Group Planning

We are delighted to have your group visit Nauvoo Historic Sites. Careful planning and coordination with Guest Services will help you have a better experience while here. If your group includes 25 or more people, please complete our Group Planning Checklist and fill out the Group Request form to tell us about your group and your plans. We will contact you to discuss reservations, activities, and other scheduling matters. We are not able to arrange lodging, food, or transportation.

If your group consists of fewer than 25 people, you do not need to contact us for scheduling, but you may still review the information on this page to aid you in planning your visit to Nauvoo.

Group Planning Checklist

1. Read Group Guidelines

Please review the material below or download the PDF:

 Nauvoo Historic Sites

We have more than 30 historic sites to visit. To improve your experience, please divide your larger group into smaller ones of 10-15 individuals. If you spread out across the different sites, each visitor will have a better opportunity to learn and interact with guides. Please help them schedule their visits so they do not all arrive at some sites together. All youth groups must have adult supervision. Please remember that missionaries serving at the sites are assigned to conduct tours there. We ask you not to take over the site to conduct discussions or classes for your tour group.

Visitors’ Center
The Nauvoo Visitors’ Center features exhibits centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ and the history of Nauvoo. The Visitors’ Center has two theaters featuring introductory films and other movies.These can be scheduled by request. See complete PDF list of movies.

Ticketed Live Shows
Between Memorial Day and mid-August, we present two live shows that require tickets, “Just Plain Anna Amanda” (30 min.) and “The Promise” (70 min).  Show tickets are on a first-come-first-served basis and may be picked up at the Visitors’ Center Tuesday to Monday, beginning at 9:00 am on the day of the performance.

Large groups have the option to reserve tickets based on availability. Requests should be submitted after January 1 for that calendar year using the Group Request Form at the end of this checklist, or by calling the Reservation Office at 217.577.2610.

Summer Pageants
The Nauvoo and British Pageants will be performed from July 6 – July 31, 2021. Tickets are not required, and all performances offer open seating. You may reserve a block of seats for your group on the day of performance after 2:00 pm. Learn more about reserving seats for the pageants.

Oxen
Oxen rides are available on a first-come-first-served basis, with a limit of 8 to 10 seats per ride. Reservations are not available and tickets are not required. The ride is short and other group members can find interesting facts about history and about the oxen on nearby reader boards while they wait. The ride is located just to the northwest of the Visitors’ Center.

Wagon & Carriage Rides
The Wagon Ride provides an overview of Nauvoo Historic Sites and begins on the west side of Main Street, south of the Family Living Center. The Carriage Ride takes visitors a short distance into the countryside while guides share faith-promoting stories about the past. This ride begins on the northeast side ofthe Visitors’ Center. Tickets are required for both rides during Pageant season only and are picked up at the Visitors’ Center after 9:00 am the day of your desired ride. Reservations are not available, and seating is limited for each ride. Tickets are time-specific. Learn more about wagon and carriage rides.

Gathering Places for Group Activities (subject to approval)
Availability of any venue is not guaranteed, especially between May-July.  Be sure to make your request as early as possible.

  •  

Learn more about gathering places

Carthage Jail
Carthage is located approximately 23 miles from Nauvoo. Guests tour the jail on a first-come-first-served basis. Reservations are not available. Tours are 30 minutes long and begin every 10 minutes.Tour size is limited to 25-30 individuals. During July, lines may form; please plan accordingly. The peaceful grounds around the Visitors’ Center provide space while waiting for group members to complete the tour. We invite you to maintain a reverent attitude while on the grounds.

Joseph Smith Historic Site
Several historic sites adjacent to Nauvoo Historic Sites are owned by the Community of Christ Church, including the Mansion House, the Smith Family Cemetery, Red Brick Store, and more. These sites are important to Latter-day Saints, and tours are given by Community of Christ Church. Please contact the Community of Christ Visitors’ Center regarding hours, tour fees, or other group activities on their property.

If you visit these properties without taking the tour, please do not conduct classes within the cemetery; take your discussions beyond the fence after visiting so that scheduled tours may be unobstructed and to preserve the reverence of the site. Also, yield to all scheduled tours when visiting the Red Brick Store. Entrance to other sites requires a tour. The Community of Christ welcomes visitors and we encourage you to include these sites in your planning. Consult their website for more information.

Community
Please recognize that Nauvoo is a small town of about 1,000 residents. Each summer, tens of thousands of visitors come to see Nauvoo Historic Sites, and this can be overwhelming. You can help all visitors and residents have a better experience by respecting local property and following some simple rules of courtesy:

  • Pay attention to your group noise, especially after curfew (10:00 pm weekdays; 11:00 pm weekends).
  • Remain on sidewalks when walking in town and stay off private residential property.
  • Take time to visit local businesses; however, be considerate of small spaces when traveling as a group.
  • Always provide youth with appropriate adult supervision.
  • Clean up after yourselves if you have outdoor activities, and do not litter at any time.
  • Obey posted signs and Nauvoo City traffic ordinances.
  • Consider bringing flashlights, as not every street is well-lit, and it becomes very dark at night.

 

Parking
Please park cars in designated parking areas only. Following local ordinances will prevent being ticketed.

Food and Other Services
As you consider meal planning, be aware that Nauvoo has limited eating facilities but is always striving to provide services that will help you enjoy your visit. There are no eating establishments that can handle large groups on short notice. Please advise restaurants if you plan on bringing a large group to their business so they can prepare for you.  For current information, please contact the Nauvoo Tourism Office at 217.453.6648 or visit their website.

Buses & Large RVs
Nauvoo’s narrow streets were not designed for buses and large recreational vehicles. During summer months, having many large vehicles on the road can present a challenge for local traffic. For this reason, Nauvoo classifies RVs of 30 feet or longer as buses and requires that they use the same designated routes and parking areas as tour buses. Please pay careful attention to these essential rules. When you contract with a bus company for travel here or drive your own large RV, instruct all drivers to always follow bus routes and park only in designated bus parking areas. Please remind drivers that GPS units will direct them to use roads that are not fit for bus traffic. This can lead to damage for both roads and vehicles. Download a map of the approved routes for Bus & RVs.

Church Services for Latter-day Saints
Sacrament meetings begin at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm in the Nauvoo Stake Center (380 N. Durphy St., Nauvoo). Sacrament meeting for local missionaries begins at 8:00 am Visitors may attend any of these meetings. Keep in mind that multiple large groups may be attending during the summer months, so please plan accordingly.

Spiritual Preparation
Sometimes stakes planning a visit to Nauvoo Historic Sites for their youth try to focus the young people’s attention by giving them “treasure hunt” lists of items to look for in Nauvoo. Missionaries serving in the sites have often noticed that some youth come there only to check items off their lists and do not pay attention to the history of the sites or consider the significance of what is taught there. Stakes that prepare youth to seek and feel the influence of the Spirit at Nauvoo Historic Sites usually are more pleased with their experiences here.

Service Projects
If your group would like to complete a service project, please contact Nauvoo Facilities Management for more information, or go to JustServe.org for more ideas.

2. Consider which Activities & Performances your group would like to attend.

3. Determine if any gathering places are needed

4. Fill out the group request form