Planning an Event or Gathering

​​​With their open grass areas, playgrounds and shaded picnic areas, Phoenix city parks are a great place to hold a gathering or event. The information and links below will make it easier for you to plan your event and avoid conflicts with other park visitors and plan your event. (Want to film at a city park? You may need a permit. See details listed below).


Black Heritage Celebration
Large-scale events in city parks of more than 50 people that will be open to the public need to be arranged directly with department staff well in advance. Fees and certain restrictions may apply.

If you're coordinating a public event in a city park, you are eligible to rent the department's mobile Showmobile performance stage and its professional sound system. Costs vary on needs, but you can see details on our event planning webpage to get a general estimate of rental costs.

Many gatherings require park users to submit a special activity request or, if city streets will be used, to obtain a special events permit. We've also put together a list of *recommended parks (*requires Adobe Reader to access) to help you pick the right location.

Organized gatherings fall into five main categories:

  1. Private gatherings of 50 or fewer people that will NOT include use of an inflatable (bounce house), amplified sounds, athletic field use/reservation or beer permit. For these gatherings, no formal request is needed, however we ask that you please contact department staff with your plans so we can identify any potential scheduling conflicts with other groups.
  2. Private gatherings of 50 or fewer people that will involve use of an inflatable or bounce house, athletic field(s) or beer permit. Consuming beer and using an inflatable both require permits; beer permits cost $28 and inflatable permits cost $10. Both can be obtained at any community/recreation center or administrative office. Additional fees apply for athletic field use.
  3. Private gatherings of 50 or more people or any size gathering that utilizes special equipment such as amplified sound, catering, tents, staging equipment, etc. For these gatherings, you must fill out an online special activity request form. Please read the *user guidelines and activity request form (*En espanol) (*links require Adobe Reader to access) carefully before filling out the form. This is just a partial list of outside equipment for which there are restrictions.​
  4. Large-scale events in city parks of more than 50 people that will be open to the public need to be arranged directly with department staff well in advance. Fees and other restrictions may apply for public events in city parks. Organizers of most public events on city property are required to hold liability insurance for their event.

It's important to remember that a Special Activity Request does not guarantee availability of park areas. Many areas are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. If staff grants a special activity request, it often means that you have permission to use park space when it's available. This also is the main reason you should complete the process -- it allows us to spot potential conflicts in advance and steer visitors to less-busy alternative sites.

The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department staff has the right to cancel any activity deemed to be disruptive, hazardous, damaging to the facility or that threatens the safety of participants/ spectators. The user group is responsible for reimbursing the city for any damage caused to property resulting from improper use or failure to follow city policies.

Want to film at a city park? Many video and film shoots, including but not limited to student films, commercial photography, TV shows, and documentaries, require a permit from the City of Phoenix Film Office. Check the Film Office website for contact information and other details on shooting on city property.