Can You Throw a Party in a Public Park: What You Need to Know

Can You Throw a Party in a Public Park: What You Need to Know

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Public Park
Public Park

Are you throwing a party, but you don’t have enough means to rent a venue? Is your house also not big enough to accommodate all your invitees? So throwing a party in a public park crossed your mind. But the thing is…

Is it even legal to throw a party in a public park?

Probably not everyone knows the answer to that. And the very reason why you are reading this is because, most likely, you also want to know if you can be allowed to throw a party in a public park.

To party in a public park or not to? Let this article answer that question.

Are You Allowed to Throw a Party in a Public Park?

Well, actually, the answer varies. There are some public parks where you can throw a party. However, there are others who will require you to secure a special permit first.

Of course, since it is a public park, you don’t need to ask for anybody’s permission. No, you don’t have to do anything else but to send out invitations.

When you are throwing a party at your local park, you have to make sure to arrive there at around one hour before the party. Why? Since it is a public park, a lot of people will also be there. Better if you would secure enough tables and chairs before other park goers use them.

In addition, aside from food, you must also bring a lot of water, especially if the party would fall on a summer. The outdoor heat will certainly make you and your guests thirsty.  Plus, you don’t want anybody to be dehydrated, do you?

On the contrary, before throwing parties or holding other events, some states or cities require people to get permission from their local authority to hold events in public parks.

Also, because a public park is open to people, the management who is in charge of the park requires a permit. Almost certainly, the purpose of getting permission is to reserve your time. First come, first served, right?

So if a permit is a prerequisite to throwing a party in a public park in your area, you must contact the park management. You need to call them to know which dates are not yet taken as well as to have your chosen time and date reserved.

Related article: Can You Throw a Party in a Hotel Room or an Airbnb?

You Need to Secure a Permit When…

  • More than 50 people will be in attendance at a special event that is open to the general public.
  • The event that you are hosting will need streets to be closed. A block party is one good example.
  • Guests will drink booze in the party that you are throwing.
  • You will play loud music.

There are certain types of events that would need you to get special permission from the public park authority. If you think the party you are throwing meets the conditions mentioned above, then you will really have to secure at least one special permit from the public park management.

For example, almost every special event needs a permit from the Special Activities unit of the City Administrator’s Office. More often than not, you will have to show proof that you have liability insurance for your planned special event. In addition to that, you must always take note that you should ask for a special permit before the party. You may file for a permit at least 30 days before your planned event.

Pros and Cons of Throwing a Party in a Public Park

Public Park Playground
Public Park Playground
  • The Pros
    • A colorful playground can be a beautiful backdrop of a cute group shot of all the guests at the outdoor party. Kids and other guests can even hang all over the recreational equipment in the playground.
    • Kids can have fun even without you having to hire birthday party entertainers. You can keep kids busy and entertained by telling them to bring their own outdoor stuff, such as balls or any other thing that they like to play with.
    • Cleaning up all the mess and party leftovers is a piece of cake. Of course, that is because every public park has trash bins all over. Perhaps, you just have to bring a few garbage bags just in case trash bins in the park get full.
    • There are also several parks that have a grill. In that case, you won’t have to bother bringing one.
    • But then again, just to make sure that you can grill hotdogs (which is a cheaper alternative for barbecue or pizza) for kids and kids-at-heart, you may bring your own portable grill if you have one.
    • Throwing a party in a public park will also save you some bucks, especially if you schedule your party in the afternoon, where you don’t need to serve a meal because snacks will definitely do.
    • You won’t have to shell out additional money for an event’s place since throwing a party in a public park is free. But then again, you may still reserve or rent a pavilion.
    • Reserving or renting a pavilion in a public park may require an additional payment, but having your party there is still way cheaper than renting a party place.
    • When you throw a party in a public park with a playground, you don’t have to bother thinking of kiddie activities since they can enjoy running around and playing in the slide, seesaw, monkey bars, and swing.
    • When you have a tight budget and you can only afford to rent a small party place, you would have to limit the number of your guests. On the contrary, when your party will be held at a public park, you have the freedom to invite as many guests as you want. 
Crowded Park
Crowded Park
  • The Cons
    • Since it’s a public park, of course, you have no choice but to share it with other people.
    • You can use the pavilions in public parks but on a first-come, first-served basis only. Sometimes, public park management even asks for an additional fee. Very often the park pavilions are first come, first served.  So a person from your group has to be there earlier to make sure that you have a spot.
    • Bad weather can sometimes ruin an outdoor party.
    • When it’s too hot outside, guests, especially kids won’t feel comfortable. Some children may possibly even throw a tantrum if he begins to feel irritated by the hot weather.
    • There are times when the weather forecast is not accurate. The forecaster may say that there are no chances of rain but the next thing you know it’s already starting to rain. It pays to always bring umbrellas or raincoats, especially for children.
    • In case there are changes in weather, you must always have a plan B. In addition to that, let your invitees know about any changes, if any, by sending them updates.

Tips for having a Party in a Public Park

First Aid Kit
First Aid Kit
  • If you are planning to throw a party in a public park, perhaps you would likely have to go to your local park’s department. And as mentioned earlier, some parks collect fees, while some do not. So just in case, prepare to pay a fee if you want to reserve the area.
  • There are parks that only have one pavilion, while others have multiple. In that case, carefully think of which pavilion is best for your party as well as for the number of your invitees. 
  • Another thing to consider is the proximity of the pavilion you are renting to the playground area. Would you rather rent a small pavilion but one that is closest to the playground? Or would it be better for you to rent a big pavilion even if it is not that close to the playground? Of course as you consider which option is best, you ough to always focus on the children’s best interest.
  • Perhaps you could bring kites for kids to enjoy playing with. Or better yet, you can also ask your invitees to bring their own fun outdoor stuff, like balls or frisbee. Can you already imagine how fun your party can be?
  • Get to know where the nearest comfort room is. 
  • For sure you wouldn’t want anything that would need plasters, cotton pads, and a disinfectant, but  it is also important for you to bring a first-aid kit just in case the necessary occurs.

Public Park Partying Etiquette

Cleaning in a Public Park
Cleaning in a Public Park

While it is true that showing good manners must always start at home, you still ought to extend it to the public. You can do that by being aware of your surrounding. You should also consider the feelings of the people around you. All the time.

One way of showing everyone that you are well-mannered is by following the rules and regulations of different public establishments, such as parks. While you are partying in a public park, you as well as your guests must remember not to do things, such as:

  • Throwing trash all over the place
  • Walking on the grass
  • Not cleaning your pet’s poop
  • Carving on the trees
  • Vandalizing
  • Picking flowers and damaging other plants

In addition, you must also be a good example to your guests, especially the kids, by showing the utmost level of respect to others, whether private individuals or public employers.

Below are some other etiquette you must always practice whether partying indoors or outdoors:

  • Do not send confusing invitations.

Your party invitations must always include all the necessary details. You should indicate the time and date, the venue, the event you are celebrating, and when and how to send RSVP, as well as the name of the person celebrating. If you are throwing a themed party, you should also include information, such as what to wear.

  • Plan and organize.

As part of the planning process, you must create your to-do, to-buy, as well as your guest list. You may also list the menu that you are planning to serve to your guests. When you know the meals or snacks that you are going to prepare, you will also know which ingredients you will need. It is also important that you list down all the party supplies that you need to have. Keep in mind that a good plan plays a big role in the execution.

  • Give every guest a warm welcome.

One of the most important things that you must make sure of is that all your guests must be greeted warmly. You should make them feel welcome the whole time. What you could do is that if ever you see a person sitting alone, have a small talk so that he would not feel out of place.

  • Always be gracious to your guests.

And that means even if they bring additional unexpected guests without you knowing. Deal with it in the most flexible and polite manner you can. Again, always show good manners.

  • Limit the booze.

Most parties held in public parks involve alcoholic drinks and other cocktails. After all, a public party without drinking booze would spell b-o-r-i-n-g. But then again, always practice drinking responsibly by limiting your alcohol intake. Don’t get wasted, especially in public.

  • Follow the venue’s rules and regulations.

If they don’t allow you to bring food and drinks, don’t push it and try to sneak in some. On the other hand, if the venue allows it, make sure that you clean up after your event and before leaving.

  • If you are an invitee and you have no one to leave your kids to, you must always confirm if bringing children is allowed.

There is no better experience than being able to attend a party with your family. But then again, when you have to take your kids with you to any kind of public event, you must always know the event details and see if kids are allowed. Also, it wouldn’t be embarrassing if you would ask about what type of activities will be there. And if you are allowed to bring your kids with you, tell them to be polite to everyone at the party. Also, always keep an eye on them. Make sure they don’t talk and go with strangers.

  • Show appreciation to your guests.

Thank your invitees for coming over as you say bye-bye to them. Most importantly, do not forget to say thank you to people who remembered you and gave you gifts, no matter how small, big, or expensive their presents are. 

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