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Picnic Reservation

Service
Many of Portland's parks have picnic tables available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you wish to guarantee a picnic site, you will need to make a reservation in advance.

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COVID-19 Related Information

Permitting conditions are subject to change based on guidance from health authorities and elected officials. Please visit our website https://www.portland.gov/novel-coronavirus-covid-19 for more information.


General Information

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has 200+ parks and gardens, and many of these locations have individual picnic tables available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. Groupings of three or more tables are often reservable and available for gatherings of family/friends or company/organization. To guarantee your picnic date and location, we recommend making a picnic reservation in advance. Please check the Picnic Brochure for locations, fees, policies, insurance, and reservation information. Parks not included in the brochure may be reserved under a Special Use Picnic permit. 

If your event will include a wedding ceremony, please see Wedding Reservation.

A picnic permit is required if any of the following apply:

  • When you want to guarantee use of a picnic site.
  • When you are setting up any equipment - barbecue grill, chairs, tables, canopies, volleyball net, or other sporting equipment.
  • If you will have any alcohol present.
  • If you are planning for 150 or more people to attend.

Additional Details

  • Park area maps are located on our website and online reservation system.
  • All picnic site reservations are from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, except where more specific details are listed in the tables on pages 3-4 of the Picnic Brochure.
  • Picnic shelters have a capacity of 100 people, unless there are more than 10 tables.
  • If you would like to book a picnic permit less than ten (10) days in advance, please call our office.
  • Payment may be made by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover, as well as by cash or check (payable to the City of Portland).

Notice for picnics in Washington Park
Portland Parks & Recreation picnic sites within Washington Park may be impacted due to the construction of the Reservoir Improvement Project by the Portland Water Bureau. The construction may close streets as well as parking throughout the park.


Simple Picnic Permits

A Simple Picnic is a gathering of family/friends or company/organization in a single reserved picnic facility without exceeding the stated site capacity (typically 8-10 people per table). Event attendance is free - no sales, donations, or monetary exchange is required for people to attend.

Simple Picnic permits allow you to bring in the following items for your event:

  • Food including potlucks and host-provided. Residential-style barbecue grills are allowed. Catering is allowed as long as no additional equipment or access to the park is needed.
  • 1-2 tables.
  • 1-2 pop-up canopies (no larger than 10’x10’, no stakes are allowed in a park).
  • Small speakers heard only within the immediate picnic area (except in Quiet Parks - see Picnic Brochure).

There are 2 types of Simple Picnic permits:

Picnic without Alcohol

This type of event does not allow any alcohol. Attendance can be up to and including the site capacity as stated in the Picnic Brochure.

Picnic with Alcohol and 49 People or Less

This type of event must not exceed 49 attendees of any age. Bring Your Own Beverage (BYOB) alcohol is allowed for beer and wine only. No kegs or one person serving alcohol for all is allowed.

If your event falls outside the scope of a simple picnic, see section Special Use Picnic Permits.


Reserve a Simple Picnic for 2021

PP&R will begin taking general picnic reservations for the 2021 season on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. 

Starting February 16, make your reservation request for a Simple Picnic one of four ways:

Online - At our Online Reservation Center.

By phone - Call the Customer Service Center at 503-823-2525, and select option 1. Phone-in hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.

By Fax - Send the Parks Picnic Worksheet Application to 503-823-2515.

By mail - The Parks Picnic Worksheet Application and payment may be mailed to Portland Parks & Recreation Customer Service 1120 SW 5th Avenue, First Floor, Portland, Oregon 97204. Please make checks payable to the City of Portland.  

Please note that our office is currently closed to the public and in-person reservations are not possible at this time. Emergency closure information.


Special Use Picnic Permits

A Special Use Picnic permit is required when your event is outside the scope of a Simple Picnic. Any of the items listed below will change your picnic permit to Special Use:

  • You'd like to have Bring Your Own Beverage (BYOB) beer and wine present and more than 49 people of any age.
  • You’d like to provide alcohol (hosted, catered, kegs, etc.).
  • You’d like to bring items not included in Simple Picnics (i.e. volleyball net, inflatables/bounce house, more than 2 tables or 2 pop-up canopies).
  • You’d like to drive a vehicle into the park beyond public parking spaces and city streets to pick up or drop off items for your event.
  • You’d like to have a band or DJ.
  • You'd like to reserve an area of the park that is not a designated picnic facility.
  • You'd like to have a food cart/truck.
  • Your event will have sales, donations, or monetary exchange.
  • Your event will exceed venue capacity as stated in the Picnic Brochure.

Once your event is booked, staff will send you a Special Use checklist outlining all the items required before your permit can be issued. This may include a site map, insurance, portable restrooms, special approval and payment of additional fees.

If your event will be open to the general public, see Public Events.


Reserve a Special Use Picnic for 2021

PP&R will begin taking general picnic reservations for the 2021 season on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. 

Special Use Picnic permits must be booked with a Customer Service Representative and may require approval from the Park Supervisor or from the Office of Community & Civic Life. Payment of the application processing fee does not guarantee that the permit request will be approved. If a request is denied, your application processing fee and noise variance fee are non-refundable. Special Use Picnic permit requests must be made at least 15 days in advance of your event to avoid rush fees. Application fees increase when you book less than 15 days in advance (see the detailed fee information on page 5 of the Picnic Brochure).

Starting February 16, make your reservation request for a Special Use Picnic one of three ways:

By phone - Call the Customer Service Center at 503-823-2525, and select option 1. Phone-in hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.

By Fax - Send the Parks Picnic Worksheet Application to 503-823-2515.

By mail - The Parks Picnic Worksheet Application and payment may be mailed to Portland Parks & Recreation Customer Service 1120 SW 5th Avenue, First Floor, Portland, Oregon 97204. Please make checks payable to the City of Portland.  

Please note that our office is currently closed to the public and in-person reservations are not possible at this time. Emergency closure information.


Insurance Requirements for Special Use Picnics

Insurance may be required for your Special Use Picnic permit and may be purchased from a variety of sources:

  • The City has arranged to make liability and property coverage available for those using city facilities or venues through Tenant Users Liability Policy (TULIP). This insurance is designed specifically for users of city facilities and venues so it meets our agreement requirements, and is often more cost-effective than options listed below. Coverage is provided for the majority of events, however large scale events, or events with dangerous or risky activities may be excluded.
  • Many homeowners’ policies offer coverage for an event, or a special rider can be purchased.
  • Many insurance agencies can put together what is called a special events policy.

Issued Permits

Upon approval and payment of all applicable fees, you will receive a link to your issued picnic permit via email. A permit confirms your reservation and must be on-site during the event to be valid. Please print out the permit and take it with you to your event, or have a digital copy available for viewing. You can access your permit online any time by logging in to your online account.

You can request the following items to be sent to you through the mail:

  • Issued Permit and Site Map We can mail you a copy of your issued permit and site map so you can have it on-site during your event. Please remember a permit is required to be on-site during the event to be valid.
  • Reservation Signage We provide signs by request only. It is your responsibility to display signs on the day of your event to notify park users that the area is reserved. We do not allow signs to be attached to trees or placed on stakes in the ground (sandwich boards are recommended). A member of your group may wish to monitor the site prior to the beginning of your event.
  • Vehicle Access Pass If requested and approved for your Special Use Picnic, a vehicle access pass will be mailed to you, or you may pick up the pass from our office. See page 6 of the picnic brochure for more information on vehicles.
    • Please note that our office is currently closed to the public and staff will mail the vehicle pass to your address on file in advance of your event. If you would like the key mailed to a different address, please contact our office at least 2 weeks prior to your event. Emergency closure information.

If a key is required for access or amenities as indicated in the Picnic Brochure, it may be picked up from our office Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm. The key may be picked up no more than two (2) business days prior to your event and requires a $100 refundable key deposit payable by cash, check or Visa/MasterCard/Amex/Discover card. For a full refund of the key deposit, the key must be returned no more than two (2) business days after the event. 

  • Please note that our office is currently closed to the public and staff will mail the key to your address on file in advance of your event. If you would like the key mailed to a different address, please contact our office at least 2 weeks prior to your event. You must mail the key back to our office after your event to receive a full refund of the key deposit. Emergency closure information.

Please remember:

  • Smoking is not allowed on Portland Parks & Recreation property per Title 20.12.110.
  • You are required to remove all garbage generated by your activities from the park. We recommend you bring trash bags and/or cans.

If you need to cancel or make any changes to your issued permit, please contact our office as soon as possible. See page 5 of the Picnic Brochure for refund guidelines.


ADA Accessibility

Look for the ADA symbol in the tables on pages 3-4 of the Picnic Brochure. For more detailed information on accessible amenities, parking, and access points, please call the Customer Service Center.

Contact

PP&R Customer Service Center

Permits, registrations, reservation, general park questions

phone number503-823-2525

Monday - Friday, 8:00AM - 5:00PM (closed 12:00PM-1:00PM)

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