Trying to book a student group tour into the White House can be a daunting task, especially if you try to do it on your own. I suggest utilizing a professional student group tour operator, like Kaleidoscope Adventures, to help you through the process.
When booking a White House tour, you must realize because of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001, accessibility for group tours has greatly diminished. Obtaining clearance to tour the White House is not impossible, but can be somewhat overwhelming because of strict security laws. The only way you can book a student group tour of the White House is by advance arrangement through your Member of Congress or Senator. Each Congressman is given a limited number of White House appointments per year for groups from their districts. It is essential to begin your request process at least six months up to one year in advance to ensure your tour will be approved. To access a list of current Senators and House of Representatives, please click on the links below.
When calling or emailing your Congressman, please request the URL link to the online White House Tour Request Form. We suggest not only filling out this form but making a follow up call to the congressional tour coordinator to notify him/her of your completed request. Furthermore, if you have a parent, friend, etc. who has any personal connection with one of your representatives or senators, please have he/she make a personal call on your behalf. You may be able to secure your tour quicker this way. Lastly, you will need a list of participants and their social security numbers at the time you request your White House tour. Once submitted, you will not be able to add people or change names. However, if you do need to make name changes to your list, you will be required to cancel your original request/list and submit a new one. Unfortunately, you will lose your original submit date which may reduce your chances in securing a tour of the White House.
Tours are arranged for groups of ten (10) or more and are available from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Most tours are self-guided, unless you have a tour director with you on your trip. Be prepared for strict security clearance upon arrival.
Other popular museums, government buildings (Capitol Building, etc.) and student experiences, specifically The Holocaust Museum and student participation in the wreath-laying ceremony (not just observing) at Arlington Cemetery, are very difficult to schedule. Reservations are required as early as possible. It is highly recommended to book six months to one year in advance. When planning your itinerary with your Kaleidoscope Adventures Travel Planner, be sure to mention if these experiences are a top priority for you and your students. Plan and act early!
For over 18 years, Kaleidoscope Adventures has organized student trips to Washington DC for thousands of schools. We are experts in booking student tours for band, choral and orchestra ensembles, history and science groups, class trips, sports tours, cruises and more. We specialize in planning complete travel services for any student group. We plan everything from A to Z, thus giving you peace-of-mind. We even give you a tour director who helps you every step of the way during your trip.
Put your trust in us to meet all of your student travel needs. Why not give your group an exciting experience to Washington DC? Let us bring your classroom to life and create lasting memories for your student trip.