Small groups are welcome to use the picnic tables and benches throughout the National Mall and Memorial Parks for casual picnics on a first-come, first use basis. A large picnic area on Hains Point can be reserved by groups using Recreation.gov.
Reserving a Picnic Area
Hains Point Picnic Grove is located in East Potomac Park along Ohio Drive. Reservations are required for Areas A, B, C, and D all year, except December 25.
How to Reserve
Reservations can only be made through Recreation.gov online or by phone at 1-877-444-677 during business hours (10 am - 10 pm Eastern Time). Areas can be reserved for a full or half day.
Full Day picnic reservation: $180.00 (8:00 am - 8:00 pm)
Things to Know Before Reserving
More information and rules for each reservable picnic area are available on Recreation.gov and will be provided on your reservation. Here are some general rules to consider if reserving a picnic area on Hains Point:
There are four reservable picnic sites located at Hains Point and each site holds a maximum of 75 people.
Tables and benches may not be moved from one picnic site to another or outside the fenced reservation area.
The picnic areas do not have grills. You are allowed one charcoal grill per site. Propane or other types of fuel source grills are not permitted.
Place ashes in the existing ash receptacles when COMPLETELY extinguished. Do not dump spent charcoal or other hot ash on the ground or in the woods.
Vehicles are prohibited from driving or parking on the grass or permitted on service roads to unload equipment. All equipment must be unloaded from a designated parking space. The permit holder is responsible for turf damage.
Parking is limited within the park and is not guaranteed by this permit. Parking areas are not reserved and must remain open to the public at all times.
Commercial activities are prohibited on National Park Service property, including commercial catering.
The permit holder is responsible for ensuring the area is clean and bringing extra garbage bags is recommended. For safety, please bring extra clear trash bags. Place bags of trash in the trash containers; if the containers are full, please take the rest of your trash with you. Please recycle using the recycling containers available throughout Hains Point.
Can I attach balloons or other items to the trees and other park fixtures to identify my picnic area?
Balloons are prohibited on parkland. Do not attach items, such as hammocks, ribbons, banners, or directional signs, to any park object, either natural or man‐made.
The restrooms pavilion area is a public area and cannot be reserved for a picnic area.
Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited.
Specialized recreation equipment, mechanical or carnival rides such as moon bounces, rides using livestock, and petting zoos and/or displays using live animals are prohibited. Electric generators, DJs, live bands and amplified sound systems are prohibited.
Tents and canopies no larger than 12 feet by 12 feet in size for shade are allowed and cannot be placed on drip lines under trees. One tent/canopy per picnic area.
Last updated: February 3, 2023