scheduled from 10 a.m. until 12 noon every Tuesday through Saturday.