DuPage County forest preserves offer hundreds of picnic tables and inviting places to spread a blanket. Ground fires aren’t allowed, but you can bring a grill. (Most preserves have disposal bins for hot coals.) Remember, though, that alcohol is always prohibited.

In addition, picnickers can reserve shelters and areas, rent canopies and grills, or set up private canopies at select sites for their exclusive use.

Reservable Picnic Areas

Permits and Fees
Purchase a picnic permit online. For other options, download an application with instructions, or call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Fees are per site per day. Click on the shelter or area name for photos; click on the forest preserve name for general information. 

GBuilt-in charcoal grill
(charcoal and lighter fluid not included)
You can't brings outside firewood but can request firewood when you get your permit

Forest Preserve Shelter Capacity Area Capacity DuPage Resident Nonresident 

North shelter GE50100     $60$75
South shelter G50100     $55$70
East shelter G50100$55$70
West shelter 50100$45$60
Picnic area — 300$70$90

Churchill Woods
Shelter G100100     $100$120
Central picnic area — 50$35 $45 
West picnic area — 50$35 $45 

Cricket Creek
Shelter 5050$45$60

Greene Valley
East shelter 50100$45$60
West shelter 50100$45$60
Herrick Lake 
East shelter GE100100$105$130
West shelter G50100$55$70
South shelter F5050$45$60
West picnic area  150 $35    $45

Hidden Lake 
Shelter GE50100$60$75

Mallard Lake
Shelter 5050$45$60

McDowell Grove
North shelter F2525$45$60
Central picnic area  150$35$45

Pratt's Wayne Woods  
Shelter G100100$100$120

Salt Creek Park 
Shelter G100100$100$120

Songbird Slough

Shelter 5050$45$60

Spring Creek Reservoir
Shelter 5050$45$60

Springbrook Prairie
Shelter E50100$50$65

St. James Farm
Pavilion 150150$250$350

Wood Dale Grove
North shelter 50100$45$60
South shelter G50100$55$70

York Woods
Shelter G100100$100$120

Grills and Canopies
You can rent canopies and grills at select locations, if available. Fees are per day. To rent one or to get a permit to setup your own canopy, call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

District Canopy
20’ x 30’, 75-person capacity, includes setup/takedown

DuPage resident$325

District Grill
2’ x 5’, charcoal and lighter fluid not included, includes setup/takedown 

DuPage resident$75

Private Canopy (over 200 sq. ft.)   

DuPage resident$10

Picnicking Rules and Regulations

  • A reserved area is for the exclusive use of the permit holder’s group.
  • Ground fires are not allowed, but visitors can bring their own grills and use the on-site hot coal disposal containers.
  • Groups should make holiday reservations as early as possible in the calendar year for the best selection.
  • Groups can change reservations up to two weeks in advance, but changes are subject to a $5 fee.
  • The Forest Preserve District is not responsible for cancellations due to weather conditions, and permits are nonrefundable.
  • The District prohibits alcohol in all forest preserves.
  • Prohibited items include horseshoes, piñatas, egg-toss games, water balloons, animal rides, dunk tanks, moon walks, musical performers, disc jockeys, stages, tents and trampolines.
  • Events such as the following require a special use permit per the General Use Regulation Ordinance; fundraisers for a charitable, humanitarian or benevolent cause, contests, training programs or exercises, shows, exhibit dramatic performances, plays, acts, motion pictures, acrobatic feats, bazaars, sporting events, musical events, ceremonies, children's day camps or any public meetings, assemblies, demonstrations, or parades, including, but not limited to, drills or maneuvers, rallies, picketing events, public speeches or addresses, group marches or political meetings. Special Use Permits cannot be booked online. Please contact Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 for more information.  
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©2016 Forest Preserve District of DuPage County