Reservations are now being taken for DuPage forest preserve picnic shelters, which open July 10! Due to COVID-19, capacity is limited to 50 people regardless of picnic shelter or area capacity.
DuPage 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.
Picnicking During COVID-19
- Groups cannot exceed the posted capacity for the shelter or area. Even the largest shelters and picnic areas cannot have more than 50 people.
- Sanitize picnic tables when you arrive or have us do it for a $65 fee. Rangers will sanitize tables no more than an hour before your set arrival time.
- You are responsible for providing hand sanitizer, disinfectants or table coverings for your event.
- Portable and pit toilets are open, but flush restrooms will not be open until late August.
- Practice social distancing. If your guests cannot be 6 feet apart they should wear masks that cover their mouths and noses.
Permits & Fees
Outdoor enthusiasts who want to picnic with more than 25 people or ensure a shelter or picnic area reservation must apply for a picnic permit at least three full business days in advance. You 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 one week in advance through Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 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.
View the picnic shelters and areas photo gallery, or view the photos in the links below.
Reservable Picnic Areas Per Day
Note: Due to COVID-19, capacity is limited to 50 people regardless of picnic shelter or area capacity.
G Built-in charcoal grill (Charcoal and lighter fluid are not included.)
F Fireplace (Firewood is provided. Outside firewood is not allowed.)
Several event types and unique requests — such as ceremonies, church services, 5K fundraisers, walkathons, classes, trainings, tournaments, photo or movie shoots, etc. — — require more than picnic permits. They require special-use permits, which you must request at least four full calendar weeks in advance through Visitor Services at 630-871-6421. For more information, see the Special-Use Permits page.
Canopies & Grills
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.