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Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.

Amy Allman
Amy Allman
Director of the White House Visitors Office

December 19, 2008

Amy Allman
Good morning and welcome to Ask the White House. Thank you for sending in questions today about tours at the White House. During this holiday season, we will welcome over 60,000 guests to see this year's Red, White and Blue Christmas decorations.

Brian, from Doylestown, PA writes:
What rooms do the tour go through in the White House?

Amy Allman
Thanks, Brian, for your question. Tours of the White House include the East Colonnade, Vermeil Room, Library, East Room, Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room, State Dining Room, and the Grand Foyer. This time of year these rooms are decorated in red, white and blue to celebrate the holidays at the White House.

Maureen, from Doylestown, PA writes:
How many visitors tour the White House every year?

Amy Allman
Hi Maureen, thanks for your question. Over 500,000 visitors tour the White House every year. You can request a tour through your member of congress and get more information on tours on the White House website /history/tours/.

Laurie, from Beaumont, Texas writes:
How does a school group get permission to tour the White House?

Amy Allman
Hi Laurie - it’s good to hear from Texas! School groups can submit a tour request to their member of congress (either House or Senate) up to six months in advance of the day they would like to tour. We welcome school groups to the White House often, and I recommend that students study some history on the White House prior to coming in order to make their tour even more beneficial. The history of the White House can be found on /history/life/video/index.html

Betty, from Rhode Island writes:
I would like to see the White House decorated for the holidays. How do I go about setting up a tour?

Amy Allman
Tours for the holidays are very popular and are requested up to six months in advance through your member of congress. 2008 holiday tours are full, but you are welcome to view pictures from holiday events and the Blue Room ornaments from congressional districts all over the country on the White House holiday website /holiday/2008/. Also, be sure to watch Barney Cam – he takes you on quite a tour of the White House!

Wayne, from Crystal City, VA writes:
Is it possible to do a holiday tour of the White House without having to go through your Senator's or Representatives office? If so, what steps need to be taken to arrange a holiday tour?

Amy Allman
Hi Wayne, thanks for writing. Tour requests have to go through your member of congress, and you can send a request up to six months in advance. Another option is to go to the White House Visitor Center located at the southeast corner of 15th and E Streets, before or after their tour. The Center is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders, as well as a thirty-minute video. Allow between 20 minutes to one hour to explore the exhibits. The White House Historical Association also sponsors a sales area. Please note that restrooms are available, but food service is not.

Amy Allman
I have enjoyed hearing from all over the country today to discuss tours and a Red, White and Blue Christmas at the White House! Visitors that come to our nation’s capital in December are also welcome to view the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse, just south of the White House. Thank you for sending in questions, and Merry Christmas!