Permits & Reservations


We welcome your bus or group tour, or school field trip! While our museums are self-guided, your group may be met by a park ranger who will introduce you to the site on the day of your visit. To plan a group visit, send an email or phone (570) 340-5259, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm.



A Special Use Permit is a short-term activity that takes place in a Park area and provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large. The National Park Service may permit a special park use providing the activity will not cause derogation of the Park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the purpose for which the park was established. Primary concern will be given to potential resource damage and to anticipated disruption of normal public use.

Steamtown National Historic Site requires that a Special Use Permit be obtained in advance. All permits require an application fee, reservations, and other fees, including the Park Entrance Fee. For further information and applicable forms on these uses, please click on the desired link. All application forms are in Adobe PDF format.

Steamtown National Historic Site considers permits for special uses. Some types of events that would require a Special Use Permit are cultural programs, picnics, festivals, wedding ceremonies, events, film and photography projects, static displays, etc.

When your application is under review, the office of the Superintendent will look at multiple criteria, including whether or not there is a meaningful association between the park and the event, and how the event contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park. Other criteria that will be factored in would be if we have programs or events during the requested time and if we have sufficient staffing.

Types of Permits


A Basic Permit is required for but is not limited to: Special events, wedding ceremonies, festivals, cultural programs, contractor/public utility work, displays (art, railroading items, etc.) Wedding photo- and videography also require a permit (scroll forward to "Filming and Photography Permits).

Please click here for a Standard Permit application; if you've been advised that you may use the "short form," click here. For wedding ceremony requests, please use the Standard Permit application.

For Fees and payment information, please review Payment Information

Most permits require a certificate of general liability insurance, carried by the Permittee showing the U.S. Government, National Park Service, Steamtown National Historic Site as additionally insured. The minimum amount is $1,000,000 per occurrence, and $2,000,000 aggregate but will determined on a case by case basis and dependent on the risk involved. Contact the Special Park Uses Coordinator if you have further questions.

View a sample insurance certificate and instructions.

If insurance is required, it will be due before your event is reserved on our calendar.

Filming and Photography PERMITS

Basic Filming or Photography

Personal use of filming/video is permitted by any and all visitors, filming/video news crews at breaking news events, and National Park Service filming/photography done pursuant to a cooperative agreement or contract. Weddings and/or wedding ceremony photo- and videography requires a Special Use Photography permit.

Commercial Filming or Photography:

The definition of Commercial Filming or Photography includes but is not limited to, filming with a cast and crew, the build-up of sets, use pf pyro-technics/special effects, the request of extended closures to the park. This type of activity requires applying for one of two Special Use Photography permits. Weddings and/or wedding ceremony photo- and videography requires a Special Use Photography permit. Click below for guidelines and applications; for wedding photography, complete the short-form application (NPS 10-931).

For specific guidelines and applications, please click HERE.


Most permits require a certificate of general liability insurance, carried by the Permittee show the U.S. Government, National Park Service, Steamtown National Historic Site as additionally insured.The minimum amount would be $1,000,000 per occurrence, and $2,000,000 aggregate. Contact the Special Park Uses Coordinator if you have further questions.

View a sample insurance certificate and instructions.


Certain activities may trigger the need for the Permittee to post a refundable performance (damage) bond. The amount of the bond will be equivalent to the estimated cost to the NPS for clean-up, repair or rehab of resources that could potentially be impacted by the permit activities. At the conclusion of the permit, the bond will be returned to the Permittee after costs of clean-up, repair, or rehabilitation are deducted.

Commercial Use Permits

A "Commercial Visitor Service" means accommodations, facilities and services the NPS has determined to be necessary and/or appropriate for public use and enjoyment of a Park area provided to Park area visitors for a fee or charge by person. The fee or charge paid by the visitor may be direct or indirect as part of the provision of comprehensive visitor services.

Section 418 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998, Public Law 105-391, authorizes (but does not require) NPS, upon request, to issue Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA) to persons (referring to individuals, corporations, and other entities) to provide commercial services to Park area visitors in limited circumstances. CUAs, although used to authorize commercial services to Park area visitors, are NOT Concession Contracts. They are intended to provide a simple means to authorize suitable commercial services to visitors in Park areas in the limited circumstances in the legislation.

The National Park Service does not allow sub-contracting under this authorization and authorizations cannot be transferred.

The CUA must provide commercial liability insurance against claims arising out of or resulting from the acts or omissions of the CUA operator or the CUA operator's employees, agents, or contractors, in carrying out the activities and operations required and/or authorized under the CUA. The CUA Specialist must receive verification of general liability (and transportation insurance, if applicable) coverage before a CUA can be issued and the coverage must be maintained as current during the term of the authorization. Additional insurance may be required as determined, based on the event and activities associated with this type of permit.

Please also note that any food being sold on NPS property requires a valid/current "ServSafe" certificate. ( as well as a copy of a valid and current food license.

Other Federal, state, and local laws may be required and additional permits may be required.

Event requests involving alcohol shall be determined based on event and activities and, if permitted, additional insurance will be required.

For Fees and payment information, please see the Payment Information section.

Project Review

All requests are subject to the Project Review process. This is the opportunity for all departments to review staff needs and whether the park is available to allow the application request. Project Review takes at least four weeks, and the process does not guarantee that your event will be approved.


·All advertising, branding, and signs on site must be approved by the NPS and/or Steamtown NHS superintendent prior to your event.

·Signs cannot consist of more than 30% advertising.

·Large events require at least one Park Ranger present during the event. Additional coverage may be required, depending on the nature of the event.

·Events in sensitive areas require special approval.

·You may not enter most areas closed to the general public.

·If you propose a large event, the Project Review process may take more time.

·We require composting and recycling at all events.

·Sound/noise cannot exceed 60 decibels (db) between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

·Unmanned aircraft, regardless of whether the operation is for recreational, hobby, business, or commercial purposes, is not allowed, and will not be permitted.

·When applying, remember to attach maps, diagrams, script pages or storyboards to assist the park staff in evaluating your request.

·Any activity that has the potential to damage or significantly impact or alter park resources are prohibited. This includes altering, damaging or removing vegetation; use of insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides; smoking in buildings, on boardwalks, or in vegetated areas.

·Writing on or discoloring any natural feature or structure is prohibited.


The following activities are restricted and must be approved on a case-by-case basis:

The discharge of blank ammunition and all black powder weapons; the use of children or animals;mechanical or pyrotechnic special effects; stunts; amplified music/sound; filming/photography inside interiors of government administrative work areas;activities on roadways; access to areas during non-visitor use hours.


"Congress shall make no law respecting religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The courts, however, have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect the public and park resources. Therefore, all First Amendment activities require Special Use Permits, and the National Park Service may regulate the time, location, number of participants, use of the facilities, and number and type of equipment used, but not the content the message presented. Some examples requiring permits are:

·Distribution and/or sale of printed matter

·Religious services

·Public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.

·Collecting signatures for petitions

While there is no fee for a permit to exercise a First Amendment activity, a Special Use Permit is still required and those without a permit will be asked to leave.

To apply, please click HERE (Form 10-930) for an application. Please see instructions on how and where to submit an application.

Also, review the Superintendents Compendium for more details concerning park rules.

Payment Section:
The permit office cannot accept credit cards. All permit applications must be paid by checks, cashier checks, or money orders made payable to "National Park Service." Final payment cost will be determined after we receive your permit application. Below are some of the fees you may incur.

Application Fee: $50.00.This is due before your event is reserved on our calendar. This fee is non-refundable and does not guarantee that you can have your event at Steamtown NHS.

Cost Recovery Fees: To be determined contingent on activity, location, time of day, Ranger support, applicable labor costs, utilities, security, and other factors. Each permit will be reviewed on a case by case basis and you will be notified of an estimate of fees and permittee will be billed at the conclusion of the permit.


Please be sure to provide as much detail as possible in order for a timely response. Submitting information regarding maps, dates/times, equipment, locations will help speed up the review process.


Mail applications and application fee payments to:
Steamtown National Historic Site
Attn: Special Use Permit Coordinator
150 South Washington Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503-2018

Fax: 570-340-5328

NOTE: Application fees must MUST be received with or before your application can be accepted for review. Applications are not accepted via email as they contain confidential information and email is not secure (encrypted).

All Special Use Permits and Commercial Use Authorizations are reviewed by the park Superintendent and the Management team and will be issued on a case-by-case basis. The entire process takes as little as four weeks but could require a longer review period dependent on the nature of the request. Please plan accordingly. If you have questions or concerns, contact us.

Thank you for your interest in Steamtown National Historic Site, a unit of your National Park Service.

Last updated: October 26, 2017

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Mailing Address:

150 South Washington Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503-2018


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