- All Middlesex County Parks and Open Spaces are open from sunrise to sunset with strict social distancing requirements. Pursuant to Executive Order 204, effective Monday, December 7, 2020 until further notice, the gathering limit for all outdoor activities is limited to 25 individuals. The Parks Administration Building is closed to the public until further notice. Park visitors are to practice social distancing and are strongly encouraged to wear a mask while enjoying our parks and open spaces.
***2021 PICNIC RESERVATIONS - UPDATE***
February 11, 2021
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 concerns and Executive Orders currently in place by Governor Murphy, the opening day of reservations is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 1, 2021. Information regarding our NEW ELECTRONIC RESERVATIONS PROCESS will be on our website in mid-March. If you have any questions, please visit the picnic reservation page
or call our reservation office at 732-745-3900.
General Picnic Questions
Which Parks can I have a picnic in?
You can have picnics in the following parks. Follow the links for more detailed information on each park including facilities, a map, and directions: Donaldson
in Highland Park, Fords
in Woodbridge, Johnson
in Piscataway, Medwick
in Carteret, Merrill
in Woodbridge, Roosevelt
in Edison, Thompson
in Monroe/Jamesburg, Warren
in Woodbridge, and Alvin P. Williams
How many hours can my picnic be?
Weekend and holiday reservations are from sunrise to sunset, BUT at least one person needs to be at the picnic area with the picnic permit by 10:30AM. Weekday reservations are also from sunrise to sunset, but you state what time you would like the picnic to start.
What is the seating capacity of the picnic tables?
Each standard size picnic tables holds approximately 8-10 people.
Can I bring my own grill to my picnic/event?
Sure - but it must be charcoal. Propane is prohibited.
When is the picnic season?
April 11 2020 through October 11, 2020.
Reserving a Picnic Area
Do I need to reserve an area to have party in the park?
While there are picnic areas that do not require a permit as long as you have less than 100 people with no alcohol, these areas (which are marked “Open Grove”); fill up fast. We recommend calling our reservation desk to reserve a picnic area. Prices for picnic groves start at $43 for Middlesex County residents.
How many "Open Grove" picnic areas are there?
There are first come – first serve “Open Grove” areas in the following parks. Follow the links for more detailed information on each park including facilities, a map, and directions: (1) in Donaldson
in Highland Park, (1) in Fords
in Woodbridge, (2) in Johnson
in Piscataway, (1) in Medwick
in Carteret, (1) in Merrill
in Woodbridge, (2) in Roosevelt
in Edison, (2) in Thompson
in Monroe/Jamesburg, (2) in Warren
in Woodbridge, and (1) in Alvin P. Williams
What information is needed when I make a reservation for a picnic area?
We will need the date you want a picnic, the park you would like to reserve, and the picnic grove you would ideally like to be in. We will also need your name (and Company/Organization name, if applicable), address, phone number, and the approximate number of people attending your event.
Can I reserve a picnic area if I do not live in Middlesex County?
Yes, of course! The parks are open for use by everyone. You can either view the Fee Schedule or call the reservation desk to get the prices on picnic areas.
When is the earliest I can make a picnic/special event reservation?
The first day for picnic reservations is the first business day after New Year’s Day. You can send in a special event request form in December the year before.
Can I reserve multiple dates per season?
If calling over the phone, we can only hold one unpaid reservation at a time. If you come in person and will be paying for each date on the spot, you are limited to three dates at a time. If you would like more information please contact the reservation desk.
How long is my picnic reservation held for?
We will hold your reservation for two weeks from the day you make your reservation. You must pay for your permit within these two weeks or your reservation will no longer be held.
How do I pick up my picnic permit?New Customers
- You will need to come in person within two weeks from the date you made your reservation to our office located at 1030 River Rd, Piscataway, NJ 08854 with your payment and identification (and proof of County residency for Company/Organization, if applicable) in order to sign and pay for your permit. Returning Customers
- Can pay over the phone with a Credit Card provided there are no existing issues with your account and willing to also provide us with a valid email address.Which picnic areas have a covering or gazebo?
There are seven reservable picnic areas that have a covering or gazebo included in their picnic permit. These areas are Grove 1 and Grove 5 in Johnson Park
, Grove 1 in Donaldson Park
, Grove 1A and Grove 3C in Merrill Park
, Grove 1 in Alvin P Williams Park
, Grove 1 in Medwick Park
, Grove 1A and 2B in Roosevelt Park
, and Grove 1A and 4B in Thompson Park
. All other gazebos are NOT to be used as picnic areas as they are public areas in which all park goers are welcome to use.
Can I put up a tent at my picnic/event?
Tents are allowed, but all sides must be open (no plastic or netting sides) and you are required to obtain approval from the Middlesex County Fire Marshall’s Office. You can download the Fire Marshal Permit Application here.Payment
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Money Orders, and Checks. Cash WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. For Picnics, checks will NOT be accepted less than 2 weeks before your event.
Raindates, Refunds and Rescheduling
Can I get a refund for my picnic/event?
Unfortunately, we are unable to give refunds for any reason.
Can I get a rain date for my picnic/event?
Due to the popularity of the weekend picnics, we are unable to give rain dates in advance for any picnics occurring on weekends or holidays. If your picnic is on a weekday (Monday through Friday) and does not fall on a holiday, we would be happy to give you a rain date when you book your picnic.
What constitutes a rainout?
If it is a continuous rain that lasts the duration of the scheduled picnic/event.
Can I reschedule my picnic?
Subject to avaliability, we may be able to reschedule your reservation for another date in the current picnic season. Rescheduling your picnic must be done by 12 noon the Friday before your original picnic date. Your picnic can only be rescheduled (1) one time.
Can I bring alcoholic beverages into the parks?
Only beer and wine are allowed in reserved picnic areas, by permit only. Bottles and cans only. No alcohol is allowed to be consumed in any other park areas INCLUDING sports fields.
Can I cook with gas/propane in the picnic areas?
No, propane use is prohibited in all parks unless used by a certified Caterer with a permit. Please visit the Picnic page for specific insurance requirements and Fire Marshal application.
Can I have a caterer cook at my picnic?
Yes, but you must be in a reserved picnic area with a permit and we will need a copy of the company's insurance policy naming "Middlesex County" as Additional Insured and Certificate Holder as well as approval from the County Fire Marshal. Please visit the Picnic page
for specific insurance requirements as well as a list of which picnic areas have electiricity hookups.
You can also download the Fire Marshal Permit Application here.What types of music are allowed at my picnic/event?
Radios are allowed in every picnic area. Please keep all music to an appropriate level so all other park visitors can enjoy the park's surroundings. Amplified Sound Systems are allowed only at certain reserved picnic areas with a permit. Please contact the reservation desk for a list of which areas allow Amplified Sound Systems. You cannot have a DJ or any amplified music in an Open Grove area. Amplified live music is not allowed in any of the parks. Please contact our reservation desk for any additional questions. Please visit the Picnic page
to see which picnic areas have electiricity hookups.
Can I have an inflatable or a bouncy house at my picnic/event?
Yes, but you must be in a reserved picnic area with a permit and we will need a copy of the company's insurance policy naming "Middlesex County" as Additional Insured and Certificate Holder as well as approval from the County Fire Marshal. More information can be found here
or you can contact our reservation desk. Please visit the Picnic page
to see which picnic areas have electiricity hookups. You can also download the Fire Marshal Permit Application here.
Can I bring a generator to my picnic/event?
Yes, but only in reserved picnic areas with a permit. Please inform the reservation desk staff and it will be indicated on your permit. County Fire Marshal application must also be applied for.
Can I have mechanical carnival rides or water-based rides at my picnic/event?
No. Mechanical, motorized, and water-based rides are strictly prohibited.
Can I have pony rides or animal attractions at my picnic/event?
No. Pony rides and live animal attractions of any kind are strictly prohibited.
Can I have a vendor at my picnic/event?
Yes, but they cannot sell their product. Food/drink/products must be donated and a sign must be displayed with the following: “Not for Sale/Private Party.” Can I rent a Showmobile or Farmwagon for my event?
Yes, please visit this page
to get information on renting one of our Showmobiles.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Picnic ReservationsPark Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.'s)Permit and Passes Frequently Asked Questions(F.A.Q.'s)Sports Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.'s)
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