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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 accessible 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

BOOK A SHELTER ONLINE

If you are interested in hosting a public event in a Forest Preserve, download the 2019 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. This means that reservations for the upcoming weekend must be made by close-of-business (4 p.m.) on Wednesday.

All reservations must be made in-person or online. 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 (This visitor center only permits the shelters and grove at its location.)

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

A permit grants exclusive use of a shelter for the entire day. You may access the shelter beginning at 8 a.m. and must exit at the following times based on the season of your reservation:

  • Summer: 8 p.m.
  • Fall/Spring: 6 p.m.
  • Winter: 4 p.m. 

Some conditions apply when bringing certain equipment or activities into the preserve. Any inflatable bounce house being brought to the preserve must be provided by a District Approved Vendor:

  • The Bouncy Store Party and Event Rentals, Inc. – 630.554.2499 
    14 Stone Hill Rd., Oswego, IL 60543 
  • Bounce City Party Rentals, Inc. – 708.829.2652 
    14517 Samuel Adams Dr., Plainfield, IL 60544 
  • Party Hoppers, Inc. – 815.603.4377 
    16002 S River Rd., Plainfield, IL 60586 
  • Moontastic Bouncers – 8155 .514.8836 
    13050 S Elizabeth Dr., Plainfield, IL 60585 
  • Happy Bouncers Party Rentals – 815.272.4213 
    442 Arnold Ave., Romeoville, IL 60446 
  • Bounce Houses R Us – 630.903.6800 
    771 S. Swain, Elmhurst, IL 60126 
  • JMN Jumpers LLC – 855.566.5867 
    40 North West Avenue, Bourbonnais, IL 60914 
  • Bounce Town – 630.820.8460 
    126 Kirkland Circle, Oswego, IL 60543 
  • Dino Jump LLC – 800.383.3466 
    325 N Marley Rd., New Lenox, IL 60451 
  • Bounce My House – 708.586.7360 
    5800 W. 105th St., Oak Lawn, IL 60453 

The District offers two shelters with electricity, Kerry Sheridan Grove and Riverview Farm.

Picnic Permit Fees

Picnic Shelters

Will County Resident: $70
Nonresident: $140 

Large Capacity Shelter

The Bluegill Hill Shelter at Monee Reservoir in Monee can accommodate up to 200 people. Call 815.727.8700 or go online 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: $40
  • Nonresident: $80 

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

ADDITIONAL AMENITIES

The following ameneties are allowed at any picnic shelter with the stated stipulation:

  • Generators: Limit of 2.
  • Extra tables and/or chairs: Must stay in vicinity of the shelter.
  • 10x10 tents: Limit of 4.
  • 20x20 tents: Limit of 2.
  • Portable latrines: Limit of 1. Must be placed in the parking lot without blocking any ADA parking.
  • Additional grills or smokers: Any grill or smoker on a trailer must remain in the parking lot.
  • Live music not being played through a speaker: Music must not be audible beyond the vicinity of  the shelter.

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