Activate Your Park

Tips for Planning a Community Event in Your Park

Are you looking for opportunities to relax and have fun with your family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors? There are few spots around the city to host an event that are more scenic or affordable than our urban parks! Whether you’re planning a family reunion, a corporate retreat, or a neighborhood meetand-greet, hosting an event in a park is a fantastic way to get people outside and enjoying the benefits of spending time in a great park, including stress relief, increased physical activity, increased happiness, and more!


As you’re planning your community event in your park, consider these steps below for a smooth experience:

1. Determine what sort of event you’d like to host.

Ideas include:

  • a volunteer workday
  • a family fun day or corporate retreat
  • a sports scrimmage or tournament
  • a neighborhood potluck, cookout, or picnic
  • a scavenger hunt or talent show
  • an art expo, theater performance, or concert

TIP: If this is your first park event, start small. Consider partnering with another group or community to share planning responsibilities.


2. Determine whether you need a permit.

Plan to submit your application well in advance (one to three months depending on the type of permit and jurisdiction). You may need a permit if you want to:

  • have more than 75 people
  • use amplified sound, a generator, or portable toilets
  • set up large tents or a stage
  • sell food or goods in the park
  • sell tickets

TIP: Requirements for permits are different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Contact your Parks Department to learn the rules for your park.


3. If you’re planning a community event, reach out to partners.

Involve everyone in the community. Suggestions include:

  • elected officials, faith-based organizations, or fraternal organizations
  • neighborhood schools, colleges, and universities
  • fire and police departments
  • restaurants and businesses that serve your community
  • Park Pride (reserve the Park Play Library)

Want more ideas?

Download Matthew Clarke’s Field Guide for Creative Placemaking for inspiration.


Download Now



3 thoughts on “Tips for Planning a Community Event in Your Park

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *