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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a picnic permit

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has dozens of parks for picnicking.

If you want to use a pavilion or designated picnic site in a park, you need a reservation. This is called a picnic permit. Parks & Rec’s Special Events Office issues picnic permits for designated picnic sites and pavilions, and Belmont Grove.

Picnic sites in parks

Most designated picnic sites have at least three tables and a trashcan. Other designated picnic sites may have more. Picnic sites serve up to 50 people.

Picnic pavilions may have up to four to six tables and a trash can. Some pavilions do not have seating. Pavilions can hold up to 150 people. Larger pavilions can be found at Belmont Grove (see below).

Amenities like bathrooms, playground equipment, fields, and courts vary. Check the park where you want to hold your picnic to make sure it has what you need.

Reservation fees (except Belmont Grove):

  • Picnic site: $35
  • Pavilion: $140

Belmont Grove Picnic Pavilion

Belmont Grove is a special picnic facility located in West Fairmount Park. It has two pavilions, each of which can host 250 people.

NOTE: Belmont Grove Pavilion #2 is closed until further notice due to damage from a falling tree.

The Belmont Grove pavilions share access to restrooms with running water, a tot lot, and 135-car fenced parking lot. You can provide an ID to borrow sports equipment. A Park Ranger staffs the site during operating hours.

Each pavilion at Belmont Grove has eight tables, electric service, three charcoal grills, two horseshoe pits, one volleyball court, and one softball field.

Because these pavilions hold more people and have more amenities, the fees are higher.

Belmont Grove pavilion fees:

  • Family/private: Weekday $350, weekends $450, holiday weekend $550
  • Nonprofit/corporate: Weekday $650, weekends $850, holiday weekend $1,050

You may reserve multiple sites/pavilions, depending on the number of people you expect to have at your gathering.


The standard picnic permit is issued to individuals, families, nonprofit groups, or corporations who will not charge a fee or admission, or publicly advertise their event.

You must apply for an event or festival permit if you will:

  • Charge a fee or admission.
  • Advertise the event to the public.

When and where

Reservations for picnic sites and pavilions can be made in person or via the mail.

Make your reservation at least 14 business days in advance.

Permit holders will be held responsible for vandalism or damage. All permits are final as issued. No refunds for rained-out picnics.


The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation online event permitting system is no longer available. Please follow the instructions below to apply for a permit.

Print and fill out the appropriate picnic permit application form. Be sure to use the Belmont Grove Picnic Permit Application for that location.

Once the application is complete, you can mail it, or bring it in person to:

Special Events Office
Winter Street Building
2130 Winter Street – rear entrance
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Please note:

  • The office is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • The entrance is off of a small parking lot in the rear of the building (north side of Spring Street).

Use this address to find walking, biking, or driving directions online: 233 N. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Before your visit:

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