Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Today's Sunset:
7:36pm


   

Activities at your forest preserves

activities

Picnic Shelter Rental

Our picnic shelters and open areas are popular locations for baptisms, family reunions, wedding receptions, company picnics and other special events.

Reserve online below, by phone at 847-367-6640, or in person weekdays from 8 am to 4:30 pm at our General Offices at 1899 West Winchester Road in Libertyville.


 

Shelter Permits

For exclusive use of a picnic shelter, regardless of group size, a permit is required. All shelters provide a parking area, picnic tables, drinking water, toilets, and at least one grill. Most offer electricity. Many have playgrounds, playfields and trails nearby. Smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of playgrounds. 

Permit fees for picnic shelters are based on group size and event date, and begin at $50 for Lake County residents and $100 for nonresidents. Accommodations for groups of 700 or more are arranged on an individual basis.

Note: There is a $5 fee to change the date, location or number of people (subject to availability) after your reservation has been finalized. Permits are not refundable

Open Area Permits

Open areas are available at most preserves on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 50 people. Open areas are not reservable, however, a permit is required for groups of 25 to 50 people. Fee is $49 (resident), $93 (nonresident). Permits/fees are not required for groups under 25. Tents sized 10 feet by 10 feet or smaller are allowed. For most preserves, open area permits can be obtained from a Ranger if present on site, or by calling 847-549-5200 and asking to speak to a Ranger. For open areas at Independence Grove, permits can be purchased at the Visitors Center

Reserve a Shelter

Check shelter availability and purchase permits online below, by phone at 847-367-6640, or at our General Offices at 1899 West Winchester Road in Libertyville, weekdays from 8 am to 4:30 pm. 

Special Activities & Licensed Vendors

Any vendors hired by the permit holder to provide special activities allowed at a shelter, including catering, must be licensed with us for the current year. View our list of licensed vendors. Learn how to become a licensed vendor.

Other Information

  • All preserves are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Preserve gates open at 6:30 am and close at sunset. Find sunset time for date desired.
  • Picnic tables are 6 feet by 3 feet and seat six adults. 
  • Wheelchair accessible picnic tables are 8 feet by 3 feet with a 6-foot bench.
  • At some sites, water is not available from mid-October to May 1.

Picnic Shelter Permit Fees

Weekends and holidays (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day):
1-50 people Resident Nonresident
All shelters except: Fox River Large Pavilion, Half Day Shelter A, Hastings Lake Shelter A, Lakewood Shelter E, Old School Shelter C $60 $120
1-100 people Resident Nonresident

Fox River Large Pavilion, Half Day Shelter A, Hastings Lake Shelter A––maximum capacity 200 from May 1–Oct 31; 70 from Nov 1–Apr 30.

$100 $160
1-200 people Resident Nonresident
Lakewood Shelter E, Old School Shelter C $180 $240
For each additional group of 10 people add $8
 
Weekday and off-season reservations (after Labor Day through Friday before Memorial Day):
1–50 people Resident Nonresident
All shelters except: Fox River Large Pavilion, Half Day Shelter A, Hastings Lake Shelter A, Lakewood Shelter E, Old School Shelter C $50 $100
1–100 people Resident Nonresident
Fox River Large Pavilion, Half Day Shelter A, Hastings Lake Shelter A––maximum capacity 200 from May 1–Oct 31; 70 from Nov 1–Apr 30. $85 $135
1–200 people Resident Nonresident
Lakewood Shelter E, Old School Shelter C $155 $205
For each additional group of 10 people add $7
1–500 people
Independence Grove North Bay Pavilion. For pricing, contact Picnics, Inc., a Catering by Michael's Company, at 847-966-6555.

 

Picnic Shelter Locations

Shelter Name Maximum Capacity Features, Amenities and Allowed Activities
Fox River, Port Barrington: Reserve shelter. Shared drinking fountain. No playground.
Large Pavilion 250 Picnic Tables (32), Fireplace, Flush Toilets, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent, Band/DJ.
Small Shelter 100 Picnic Tables (14), Catering, Moonwalk, Band/DJ.
Grant Woods, Fox Lake: Reserve shelter. No playground. No band/DJ.
Shelter A
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Greenbelt, North Chicago: Reserve shelter. No band/DJ.
Shelter A
150 Picnic Tables (20), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter B
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter C
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter D

200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Catering, Tent.
Half Day, Vernon Hills: Reserve shelter.
Shelter A

150 Picnic Tables (20), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent, Band/DJ—must reserve shelters A and B.
Shelter B
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent, Band/DJ—must reserve shelters A and B.
Shelter C
125 Picnic Tables (16), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent, Band/DJ.
Hastings Lake, Lake Villa: Reserve shelter.
Shelter A
200 from May 1–Oct 31; 70 from Nov 1–Apr 30

Picnic Tables (18), Heated Restrooms, Fireplace, Heaters, Fishing, Playground, Catering, Band/DJ. NOTE: maximum capacity is 200 from May 1–Oct 31; 70 from Nov 1–Apr 30 when shelter is enclosed.

Heron Creek, Long Grove: Reserve shelter. No band/DJ.
Shelter A
50 Picnic Tables (7), Service Road Access, Playground, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter B
100 Picnic Tables (12), Service Road Access, Playground, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Independence Grove, Libertyville: Reserve shelter
North Bay Pavilion 500 For availability, pricing, amenities, or to make a reservation for this venue, please contact Picnics, Inc., a Catering by Michael's Company, at 847-966-6555. The vendors licensed with us cannot be contracted for functions at Independence Grove that are booked through Catering by Michael's. A separate caterer-approved vendor list applies to Independence Grove's North Bay Pavilion and Visitor Center. For Visitor Center inquiries, call Events at Independence Grove at 847-247-1111.
Lakewood, Wauconda: Reserve shelter. No band/DJ.
Shelter A
150 Picnic Tables (20), Fishing, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent. 
Shelter B
150 Picnic Tables (20), Fishing, Playfield, Catering, Tent. 
Shelter C
150 Picnic Tables (20), Fishing, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.

Shelter E

700 Picnic Tables (88), Flush Toilets, Service Road Access, Fishing, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Nippersink, Round Lake: Reserve shelter. Drinking fountain only, no water. No playground or band/DJ.
Shelter A
50 Picnic Tables (8), Service Road Access, Fishing, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter B
50 Picnic Tables (8), Service Road Access, Fishing, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter C
150 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Fishing, Sand Volleyball Court, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter D
100 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Fishing, Sand Volleyball Court, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Old School, Mettawa: Reserve shelter. No electricity.
Shelter A
150 Picnic Tables (20), Service Road Access, Playfield, Catering, Tent.
Shelter B
150 Picnic Tables (20), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Catering, Tent.
Shelter C
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Band/DJ, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter D
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Fishing, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Catering, Tent. 
Shelter E
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Fishing, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Van Patten Woods, Wadsworth: Reserve shelter.
Shelter A
200 Picnic Tables (25), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Band/DJ, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter B
125 Picnic Tables (16), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Playground, Band/DJ, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter C
125 Picnic Tables (16), Service Road Access, Playfield, Band/DJ, Horseshoe Pit, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.
Shelter D
100 Picnic Tables (14), Service Road Access, Horseshoe Pit, Playfield, Band/DJ, Catering, Moonwalk, Tent.


Reserve a Shelter

Use the search form below to check availability for your group's size and event date. You may also indicate a specific preserve if you'd like. Then choose a shelter from the search results to begin the reservation process.

PLEASE NOTE: The below search function does not include the Independence Grove North Bay Pavilion in Libertyville.

 




In order to best assist you in finding a shelter that meets your needs, we need some basic information about your event. We ask you to enter the expected number of people so we can show you shelters that are large enough to accommodate your party. We ask for a specific date so we can show you shelters that are still available. You'll be able to modify your search if you're not satisfied with the first set of results.

Check Picnic Shelter Availability

* Desired Date: / / Choose a date
          
 



Picnicking is permitted at most Forest Preserves. Use the form to the left to search for a picnic shelter, or call 847-367-6640 for details about permits, fees, special uses and locations.