Looking for a beautiful backdrop for your next event? The Fox Valley Park District offers park shelters available for reservation throughout the District. Our picnic shelters and parks offer affordable options and amenities perfect for parties, family gatherings, corporate picnics, weddings and more.

Shelter Hours

Open year-round, sunrise to one hour past sunset

Reservation Information

Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for the season beginning on the first weekday in February for groups of 25 or more. Shelters may be reserved from May 1 to Oct. 17, weather permitting. (Permission is not required for groups under 25, however, there is no guarantee that the restrooms will be open and that space and tables will be available.)

Reservations can be made online or in person, and reservation dates may not be placed on hold unless authorized. A minimum of 14 days advance notice is required for all reservations. All documents and payment of fees are due at the time the reservation is made.

General Park Shelter and Cool Acres Reservations are accepted online or at the following location:

Cole Center Administration Office, 101 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Online Reservation Link

  • Cool Acres Reservations
  • Schedule of Fees
  • Day-Of Information
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Cool Acres Reservations

    Cool Acres – the District’s premiere shelter – is located along the beautiful Fox River on Route 25. This large structure with modern upgrades including a new shingled roof, skylights, siding and doors can accommodate up to 200 people with garage-like doors that can convert the party into an open-air celebration.

    View Cool Acres Guide and Photos
    Cool Acres Park Shelter Reservation Form

    Consumption of alcoholic beverages is allowed at Cool Acres by groups securing a permit and paying the required fees. Please note that Cool Acres has a separate fee structure (see Schedule of Fees).

    Cool Acres Shelter Reservations are accepted online or at the following location:

    • Cole Center Administration Office, 101 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora
    Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Schedule of Fees

    Reservable Shelters

    Picnic tables are available on site.

    Refundable deposit required at time of reservation. Deposit waived for public agencies, 501 (c)3 not-for-profits and school groups.

    Rental Rate: Resident $150, Non-Resident $170

    Special Permit Parks

    $200 refundable deposit required. Deposit waived for public agencies, 501(c)3 not-for-profits and school groups.

    Rental Rate: Resident $300, Non-Resident $300

    Neighborhood Parks

    Homeowner Association and neighborhood groups organizing neighborhood events, block parties and picnics made up of residents within the specific neighborhood park shall be permitted at no charge. $200 refundable deposit required.

    Cool Acres

    Refundable deposit required at time of reservation. Insurance required for permits with alcohol.

    1 to 6 hours (without alcohol): Resident $450, Non-Resident $470
    *1 to 6 hours (with alcohol): Resident $490, Non-Resident $510
    6+ hours: $100 each additional hour

    *Requires additional insurance: 1-100 people: $175; 101+ people: $195

    Day-Of Information

    To assist with your reservation, patrons are asked to have their reservation contract present on the day of event to show a park official if requested. If a reservation is made, the tables and the shelter area are reserved specifically for that party and the restrooms will be opened. The park and playground area will remain open to the public.

    Alcohol is prohibited at any park or park shelter with the exception of Cool Acres (with special permit and insurance).

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Why is insurance needed?

    Insurance is required for both the protection of the individual or organization renting the shelter as well as for the protection of the Park District in the event of third party claims for bodily injury, associated medical costs and damage to the property. The insurance required by the Park District is for coverage up to $1,000,000 per occurrence, and it must name the Fox Valley Park District as additionally insured.

    2. When is insurance required?

    • Sport and Athletic Events (Examples: Games, tournaments, walk/jog-a-thons)
    • Large Special Events, Festivals, Celebrations (Examples: “Taste of” events, July 4th/holiday parties, Chamber of Commerce events)
    • Liquor Served (Cool Acres only)
    • Food Prepared/Served by Vendors/Caterers (Examples: Group dinners, food booths, vending trucks, grills/equipment use *Additionally a permit issued by the County Health Department may be required)
    • Group with Insurance

    If the group has insurance, it is to protect the group against claims related to its activities. By requesting a certificate naming the Fox Valley Park District as additional insured, the Park District will have additional protection.

    Not Required
    • Small Refreshment Stands (Examples: Canned pop/bottled water/juice sales, pre-packaged popcorn and bag/box candy)
    • Picnics (people bring and consume their own food)
    • Service Group General Meetings (no liquor served)
    • Low-risk Activities (Examples: Card clubs, reading groups)
    • Parties (no liquor served) (Examples: Birthdays/anniversaries, baby/wedding showers)

    3. Why does the vendor have to be registered with the Fox Valley Park District?

    By registering with the Park District, the vendor files their certificate of insurance only once a year with the District. The vendors are then added to the Registered Vendor List for park shelter rentals which is distributed to those inquiring about additional services. Caterers are required to provide a copy of their County Health Department Permit.

    4. Is a registered vendor required if food is being prepared by the party host, being brought from home or having a potluck?

    A registered vendor is not required if people bring and consume their own food (i.e. private picnic or family gathering).

    5. When is General Liability (Host) Liquor Insurance required?

    General Liability Insurance includes Host Liquor coverage. This insurance is required when alcohol is being provided and there is no price of admission or charge for the alcohol to the attendees of the event.

    6. When are both General Liability (Host) Liquor and Illinois Statutory Liquor Liability Insurance required?

    Illinois Statutory Liquor Liability coverage must be added when alcoholic beverages are being sold, are included in the price of admission or donations are accepted.

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