Picnicking

Picnicking

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 grills. (Most preserves have hot-coal containers for charcoal.) Alcohol is always prohibited.

 

Places You Can Reserve

The Forest Preserve District also has shelters and areas you can reserve for your exclusive use, many with grills or electricity.

Permits

You can purchase picnic permits online 24/7 up to four full calendar days in advance. 

For other options, download our picnic area permit application (PDF) or call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. through Aug. 30. Phone reservations must be made at least three full business days in advance.

 

Locations & Fees

G Built-in charcoal grill (charcoal and lighter fluid not included)
E Electricity
F Fireplace (no outside firewood)

Fees are nonrefundable regardless of the reason you cancel (even for the weather), but you can change your reservation once up to two weeks in advance over the phone for an additional $5.


Forest Preserve



Amenity


Shelter  
Capacity

Area  
Capacity

DuPage
Resident


Nonresident

Blackwell          
North Shelter GE 50 100 $60 $75
South Shelter G 50 100 $55 $70
East Shelter G 50 100 $55 $70
West Shelter —  50 100 $45 $60
Picnic Area
 —

300
$70
$90
Burlington Park          
       Shelter
G
25
25
$55
$70
Churchill Woods          
Shelter G 100 100 $100 $120
Central Picnic Area  — 50 $35 $45
West Picnic Area
 —

50
$35
$45
Cricket Creek              
Shelter
 —
50
50
$45
$60
Greene Valley          
East Shelter  — 50 100 $45 $60
West Shelter
 —
50
100
$45
$60
Herrick Lake          
East Shelter GE 100 100 $105 $130
West Shelter G 50 100 $55 $70
South Shelter F 50 50 $45 $60
West Picnic Area


150
$35
$45
Hidden Lake          
Shelter
GE
50
100
$60
$75
Mallard Lake          
Shelter
 —
50
100
$45
$60
McDowell Grove            
North Shelter F 25 25 $45 $60
Central Picnic Area 
 —

150
$35
$45
Pratt's Wayne Woods          
Shelter
G
100
100
$100
$120
Salt Creek Park          
Shelter
G
100
100
$100
$120
Songbird Slough          
Shelter

50
100
$45
$60
Spring Creek Reservoir          
Shelter

50
50
$45
$60
Springbrook Prairie          
Shelter
E
50
100
$50
$65
St. James Farm          
Pavilion
E

150
150
$250
$350
Wood Dale Grove          
North Shelter 50 100 $45 $60
South Shelter
G
50
100
$55
$70
York Woods          
Shelter
G
100
100
$100
$120

 

Need a Special-Use Permit Instead?

Per the General Use Regulation Ordinance, several activities require more than picnic permits to reserve sites. They require special use permits, which you can't purchase online. These activities include fundraisers for charitable, humanitarian, or benevolent causes; contests; training programs or exercises; shows; exhibits of 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.

To request a special use permit, call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 at least two full calendar weeks in advance.

 

Grills & Canopies

If you have a picnic permit, you can rent a Forest Preserve District canopy or grill (if available) at select sites to use the same day.

You can set up a private canopy at certain locations, too, but need to pay an extra fee if your canopy is over 200 square feet.

To rent a canopy or grill or request to set up your own canopy, call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 at least three full business days before your event.

Forest Preserve District Canopy
20' x 30', 75-person capacity, includes setup/takedown
DuPage resident     $325 per day
Nonresident             $375 per day

Forest Preserve District Grill
2’ x 5', includes setup/takedown but not charcoal or lighter fluid
DuPage resident     $75 per day
Nonresident             $90 per day

Private Canopy
To set up an approved private canopy over 200 square feet, you need Forest Preserve District approval and are responsible for contacting JULIE to ensure you set it up in the correct location.
DuPage resident     $10 per day
Nonresident             $12 per day

 

Picnicking Rules & Regulations

For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, you must follow these rules and regulations.

  • If you you have a permit for a shelter or picnic area, as the permit holder, you must be 21 or older and remain on site.

  • Do not bring alcoholic beverages into the forest preserve; they are strictly prohibited.

  • Keep your site clean and dispose of trash in the appropriate garbage or recycling containers.

  • Stay with your pets at all times. Always keep them leashed and quiet, and pick up any pet waste.

  • Do not start any ground fires.

  • Do not bring or use horseshoes, piñatas, egg-toss games, water balloons, animal rides, dunk tanks, moon walks, musical performers, disc jockeys, stages, tents or trampolines.

  • Use generators, stereos and similar equipment only at volumes that do not disturb other visitors.

  • Follow all Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ordinances, state statutes and administrative orders. The Forest Preserve District may modify these rules and regulations at any time.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!

Register
Reserve Facility
Purchase Permit