Approved Vendors for Picnics & Events

a person on an inflatable zip line run

Forest Preserves picnic and event permit holders can obtain Special Use Items (inflatables, generators, tents, chairs, etc.) directly through Approved Vendors without any additional insurance requirements. Basic Picnic Permit holders must use an Approved Vendor for rented Special Use Items.

On this page:


Items not naturally found in a forest preserve are typically considered Special Use Items. Examples include, but are not limited to: amplified sound (DJ, stereo system, live band, etc.), generators, grills wider than 5 feet, inflatables, on-site catering, portable bathrooms or snack machines. If you are unsure if your event requires adding a Special Use Item to your permit, please contact us.

Rented Special Use Items

Basic Picnic Permit holders must use an Approved Vendor for all rented Special Use Items.

Personally Owned Items, On-site Catering and Portable Bathroom Rental

Permit holders may use personally owned Special Use Items. They may also use the vendor of their choice for on-site catering or portable bathroom rentals.

However, permit holders must submit a Certificate of Liability Insurance with the endorsement attached, naming the Forest Preserves of Cook County as an additional insured in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence. All documentation, including any rental contracts and receipts, must be submitted and approved at least 10 business days prior to the event.

How to Use an Approved Vendor

  1. Obtain a Forest Preserves Picnic/Event permit.
  2. Rent a Special Use Item (inflatables, generators, tents, chairs, etc.) through a vendor listed below (be sure to provide the approved vendor with a copy of your permit).
  3. Approved vendor will issue you a rental agreement listing items you have rented for your event.
  4. Submit rental agreement(s) and Special Use Items request form to the Forest Preserves Permit Office.
  5. Forest Preserves reaches out to permit holder to collect payment (fees: $25 processing fee + $10/item).
  6. Permit holder receives an updated permit with Special Use Item(s) included.

Please note:

  • Special Use Item request forms and documentation received less than two weeks prior to the event date may be denied or subject to a $25 late fee.
  • Permit holders must apply directly with the Forest Preserves to add a Special Use Item to their permit.
  • Outdoor use of Special Use Items must end by one hour before sunset or 7:30 pm—whichever is earlier.
  • Vendors may charge permit holders additional fees for providing insurance coverage
  • Permit holders must call their vendor directly for issues with their rental.

Approved Vendor List

View a map showing the five geographic zones (PDF)

Apply to Become an Approved Vendor

Are you interested in becoming an Approved Vendor?

  1. Complete and submit Approved Vendor Application (PDF)
  2. Submit required fee and documents
  3. Your business is added to the Approved Vendor list

Inclusion on the approved vendor list does not guarantee any business from Forest Preserves permit holders.