Lily Pool Permits

Have your event in the beauty of the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

The Lily Pool’s 2022 Events Season will end on Saturday October 15th, 2022. No new permits with an event date after October 15th will be accepted.

Begin your life together surrounded by the natural beauty and privacy of a unique National Historic Landmark in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Designed by Alfred Caldwell in 1936, the Lily Pool includes an architecturally significant pavilion, a cascading waterfall, and native plantings.

After decades of erosion and damage, the Lily Pool was restored from 1998-2002 to Caldwell’s original design by the Chicago Park District and the Lincoln Park Conservancy. The Conservancy is proud to offer this natural sanctuary as a venue for your intimate wedding ceremony, proposal, or photography.

All wedding, engagement, family, or other professional photography must obtain a permit in advance from the Lincoln Park Conservancy.

The Lily Pool hosts events seasonally from May through October 15th and does not allow permitted events during the following holidays.

• Memorial Day Weekend – Saturday, May 28th – Monday, May 30th
• 4th of July Weekend – Friday, July 1st – Monday, July 4th
• Air and Water Show Weekend – Friday, August 19th – Sunday, August, 21st
• Labor Day Weekend – Saturday, September 3rd – Monday, September 5th

For more information and to schedule your event, email info@lincolnparkconservancy.org.

Please note, due to this season’s rainfall the Lily Pool’s Main Pavilion is partially flooded. We will be working on drainage fixes after the Lily Pool has closed for the season. Most typical events will still fit in the Main Pavilion.

Frequently Asked Questions

No Closure Event Policy

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is no longer offering permits for events that will close the park to the public. This is to ensure all visitors are able to enjoy the garden during its open hours. This restriction does not affect non-closure event permits such as non-closure weddings, proposals, or photography, where the site remains open during the event.

Do we allow chairs?

To protect the nature in the park, we do not allow chairs to be used or brought in for permitted events. This excludes mobility support devices like walkers, wheelchairs, or motorized scooters. The Main Pavilion has a large bench that can hold 3 to 4 people which will provide a clear view of a ceremony and one additional bench which can provide a partially obstructed view. Additionally, there is stone bench seating in the Lily Pool’s Council Ring which can also be used to hold a ceremony. The Council Ring is located across from the Main Pavilion.

What if it rains? 

The Lincoln Park Conservancy will never cancel an event due to weather. In the event of rain, you may adjust your ceremony start time or date if there are no other special events scheduled at the Lily Pool (please check with Lincoln Park Conservancy in advance). Many couples have a contingency plan set ahead of time for an alternate, indoor ceremony location such as their reception venue.

The Lily Pool does not have shelter from rain. Umbrellas are encouraged.

Cancellation Policy

Should a cancellation be necessary in the event of rain, or for any other reason, the Lincoln Park Conservancy will refund your payment less a service fee. You must make us aware of your cancellation 24 hours prior to your scheduled event to be eligible for a refund.

Questions? Please email us at info@lincolnparkconservancy.org.

Use Guidelines

The Lincoln Park Conservancy reserves the right to deny services if these guidelines are not met.

• Application must be submitted at least seven (7) days prior to your event.
Attendance must not exceed maximum capacity restrictions.
• No food or beverages are allowed in the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool.
• No décor is allowed without prior approval. Guests are responsible for setting up, taking down, and removing décor.
• No plant or floral arrangements are allowed (except for wedding bouquets and boutonnieres). No use of chalk or paint is allowed anywhere on the site.
• For environmental reasons, no balloon releases or throwing of petals, rice or confetti of any kind is allowed.
• For safety reasons, no open flames or candles are allowed.
• A live soloist is acceptable if arranged with the Lincoln Park Conservancy in advance. Amplifiers are not necessary for the space. Small Bluetooth speakers are acceptable.
• PLEASE STAY ON THE PATHS. Movement in planted areas can permanently damage delicate, rare, expensive, and/or historic plant materials or seedlings that may not be visible at the time of your visit. The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is Lincoln Park’s only National Historic Landmark garden—please help keep its plant community alive.

Permit Black-out Dates

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool will be closed during the following event dates.

• Saturday, May 21st 3:30pm – 5:00pm
• Sunday, May 22nd 9:30am – 11:00am

• Wednesday, June 8th 3:30pm – 5:00pm
• Saturday, June 25th 3:30pm – 5:00pm

• Friday, July 1st – Monday, July 4th All Day
• Friday, July 22nd 9:30am – 11:00am

• Thursday, August 19th – Sunday, August 21st All Day

• Saturday, September 24th 3:30pm – 5:00pm
• Thursday, September 29th 4:30pm – 6:00pm

• Saturday, October 1st 2:30pm – 4:00pm
• Saturday, October 15th Permit Season Ends

Events Inside the Lincoln Park Conservatory

Permits for events and photography inside the Lincoln Park Conservatory available through the Chicago Park District.

Filming and Photography: https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/permits-rentals/filming-photography

Events: https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/permits-rentals/special-event-venues

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