Planning an Event

You can plan your own event in Fort Tryon Park: birthday party, wedding ceremony, family reunion and many more. All it takes is a Special Events Permit to secure the location and day for your special event. Special Event Permits are issued by New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and you can apply for them online or download an application and mail it. Permits must be applied for no less than 30 days before your event. Please allow as much time as possible when making your application as the Park’s event calendar fills rapidly.

After reading the special events questions and answers below, please contact the Park Administrator at (212) 795-1388 ext. 300 with any special events questions that remain.

Frequently Asked Special Events Permit Questions

Which activities or events require special events permits?

Special events permits are required for events/activities where twenty or more people will be present. Wedding ceremonies, school picnics, birthday parties, field days, etc. all require a special events permit.

All special events permits require a $25.00 nonrefundable administrative processing fee, and permits require at least 30 days for processing. You may download the special events permit application or apply online at the NYC Parks Department website.

Are there circumstances under which I should get a permit even though my group has fewer than 20 people?

Yes, at times people apply for permits with smaller groups because they want to make sure they will be able to use a specific area in a park and be certain no one else has been issued a permit to use that area, for instance, in the case of wedding photography. While a permit does not guarantee exclusive use of an area within the park, it does give the permit-holder the right to hold his or her event in a specific area and ensures that other groups are not issued a permit to use the same space. You should always keep a copy of your permit on site with you the day of your event.

Finally, applying for a special events permit alerts our staff of your plans; they can then make recommendations on the most desirable locations or dates for your gathering. Please contact the administrator’s office if you have any questions about when you might need to apply for a permit with a smaller group.

Do I need to get a permit for my school or camp group to visit a park, even if we’re only going for a few hours?

Yes, but call the Manhattan borough office at (212) 408-0226, to get the proper forms. The form you need might not necessarily be a special events permit application.

Can I get my money back if I don't get what I requested, if it rains, if I decide not to hold my event, etc.?

No. We’re sorry, but the application fee is not refundable.

Can I have my wedding in the Park?

You may hold your wedding ceremony in the Park, but receptions are not permitted. See our Special Guidelines for your Wedding Ceremony.

Can I barbecue in the Park?

Barbecuing (propane or fire of any sort) is PROHIBITED in Fort Tryon Park but allowed at Inwood Hill Park's Dyckman Fields (immediately north of Fort Tryon) or at the 203rd Street End Park at 203rd and the Harlem River.

Will I get everything I ask for in my application?

While we do try to accommodate our clients’ requests as much as possible, it is sometimes necessary to offer the applicant different times, locations, or dates for events, due to the volume of requests and park rules and conditions.

May I hold my event on a major holiday weekend (Memorial Day, Independence Day, or Labor Day)?

No, we are not able to issue permits for major holiday weekends, as we keep spaces clear for public use on a first-come, first-served basis on those days.

With an event permit for a park, will an area be cordoned off for our use only?

No, an area will not be cordoned off for your use only. The event permit only gives you and your group permission to use the park on your designated day.

How many tables may we use for our event in Fort Tryon Park?

Tables, chairs, tents, and any other sort of furnishings are not permitted in Fort Tryon Park. Permanently installed tables are available on the Subway Plaza Terrace.

May we erect a tent and/or hang signs or banners at our event?

No. You may not erect tents or hang banners or signs in the park.

Will I have access to water, electricity, or other park services during my event?

We don’t provide access to electricity or water unless agreed upon in advance with the park’s administrator.

Will I need any other permits to hold an event in a park?

If you have the Administrator’s permission for sound on your approved permit, you will also need a Sound Permit from the New York Police Department (NYPD). If you have the Administrator’s approval to vend in the park for an event, you will also need a Temporary Use Authorization (TUA) permit from the Parks Department’s Revenue Division.

To get a Sound Permit from NYPD, you must first have your Parks permit, including permission from Parks to use amplified sound. When you have received your Parks permit, take it to your local precinct to receive a Sound Permit. NYPD Sound Permits cost $45.00, and you must apply at least five days in advance of your event.

Will I receive permission to have amplified sound in Fort Tryon Park?

Fort Tryon Park is a designated Quiet Zone; therefore, amplified sound is not permitted except under special circumstances.

Do I have to have insurance or pay for a bond for my event?

Not necessarily, the Manhattan borough permit office will let you know if insurance or a bond is required for your event.

Can I charge people to come to my event in the park?

No, you may not charge for admittance to your event.

How do I get a permit to sell something at my event?

You must apply for a Temporary Use Authorization (TUA) (PDF, 10 KB) to sell anything in a park. You will need to provide our Revenue division with a list of vendors, items to be sold, and prices prior to the event. Please call our Revenue division at (212) 360-1397 for more information.

We are a nonprofit organization. Can the event permit fee be waived?

The permit fee is an administrative charge and not a payment for using the park. Therefore, everyone is asked to pay.

I want to have a picnic area and use a ballfield for my event; what do I do?

There are no picnic areas, Ballfields, or athletic fields in Fort Tryon Park. You may picnic on the lawns but no picnic tables are available. Ping Pong tables at the Subway Plaza, adjacent to the Volleyball Courts may be used for picnics.

May I have inflatables or mechanical rides at my child's birthday party?

No, inflatables and mechanical rides are not permitted at any events in any NYC parks.

Can I get a permit for a playground? How about exclusively?

No, playgrounds are not permitted for special events.

How do I apply for a permit for an event on the streets around Fort Tryon Park?

Contact the Street Activity Permit Office (SAPO) at (212) 788-7439