"This is really what the White House is all about. It’s the “People’s House.” It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that's why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can." – Michelle Obama
The White House isn’t simply a home to First Families or meeting space for world leaders, it’s also known as ‘The People’s House,’ a place that should be open to everyone. And that’s why President and Mrs. Obama have made it a priority to invite young people, military families, and Americans of all ages to join them here at the White House.
The President and First Lady have sought to not only increase the number of visitors, but also enhance each visitor’s experience at the White House. The Obamas opened the China Room to public tours and tourists are frequently invited out to the South Lawn to watch the President depart or arrive on Marine One. When possible, United States Secret Service now lead guided tours of the Executive Residence in the morning, giving guests a better understanding of the history as they walk through.
Breaking down the numbers helps reveal just how many Americans from across the country have visited the White House in recent years. More than 120,000 people have enjoyed the Easter Egg Roll during this administration, including 31,313 guests from 50 states who joined the First Family in 2010. During the Spring and Fall Garden Tours, the White House invited over 120,000 guests to the South Lawn. With the popularity of the First Lady’s new Kitchen Garden, the White House started an online registration system so school groups could apply to visit the garden, and since October 2009 over 1,600 local school children have visited the garden and learned about healthy eating from White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses and the first-ever White House beehive from beekeeper Charlie Brandts. Additionally, over 20,000 guests have attended six State or Official Arrival Ceremonies for leaders of India, Mexico, China, German, Korea and the United Kingdom.
The White House is the only building in the world that is simultaneously the home of a head of state, the executive office of a head of state, and is regularly open to the public for tours. For more information and instructions on applying for a White House visit, please go to: