Trails are open. Please help us keep trails safe and don't create ruts that will freeze and be dangerous. Dippers and Shooting star are cleared of trees as of 12/19. There are trees reported on Long Creek and Riverside. Please report additional trees. Shower houses are closed for the season.

Weddings at Whiterock

The River House and Dance Barn Complex

Situated along the banks of the Middle Raccoon River in the heart of the Whiterock Valley, the River House Dance Barn, gardens, and prairies provide breath-taking scenery and serve as a gorgeous backdrop for the most beautiful day of your life. Originally constructed in 1899,  the barn was converted to a dance barn during Prohibition. It has been said that there has never been a “bad party” here! And judging by the stunning location, that isn’t hard to believe!

For more information and to arrange a visit, please contact Guest Services at (712) 790-8221 x 1 or


The River House Barn and yard can accommodate special occasions for up to 400 guests.

Outdoor seating includes 24 picnic tables that can seat 144 people. Covered seating is available for 235 people by utilizing multiple areas including the shelter house (90), River House Basement (30) Barn Basement (50) Barn Dance Floor (45) and Barn Loft (30). For groups of 200 or more, we highly recommend renting a tent in case of inclement weather. There is plenty of space in the yard for the tent while still enjoying the magnificent views and gardens.

The basement of the River House has accessible restrooms for event guests and a commercially licensed kitchen that you or your caterer can use.

Wedding ceremonies can be arranged in various locations around the yard, in the barn or at an alternative setting on Whiterock Conservancy’s landscape. Hay bales are available as seating in addition to the folding chairs. The inside of the barn has a capacity of 125 seated or 150 standing on the dance floor and loft. An additional 50 people can be seated in basement, but they would not have a view. A PA system is encouraged if you use basement seating.

General Information

  • Whiterock Conservancy staff must be on site at all times.
  • Event parking is available in the campgrounds, just across from the River House. A temporary loading/unloading zone will be provided during setup and for dropping off guests with special needs. However, due to fire code no vehicles can be parked in the River House drive.
  • Alcohol may be served. You will be responsible for making arrangements and serving all alcohol. We can supply ice, tub and troughs for keeping drinks cold.
  • The barn is a small, enclosed area in which sounds travels so only a limited speaker system is needed. Electricity is available in the barn and yard.
  • DJs, bands, and sound systems can be accommodated in the barn or on the yard.
  • Woodland Carriage House is a required part of the rental due to its proximity to the River House and Dance Barn. This makes a perfect location for dressing and staging any decorations. It is also a wonderful place for wedding party members to stay so they need not drive after the reception.
  • Prior evening rehearsal reservations are encouraged, but not required. It helps to get a feel for what the next day’s preparations will require.
  • We recommend reserving Oakridge, a spacious and private farmhouse that sleeps 13 or more. It is located within close proximity to the River House and makes a great place to open gifts the following day.

Suggested Rental Hours

Set-up hours: $50 per hour  • Rental hours: $100 per hour

Rehearsal Evening Rental: 4 pm – 10 pm

Includes use of kitchen and basement areas;  refrigerator space; charcoal or gas grill use; serving platters and utensils; bathrooms; dishwashing supplies and space; garbage cans and liners.

Event Day Rental: 10 am – Midnight

Includes picnic tables; barn tables and metal chairs for ceremony and their set up; extensions cords; and items listed under rehearsal evening rental.

Parties end at midnight. All food needs to be packaged and put away and all trash cleared that night – it’s not called the “Raccoon Valley” for no reason. Additional cleaning needs to be done by 10 am next day to avoid additional fees (cleaning service available; see price list).

Next Day Clean-up: 8:00 am – 10:00 am

All decorations including signs, flowers, staples, string, tape, etc. and food, supplies, and other personal possessions must be removed. Please double-check the yard and barn for litter, discarded cigarette butts and food spills.

Further details about cleaning expectations are provided in list format. Additional charges will be applied if area is not cleaned appropriately.

Items and Services Available

Items included in River House & Dance Barn Rental:

  • A movable metal trellis
  • 50 metal folding chairs
  • PA System
  • 8 white plastic tables – 6’ length
  • 24 picnic tables –  average length 6’, sits 6
  • Some platters, serving bowls and serving utensils

One approved person will be available at all times to answer questions, set up, coordinate changes, and help before and during event as requested. Additional help will be scheduled at the discretion of management based on the number of guests and special requests. Additional charges will apply and will be discussed prior to the event.

Additional Items and Services Available (see price list)

  • Ice can be provided and restocked for you throughout the event.
  • Scheduled staff help to assist caterer with food service/clean up, cake cutting, etc.
  • Gator assisted transportation for your guests from the parking area to the River House and Dance Barn for your guests.
  • A limited number of linens are available for rent including:
    • 24 green check picnic table cloths
    • Hunter green tablecloths available for barn tables
    • 75 white folding chair covers
  • Large dinner plates, dessert plates and silverware for approximately 150.
  • Tractor drawn hay rack rides, canoe and kayak floats and other activities can be arranged.

Housing Accommodations

We will work with you on holding rooms for your guests to reserve before the event date. We suggest you help to assign family members different accommodations to make most efficient use of space. We can lodge 36 people overnight.  We also have rustic and RV camping accommodations.

We suggest that when assigning family members to housing that you consider putting wedding party members/college friends in Woodland, extended family members in Oakridge, a family with small children in Hollyhock, older family members in the bed and breakfast and reserving the Roswell Suite or Hollyhock Cottage for yourselves.           

  • Oakridge Farm House- 5 rooms; 10 beds (3Q & 7T); 2 Bathrooms; Full Kitchen, spacious living room
  • Woodland- 2 rooms, 4 beds (3Q & 1T); 1 Bathroom; Full Kitchen
  • Hollyhock Cottage- 2 rooms, 4 beds (2Q & 2T); 1 Bathroom; Full Kitchen
  • Home Farm- 5 rooms; 3 rooms have Queen, 1 room has King and 1 room has 2 Twins

*2-night minimum stay on weekends required for Oakridge, Woodland & Hollyhock Cottage.

We also welcome overnight stays in our three campgrounds. Tents, campers, RVs, and horse trailers are all welcomed. The Oak Ridge Campground has electrical hookups and a shower house; the Star Field campground for tents has a shower house; the River Campground is located across the street from the Dance Barn.

Feel free to ask about other Hotel/Motel accommodations in Carroll , Jefferson & Perry.

Catering Your Wedding

If arranged in advance, Whiterock Conservancy can provide freshly roasted Niman Ranch hog. Our staff will roast a fresh hog the day of your event on site and hand carve it as your guests are served. We provide the buns and BBQ sauce. All you need to do is make arrangements for your side dishes, drinks, dessert and cake. The average hog can feed 200-300 people; all leftovers will be packaged for you to enjoy later.

You can also do all of your own food or you can work with an outside caterer. In that case, additional cleaning staff will be assigned in advance to assist with catering and/or clean-up.

For more information and to arrange a visit please contact Guest Services at (712) 790-8221 x 1 or