By: Amy Hopf, Digital Content Associate

Everyone is welcome to enjoy Philadelphia parks and recreation centers! One great way to do so is to have a picnic or barbecue with friends and family.

In order to keep these spaces safe and clean, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Philadelphia Police Department enforce rules for parks, playgrounds, and recreation centers.

Please follow the picnicking dos and don’ts below to keep our public spaces welcoming and clean for all to enjoy.


  1. Reserve a spot!
    • While you do not need a permit, preference will go to those with a reservation.
    • Picnic permits are required for groups of over 50 people.
    • The picnic reservation cost starts at $35.
    • Read more about how to get a picnic permit.
    • For more info, call the Parks & Rec Special Events office at 215-685-0060.
  2. Carry out what you can.
    • Dispose of your trash in the appropriate container on site.
    • If you are hosting a larger group, please bring your own heavy duty trash bags and be sure to leave the picnic area clean for the next park users.
    • If you barbecue, dispose of coals properly and do not dump hot coals on lawn areas.
  3. Keep your dogs leashed at all times.
  4. Park in designated parking areas only. Do not drive or park on the grass.


  1. Play unauthorized amplified sound (including DJ music).
  2. Use unauthorized inflatable bounce houses or amusements.
  3. Smoke.
  4. Use/bring ATVs.
  5. Swim in natural bodies of water or anywhere without a lifeguard present.
  6. Publicly urinate.
  7. Partake in unauthorized vending.

Thanks for doing your part so that everyone can enjoy their visit to Philly parks and recreation centers!

View our map of parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, and more!