Under sunny skies with mere wisps of clouds overhead, the first lady said the emphasis of the 136th Easter Egg Roll would be keeping young people active and healthy. She spoke from the White House's Truman Balcony, flanked by the president and an Easter bunny.
Moments later, the president read Maurice Sendak's children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are" to a group of youngsters, growling and gnashing his teeth and at one point challenging them to a staring contest.
The White House was expecting 30,000 to take turns participating in the event on the South Lawn.
The president and his family celebrated Easter with a visit to a church a few miles from the White House. The Obamas received a standing ovation during the welcome, with dozens of worshippers gathering around to shake the Obamas' hands and take pictures.