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 Picnic reservations for the month of December open on Wednesday, November 3.
 2022 picnic reservations open on Tuesday, December 14.
  o  The picnic sites inside the swim areas at Cull Canyon, Don Castro and Quarry Lakes will not be available for reservation at this time.  
  o  Bounce Houses are not permitted at any site at this time.  
  o  Site capacities have changed.  Please check specific picnic sites for details.
  o  Roberts Park pool will be under construction from approx. February 2022-May 2023. Significant construction equipment and noise should be expected Monday-Friday.
 ALL reservations must be made by calling 1-888-327-2757, option 2 between 9am-4pm.
 At this time, the Reservations Department is experiencing a very high call volume with extended wait times. If you hear the message that the call center has reached the maximum number of calls and/or encounter a busy signal, please try your call at a later time. We are working through the calls as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.


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The Park District has over 3,806 picnic tables throughout its 73 parks. 
There are also 139 reservable group sites for groups of 35 to 500 people.

Picnics: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a picnic reservation?

Picnic site reservations cannot be made online. Reservations may be made by calling 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), press option 2. For persons with hearing impairments, please use the Telecommunications Relay Service at 711. Telephone hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm.

Please Note: Unreserved Picnic Tables

Picnic tables that are not reserved are available on a first come, first served basis. Picnic tables that are not reserved, require that at least one person be present at each table. We recommend groups of 30 or less people arrive on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Which sites can I reserve?

You can check the availability of reservable picnic sites on online, but you cannot make picnic site reservations online. We do not make reservations for Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day; picnic sites become first-come, first-served on those days.

How much does it cost to make a picnic reservation?

Fees are based on the capacity of the picnic site. The size of your group may not exceed the maximum capacity for the picnic site. However, no fee reductions are made if your group size is less than the capacity, for example, if you have 150 people in a 300-person site, the fee is still $470 for residents or $650 for non-residents. Site capacities for each reservable site can be found online by searching for picnic sites under the "facilities" tab. Photos and site descriptions are also available of most reservable areas. Download: Fee Waiver Procedure Guide [PDF]

35 $60 $84 $50 
50 $80 $112 $75
75 $120 $168 $100
100 $160 $224 $150
150 $240 $336 $150
200 $315 $441 $150
300 $470 $658 $250
350 $545 $763 $250
500 $775 $1085 $250
Pavilion Sheltered Areas
(Quarry Lakes Only)
$420 $588 $250
Beach Access/Swim Area
(Don Castro Only, includes 35 Beach
Access wristbands with no cash value)
 $165 $165 $50
Beach Access/Swim Area
(Cull Canyon & Don Castro Only, includes
50 Beach Access wristbands with no cash value) 
 $230 $230 $75

A Reservation Fee of $8 will be added to each reservation. Fees are subject to change without notice.

What are the picnic check-in times?

Picnic reservations are for the full day; we do not book multiple reservations per day.  If you have a picnic reservation, you are required to be at the site at a specific time.  

  • Most parks have a 10:00am check in time.  You must be present at the reserved Picnic site by 10:00am, or the site becomes first-come first served after 10:30am, even though you have paid for the reservation.
  • Del Valle Picnic sites have a 9:00am check in time.  You must be present at the reserved Picnic site by 9:00am, or the site becomes first-come first served after 9:30am, even though you have paid for the reservation.
  • Picnic Sites within a Swim Area have an 11:00am check in time.  You must be present at the reserved Picnic site by 11:00am, or the site becomes first-come first served after 11:30am, even though you have paid for the reservation.

On Holiday weekends we suggest you arrive at your reserved site 30 minutes prior to the check in time.

What if I don't want to make a reservation? 
- Are there first-come, first-served areas?

Throughout our parks we have many picnic areas and tables that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  First-come, first-served picnic sites usually have one or two tables with a BBQ and generally do not have a site name.  At least one person per table must be present in order to hold it. Our reservable picnic sites have a wooden post with site names posted on them (example: Big Rock, Parkside, Mallard).  Most of the reservable sites are clusters of tables and BBQs. Reservable sites will have a flyer showing who has reserved the site for the day.  If this site has not been reserved, it may be used on a first-come, first-served basis.

When can I make a picnic reservation?

Reservations for picnic sites must be made at least 3 days in advance. Reservations for Saturday or Sunday must be made by 4pm on the previous Wednesday.

What is the policy for Security Deposits?

A security deposit is charged on all picnic sites with capacity of 35 or greater. All or some of your security and damage deposit may be retained for violation of any of the terms of the contract. This deposit is fully refundable if the area is left in good condition and regular servicing will make it ready for the next group to use.  For example, all party decorations including piñata and balloons must be thoroughly cleaned-up. Park staff will document any issue requiring that any or all of the deposit be retained. Please note that if excessive staff intervention is required, you will be billed. If your security deposit is retained for any reason, you will be notified by email or US Mail. Otherwise, security deposits paid by credit card will be refunded within 14 working days after your picnic; checks take 4-6 weeks.

How do I pay for my reservation?

Full payment is due at the time of booking. We accept VISA or MASTERCARD. Charges are processed immediately and will appear on your statement as “ACT EAST BAY REG. PARKS- Oakland.” Cash is only accepted in person at the Reservations Office. NOTE: The cancellation and change policy will immediately be in effect (read about the cancel/change policy in the next section) once you make payment.

How do I CANCEL or CHANGE my picnic reservation?

How do I CANCEL or CHANGE my picnic reservation?

Please view the site before making the reservation. There are no refunds if the picnic site does not meet your expectations. To cancel or change your reservation, you must call the Reservations Department at 1-888-327-2757, option 2 (9am – 4pm PST, M-F).


  • 14 or more days in advance, 90% of the site use fees + 100% of the security deposit is refundable
  • 13 - 3 days in advance, 50% of the site use fees + 100% of the security deposit is refundable
  • Under 3 days, 100% of the security deposit is refundable. NO site use fees are refundable.


  • NO changes to the reservation will be made under 3 days.
  • 3 or more days in advance, an $8 reservation service fee will be assessed for changing dates and/or changing sites. You will be responsible for paying for any difference in site cost + the $8 reservation service fee. If new site cost is less than the original site cost, you will be refunded the difference less the $8 reservation service fee. Each change to a reservation will incur an additional $8 reservation service fee. 

*The $8 reservation service fee paid upon initial reservation as well as any incurred from changes to a reservation are non-refundable.

What if it rains?

In the case of heavy rain at the park and your picnic is rained out, call the Reservations Department within 3 working days after your reservation and request a refund. The reservations agent will take your name and phone number, verify the weather with the park staff, and call you back. If it rains, but you continue to use your site, no refund will be given.

What are the restrictions for using the BBQs at the picnic site?

Know before you go: Stricter fire restrictions, including prohibition of wood/charcoal fires and up to park closures, may be in force during your visit. Go to the Fire Warning Information page, for current conditions. You can also call 888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), option 2.

Fires, including BBQs, are only allowed in existing BBQ pits at the picnic site, or, a personal BBQ or gas stove may be used if placed at least 30 feet from any flammable materials including grass, weeds, wood chips, brush or buildings, and does not scorch, burn or otherwise damage lawns, tables or other park property.

Personal BBQ's may only be placed on the ground and may not be placed on picnic tables.

All charcoal must be extinguished, then disposed of in marked hot coal receptacles, fire rings or BBQ pits at the picnic site; it is unlawful to dispose of coals anywhere else. At least one adult must be responsible for any fire, and must extinguish it before leaving the site. Always use caution near fire rings and BBQs; ashes may hide hot coals.

Collecting firewood in the park is not allowed. Fireworks are never allowed.

Can I have alcohol at my picnic?

Beer and Wine are allowed in some of the parks; no other form of alcohol is allowed in any Regional Park.  Some parks restrict beer and wine to a reserved picnic area, and a $25 permit must be purchased.  Swimming is not recommended after drinking. Alcoholic Beverages are not permitted at pools, swim beaches or within 50 feet of paved roads, parking lots or posted areas.  For more information please view Ordinance 38, section 410
Please see park specific rules:

Parks that allow Beer and Wine:

  • Ardenwood
  • Briones
  • Castle Rock
  • Coyote Hills
  • Cull Canyon
  • Del Valle
  • Garin
  • Kennedy Grove
  • Lake Chabot
  • Martin Luther King JR.
  • Point Pinole
  • Redwood
  • Roberts
  • Temescal
  • Tilden
  • Wildcat Canyon / Alvarado

Parks that require a picnic reservation and $25 permit:

  • Crown Beach
  • Don Castro
  • Miller Knox
  • Quarry Lakes

Parks that DO NOT allow Beer and Wine:

  • Contra Loma
  • Shadow Cliffs
  • Sunol

NOTE : Hard Alcohol is never allowed in any of the East Bay Regional Parks.

Beer and Wine Permit

A fee of $25 will be charged for a beer & wine permit in parks where alcohol is restricted to reserved picnic areas. For information call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2, then 1. 

Can I have a caterer or food truck at my picnic?


  • NO individual sales may take place on site
  • Food service is only for your group
  • All parking and vehicle access rules are followed (i.e. no parking in red zones). Keep in mind that parking and vehicle access is limited at most sites (See caterer/vehicle access permit).

Please consider using a caterer that uses reusable, recyclable or biodegradable materials. Questions should be directed to the Reservations Department or Park Supervisor.

Food Trucks Allowed at the following picnic sites

Diablo Foothills

  • Ford’s Well
  • Castle Tree
  • Castle View
  • Pool Oak Terrace
  • Pine Creek

Kennedy Grove

  • Hitching Post


  • Manzanita


  • North Temescal* 
    *Requires Park Supervisor approval


  • Carousel
  • Big Leaf
  • Buckeye
  • Fern
  • Lakeview
  • Orchard
  • Willows
  • Laurel
  • Mineral Springs
  • Padre

Can I bring my own tables and/or chairs?

YES, however; you must choose a picnic site that is large enough for your group and fits your group's needs. Keep in mind that picnic areas are not designed to have everyone in the group seated at one time. Lawn areas adjacent to reservable picnic sites are open to the public and are first-come, first-served. You may NOT take over a lawn area or reserve a site that is too small for your group and compensate by bringing extra tables.


Can I have music or amplified sound?

  • NO AMPLIFIED MUSIC IS PERMITTED.  Battery power may be used, but must not be audible more than 25 feet from your site.

Can I have a bounce house, jumper or other type of interactive play equipment?

JUMPERS AND BOUNCE HOUSES ARE ONLY ALLOWED WITH A PERMIT AT DESIGNATED SITES: Jumpers, bounce houses, or any other type of interactive play equipment REQUIRE A PERMIT from the Park District. You must use a provider from our approved list. Dunk tanks or combative equipment are never allowed. Please call or visit our website for details. Permits will not be issued with less than 7 days notice. Permits requested or paid for l5 days or less before the event will be charged a $25 late fee. More information.

Can I have a petting zoo at my picnic site?

No, petting zoos are not allowed at any picnic site.

What other permits do I need?

  • You may need other permits such as a Caterer or Vehicle Access Permit.

What are the hours of the Reservations Department?

Reservations telephone hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm. Please call 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), press option 2. For persons with hearing impairments, please use the Telecommunications Relay Service at 711.

Rules and Regulations

Rules and regulations regarding picnicking in the parks: