City parks are a favorite place for picnics, family get-togethers and office outings. A Certificate for Park Use entitles you to a specific group picnic area in a City park. Group Areas may include multiple tables, barbecues or a large gazebo or shade structure. Permits are issued for the convenience of users and guarantee exclusive use of a particular location for a specific time period, date and use.
A Certificate for Park Use is issued for any private gathering with fewer than 200 in attendance that does not involve City services or require special permits. A Certificate for Park Use is required for any activity with 50 or more people and/or in which assembly is intended to last more than 30 minutes. Applications for Park Use must be submitted 10 days prior to the proposed activity. Does your event have more than 200 particpants or require special permits? If so, please see Special Event Permit.
Detailed Amenities Guides (both web graphics and PDF files) are available for our most popular parks. The online guides include group picnic areas, availability of restrooms, barbeques, and number of persons each can accommodate.
There are three (3) ways to obtain an Application for Park Use to start the permit process:
PDF forms require Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free at adobe.com.
Only, after all fees and required documents are turned in, will a Certificate for Park Use be issued.
On weekends and holidays Park Safety Services staff will post the Group Area(s) reserved for you on the morning of your activity. Reservations cannot be guaranteed after 11am. A minimum of one (1) adult must be present at the reserved site no later than 11am. Please bring your Certificate for Park Use and contract to the park with you on the day of your reservation.
If you encounter problems on-site contact the City Operator at 311. The City Operator will dispatch a Park Safety Officer to address the situation.
Applications for Park Use may be submitted a maximum of one (1) year in advance and must be made a minimum of 10 business days in advance. Applications submitted less than 10 business days in advance are subject to late fees of $2 per day.
In accordance with City Code 12.72.080 possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all City parks except if permitted for a Park Event.
City Code 12.72.010 defines amplified sound as “speech, music or other sound projected or transmitted by electronic equipment including amplifiers, loud speakers, microphones, or similar devices or combinations of devices which are powered by electricity, battery or combustible fuel and which are intended to increase the volume, range, distance or intensity of speech, music or other sound.”
In accordance with City Code 12.72.060, when in a City park “no person shall use any amplified sound without first obtaining an amplified sound permit.” City Code 12.72.110, outlines the regulations for use of amplified sound by any person(s) in a City park as follows:
You are welcome to bring self-contained barbecues. Your barbecue must be a minimum of 6 inches off the ground and cannot be within 25 feet of a playground. Please remember that you are responsible for the safe removal and disposal of the coals and/or grease outside of the park.
For each fee based reservation that is cancelled, a $15 administrative fee will be assessed. If the cancellation is made later than five (5) days before the activity date the entire fee is non-refundable. Damage deposits will be refunded less the $15 administrative fee. No refunds for undesirable weather. During questionable weather, applicant may reschedule the reservation three (3) days prior to the reserved date no later than noon. Once an application is assigned/issued a contract number then the refund/cancellation policy becomes applicable. All cancellations, adjustments or rescheduling must be submitted in writing by the Responsible Party and the Park Use Permit must be surrendered to the Park Reservations office.
Signs, banners, and party decorations may be used in your Group Area(s). The use of glue, nails, tacks, screws, staples, or other fasteners that may scratch or otherwise damage surfaces of picnic shelters are prohibited. Tacks, screws, nails, or other fasteners are not allowed on trees. Paint and chalk marks are not allowed on sidewalks or other surfaces.
If you are preparing, or serving food to a known group of people additional permits are not required. However, if you plan to sell or serve food to the general public in the City of Sacramento, a County of Sacramento Environmental Health Permit is required. For more information on food service requirements please contact the County at (916) 875-8440.
Per City Code 12.72.060, commercial activity in any park is prohibited, except by a nonprofit organization pursuant to a fundraising permit. If your non-profit is interested in fundraising, a copy of your 501(c)(3) status will be required to complete the permit process.
If, insurance is required for your activity it must be submitted on a standard ACORD form, or on the insurance company’s letterhead. The City of Sacramento must be listed as the certificate holder as well as an additional insured with respects to General Liability. An endorsement naming the “The City of Sacramento, its officials, agents, employees and volunteers” must accompany the certificate of insurance. The endorsement page is often referred to as page CG 2011.
A permit is required to have a jump tent in the park. Each park has a limited number of jump tent reservation slots. Jump tents are restricted to a four-walled jump house without any attachments. Slides, Obstacle Courses, Sumo Wrestlers, water features, and Bungee Jumps are not allowed in the park. Be sure your jump tent provider has a certificate of insurance on file with the Department of Parks and Recreation. The permittee is responsible for providing a generator for inflation of the amenity; the City of Sacramento does not provide electricity. The jump tent shall not be placed in a City park earlier than eight (8) a.m. and must be removed no later than sunset on the day for which the permit is issued. The permittee must provide adequate supervision so that the use is in compliance with manufactures recommendations and reflects safe levels of operation.
The mission of Park Safety Services is to provide park guests and park neighbors with a safe and trouble-free environment. A Park Safety staff member will be in or near the park during your activity. Park Safety staff has the authorization to stop or modify any activity if deemed necessary. If you have safety concerns, or on-site problems please contact Park Safety Services through the City Operator at 311. For emergencies call 911.
A copy of photo identification (California Driver’s License or I.D. card) of the Responsible Party is required to complete the application process.
Per City Code 12.72.180 in City parks which do not have toilet facilities the City of Sacramento requires one (1) chemical toilet for any activity where the estimated attendance exceeds fifty (50) persons. Such facilities shall be provided at the ratio of one (1) for each additional four hundred (400) people, or portion thereof. The number of toilets required is based upon the maximum number at your activity during peak time.
The gardens are designed for small, intimate activities. To protect the gardens, activities must be a gathering with fewer than 200 in attendance. Amplified sound is not allowed in McKinley Park including the Rose Garden. This includes drums and loud radios. Tape recorded wedding music, acoustical instruments and vocals are allowed. It is very important that you observe the following rules regarding vehicles and access:
Reservations are booked for three (3) hour time blocks as follows: 8 - 11am; 11am - 2pm; 2 - 5pm and 5 - 8pm (during daylight savings time only).
Capitol Park is part of the State Park system. For information on reserving the World Peace Rose Garden, located in Capitol Park, call (916) 445-3876.
All sites must be restored to original condition at the end of use. Clean up and/or repair charges beyond normal wear and tear will be billed to the permit holder based on cost of repair. If trash receptacles are full, please bag waste and place bags next to trash barrels.
Motorized vehicles on park property, lawns, turf, restricted roadway, bicycle/pedestrian pathway or athletic fields is prohibited. Roadways and parking areas are clearly marked and established. Driving beyond designated boundaries to load and unload equipment or transport goods is prohibited. Vehicles will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.
Permit fees are due 60 days prior to your reservation date. Once an application is issued a contract number the cancellation policy becomes applicable. Reservations made less than 14 days must be paid by cash, money order, or Visa/MasterCard if amount due is greater than $150.
Park Use Fees