When Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th president,of the U.S. he started the tradition of the Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. The tradition has since carried over to Hayes’ estate in Fremont, Ohio. Every year, kids show up at Spiegel Grove with hardboiled, colored eggs in hand to participate in egg related contests and scarf down Easter goodies. This year, it’s March 22. So, that’s one afternoon. What about the rest of the year?
The estate, part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, has the original gates from the White House and is where Hayes and his wife Lucy are buried. Other points of interest are the presidential library— the first ever presidential library, in fact. Also, there are Hayes’ and his wife’s 31-room mansion, and a museum that chronicles Hayes’ life, presidency and Ohio history to add to a trip here.
For some reason, unknown even to me, (and I’ve written about this place before), I left the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center out of my U.S. presidents with Ohio connections round-up post. So, if you’re going to head to the spots where U.S. presidents lived, head here. It’s part of the Ohio Historical Society’s several landmark holdings, and one of the state’s signature places.
Our son cried all the way through his first Easter egg hunt. Some older kid had jumped the gun and began to scoop up plastic eggs before the official start. Our son was right behind him and didn’t quite get why we stopped his pell mell trip across the park. He was 2 years-old and refused to pick up another egg. He even ignored the chocolate candies wrapped in the bunny foil. We picked up those for him until the sound of his crying was too unbearable. Afterward, he sobbed all the way through the duckling parade and refused to wear the duckling costume he made with his sister’s help out of a paper shopping bag. Hey, all kids ages four and under were in paper bag duck costumes, so, no, he wasn’t mortified. He was just in a mood.
If you feel inclined to take your children to a major Easter egg hunt, here are three offerings that are bigger than a neighborhood park’s. First, there’s the historic Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn the Monday after Easter. This year it is April 9. As always, the event is free. The only requirement is that you have a child with you that is 7 or under and that you have a pass from the U.S. National Forest Service. Here is a link to the forest service’s website that gives information about the how to get tickets.
One of the largest egg hunts is at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina. The children and eggs are in the thousands. In Fremont, Ohio at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, there is an Easter Egg roll similar to the one at the White House. Hayes is the U.S. President one who started the White House tradition. The Hayes Easter Egg Roll is held on the center’s lawn and includes many more activities. For admission, bring three hardboiled, dyed eggs.