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Picnic Shelter Rentals FAQ

Questions & Answers

Q: How late does a shelter rental go?

The rental fee covers until sunset. 

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Q: Is alcohol permitted at a shelter rental event?

Yes, alcoholic beverages are permitted; must be 21 years of age. You may not consume any alcoholic beverage upon or within 100 feet of any parking area. Host liquor liability insurance is available but not mandatory.

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Q: Can I have a dunk tank, petting zoo or pony rides at my shelter rental?

No, these items are not allowed.

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Q: Can there be a band at the event?

Permission to have music varies by site. Check the web pages of each shelter to learn what is allowed at individual sites.

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Q: Does food require a permit?

Caterers must be licensed by the Forest Preserve. Food brought in by the renter, or delivered by a restaurant, does not require a licensed vendor if it is served by the renter.

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Q: Do I need a Special Use Permit?

A Special Use Permit is required for any event held within the Forest Preserves beyond standard public use of a preserve. Types of events include charity, running/walking, cross country runs, filming, for profit, etc.

Your event may require a Special Use Permit if it meets any of the following criteria:

  1. The event will utilize areas of the preserve not normally reserved in conjuction with a pavilion or shelter rental.
  2. The event will require special services or considerations.
  3. The event is collecting a fee.

If you think you may require a special use permit, please fill out this request form to begin your permit process.

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