Metro Parks Tacoma

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Picnic Shelters & Kits

Picnic shelters are available between April 1 and September 30 each year. Reservations may be made up to 365 days in advance. All picnic shelters except Gig Harbor Viewpoint are available to book online.


Picnic Shelters :

All picnic sites are rented on a full-day basis, and are available for use from 10am-dusk.  Exception: the Point Defiance Gig Harbor picnic site located on Five Mile Drive is not accessible until after 1 pm on Saturday & Sunday and after 10 am Monday through Friday.

View Picnic Shelter Amenities at a Glance >

Picnic Shelter Experiences For All

undefinedPoint Defiance Gear

Check out the new Point Defiance Park gear . . . from hats to hoodies to t-shirts. And if you really want to WOW your guests, you can customize any item with your family name, year, or other informationl Now on sale at the  Visitors Center or online.

undefinedCatered Picnics

Take the headaches out of planning your picnic meals. Whether you are looking for something simple or an elegant meal in a park setting, Lancer Catering’s QuickPics make ordering easy and your meal will be delivered right to your Point Defiance shelter! Download our catered picnic menu.View our QuckPics flyer.

undefinedBecome a Junior Ranger!

Kids can come in as picnic guests and leave as  Junior Rangers. This new program is tons of fun and teaches respect for nature and the park. Pick up a free Point Defiance Junior Ranger activity booklet at the Point Defiance Visitors Center to get your kids learning about and earning their official Junior Ranger badge!

undefinedFor the Adventurous

Grab a free Field Guide, explore, collect codes from around the park and redeem them at the Point Defiance  Visitors Center for prizes. The Field Guide is full of fun facts, maps and park history. It will guide you to  That’s the Point signs throughout the park, each with a zone code and a story from a fellow park-goer.

undefinedDowntown to Defiance Trolley

Pierce Transit Route 15 • Runs during summer season only.
Ride the Trolley directly to the Visitors Center to enjoy daily drop-in tours and then get back on and head to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Learn more at

Point Defiance Visitors Center Displays in the historic Lodge.Visitors Center

The  Visitors Center, located in the historic Point Defiance Lodge, is a one-stop shop to learn all about the Park's special features and attractions. Open 10 am-5 pm, Friday-Sunday. Also open Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day and third Thursdays - June 15, July 20 and August 17.

Please Be Advised

  • Your facility rental is for the shelter only The rental client and MPT cannot reserve parking spaces or restrict other people’s activities in the park nearby unless the activities are illegal. Our parks are open for public use and your experience may include:
    - Various forms of wildlife
    - Loud music or park patrons
    - Dogs running off-leash and/or dogs excessively barking
    - People enjoying the park in close proximity to your rental space.
  • Bounce houses are not permitted unless they are (1) provided by a professional bounce house/entertainment equipment company; and (2) a certificate of insurance is provided by the professional company listing Metro Parks Tacoma as additional insured. No bounce houses are permitted at the Fort Nisqually Shelter, or the Gig Harbor Shelter.
  • Amplified Sound is not permitted at the Fort Nisqually Shelter or the Gig Harbor Shelter.
  • Do not place small hibachis, table-top barbecues or any other hot items on top of picnic tables. Many of Metro Parks’ picnic tables are constructed from recycled plastic and can melt if hot items are placed on top.
  • Overall facility appearance and condition at Metro Parks Tacoma facilities may change between venue viewing and the day of the scheduled event.

Cancellation Policy:

More than 30 days’ written notice of cancellation will receive a 100% refund; 0 to 30 days’ notice will recieve a 50% refund. Additionally, no refunds are given due to weather conditions.

Forms and Documents

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