Picnic Rentals


Small Outdoor Gathering Reservations at Picnic Sites

The most recent Health Orders allow small outdoor gatherings as follows:

  • Small Outdoor Gatherings of up to 12 people, from no more than 1 household, or
  • Outdoor Meal Gatherings of up to 6 people, from no more than 1 household.
  • Gatherings of no longer than two hours (you are able to reserve one site from either 10am-12pm, 1-3pm, or 4-6pm).
  • Permit holders are responsible for to ensuring that the picnic tables are sanitized before and after use.
  • Built-in shared BBQs at ALL our picnic sites are currently closed and may not be used per Public Health orders.

For more details on requirements go to the Health Order and Directive for Outdoor Gatherings.

You can book a picnic reservation online through the Picnic Area DirectoryAlternatively, you can call us at 415-831-5500, Monday-Friday from 10am-2pm, with the exception of holidays. As the public health crisis continues to evolve, we are only able to process reservations three weeks in advance of your event date. Please email questions to RPDReservations@sfgov.org.

We offer picnic sites with a variety of different amenities. Multiple sites include barbecue grills Picnic tables and red barnand tables perfect for birthday parties and social gatherings while larger open spaced sites can appeal to larger groups and special activities like a jumper-house or kickball. Picnic areas are available in Golden Gate Park, John McLaren Park and in Neighborhood Parks.

How to Apply for a Picnic Permit

Review the website’s menu of park locations under the Picnic Directory or Destination Map to discover important details and availability of each site. Once you’ve found the perfect location for your event, contact our office by calling 415-831-5500, or by visiting our Permits Office at the Pioneer Log Cabin, 1 Stow Lake Drive in Golden Gate Park, during office hours. We’re open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Thursdays, when we’re closed from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Picnic Area Directory Opens in new windowPicnic Area Map

When to Reserve

Reservations for the month of January through Saturday, February, 29, 2020 begin Wednesday, November 13, 2019. 

Reservations starting Sunday, March 1, 2020 begin Wednesday, January 29, 2020, provided that you may not book more than six months in advance. If you require reservations further in advance, please visit our page on Special Events. 

Site availability may vary and we do book up quickly so please plan to reserve a site early!

Picnic and Impact Fees 

View the Picnic Impact Fees (PDF)

Large Picnics

Picnics of 100 or more need to complete a Large Picnic Application Form (you might want to contact us first to confirm availability).

Dolores Park

Dolores Park Picnic applications must complete an online application or call 415-831-5500.

Cancellations & Changes

Any changes or cancellations must be made at least 10 business days prior to the event date and will be subject to a fee of the higher of $29 or 20% of the reservation fee. For refunds (as opposed to a credit to your San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD) account), there will be a refund fee of the higher of $14 or 20% of the refund amount. There are no changes or cancellations within 10 business days of the event date.

Special Events

Special events are handled by a different area of our office and require a different form to be completed. Any event doing any of the following is considered a special event:

  • Advertising that it is open to the public
  • Amplified sound
  • Needing to confirm date/time/location more than 6 months in advance
  • Requiring special set ups of stages, tents, barricades fences or other items
  • Selling food, alcohol or merchandise
  • Selling tickets

If you will have one of these, then please complete a Special Event Application.