Fairfax County, Virginia


TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927
Fairfax, VA 22035

Judy Pedersen,
Public Information Officer

Department Resources

Related Resources

Picnic Area Rules

Park Authority employees and authorized volunteer staff have been trained and are obligated to enforce these rules and regulations. Failure to abide by these rules may also result in violators being ejected from the park immediately and prohibited from future use of park property, facilities or services.

picnic shelter

  1. Group is responsible for adhering to all Park Authority Policies, Rules and Regulations. For more information, please visit the Park Authority rules website. The supervising adult listed on the group representative section on the application must be present for the duration of the event. The group representative will be responsible for the adherence of county policies during the entirety of the event and will also be held responsible for any damage to park property and any injury resulting from inadequate compliance to county rules and regulations.

  2. Inclement Weather Policy:

    • Picnic shelter and gazebo reservations are not refundable due to inclement weather. If your uncovered picnic area, canopy, volleyball or amphitheater reservation is impacted by inclement weather, you have 48 hours after the start time of your event to call 703-324-8732 and leave a message or email FCPAPicnics@fairfaxcounty.gov to request a refund. Refund requests will not be allowed after the 48-hour period.
  3. Rental cancellation and rental change fees: 

    • Cancellations/Changes requested more than 14 days before the event will incur a $25 processing fee.
    • Changes to the reservation are not allowed within 14 days of the event.
    • Cancellations requested within 14 days of the event are not eligible for a refund.
  4. Moon bounces, inflatables, dunk tanks, carnival rides, pony rides, petting zoos, DJs, bands and other amplified sound systems are not permitted in Fairfax County parks without separate approval. Approval is determined on a case-by-case basis by park management. If the request is approved, details of approved activities will be indicated on the picnic permit. Activities listed as “Checked” are approved, and activities listed as “Unchecked” are not approved. If the activity is not listed on your permit, it is not approved.

  5. The following activities require the express written approval of the Park Authority:

    • Conducting camps, fairs, exhibitions, rallies, races, walks, athletic league games or practices and other organized events
    • Construction of tents, canopies, inflatable amusements or other temporary structures
    • Sale of food, beverages, other goods or services
    • Charging of fees for any activities or services
  6. The use of tape, glue, nails, tacks, screws, staples, paint, chalk or other fasteners that may scratch or otherwise damage surfaces of picnic shelters or tables, trees, sidewalks or other surfaces are prohibited. All trash is to be bagged and placed in the nearest trash dumpster. The releasing of balloons is not allowed. Decorative balloons must be deflated and disposed of as trash. 

  7. Special Events, Gender Reveals, Memorial Services, Birthday Parties, etc. are allowed in the parks as long as they do not contain the following or similar elements: sky lanterns, confetti, powder cannon, piñatas, paint, smoke bombs, fireworks, fire, fire pits/rings, outdoor propane heaters, incendiary devices, projectiles, arrows, darts, slingshots, balloon releases/popping, silly string, water balloons, animal releases, etc. A Damage or Clean-Up fee may be collected if the reservable site is damaged or left unclean.

  8. Use of alcohol in Fairfax County parks without appropriate permits and approved agreements is against the law. Alcohol Beverage Use Information can be found on our Alcohol in Fairfax County Park Authority Parks webpage

  9. Picnic reservations do not guarantee parking. Vehicles must park in designated lots. Parking is not allowed on the grass. All food and picnic supplies must be carried or transported by handcart to the picnic facility.

  10. (Burke Lake Park Only) On weekends and holidays April through October, all non-county vehicles are subject to a park entrance fee at Burke Lake Park.

  11. The Park Authority does not provide security for the activity. If there is someone occupying your rental space, present the permit to them and ask them to vacate. If you need further assistance at staffed sites, please contact the site staff. At sites that do not have staff, please contact the Fairfax County Police by calling the non-emergency phone number: 703-691-2131.

  12. Maintaining capacity controls is vital for patron safety. In the case that a group exceeds maximum capacity at any reservable area within the county, park staff may be forced to require noncompliant groups to leave the park. Refunds are not granted for reservation capacity limit violations. Additional fees may apply. Area capacities can be found on the picnics webpage.

  13. The reserved facility is subject to inspection at any time by authorized Park Authority representatives to ensure compliance with applicable Park Authority Regulations and Rules.

  14. Violation of any rule or condition of the permit may be cause for immediate revocation of the permit, loss of permit privileges and forfeitures of any fees paid for the permit.

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