Rental and Reservation FAQ's
What is the process to reserve a park facility?
Visit our Online Reservation Portal to view available venues by date or location.
Pay online through the portal or deliver or mail it in or bringing it in with payment (cash, check or card).
Drop off any deposit required within 2 weeks of your rental.
Pick up keys within two business days prior to your event.
After the event, return rental keys.
Staff will inspect the rental area and deposit will be available to pick up during regular business hours or it will be mailed back to you.
Reserve a facility
Easy Ways To Get Help
- Send us an e-mail with your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- Give us a call at (402) 441-7847 Option 0, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
- If you have an emergency that is life threatening, contact 911 immediately.
- If you have an issue outside of normal business hours that needs immediate assistance, contact the Lincoln Police Department non-emergency line, 402-441-6000.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I book a rental facility?
- All reservation requests are processed on a first come, first served basis. No reservations are made prior to payment being received.
- Location availability and reservations may be reserved and paid within our online registration system.
- If reserving using the printed forms: Download and mail or hand deliver the completed application form and fee to:
- Lincoln Parks & Recreation
3131 O Street, Suite 300
Lincoln, NE 68510.
When can I reserve the space?
- Shelter, classroom and golf reservations can be made one year in advance of your event.
- Online shelter reservations for the next week close on Tuesdays at 4:30pm, or in person at the Parks and Recreation office on Wednesdays at 4:00pm.
How old must I be to make a reservation?
- All individuals signing any agreement must be 19 years of age.
Can I bring or serve alcohol at the facility?
- Alcohol is not permitted in or on any park area.
What do I get for my reservation?
- Your designated rental time includes set up and clean up – no early arrivals. This allows all guests and staff to set up and take down within the scheduled timeframe.
- Enclosed shelters will have tables and chairs available. Wedding open venue areas reserve the space but do not include any additional seating unless otherwise noted.
Do I have the entire space for my own use?:
- Park areas are open to the general public during periods reserved for weddings and associated activities. Limited park maintenance may also occur during wedding reservation periods.
- Although the Parks and Recreation Department strives to keep shelters in a clean condition, unscheduled use before your reservation may affect the shelter condition.
How many hours can I reserve?
- Reservations for Open Shelters are in 6 hour increments from 8 am to 2 pm or 4 pm to 10 pm. And can be reserved all day if needed.
- Enclosed shelters reservations are available for a 4 hour minimum, but renters can add hours if the building is available.
- Wedding sites may vary between a 3 hour and 4 hour minimum.
How does Parks and Recreation determine if I need a License Agreement?
- If your organization is planning on meeting at a city park shelter on a set date and time on a recurring basis, for an extended period of time, a License Agreement is required.
How does the process work?
- The process would start by contacting our Reservations Staff. Our staff will take down information about the shelter being used, time, and dates and will receive payment for the rental fees. With this information, the staff will prepare a License Agreement to be signed by your organization's representative and the Parks and Recreation Director. Please note that a current Certificate of Liability Insurance with the City named as an Additional Insured is required.
I have never had to go through this process before, why now?
- The Parks and Recreation Department review the current processes periodically and modifies them as needed along with the guidance of the Law Department and our Compliance Administrators. It was determined that in order to fulfill our legal requirements, a License Agreement is needed between the City of Lincoln and interested parties.
Is there an additional cost?
- There is no additional cost - besides the rental fees (if applicable)
How long is the License Agreement for?
- The standard License Agreement is prepared for a one (1) year term. The duration of the agreement can also be modified according to the need of the parties involved.
Damage and Key Deposits
Are there fees & deposits?
- Individual fees and deposits vary. The rental fee is required at the time of reservation. The damage/key deposit must be in cash or check format. Damage deposit refunds are given upon return of the key, providing that the rental area is clean and did not have alcoholic beverages on location. The damage deposit may be available at the Administration front desk after 12:00 pm of the next working day so that the districts have time to see if any damage was done. If the rental is for a Sunday, then the damage deposit should be released no sooner than 12:00 noon on Tuesday.
- All form of deposits needs to be on a separate check or cash as it will likely be returned.
What is the difference between a damage deposit and key deposit?
- The key deposit is the key to electrical or restroom access within the facility. This deposit is $20.00. Not all open shelters locations require a key deposit.
When must I pay the deposit?
- Damage deposits are required fourteen (14) days prior to the reservation date. Key deposits are paid at the time of key pick up (one business day prior to reservation date).
How do I get a refund for my reservation?
- Refunds will be given on rain outs at park master tables only. All other requests will be considered on an individual basis.
- Refunds will be given upon completion of a Refund Request Form / Solicitud de Reembolso (132 KB) within seven (7) working days prior to any reservation date.
- Please allow two to three weeks for your refund to be processed. A $25.00 processing fee will be assessed to all refunds requested by the public. Damage deposit refunds will be available on the second working day after your use.
Vendor and Business Forms
Do you own a business that would like to sell food or specific items in our parks or at events?
Special Events and Permits
Planning on creating a charity run to benefit a local cause? Hosting a celebration for a special holiday? Maybe just hosting a party complete with a bounce house or food trucks? Lincoln’s local parks and trails are perfect places to host these kinds of events!
Special Use Permit
Special Use Permit
Purpose: Use of a park or park facility (e.g., sports field, Woods Pool) for a large group activity.
Examples: Corporate picnic, Baseball tournament, Swim Meet, Charity walk, etc.
Fees: Vary on location and event.
Fill out the Special Use Permit Application
Permit to Conduct Business On Park Property
Complete the Permit to Conduct Business
Purpose: Use of a park for food or merchandise sales, collection of admission fees, collection of donations. May be issued with a Special Use Permit, License or independently.
Examples: Concession stand, Sales of t-shirts or other merchandise, Sports tournament, etc.
Notes: Insurance for Permit to Conduct Business may be required if Director determines there is need
Notes:City-sponsored or co-sponsored events are exempt from permit fees, facility fees, and insurance requirements, as are activities sponsored for the City by non-profit organizations specifically organized to benefit a City Department – today this would include the Lincoln Parks Foundation, the Lincoln Area Agency on Aging, and the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries
Notes: The Lincoln Parks Foundation has developed a mini-grant program to which organizations can apply to assist in the cost of fees and insurance for Special Use Permits or Licenses
General Fee Notes: Event Charges are applicable if the use includes costs such as traffic control, parking management, trash hauling, portable restrooms. City-sponsored or co-sponsored events are exempt from permit fees, facility fees, and insurance requirements, as are activities sponsored for the City by non-profit organizations specifically organized to benefit a City Department – today this would include the Lincoln Parks Foundation, the Lincoln Area Agency on Aging, and the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries. Neighborhood Associations, and the Municipal Band and Pinewood Bowl, Inc. (as historic community arts programs) are exempt from permit and facility fees, but must provide insurance. The Lincoln Parks Foundation has developed a mini-grant program to which organizations can apply to assist in the cost of fees and insurance for Special Use Permits or Licenses.
License Long Term Use
Purpose: Long term or multiple use of Park facilities.
Examples: BMX Bike Track, season of Swim team practice or football practice, etc.
Fees: Facility fee, event charges and insurance.
Notes: See below for General Fee Notes.
Our goal is to have a park area within one-half mile walking distance of each residence in the community. We enjoy 125 parks in Lincoln with more than half of them identified as neighborhood and mini-parks.
Every spring, Lincoln’s Sunken Gardens comes to life with thousands of annual flowers. The Hamann Rose Garden and Rotary Strolling Garden at Antelope Park blooms in an array of colors thanks to the many Hybrid Tea, Grandiflora and Floribunda roses.
If you would like to reserve any of the gardens or other park space for a wedding or other special event, please contact the reservation staff at 402-441-7847. You must send completed form and payment to 3131 O Street, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68510. Your reservation is not finalized until you have a confirmation receipt from Parks and Recreation staff.
A variety of fitness, leisure interest, human service and youth development programs are offered at Lincoln’s five recreation centers. We also provide therapeutic recreation programs to youth and adults. Lincoln's Recreation Centers offers a variety of meeting spaces for special events, school trips, athletic activities, and business functions. Our facilities include classrooms, kitchens, gymnasiums, fitness/aerobic rooms, game rooms and indoor walking/running tracks. Host your next birthday/graduation party, family reunion, corporate conference/retreat, or any other small or large gathering with us! Discounts for non-profit organizations are also available. For more information, contact the recreation center where you would like to host your event.
For amost 50 years the Pioneers Park Nature Center has been helping children and families discover nature. The 668-acre site includes 440 acres of native tallgrass prairie, eight miles of hiking trails, outdoor exhibit animals, several gardens and two buildings with hands-on and small animal exhibits. The recent addition to the Prairie Building freatures "green" building techniques, prairie murals by Mark Marcuson, and a children's corner. Programming is offered for all ages, and includes a nature-based pre-school program during the school year and day camps during the summer months.
Lincoln Parks and Recreation offers 5 well-maintained public golf courses, each providing a unique experience. Whether you like tree-lined fairways and water hazards or links style, we’ve got a course that’s sure to challenge you.