Picnicking

Picnicking

DuPage County forest preserves offer hundreds of picnic tables and inviting places to spread a blanket. Ground fires are not allowed, but you can bring a grill. Most preserves have hot-coal disposal bins. Alcohol is always prohibited.

 


Permits & Fees

Outdoor enthusiasts can reserve a picnic area online 24/7 up to a year in advance. Fees are nonrefundable regardless of why you cancel (even for weather), but you can change your reservation one time up to two weeks in advance through our Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for an additional $5.

For other options, download our picnic area permit application (PDF) or call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248. Phone reservations must be made at least three full business days in advance. 

herrick-lake-west-picnic-shelter

 

 

Reservable Picnic Areas Per Day

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
Sand Pond Shelter GE 50 100 $60 $75
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

G Built-in charcoal grill (Charcoal and lighter fluid are not included.)
E Electricity
F Fireplace (Firewood is provided. Outside firewood is not allowed.)

 

Special-Use Permits

Several activities — ceremonies, fundraisers, contests, photo and movie shoots, sporting and musical event, speeches, etc.  — require more than picnic permits. They require special-use permits, which you must request at least two full calendar weeks in advance through Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information, see the General Use Regulation Ordinance page

 

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  and includes setup and takedown

Select preserves

DuPage resident

Nonresident

 

 


$325 per day 

$375 per day

Private Canopy (over 200 square feet)

To set up an approved private canopy over 200 square feet, the Forest Preserve District must first approve the request. You are responsible for contacting JULIE to ensure the private canopy is set up in the correct location.

Select preserves

DuPage resident

Nonresident








 

$10 per day

$12 per day

District Grill (includes setup and cleanup)

2’ x 5' and does not include charcoal or lighter fluid

Select preserves

DuPage resident

Nonresident



 

 

$75 per day

$90 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 18 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