The Fox Valley Park District began accepting picnic shelter reservations on Feb. 1, on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Park District features 13 picnic shelters throughout its park system in Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery. Reservations for groups of 25 or more are available from May 1 to Oct. 22.
Reservation fees are $60 for residents and $90 for non-residents, with a $100 refundable security fee required as well. Reservations include exclusive use of the shelter, pavilion and grill areas during the reserved time. However, as public parks, adjacent open space and playground areas remain available to others during reserved times.
Capacity ranges from 30 to 150 people at all of the shelters except Cool Acres, which can accommodate groups as large as 200. Cool Acres – located on the Fox River along Route 25 and Sullivan Road – is the only shelter area that allows consumption of alcohol. Additional fees and permits are required.
Jericho Lake Park and Copley I Park are not available for shelter reservations during the 2017 season due to on-site construction. Also, Austin Park is not available after July 31 due to restroom remodeling.
Reservations are taken in-person at the Cole Center (101 W. Illinois Ave.), Prisco Center (150 W. Illinois Ave.) and Eola Center (555 S. Eola Rd.) during weekday hours. An illustrated picnic shelter guidebook is available online and at each facility, providing an overview and photos from each reservable park site.