Picnics at the Preserve are a unique experience. All picnic locations have views of the historic mansions, the Long Island Sound, and the natural beauty of the Preserve’s grounds. Unreserved picnic tables are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis – but you can plan a special picnic event by reserving an area in advance – here’s how:
- Please read the Picnic Information Sheet – download here.
- Select the picnic area – choose from six beautiful locations on the Preserve – scroll down for detailed descriptions. Call 516.571.7901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Complete the Picnic Application – download here.
- Pay the Reservation Fee:
– Conservancy Members: $25 per hour – 3-hour limit
– Non-Members: $50 per hour – 3-hour limit
- Parking Fees:
– Conservancy Members: Free; Member’s guests $15 per car.
– Non-Members and their guests: $15 per car.
Payment may be made in advance; a guest list should be provided to the Gatehouse.
- Phil Dejana Learning Center: two tables seat 12 -16 people in the shade of a great copper beach tree, with views of Castle Gould, the Great Lawn, and the Long Island Sound at a distance. The Phil Dejana Learning Center Outdoor Classroom and Woodland Playground are nearby.
- The Great Lawn – Boulders: four tables seat 18 – 24 people under a canopy of shade trees in the center of the Great Lawn.
- The Great Lawn – Hempstead House: three tables seat 18 – 24 people under a shade tree beside the parking lot at Hempstead House.
- The Bluffs: two tables seat 12 – 16 people located in a shady area on the right side of the drive around the Great Lawn, past the bee apiary.
- Corner Views: two tables seat 12 – 16 people near the corner of the wooden fencing overlooking the beachfront, on the grassy area east of Hempstead House, with afternoon shade.
- Checker Board: one table seats 6 – 8 people to the left of Hempstead House when facing the front of the mansion.
Restrooms are located in the Castle Gould’s Black Box.
- Gatherings are limited to 50 guests.
- Guests must practice social distancing and wear face masks.
- Picnic tables cannot be moved; additional tables, chairs and tents (10 x 10′ maximum) may be brought in.
- Cooking is not permitted – no barbecuing; prepared food may be brought in and/or delivered.
- No alcoholic beverages.
- No balloon releases, no confetti or fireworks of any kind.
- Site must be thoroughly cleaned after your picnic; trash receptacles and recycling bins are provided, including a dumpster behind Castle Gould.
- Preserve’s closing time must be respected.
- Bring water – there is no access to water in the picnic areas.
- Bring table cloths.