Permits & Reservations

Each year, events are conducted at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts by a variety of groups and some of these require a permit or rental. The National Park Service requires permits for many of these activities to ensure they occur safely and do not cause damage that would limit the ability of the millions of visitors to also use and enjoy these special places.

For information about filming and photography in the park, visit the Commercial Filming & Still Photography webpage.


Yes, you can with an approved permit! Every year at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts events are conducted by a variety of groups. Here’s what you need to know if you would like to host an event at the park. This is not an all-inclusive list but rather a list of commonly asked questions regarding special events in the park.

Applications will not be processed until the application fee is received. (Note: First Amendment activities are exempt from fees).

If you want to hold a special event in the parking lots (1st Amendment, drive in movies, or use of parking lots), applications can only be accepted through mail or in person:
A National Park Service-National Capital Area Application for Demonstration or Special Event on Parkland would be necessary. For more information about that process visit the National Mall and Memorial Parks Permit page.

If you want to rent Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, or the Filene Center or want to have a wedding or a picnic for a group over 25:
Wolf Trap Special Park Use application will be necessary.

If you have a business and will be conducting sales (food trucks, etc.): Wolf Trap Commercial Use Authorization Form will be necessary.

If you want to rent the Decks or the Barns at Wolf Trap, visit Facility Rentals with our partner the Wolf Trap Foundation.

If you need more information or have further questions before submitting your application, please contact Chief Ranger Jan Lemons at or 571-299-8422.

The permittee is responsible for providing safety and crowd management, rest rooms, trash collection and removal, basic first aid supplies, and parking attendants.

National Park Service staff can not make recommendations for products and services.

No open flames or grilling are allowed. Candles would need to be included in your permit application and fire extinguishers would need to be brought onsite.

Yes, generators should be put on a hard surface and should have plywood or other type of containment tray underneath it to catch any drips.

No, the park is open daily from sunrise to half hour after sunset except during performance season (mid May-end of September) and we can’t close off or restrict movement of park visitors. For after-hours events, only ticketed persons should be in the park.

Decorations are permitted as long as they are not tied to trees, signs, fences, or any structures. Any chalk paint on the ground must be removed by the end of the week in which the event occurs. Balloon launches are never permitted.

Yes, but promotional materials are not permitted to use the NPS arrowhead or anything that appears as though the NPS is endorsing the event.

Sales on Park Property are not permitted without a Commercial Use Authorization.

We recommend allowing 2 weeks for approvals at a minimum. Additional time may be needed for more complex applications.

Leashed pets are permitted in the park, parking lots, and on trails but not in the Filene Center. Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted. Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) are not allowed. Firearms are not permitted inside federal facilities to include the Filene Center. For a complete list visit our Laws & Policies page.

Application fees for Special Use Permits are $90.
Application fees for Commercial Use Authorizations are $200. An additional management fee or market price fee may apply.
Permits monitoring fees are $50 an hour per monitor.
US Park Police traffic control fees are $80 per hour per officer with a minimum of 5 hours.
Utilities costs may be incurred for electric or water use.
The applicant is responsible for any damages incurred.

Application and Permit Monitoring fees may be associated with the permit. The Permit Specialist will indicate the applicable costs as listed above. All permit monitoring, traffic control, utilities or damage fees will be billed post-event.

Permittee can pay the associated fees via check, credit card or Paypal account (Cash will NOT be accepted)

If check – Permittees should make all checks out to National Park Service and mail to 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, VA 22182, with a copy of their permit application.

If credit card or Paypal account - Permittees should notify the Permit Specialist of their preference to pay via credit card. Permittees should be prepared to provide the information below and will receive an invoice with instructions to pay via to the email address they provide:

First and Last Name
Telephone Number
Email Address
Permit Type (Special Use Permit or Commercial Use Authorization)
Permit Name

Last updated: November 9, 2023

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Mailing Address:

1551 Trap Road
Vienna, VA 22182-1643


703 255-1800

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