Background Image

Things To Do

Shelter Rentals

Lakewood Shelters A, B, C and E

These picnic shelters are no longer available for rent. They are being removed in preparation for new construction as part of the Lakewood Master Plan.

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 $80 for Lake County residents and $160 for nonresidents. Accommodations for groups of 700 or more are arranged on an individual basis.

There is a $5 fee to change the date or location after your reservation has been finalized. Permits are not refundable.

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

 
View larger map

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

Reserve online, by phone at 847-367-6640, or in person 8 am–4:30 pm, weekdays, 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 $80 for Lake County residents and $160 for nonresidents. Accommodations for groups of 700 or more are arranged on an individual basis.

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.


Special Use Permits

A special use permit is required for any event held within the Lake County Forest Preserves beyond standard public use of a preserve. Types of events include charity, running/walking, cross-country runs, filming, for profit, etc. Please fill out the request form to begin your permit process.

Special Use Permit Request Form


Picnic Services Vendor Permits

Vendors hired by permit holders to provide special activities allowed at a picnic shelter must be licensed with us for the current year. Annual or single use permits can be purchased. View our list of special activities and approved vendors. Learn how to become a licensed vendor.

Not all services are permitted at all sites. The special activities and approved vendors list does not apply for Independence Grove events. Please contact Catering by Michaels at 847-966-6555 for catered events at Independence Grove's North Bay Pavilion.


Open Area Picnic Permits

Open areas for picnics are available at most preserves on a first-come, first-served basis. Open areas are not reservable, however, a permit is required for groups of 25 or more. Fee is $50 (resident), $100 (nonresident); $10 per additional group of 10 people. Permits/fees are not required for groups under 25. Picnics with an anticipated attendance of more than 500 or certain specified activities will require a special use permit. Tents sized 10 feet by 10 feet or smaller are allowed. To inquire about purchasing an open area picnic permit, call our Public Safety Department weekdays 6:30 am–3 pm at 847-968-3404 or call the Lake County Sheriff's Department dispatch at 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger. Open area permits for Independence Grove can be purchased at the Visitors Center.


For your safety and enjoyment, please...

  • Leave nature as you find it for others to enjoy.
  • Leash and pick up litter from pets.
  • Smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of playgrounds.
  • Clean the shelter area before leaving your event.
  • Decorations and directional signs are permitted, but may not be attached to Forest Preserves signs. Use only twine or thumbtacks to attach decorations to the shelter. Do not use any forms of tape, staple guns, nails, screws or fishing line to attach decorations.  All decorations and signs must be removed when event is finished.
  • Alcoholic beverages are permitted; must be 21 years or older. No alcohol consumption within 100 feet of parking lots. Host liquor liability insurance is available but not mandatory.
  • Park only in lots. Loitering in lots is prohibited. Vehicles left after closing will be towed at owner's expense.
  • Service roads may be used for unloading and loading only. Do not leave vehicles parked on service road. If you need to use the service road, place a request on the date of your reservation for the gate to be dropped by calling Lake County Sheriff's Department dispatch at 847-549-5200 and asking to speak with Ranger Police.
  • 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.

Find Sunset Time

Preserves are open 6:30 am–sunset, daily. Find a sunset time for your desired date »


Special Facility Reservations

special-events-header

Natural Settings for Weddings, Banquets, and Meetings

Let nature create a unique setting for your next special event, whether it's a wedding, banquet, golf outing, corporate, non-profit or family gathering. A landscape painted by one of the four seasons can be yours when you treat your guests to an event at one of our premier facilities.

View special facilities