Will the Parks Center “Hold” a date while I am still making the final decision?
Absolutely! We will place a hold on your date for seven days, free of charge. If any other party expresses interest, we will notify you.
Is there a limit on how late I can have an event at the Parks Center?
The latest we will reserve the space is until 1am. This includes one hour of mandatory clean-up, meaning that the event will end at 12am with clean-up until 1am.
Do you have a list of preferred caters?
Yes, we love our preferred caterers, but we are also open to outside catering. If you choose to use a caterer that is not on our preferred list, please let the Parks Center know ASAP.
Do you have a list of preferred vendors (photographers, DJs, etc.)?
We do! Please see the ‘Pros We Know’ list.
What is your alcohol policy?
Alcohol is welcome at the Parks Center, but we do not have a liquor license. A caterer or a bartender can supply the liquor license or you can apply for a one day liquor license through the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). We have a Parks Center document that can help you navigate this process. Any event where alcohol is served requires proof of license before the day of the event, or alcohol serving and consumption is prohibited.
What tables, chairs and equipment are available?
All private event rental fees include the use of all Parks Center tables and chairs, listed on our inventory. Also listed on our inventory is a/v, kitchen usage, and sound systems with their associated fees.
What is the maximum capacity for each Parks Center room?
Private rentals have access to five different rooms, as well as the downstairs and upstairs foyers, the south garden, the front driveway, and the terrace. Capacities vary based on style of event, please speak with someone from our team to get a sense of which space(s) best suit your event.
What is the maximum capacity for the entire Parks Center?
300 people – standing only.
Is the Parks Center handicapped accessible?
There is a handicapped parking space and ramp access from the rear parking lot to the 1st floor. Although one of the first floor restrooms is wide enough for a wheelchair to use, it is not technically ADA compliant. We do not have elevator access to the 2nd floor.
How many restrooms do you have?
There are two restrooms on the first floor, one on the second floor, and one private restroom on the third floor in the bridal suite. There are 4 bathrooms in total, 3 for guests to use during the event.
Do you offer a non-profit discount?
Rental fees are determined based on the needs of your event. The Parks Center happily offers a very competitive non-profit discount for qualifying groups.
What is the payment schedule?
A non-refundable deposit, which is half of the total rental fee, is required to reserve your date. The balance and deposit(s) are due at least 2 weeks before your event, exact timing contingent on the contract.
What form of payment do you take?
We have an online payment system that accepts all major debit and credit cards. We prefer and encourage clients to pay with a check or EFT so that we can direct all of your payment into supporting DC’s parks and people, instead of losing a portion to credit card fees. Our current online portal does not accept e-checks.
What’s the cancellation policy?
The initial deposit is non-refundable. The balance becomes non-refundable at the date outlined in your contract.
Day of the Event
Who will set up the Parks Center’s tables and chairs?
Our team will follow your floor plans to set up the space with our tables and chairs. Set-up will be completed before your reservation begins. This helps to cut own on your set-up time. After the event, our staff will break down the tables and chairs.
What is the earliest I can arrive at the Parks Center to start setting up?
Parks Center doors will open at the start of your reservation time. All deliveries, set-up, decorating, catering drop offs, etc. must happen within the reserved time frame. You are welcomed to buy an extra hour if needed.
Will anyone from Washington Parks & People be here the day of my event?
Yes! We have an excellent team of experienced event hosts who will be there to help your event run smoothly. Day time events do not typically have a host, as the full time Events Manager will be present throughout the day for questions and assistance.
Are there any noise regulations that I should be aware of?
We are in a residential neighborhood and must be mindful of our community. We require that the noise levels are within regulation. Our event hosts monitor the noise levels and will work with your event coordinator and DJ to ensure that the party is rocking inside without violating noise regulations.
Does the Parks Center have parking spaces for guests?
Yes! The Josephine Butler Parks Center has its own private parking lot right behind the building, which is big enough to meet the parking needs of the vast majority of events. The lot has 12 spaces available. Weekday events will be offered a limited number of spaces, as the building is home to over a dozen non-profits who utilize the lot.
Is the Parks Center close to a Metro station?
We are within walking distance from the U Street Metro and the Columbia Heights Metro which are both on the green and yellow lines. If you get off at the U Street Metro be sure to enjoy the scenery as you walk through Meridian Hill Park on you way to the Parks Center.
How can I make sure I get my refundable damage deposit back?
Follow our event guidelines, catering guidelines, and leave the space as you found it. Accidents happen, so if there is damage please report it to the event host.
Why will you refund me with a check and not directly to my card?
As a non-profit, we try to reduce our overhead costs as much as possible. Refunding the damage deposit with a check saves us 20% in processing fees. You can expect your deposit within two weeks after the event.