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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 have four to six tables and a trashcan. They 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.

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.

Who

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:

  • Online
  • In person

Make your reservation at least 14 business days in advance.

How

Apply online

Apply for a permit via our web app.

Follow the instructions to:

  • Create an account.
  • Apply for a permit.
  • Pay the permit fee online.

Be sure to:

  • Choose ‘Picnics & Private Events” and then “Picnics” as your event type.
  • Answer all questions about the event you’re planning.
  • Select a date, location, and time.
  • Accept the terms and conditions.

Apply or pay in person

Visit the Special Events Office in our new location:

Winter Street Building
233 N. 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

The office is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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

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