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Planning an outdoor event in the Twin Cities metro area? From small family picnics to large company gatherings, Ramsey County's parks have picnic facilities suited to meet your needs. Our parks offer individual tables, picnic shelters, and pavilions that can hold up to 500 guests, so you're bound to find the perfect place to enjoy your day! 


Shelter Reservation Policy

Picnic Season and Hours: Picnic shelters and pavilions are generally available from the first weekend in May through the last weekend in September. The 2015 season will run May 2 - September 27. Shelters can be reserved from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Securing a Permit: Reservations must be made at least 7 calendar days prior to the event and can be made up to 12 months in advance. Community event reservations may be made 13 months in advance. Reservations may be made three ways:

  • In person at our administrative office:
    Ramsey County Parks and Recreation
    2015 N Van Dyke St
    Maplewood, MN 55109
  • Phone: 651-748-2500
  • Mail: Complete the facility request form and mail to the above address.

We cannot hold dates for events; reservations are not complete until payment is processed.

Facility Types: There are two types of facilities available for rent.

  • Shelters are open aired facilities with picnic tables underneath.
  • Pavilions are open aired facilities with interior kitchens. Both shelters and pavilions have BBQ grills. 

Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Discover credit cards, cash and in-state checks are accepted for rental fee payments and special use permits. Full payment is due at time a permit is issued.

Early Start Times: Requests are approved based on availability and require an early start time permit and fee. Additionally, pavilion rentals must pick up kitchen keys at the Parks and Recreation administrative office and leave a compliance deposit of $200 paid by CASH or CHECK up to 3 business days prior to event. Shelter rentals do not require a deposit.

Activity Add-ons: Additional fees and insurance requirements exist to add the following activities to shelter and pavilion reservations:

  • roast a whole pig
  • set up inflatable units or dunk tanks
  • use a microphone or detached speakers to amplify sound or music (not allowed at Battle Creek Regional Park).

Beer/Wine Policy

Beer and/or wine permits are available, for no additional cost, upon request with a shelter or pavilion reservation.
Beer or wine/wine coolers may be possessed, transported to and from, and consumed during the course of picnicking within park grounds specifically designated and equipped for such use, excluding beach areas, from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at Tony Schmidt Regional Park (except inside shelter), Josephine, McCarrons and White Bear County Parks.
Keg Beer may be possessed, transported, and consumed only by special permission granted by a valid permit for use of a specific area on a specified date, issued by the Director, pursuant to Chapter II, Section B, PERMITS, of the Ramsey County Park Ordinance. Keg beer and wine must be served in paper or plastic cups and cases of beer must be in cans. Beer and/or wine permits are available upon request with a shelter or pavilion reservation.


Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits​ are required, with an additional fee, to begin or end a picnic outside of standard picnic times (11 a.m.—9:30 p.m.), for community events, races, walks, carnival events, religious ceremonies, etc. and may be granted in connection with a shelter or pavilion reservation. For full consideration, special use permit applications should be made at least 3 weeks prior to event date.

Customers who wish to secure a picnic facility with less than 7 days advance notice must fill out a special use permit to be considered. If approved, the applicant must pay the facility reservation fee, additional special use permit fee and applicable add-on fees to finalize the reservation.

No refunds are given for cancellations.​
Amplified sound/music is not allowed at Battle Creek.


Transfers must be made at least 30 days prior to original reservation date. No transfers to subsequent years. Refunds are not available for transfers made to a less expensive facility. Transfer requests are accepted in person or by written request with return of permit and payment of nominal transfer fee. The transfer fee for 2015 is $11.00.


Refunds​ are not offered for acts of nature or inclement weather cancellations.
Shelters: No refunds are given for cancellations.
Pavilions: 60+ days prior to event date - full refund less a $28 cancellation charge shall be refunded. 30-59 days prior to event date - 50% of the permit fee shall be refunded. One to 29 days prior to event date - no refunds are given.
Special Use Permits: No refunds are given for cancellations.


To assure the lasting beauty of park facilities, the use of tape, markers, staples, chalk or nails is strictly prohibited.

Clean-Up Responsibilities

Shelters and Pavilions: A clean-up fee will be charged if facility is not cleaned after use. Wipe down picnic tables if food or beverages were spilled.
Put all trash and recyclables (including debris from table area) in containers provided.
Pavilion (with kitchen facilities): Clean kitchen and equipment. Sweep floors and mop if food or beverages were spilled. Return all janitorial supplies and equipment to storage room. 

Trash and Recyclables

Dispose of all trash and recyclable materials in the containers provided. Recycling containers are located throughout Ramsey County parks. These containers are for bottles and cans only.
Hot charcoal must be disposed of in the separate charcoal disposal containers. Do not dump charcoal on the ground. A service fee will be charged if the shelter is not cleaned up after use.


Pets​​, except guide animals to assist a blind or impaired person, are not allowed to enter any beach area, picnic area, nature interpretive area, wildlife refuge, golf course, park building or park shelter.
park shelter