Shelter Reservations

Madison Parks offers large group shelters and many smaller, year-round picnic shelters. Large shelters offer restrooms (in or nearby), electricity and are available mid-April through mid-October (Gates of Heaven and Highland Manor are available year-round). Picnic shelters are reservable or available on a first-come, first-served basis and are open year-round. A few offer seasonal restrooms and electricity.

Reservations and checking availability of our larger shelters may be completed ONLINE or you may call the Madison Parks Office at (608) 266-4711 Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:15 pm. More information and details on reservering a large shelter may be found in our Shelter Reservations Guide.


Most shelters are open mid-April through mid-October. There are a few exceptions:

Please Note: We are continually improving our park system. Some of these improvements may impact a nearby shelter. Prior to making a reservation, please visit Parks Projects for more information on specific parks.

FEES:
Pricing varies depending on the shelter and may be viewed here

SPECIAL NOTES: 
  • Picnic shelters are also reservable or available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Madison Parks does not guarantee absolute privacy to any group.  Your reservation will reserve only the facility you are using, not the entire park or other facilities within the park. If you are interested in reserving the entire park, please visit Special Events.
  • Alcohol is permitted in most Madison Parks. There are a handful of parks that are alcohol-free. In order to have alcohol in these parks, you must have a reservation and an alcohol permit, which can be obtained when placing your reservation.
  • Public improvements and/or construction may be underway during the time of your reservation.  The City of Madison Parks Division makes every attempt to schedule around events and shelter reservations whenever possible, however this is not a guarantee.  Please keep in mind improvements to parks and infrastructure continues throughout the year.  Please visit Park Projects for a partial list of major capital improvement projects.
  • Firearms or weapons are not permitted at any of the shelters. Violators may be considered trespassers and may be subject to forfeiture or arrest.
  • The availability of Gates of Heaven may be checked online however, you will need to call to make your reservation. 
  • 2018 RESERVATIONS: Available beginning on Lottery Day - Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

ANNUAL LOTTERY DAY


WHAT IS LOTTERY DAY?  This is the first day you may make a shelter reservation for the following year. Held typically on the 2nd Tuesday in November, the day begins with in-person reservations (see below), and follows with phone-in and online reservations.
 
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?

  • Beginning at 7:30am on and ending promptly at 7:59am, each party wishing to reserve a park shelter is given a numbered lottery ticket. The distribution takes place in the lobby of the City-County Building, outside the Parks Administrative Office (210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Rm. 104)
    • Due to the random drawing process, arriving prior to 7:30am is not recommended or necessary. The building is locked until 7:30am.
    • Only ONE lottery ticket is given to each party reserving a shelter. Failure to abide by this rule may forfeit your eligibility in the Lottery Day process.
  • Beginning at 8:00am, random lottery tickets are drawn. This order establishes when reservations are processed.
    • If you arrive after the drawing begins, you will need to wait until the Lottery Day process is complete before you may place your reservation. 
  • Cash, checks or credit cards (MasterCard or Visa) are accepted for your full payment, which is due at the time of processing your reservation, along with any required permits
  • Dates NOT available due to long-standing annual Special Events listed HERE.
  • Cancellation Policy: Reservations made during the Lottery Day process will receive only a 50% refund up until 10 days prior to the reservation. Within 10 days, no refunds are provided.
View All Large Shelters

Picnic Shelters

Madison Parks offers smaller picnic shelters that may be reserved for exclusive use or are available on a first-come, first-served basis when not previously reserved.  Please call (608) 266-4711 to check availability and reserve your favorite shelter. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 4:15 pm. 

UPDATES:
  • Beginning spring 2018, Penn Park will offer an all-new reservable picnic shelter.
  • More information visit Park Projects
 
2018 FEES & PERMITS:
SPECIAL NOTES:
  • Additional large shelters are reservable online (except Gates of Heaven)
  • Madison Parks does not guarantee absolute privacy to any group.  Your reservation will reserve only the facility you are using, not the entire park or other facilities within the park. If you are interested in reserving the entire park, please visit Special Events.
  • Alcohol is permitted in most Madison Parks. There are a handful that are alcohol-free. In order to have alcohol in these parks, you must have a reservation and an alcohol permit, which can be obtained when placing a reservation.
  • All picnic shelters are open year-round, however if the picnic shelter has restrooms, these are open seasonally (closed winter/cold months).
  • Firearms or weapons are not permitted at any of the shelters. Violators may be considered trespassers and may be subject to forfeiture or arrest.
  • Public improvements and/or construction may be underway during the time of your reservation.  The City of Madison Parks Division makes every attempt to schedule around events and shelter reservations whenever possible, however this is not a guarantee.  Please keep in mind improvements to parks and infrastructure continues throughout the year.  Please visit the Park Projects website for a partial list of major capital improvement projects.

CHANGES & CANCELLATIONS OF PICNIC SHELTER RESERVATIONS:

  • Cancellation requests must be submitted to the Parks Administration Office in writing to:
    210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, #104, Madison, WI  53703 or by email
  • No refunds will be given to cancellations received 10 days or fewer before the reservation date (including cancel notice date and event date).
  • $20 refund will be given to cancellations received 11-28 days prior to reservation date (including cancel notice date and event date).
  • No charge to change date/location or cancel reservation if request is received greater than 28 days prior to reservation date.

  View All Picnic Shelters

Reserve Online

or call (608) 266-4711 Mon - Fri, 8 am - 4:15 pm

Questions you will be asked

Please Note: We are continually improving our park system. Please see Parks Projects for more information on specific park projects that may impact your shelter reservation.

More Information

Reservable Spaces

Contact Madison Parks

  • City of Madison Parks Division
    City-County Building, Room 104
    210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
    Madison, WI 53703
  • Phone: (608) 266-4711
  • Fax: (608) 267-1162
  • WI Relay Service
  • Contact Parks
  • Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
  • Park Hours: 4:00am - 10:00pm
  • After Hours, Weekends & Holidays: Contact Park Rangers 9:30am - 11:00pm, (608) 235-0448