NOTICE - A modified operations plan is currently in place.  Our office will be teleworking March 17 until further notice - observing normal business hours. 

For fastest response - please email  Voicemails will be checked daily & calls returned within 1 business day.  For fastest response, please email inquiries.

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)


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 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, health permits, public events where alcohol will be served or sold.
  • Learn about park special event planning
Picnic Area/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, or read more.  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:   Voicemail - 512-974-6797
Event Facility Reservations

Button which links to the park online calendar.         

Call in bookings start 6 months in advance - booking calendar (pdf).  Full payment for a reservation is due received within 14 days from when you first book a site. 

Check the online calendar for availability.  Select the park name from the "location list", and then select "event facility" in the "features" box to narrow results to ONLY the event facilities.  Guidebooks for each facility include pricing, rules and allowances for each site.    Learn more about specific permit topics in the policies section.

Check availability online!  Select "event facility" in the features selection box to specifically see the event facilities. Call to book (512-974-6796) starting 6 months in advance, or read more here.  Need to book earlier?  You can submit the lottery form (pdf) 10 months in advance.  Review the lottery submittal calendar (pdf).


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

Mayfield Photography Policy ($50/session (PDF)

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.

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

Special Events - Public 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.  See the complete policies and procedures section for 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 Requirements, & Subject 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 Documents for Events With Reservations

Filming and Commercial Photography Permits

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.

NOTE:  An application can be used for up to 2 locations, 3 days per site, OR up to 6 days at one site.

DIRECTIONS:  Download application and save to computer.  Complete digitally and save.   Attach form to email indicated in application.

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.

Filming Insurance (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions - Popular Location Information (PDF)




  • AMPLIFIED SOUND  Review each picnic site or facility booklet, as some properties contain sound restrictions.
    • Commercial or Advertising Purposes ($30) -- Private Party  ($20) -- Public Interest, Political or Non-Profit ($10)
  • CONCESSIONS, PRODUCT SAMPLING, ADVERTISING   At a confirmed event, concessions are permitted inside the event area through the event organizer.  All stand alone or non event related concessions must obtain a concession permit.
  • MOONWALK, DUNK TANK, ROCKWALL DEVICES   $10/device.  Must be state inspected, and insured. NO Miniature Trains, Water slides or Petting Zoos.  Companies with insurance on file.



  • Mayfield Photo Session       $50 per 2 hour permit
  • Metal Detecting (PDF)          Permits are typically issued to searches for an item lost in extenuating circumstances.
  • Drones                                    State and FAA regulations impact the use of drones. Convenient resources are listed below.

Commercial Use Permits

Commercial use approvals (permits) are required and issued for training classes, exercise groups in the park system.  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

Temporary Concession Permits

Concession approvals (permits) are required and issued to applicants for commercial activity requests (vending, merchandise sales, etc) in the park system.  Concession permits are issued at stand-alone park locations where short-term or single concession needs arise that benefit an activity or the public at the requested park location.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.


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.