The Forest Preserves of Cook County will begin selling 2014 picnic permits online and in-person beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2. In-person sales will take place from 8 a.m. -- 4 p.m. at the district's general headquarters, 536 N. Harlem Ave., River Forest.
The Forest Preserves is debuting a new online permitting system in 2014. This new system, called ActiveNet, will allow residents to apply online for a variety of permits, including family and corporate picnics, walk-a-thons and much more. To reserve picnic groves and request event spaces either online or in-person, you must first set up an account at www.fpdcc.com/permits. Online purchases can be made at www.fpdcc.com and will remain available 24 hours a day.
A Picnic Permit must be obtained by groups of 25 or more. Only two picnic permits per person or organization are allowed per year. Permit prices vary based on the size of the group and the amenities brought into the groves.
The district sold 9,207 permits in 2013, up from 8,446 permits in 2012. Nearly 10 percent of those were issued on the first day.
The most popular groves for picnics in 2013 were Dan Ryan Woods in Chicago, Schiller Woods in Chicago/Schiller Park, Bunker Hill in Chicago/Niles and Busse Woods in Elk Grove Village/Rolling Meadows/Schaumburg.