Ginger Snap Crafts: 20 Must Do’s in Old Nauvoo

20 Must Do’s in Old Nauvoo

Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend? I am! We just got home from a quick trip to Nauvoo, Illinois on Monday. Then the rest of the week has been spent catching up on laundry, bills & a little bit of blogging. ha! I’m ready to have a little fun. Buuuuut while I have Nauvoo on my mind, I thought I’d share 20 Must Do’s in Old Nauvoo. I thought it would be helpful for those of you who are planning or thinking about planning a trip. It is so, so worth it! Nauvoo is one of my family’s favorite places to be in the whole world! So let’s get started!

20 Must Do's in Old Nauvoo at #churchhistory #Nauvoo #OldNauvoo

For those that have never heard of Nauvoo, let me fill you in! ha! Back in the 1840s Nauvoo was a gathering place for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They built a beautiful city from a swamp that was full of brick buildings & houses & a beautiful temple. Nauvoo means beautiful, and it truly was & is! In the late 1840s the Saints were forced to leave their homes & temple. All they could take with them had to fit in small covered wagons. They headed West & settled in the Salt Lake Valley where they could worship in peace. In the 1950s the restoration of Nauvoo began. Nauvoo is now one of the premier historical communities in the nation with over 30 historical sites to visit & tour. It is amazing. You can visit their site {HERE} for more details & information. I could of listed more….but I decided to stick with just 20 things to do in Nauvoo! ha! These are the things our family does every single time we are there ~ our favorites!

1. Nauvoo Brass Band ~ During the summer months make sure you catch a show or two from the Nauvoo Brass Band. They make their rounds around town throughout the day. My kiddos love listening & sometimes even dancing to the music. :)

nauvoo brass band

2. Nauvoo & British Pageants ~ Also, during the summer be sure to catch the Nauvoo Pageant & the British Pageant. Both are ah-mazing! I just love them both. You can find out more information & the dates & times right {HERE}.

Nauvoo Pageant

3. Oxen Ride ~ One of my kiddos favorite things to do is the oxen ride. It’s located right behind the visitor’s center.

oxen ride

4. Scovil Bakery ~ Be sure to stop by the Scovil Bakery for a yummy gingerbread cookie! Yum!


5. Geodes ~ Nauvoo is located right in the middle of one the most abundant & best geode hunting places in the world. This best place to look for geodes is near streams. We always like to hunt for them at a little road side park on the right on 96 traveling between Keokuk, Iowa & Nauvoo. We have found quite a few!


6. Stick Pulling ~ Make sure you get in a game or two of stick pulling in while you are there! ha!


7. Old Country Fair ~ During the summer before the pageant begins they hold an old country fair. My kiddos love this! They have a puppet show, pioneer games & crafts, handcart pulling, tug of war, dancing & more.


8. Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo ~ This fun skit is performed most nights in the Cultural Hall. Be sure to grab your free tickets in the Visitors Center earlier in the day. Soon all your kiddos will be saying Geeeooorrrgggeee! all the time, too! ha!


9. Nauvoo Stone Arch Bridge ~ Coming from the south into Nauvoo on Highway 96 on the left you will see a small parking lot by the Veteran's Memorial. Park there & then walk down the steps to the Nauvoo Arch Bridge. The early Latter-day Saints built this canal to help drain the swampy land around Nauvoo. It’s a great picture spot, too!


10. Old Nauvoo Burial Grounds ~ It’s worth the short drive out to visit this sacred place where the early Saints buried their loved ones. Be sure to bring some Off though! The mosquitos are no joke!


11. Pioneer Pastimes ~ My kiddos would stay here the entire time if I let them! ha! They love Pioneer Pastimes. They have pioneer games, dress up clothes, stilts & more. They also have picnic tables, so it’s a great place to stop for lunch.

pioneer pastimes


12. Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store ~ After playing at Pioneer Pastimes your kiddos will want their own hats & bonnets. ha! We always stop at the Joseph Smith Red Brick store to get those. Annnnd while you are there be sure to pick up some old fashioned rock candy & a cold bottle of root beer. :)

old nauvoo

rock candy

13. Roll Down Temple Hill ~ This is one of our favorite traditions! ha! We always have to roll down the hill in front of the temple. The evening is the best time to do this when it’s shady. :)

roll down the hill at Nauvoo

roll down the hill

14. Family Living Center ~ Be sure to stop by the Family Living Center to taste some yummy bread baked in a bustle oven, learn about coopering, candle making & weaving & learn how to make a rope. Each family gets their own piece of rope to take home as a souvenir.


15. Sarah Granger Kimball Home ~ This little home is a little bit out of the way compared to the other red brick buildings & homes, but it is so worth the drive out. It’s my favorite home in Nauvoo. The grounds a beautiful, too!

Sarah Granger Kimball home

16. Wagon & Carriage Rides ~ You’ll need to stop by the Visitor’s Center EARLY to grab your free tickets for the wagon & carriage rides. They go quick! You’ll want to do both. The wagon ride goes through town & the carriage ride is through the countryside. Be sure to meet the horses after your ride & take a picture or two!

wagon ride

carriage ride


17. Parley Street ~ A trip to Nauvoo isn’t complete without a trip down Parley Street. This is the street the early Saints rode their wagons down & then crossed the Mississippi River on their way West. We took the walk together as a family. We each took turns reading the plaques along the way.


Be sure to turn & look back as you walk down Parley Street. You can see the temple in the distance. You can really imagine what the early Saints felt as they left everything & their beautiful temple & headed West with faith.


Be sure to snap a picture of the Mississippi River when you get to the end of Parley Street.


18. The Monster Tree ~ We have affectionately named this tree “The Monster Tree”. We found it the last time we were in Nauvoo, and my kiddos just love it. It’s between the Visitor’s Center & the Outdoor Stage. You can’t miss it! On the outside it looks like this:

monster tree

Buuuuuut when you go inside through all branches it looks like this! It’s like a secret tree house! :)

monster tree

19. Carthage Jail ~ Carthage is about 30 minutes from Nauvoo. Be sure to make the drive out. You can really feel a special spirit while you are there.


20. Nauvoo Temple ~ The temple is truly our favorite part of Nauvoo! The temple is amazingly beautiful. It is just breathtaking! It’s always our first & last stop when we visit Old Nauvoo.


Don’t forget the Worldwide Indexing Event 2016 starts TODAY!
We had an indexing party to kick it off. So grab a friend & index, too!
Find more information right {HERE}. #theworldsrecords [ad]

Worldwide Indexing Event 2016 #theworldsrecords

Check out some of my favorite travel posts. Enjoy!

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Tips for Visiting the Grand Canyon


How to Survive a Family Road Trip

Design Dazzle postcard memory book at #postcards #family #vacations

Postcard Memory Book

Do you have any fun trips planned? Have you been to Nauvoo?
I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below.

20 Must Do's in Old Nauvoo at #churchhistory #Nauvoo #OldNauvoo

Thank you so much stopping by my blog!
If this is your first time visiting I’d love to keep in touch.


This post was created for Ginger Snap Crafts by Ginger Bowie.

1 comment:

  1. Plenty of things to see. Oxen Ride though will definitely please my kids. Great post. Great imagery.


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