By Alina Spezio

Everyone is welcome to enjoy Philadelphia parks and recreation centers! One great way to have a blast this summer is to have a picnic or barbecue with friends and family. 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 the perfect 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. Leave no trace of your event.
    • 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. Be sure to leave the picnic area clean for the next visitors.
    • If you barbecue, dispose of coals properly and do not dump hot coals or ashes on lawn areas or by trees. Coals can harm the trees and landscaping. Extinguish coals with water and wrap coals in foil. Place the wrapped coals next to a trash can.
  3. Keep your dogs leashed at all times.
  4. Park in designated parking areas only. Do not drive or park on the grass.
  5. Pack a picnic basket! We recommend you bring sunscreen and other sun-protective gear, sports balls and games, and healthy snacks.


  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. Urinate in public.
  7. Partake in unauthorized vending.

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

Find a park or recreation center near you!