Live in PA? Host your next gathering at the park

Farmaholic

Active member
Oct 7, 2023
41
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I'm hosting a family reunion at Belmont Grove park in Pennsylvania, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy it's been to set up. The state requires you to get a picnic permit, but it's easy to obtain. I think I paid around $140 for the permit and to reserve the pavilion, which was less expensive than hiring out a room at the community center for the day. The Parks and Recreation Special Events Office is who issues the permit, and they're available until October. If you're hosting an event in the state, consider giving the parks a try. You'll have a great atmosphere and the permitting process is simple. You can apply here
 
Location
Pennsylvania, United States
I was about to say that it's too expensive, especially since it's free to get a park permit where I live. However, I followed the link you provided and a nice array of extras come with the pavilion reservation. My family would make good use of the amenities that they offer. Moving forward, I believe those that make it easier to obtain permits online, like this city has, will be the ones to see more tourist dollars.
 
I'm hosting a family reunion at Belmont Grove park in Pennsylvania, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how easy it's been to set up. The state requires you to get a picnic permit, but it's easy to obtain. I think I paid around $140 for the permit and to reserve the pavilion, which was less expensive than hiring out a room at the community center for the day. The Parks and Recreation Special Events Office is who issues the permit, and they're available until October. If you're hosting an event in the state, consider giving the parks a try. You'll have a great atmosphere and the permitting process is simple. You can apply here

Thanks for sharing! I got married at Old Poway Park in San Diego back in 2013 and wouldn't change it for anything. Like you, I paid something like $100 to rent out the gazebo the morning of our wedding and it was perfect. We didn't have much budget so saving money on the venue helped us afford other important parts of the wedding (officiant, photographer, etc.). We didn't have a DJ during the ceremony or reception, just an iPod.

More similar to your case, my relatives on my dad's side would always hold reunions at parks growing up. The location would alternate between Missouri, Indiana, and Michigan. They definitely weren't fancy affairs but, like my wedding, I think hosting at parks made it easier to splurge on fun stuff for the event (e.g., games/prizes and the occasional pig roast). Parks are also great because they have open space and play equipment for the kids.
 
I am also in favor of using parks for hosting recreational events instead of community centers. That's because parks have larger space and also cost cheaper. I also like the open air space in the park. You also do not have a time card, you can use as long as you want. The only issues you might have is you might sometimes have intruders as your event is in the open space.
 
A lot of my family opted to go a similar route to this. Instead of a traditional setting for an event like this, they instead put it outside, at the nearest park and saved quite a bit of money in the process. It's what I plan to do when I need to host a family gathering or something along those lines.
 
Public parks are a great location to host a lot of events. I have gone to weddings, graduation parties, cookouts, and general celebrations at my local parks in the past. There are other options out there too, like going to community centers or taking it to a lake or beach. But I think out of the whole thing, parks are the cheapest and easiest to land.

And usually when you use a park, they will have a lot on hand for you. Like seating, bathrooms (not all, but some), grills, a pavilion to block out the sun, etc.

The only downside is the weather and there's always a chance you might get people who you didn't invite showing up. That's always a possibility.
 
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