Pavilions in South Park, Pennsylvania

by Suzanna Didier, Demand Media

    If you're looking for a comfortable outdoor facility to host a work picnic, family function or community potluck, a park pavilion makes a great choice. Rental fees are typically affordable, the scenery is amazing and your party is protected from the weather. South Park, Pennsylvania fits this description perfectly.

    Park Description

    South Park is a sprawling 2,013-acre county park a short drive south of Pittsburgh that is loaded with amenities. In addition to hiking trails, playgrounds, in-line skating trails and volleyball courts, the park features a golf course, BMX track, tennis courts, nature center, wave pool and an off-leash area for your dog. There is also a wide range of activities to enjoy including concerts in the amphitheatre, BMX races, children's theatre, naturalist programs and golf tournaments.

    Pavilions

    You will have no shortage of pavilions to choose from; South Park has more than 60 "groves" including six that are handicapped accessible. "East Rise" is the only grove greater than 2,000-square-feet; the others are between 224- and 900-square feet -- roughly accommodating four to nine picnic tables. Many, like "Montour" and "Vista," are near playgrounds. While all of the groves are scenic and provide protection from sun and rain, several have special features. "Stone Manse" is a charming stone building tucked into the hillside, "Parcell" has an outdoor hearth and "Monroe" features four tables encircling a stone fireplace.

    Rental Fees

    Groves are rented on a first-come, first-serve basis with a generous reservation window; you can reserve your pavilion up to one year in advance. The only catch is that all reservations have to be made in person at the park administration office; as of 2011, they don't accept any email or phone reservations. "East Rise" rents for $45 -- all other groves in the park are $30 for a day. Non-profits receive a 50 percent fee reduction. You can get an alcohol permit for a $50 fee, providing you purchase it at least seven days in advance.

    Policies

    Once your reservation is made and paid for, don't expect any refunds, even if the weather is bad on your scheduled rental day. You are, however, allowed up to two changes in the date of your rental, if you request them no later than one week before your scheduled day, provided the facility is available. By signing the rental contract with the park, you agree to be responsible for any damages that occur to the facility during your stay.

    About the Author

    Suzanna Didier's work appears in online publications including the National Geographic website, SFGate and Local.com. She is an avid cook who lives on a hobby farm, direct-markets organic produce to local restaurants and has taught at the preschool, elementary and college levels. Didier holds a Master of Arts in education from the University of Oregon.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images