Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Connect with us:

November 15 is Opening Day for Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations

Permits, reservations available online and in person from Forest Preserves of Cook County

information provided by Forest Preserves of Cook County

COOK COUNTY, Ill. (November 11, 2019) – The new year offers numerous opportunities for Cook County residents to come together with family and friends. From birthdays and reunions to holidays and special event gatherings, the public can head to the Forest Preserves to plan their upcoming celebrations outside while surrounded by nature.

Online and in-person permit sales for 2020 picnics, special events, and campground reservations begin at 8:00am on Friday, November 15. In-person sales will take place from 8:00am to 4:30pm at the Forest Preserves of Cook County General Headquarters, 536 N. Harlem Ave. in River Forest, or at the Dan Ryan Visitor Center, 8700 S. Western Ave. in Chicago.

Online sales will also open at 8:00am on November 15 and will remain available 24 hours a day. In addition to saving time by purchasing permits online, visitors can view information such as site availability, grove maps, and the various fees associated with grove rentals by visiting

Those planning to apply for permits in person must have a valid Federal/state issued identification card. Accepted payment methods are cash, check, or credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Purchasers should begin completing their permit application immediately upon arrival to expedite wait time, and have two or three additional locations in mind in case the first choice is not available.

Regular hours at the General Headquarters location are Mondays through Fridays from 8:30am. to 4:30pm. Seasonal hours are Memorial Day through Labor Day, Mondays through Fridays, 8:30am-6:30pm, and Saturdays 9:00am–2:00pm at General Headquarters.

Picnic permits are required for groups of 25 or more. To reserve picnic groves and request event spaces either online or in-person, patrons must first set up an account at

Permits for groups with 1,000+ attendees may now be requested. Customers may submit applications in-person at the General Headquarters location, via email at [email protected], or via fax at 708-771-1071.

In 2019, more than 7,000 permits were sold for picnics and special events. Top sites for picnics and special events include Dan Ryan Woods in Chicago, Busse Woods in northwest Cook County, and Schiller Woods in Chicago/Schiller Park.

2020 Camping Reservations

In addition to picnic permits, all 2020 camping dates are available beginning at 8:00am on Friday, November 15. Camping reservations can be made online at; by phone at (855) YES-CAMP (937-2267); or in person at Forest Preserves Campgrounds Camp Sullivan, Camp Bullfrog Lake, or Camp Reinberg during office hours from 8:30am. to 4:30pm on business days or on weekends when there are campers. For campground contact information, visit

Residents and visitors can still enjoy camping at Camps Reinberg, Sullivan, and Bullfrog Lake throughout winter; there is limited availability of heated cabins at some campgrounds in addition to tent camping and RVs. Camp Dan Beard in Northbrook is open for winter camping to large groups only.

For questions or assistance with making camping reservations, call (855) YES-CAMP (937-2267). For questions or assistance with online permit purchases, contact Forest Preserves permits staff by calling (800) 870-3666 or visit

The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal
The Lansing Journal publishes news releases from state, county, and local officials who provide information that impacts local community life. The particular contributor of each post is indicated in the byline.