NOTICE - Due to COVID19, the office began teleworking March 17 until further notice - observing normal business hours. 

For fastest response - please email reservations@austintexas.gov.  Voicemails will be checked daily & calls returned within 1 business day. 


Information is available by featured topic to assist applicants with booking a picnic site, event facility or for coordinating a special event. 

Upcoming Events


Office and Payment Hours/Information

Hours:  Monday-Friday: 8:30 am-4:30 pm  Closed Holidays, Saturday & Sunday.         Voicemail:  512-974-6797

Payment Types Accepted:   Anytime: Online (PDF), Cash, or Money Order.  More than 14 days from the event date:  Check

  • In person/cash payments cannot be accepted effective March 17 until further notice.  Pay online!

Payment Deadlines:  If you book a site or facility today (for example), payment in full is due within 14 days.  Payments for additional permits are due at the time they are requested, and BEFORE a permit will be released. 

Booking Periods and the Lottery

General Booking Period is 6 months to 14 days in advance.  Booking calendar.  Call to book designated picnic or event facility rental sites. 

Lottery Booking      The earliest you can reserve a park/facility is 10 months in advance through the lottery.  For example, submit a lottery request in May for March dates, or December for October dates. 

The lottery submittal calendar (pdf) shows when to submit the lottery form (pdf).  After the lottery, the next period to reserve a park is 6 months in advance of the event month in the general booking period.  

Observed Holidays (No Reservation Periods) (PDF)


Applications for Events

Special Request Form Application (PDF)

  • USE FORPARK ONLY events.  For example, a public event, fundraiser with food and non-alcoholic beverages.  May NOT include alcohol sales, structures, or tent permits.
  • USE FOR:  Curfew extensions, an event at a typically non-bookable park, or public events with food vending/merchandising    May NOT include alcohol sales, structures, or tent permits.
  • NOTICE:      Special requests require review and processing time in addition to the 14 day cut off booking period for typical picnic or facility rentals.  A lead request time of 4-6 months is strongly suggested.

Austin Center for Events (ACE) Special Event Application

  • See the “Event Planning” section.  Consult with a PARD event planner PRIOR to applying.  Many parks are booked by annual reoccurring events. 
  • USE FOR: Events which require services/permits for a park AND any one (1) of the following: 
    • public safety personnel/security personnel,
    • medical support services,
    • lake/open water use,
    • use of sidewalks/streets as part of a run/walk route or similar,
    • fire inspections,
    • tents/ canopies, building structures such as stages or platforms,
    • public events where alcohol will be served or sold.

Picnic Area or Shelter Reservations

Button which links to the park online calendar.                           

Rentals start at $60 per site per day, and are between 10 am - 10 pm at most sites.  Bookings start 6 months in advance - review the booking schedule (pdf). 

Full payment is due received within 14 days from when you first book a site to confirm the reservation.  Last minute bookings require immediate payment online. 

Tips for a Successful Picnic

  1. Find a site         Picnic and Shelter Sites at a Glance (PDF)
    • See picnic site features and allowances for all sites.  Find a site that meets your needs. 
  2. See the Sites    Maps and Images 
    • Map Tip - Red icons show parks at large, green icons show reservation sites within each park. 
    • Map Tip - Switch between "map or satellite" views.
    • Map Tip -  Use the map navigate function to map a route to the picnic site!
  3. Check availability online! Select "picnic tables only" or "picnic tables and pavilion" in the features selection box.
  4. Email to book:  reservations@austintexas.gov   Voicemail - 512-974-6797.
Event Facility Reservations

Button which links to the park online calendar.         

Call in bookings (512-974-6797) start 6 months in advance - booking calendar (pdf).  You can submit the lottery form (pdf) 10 months in advance. Full payment for a reservation is due received within 14 days from when you first book a site.

Check availability online!  Select "event facility" in the features selection box to specifically see the event facilities. 

Call to book (512-974-6797) starting 6 months in advance. 

Viewings:  Facility viewings are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, Monday-Friday during normal business hours.  We do not allow weekend viewings due to rentals, and most Fridays are also booked and thus commonly not available.


Fiesta Gardens: 2100 Jesse E. Segovia Street - Excellent for small festivals and private events.

Facility Guidebook (PDF)          Facility Site Plan         Facility Grounds Plan      Driving Directions Map        Photo Gallery

 

Mayfield Cottage: 3801 Old Bull Creek Road (Next to Austin Museum of Art) - Historic garden location for small private events.  No music allowed at this site.

Facility Guidebook (PDF)          Facility Site Plan         Ground Site Plan             Driving Directions Map         Photo Gallery

 

Sparky Park Station Building:  3701 Grooms Street - Perfect for meetings/uses central to this neighborhood.  Extremely limited parking.  30 people or less.  NO amplified sound allowed.

Facility Guidebook (PDF)          Facility Site Plan         Photo Gallery 

 

Zilker Clubhouse: 200 Zilker Clubhouse Road (off Rollingwood Drive) Perfect for small events of approximately 125 people.

  • CLOSURE ALERT!  Zilker Club House is anticipated to be under construction from September 2021 - February 2022.  No rentals will be allowed during this time.

Facility Guidebook (PDF)          Site CAD Plan          Fireplace Measurements     Driving Directions Map     Photo Gallery

Special Events - Public Events, Events with Alcohol Sales or Structures

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) Office of Special Events (OSE) is available to assist with large scale event planning. Annually, Austin parks serve as the home for events, festivals and concerts which serve approximately 1 million attendees. PARD staff are able to assist and provide an overview and understanding the City’s requirements of logistical and behind-the-scenes planning to help ensure your event is safe, high quality, well-organized, and enjoyable for all of your guests.

Large scale event planning requires careful and deliberate consideration of many details including park protection, scheduling, safety and security planning, insurance coverage, road closures, special needs access, temporary permits, transportation and shuttle services, waste management and environmental measures, and much more.  Extensive advance planning is required for special events, typically beginning 12 - 6 months minimally in advance

Many events are annual.  These event in Austin Parks receive standing reservations.   The spring and fall seasons are typically fully booked by annual events.   Special events required 6 months to 1 year advance planning and require extensive advanced development by the promoter/organizer to ensure safe, and sufficient plans are procured to sustain the event.

Typical Special Event Requirements are substantial, and require extensive planning, budgeting and preparation with the expectation for the highest quality planning put into an event by the organizer.  An extensive library is available to aid in assessing capacity and planning.  Our policies and procedures section contains information on a variety of permitting topics.

The combined Austin Center for Events resource material. Topic based information can be found on the “Planing Guide webpage”.


Policies, Procedures, Insurance Information and  Permit & Technical Topic Documents

Policies, Rules, Pricing, and Holidays

Insurance - Standard Specifications

  • Insurance  (standard requirements for all public events, & possible coverages required by the park system)

Subject Topic Technical Documents for Events With Reservations

Event Related Permits

A coordinator will provide assistance during the booking process for picnic and facility sites with event related permits.  This information is provided to assist with researching requirements and steps.

 

Filming & Commercial Photography Permits

Filming and Commercial/Advertising/Product Shoots

The event office will make every effort to review and approve filming uses when a complete application is received.  The process can be affected by short lead times or at high usage parks.  In order to be best prepared, submit a detailed application 7 or more days in advance of the requested start date.  Permits are handled in the order received.  Shoots with at popular or metropolitan parks, with multiple locations, detailed needs, or large numbers of cast/crew should plan to submit requests 14 days or more in advance of the start date.

Filming Application & Location Form (PDF)

  • Location map image must be inserted into, or attached with application.

Filming Application for Filming/Shoots with Cars, Vehicles, Lifts, Wheeled Devices (PDF)

  • Use for shoots where wheeled items are proposed on unpaved areas or grass/fields.
  • Location map image must be inserted into, or attached with application.
  • Parking, driving path map image must be inserted/attached with application.

 

Mayfield Cottage and Gardens Photo Session Permit - posed/portrait photography

Concession & Commercial Use Permits
Commercial Activity requires approvals (permits).  Per City Code Chapter 8:  COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY means to advertise or provide a good, service, class, or instructional activity for compensation.  COMPENSATION means any money, thing of value, payment, reward, tip, consideration, donation, gratuity, or profit paid to, accepted by, or received by a person.  APPROVAL means a permit, reservation agreement, or other written document that evidences an authorization by the department.   Fines:  $100-$500 fine, $250 minimum fine during a special event, Class C Misdemeanor.

 

Commercial Use Permits

  • Commercial Use Permits are offered to health and fitness consultants, dog trainers, bicycle tour groups (non-motorized), and other outdoor professional service providers within City parks for a duration of 6 months. .
  • Permit Holders must create regularly scheduled activities that enhance park experience and adhere to process, fees, and requirements.

Temporary Concession Permits

  • Temporary Concession Permits are offered for vending/sales of recreation oriented merchandise within City parks for a duration of 1 day to 6 months.  Food/beverage/recreation merchandise, and performing artist permits are most commonly requested.
  • Concession permits are NOT issued for vendors to vend outside or near permitted special events where organizers typically coordinate vendors inside their permitted grounds and spaces.

Permanent Concessions (existing or new requests)

  • The department has established permanent concessions that provide recreation services that include canoe, kayak, rowing, stand-up paddle board rental and instruction, food and beverage sales, golf, excursion boats, and a mini-train.

Youth Instructional Contractors

  • The Department utilizes Independent Contract Instructors to provide unique recreational services. Programs/activities may be designed for preschoolers, school age children, teens, adults, families and seniors.

 

 

Quick Links - Take Me To.....

 

Quick weblink to picnic site section of the webpage.Quick weblink to facilty site section of the webpage.Quick weblink to concession permit section of the webpage.Quick weblink to fitness group permit section of the webpage.