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Picnicking

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has over 30 picnic shelters found in various preserves throughout  the county.  

A permit is required for all groups of 25 or more to use a shelter. The largest shelter, Bluegill Hill Shelter at Monee Reservoir, can accommodate up to 200 people. Shelter amenities vary by shelter, but all include wheelchair accessible picnic tables, grills and latrines.

If you are looking for the perfect venue for your next family picnic or celebration, search below for a picnic shelter near you.

CLICK HERE TO FIND A SHELTER

If you are interested in hosting a public event in a Forest Preserve, download the 2017 Event Application.

How to Get a Picnic Permit

Shelters and groves are available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits for rentals in a calendar year become available on the first business day of the new year. No tentative reservations are issued. 

Renters must be 18 years or older to obtain a permit. A permit must be obtained no less than two business days prior to the reservation date. 

All reservations must be made in person. Reservations are not taken over the phone. A permit can be purchased at any of the following visitor centers:

  • Sugar Creek Administration Center, Joliet 
  • Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville 
  • Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township
  • Monee Reservoir, Monee Township

For the Four Rivers Shelter in Channahon, check availability and arrange for rental by calling 815.722.9470.

Certain activities and equipment are subject to approval and may require extra fees or a certificate of insurance. Be sure to mention any extra equipment (for example, an inflatable, tent or generator) you plan on having at your function at the time of booking. 

A permit grants exclusive use of a shelter for the entire day. You may access the shelter beginning at 8 a.m. You must clean up and exit the preserve by sunset. 

Picnic Permit Fees

Picnic Shelters

Will County Resident: $60
Nonresident: $120 

Picnic Shelters with Electricity 

The District offers three picnic shelters with electricity at McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove in Channahon, Riverview Farmstead in Naperville and Joliet Iron Works Historic Site in Joliet.

  • Will County Resident: $70
  • Nonresident: $140 

Large Capacity Shelter

The Bluegill Hill Shelter at Monee Reservoir in Monee can accomodate up to 200 people. Call 708.534.8499 to check availability.

  • Will County Resident: $100 
  • Nonresident: $200 

Picnic Grove

The Monee Grove at Monee Reservoir in Monee has a capacity of 100 people. Call 708.534.8499 to check availability.

  • Will County Resident: $35
  • Nonresident: $70 

Picnic Permit Rules and Regulations

The following rules and regulations must be agreed to prior to obtaining a picnic permit. Please read if you are interested in obtaining a picnic permit. All preserve rules must also be followed while visiting a District preserve. 

READ MORE

Special Requests

Below is a list of special requests that require approval and a fee to be on site during your function. In addition to the fee, an inflatable, catering truck and portable smoker all require a certificate of insurance. 

  • Generator on site: $15
  • Generator with inflatable: $25
  • Recreation equipment: $15/piece of equipment
  • Portable smoker/commercial grill: $15
  • Catering truck: $15
  • Beverage truck: $15
  • Amplified music/DJ: $25
  • 20x20 tent: Free
  • Larger tents: $20

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