Alcohol in the Parks

family at picnic table at Wheaton Regional Park

It’s always the perfect time to Picnic in the Parks!

Montgomery Parks has your picnic covered! With more than 400 parks to choose from, anytime is a good time to enjoy a Picnic in the Park with friends and family. 

We have 13 parks where alcohol can be responsibly consumed by park patrons who are 21 years of age or older and during normal park hours in the following parks and designated areas below.

The parks department’s top priority is always the safety of its patrons, staff, and volunteers. Park Police continue to ensure all state and county laws, as well as Park Rules and Regulations, are being followed. 

Please see the Rules & Regulations for more information. 

To report a concern contact:
Customer Service – 301-495-2595
Park Police – 301-949-8010

Frequently Asked Questions

Please describe the park directive

A park directive amends existing Rules and Regulations. The original park directive was enacted on  Sept. 24, 2020, and allowed for the consumption and possession of alcohol in nine Montgomery Parks until May 31, 2021. On May 27, 2021, the directive was then renewed for an additional 12 months and expanded the original nine parks to 13. The Park Directive will expire May 31, 2023, unless it is renewed.

Can you bring your own alcohol or is it only available by ordering from restaurants?

While the directive does not prohibit outside alcohol, we encourage park visitors to support our local restaurants by ordering a meal and alcohol from nearby restaurants.

Why has Montgomery Parks decided to allow alcohol in select parks?

This initiative started to support area restaurants affected by COVID-19. The temporary directive was suspended on July 1, 2021, in response to the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency issued by the State of Maryland. Due to the popularity of the program, staff worked closely with state and local officials to bring the program back.

What safety measures have you put into place?

We are working closely with our Park Police to ensure that all state and county laws, as well as our Park Rules and Regulations, are being followed in these 13 parks. Each location will have a designated area where alcohol can be legally consumed. Visitors should expect to see an increase in Park Police patrols at these 13 parks. We will be monitoring the program and sending out reminders via our social media platforms. Also, we encourage patrons to report illegal behavior to our park police. We have more than 400 parks in Montgomery County, but carefully selected 13 for this pilot project.

How will Parks address an increase in trash?

Due to the expected increase in park visitors at the 13 parks, we have added additional trash containers where needed. Additionally, park staff will also be monitoring an increase in trash. We encourage visitors to properly dispose of their trash.

Can I drink anywhere in the parks that are included in the directive?

In some of the parks, particularly the smaller ones, you may drink alcohol anywhere in the park. In other parks, you may drink alcohol only in certain areas. These areas are listed below: 

  • Carroll Knolls Local Park: The area next to the parking lot.
  • Ellsworth Urban Park: The area off of Colesville Road, north of the Dog Park.
  • Elm Street Urban Park: The concrete area north of the playground.
  • Germantown Town Center Urban Park: The area near the walking path.
  • Jesup Blair Park: The area around the house structure.
  • Norwood Local Park: The area next to the parking lot.
  • Olney Manor Recreational Park: The area next to the parking lot, near the tennis courts and across the street from the baseball diamond.
  • Takoma Urban Park: The area near the benches next to Carroll Avenue.
  • Wall Local Park: The area just off the parking lot.
  • Wheaton Local Park: The area north of the playground.
  • Wheaton Regional Park: The area next to the parking lot on the Shorefield Road side of the park, near the carousel.