Enjoy a picnic or barbecue at a Parks & Rec site this summer! 

A picnic or barbecue with friends and family is a great way to enjoy a summer day. Philadelphia Parks & Recreation offers many sites where you can host a picnic. To keep our spaces safe and clean, Parks & Rec and the Philadelphia Police Department enforce rules for parks, playgrounds, and recreation centers. 

Please follow the picnicking dos and don’ts below:


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. 
  • Picnic site reservation costs start at $35. 
  • Learn how to apply for a picnic permit.
  • For more information, 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.) Partake in unauthorized vending. 

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