Picnic areas are a popular amenity at the forest preserves. Family and group gatherings, including reunions, graduation parties, wedding parties, and office picnics, are made all the more enjoyable when shared in the outdoors, surrounded by a peaceful, natural setting.
Picnicking Regulations and Permitting
Picnic permits are required for groups of 25 people or more. Shelters have capacities of up to 200 people. Shelter amenities vary by shelter, but all include wheelchair accessible picnic tables and grills.
Shelters and groves are available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits for rentals in a calendar year become available at the beginning of that calendar year. Rentals reserve the site for the entire day. Call 815.727.8700 to check availability. Reservations must be made at least two business days in advance of the reservation date. Picnic rentals must be made in person at one of the following Visitor Centers: Sugar Creek Administration Center
in Joliet, Isle a la Cache Museum
in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir
in Monee, or Plum Creek Nature Center
in Beecher. For the Four Rivers Shelter
in Channahon, check availability and arrange for rental by calling 815.722.9470.
Certain activities are subject to approval and may require additional fees, including the use of a generator, moon walk, dunk tank, or tents. Call 815.727.8700 for more information.
No special permission is required to have alcohol at a picnic. Alcohol is allowed in forest preserves but is prohibited inside of the District's dog parks
Frederick's Grove Shelter
at McKinley Woods - Frederick's Grove
in Channahon is unavailable for rental from November 1 through April 15 each year for safety and maintenance.
View details and photos of all shelters and groves for which the District offers rental permits.
Photograph Courtesy of Glenn P. Knoblock