No, the picnic staff can't hold or block any dates until they have received your application with the full payment. Please note that if you submit your application and payment by mail it can take up to a week to reach our office.
The process takes as little as 3-5 business days to issue a permit if there are no questions with your application. Once approved, a permit will be sent to you via e-mail or mail. Your choice of location, date or time might not be available by the time your application is received if sent by mail. Please plan accordingly by mailing your request early or submitting it by email or fax.
Applications for the calendar year are accepted beginning January 1. Many locations are booked early in the year. For the best chance of reserving your chosen date and space, please submit an application as soon as possible.
- Prime rates are Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays
- Non-Prime rates are Monday through Thursday
All rentals are for a single day, one time use. Certain locations offer half day rentals from April 1 through September 30. Please check the picnic calendar of availability to see if the option exists. There are two predetermined time slots for half day rentals:
- Morning Time Slot: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
- Evening Time Slot: 3:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
If your reservation does not fall within those times, you will need to make a full day reservation.
- Cancellations/Changes requested more than 10 days before the event will incur a $25 processing fee.
- Cancellations/Changes to the reservation are not allowed within 10 days of the event.
A discount of 10% of the total rental fee will be applied to "long term" rental groups who submit a request for and rent a picnic area, shelter, amphitheater or gazebo for a minimum of five (5) reservations throughout the calendar year. The reservations do not need to be at the same park to be eligible for the discount.
Parking is not guaranteed close to your location. Vehicles must park in designated paved and gravel areas only. Parking on the grass is prohibited.
At Burke Lake Park non-county residents’ vehicles are subject to a park entrance fee on weekends and holidays. Those having parties at Burke Lake Park may pay the gate fee for their non-county resident guests by downloading the Gate Pre-Payment Form and following directions at the top of the form.
Sportsbags are available for rent at Burke Lake, Frying Pan, Lake Accotink, Lake Fairfax, and Riverbend parks. Depending on the location the bag may include sporting equipment such as a soccer ball, bocce ball set and volleyball. The rental fee is $25.
Special permission is required for a moon bounce or amplified sound at your event; some parks do not allow these features. Submit your request on your picnic application along with the non-refundable $25 permit fee.
- You must have a reservation and permit in order to have a moon bounce or amplified sound.
- Burke Lake, Lake Accotink and Clemyjontri Park do not allow moon bounces.
- Lake Accotink and Lake Fairfax do not allow amplified sound.
A Special Use Permit is required for attractions such as moon bounces, carnival rides, laser tag, pony rides, or large group trail use at your event. Please note these special request items on your picnic application, include your $25 payment and we will contact you if your request is granted or denied by the park management. If your request is denied, you will not be charged the $25 fee.
A Business Activity License is required to use Park Authority property for the purpose of generating revenue or raising funds.
Catering is allowed and should be contracted independently. We do not provide catering services or recommend specific catering companies.
Where permitted, a private group food vendor permit is required for food trucks vending food on Fairfax County Park Authority property in conjunction with a picnic permit. This is only to be used if the food truck is not selling to the public and is reserved for your group’s use. Please note this request on your picnic permit application and include a $50 payment. We will contact you if your request is granted or denied by park management. If approved, this is a nonrefundable fee. If your request is denied, you will not be charged $50.
Shelter, canopy, and gazebo reservations are not refundable due to inclement weather. For picnic area reservations, you have 48 hours from the start time of your event to email FCPAPicnicApplications@fairfaxcounty.gov with the area name, date reserved, and permit holders name to request a refund. Responding to the email that you received the permit from is the easiest way. Refund requests will not be allowed after the 48 hour period.
The group representative must have a copy of the picnic permit in hand on the day of the event. Show anyone using your reserved space your permit and ask them to vacate the area. If the park is staffed you may contact the staff for further assistance. At parks that are not staffed you may contact the Fairfax County Police at their non-emergency phone number: 703-691-2131.
For questions during the week, please call the picnic reservation line at 703-324-8732. Due to the volume of calls, this phone line is an answering machine. Messages are retrieved throughout the workweek and calls are returned as soon as possible. Please be as detailed as possible in order for us to assist you as efficiently as possible. Please note, messages left over the weekend will be returned on Monday, excluding holidays.