Search Backing ccs-web-header
Community and Cultural Services

Codes & Rules for Use of Parks

Rules and municipal codes have been established to promote safety, minimize conflicts between users, to preserve and protect our parks.


Municipal Code and Official Rules

Frequently Asked Questions

May I smoke?
Smoking is prohibited within the boundaries of any City park which includes the parking lot (SMMC 4.44.020).
Is alcohol allowed?
Possession of an opened alcoholic beverage is illegal (SMMC 4.08.200).
Are dogs welcome?
Off-leash areas for dogs are available at Airport, Memorial, Joslyn (Herb Katz Dog Park), and Pacific Avenue Parks. Dogs are welcome in parks, but must be restrained on a leash (SMMC 4.04.155) and may not enter playgrounds, courts (tennis, basketball, etc.), playing fields, park and public buildings, or the beach (SMMC 4.04.160).  
May I BBQ ?
Barbecuing is allowed only in City-provided BBQ grills found at Airport, Clover, Marine and Virginia Avenue Parks (SMMC 4.55.100).
Are bounce houses allowed?
Inflatable structures such as bounce houses, inflatable obstacles used in interactive games are not allowed (Rule I)
Are playgrounds for kids?
Yes, we want kids to play but parents and caregivers should look for signs indicating appropriate ages for use of play equipment (Rule III).  Adults without children are not allowed in a playground (SMMC 4.55.160).  Adults must not attach ropes, bands or exercise equipment to playground equipment (Rule III).
Can I play soccer on a grassy area?
Informal soccer games are allowed on turf areas, but shoes with cleats must not be worn as these damage the grass (Rule I).
Are fireworks allowed?
Fireworks are not permitted in City parks, or anywhere in the City, except at special events with prior City Council approval (SMMC 8.40.020)
Would it be okay if I picked a bunch of flowers?
Flowers, especially those in our lovely Palisades Park rose garden are for the enjoyment of all.  Picking flowers, especially roses, can damage the plant and is prohibited (SMMC 4.55.040)
May I fly a model airplane?
These are not allowed in parks, the beach, or beach parking lot (SMMC 4.55.110).
Is golfing allowed?
Not in parks or at the beach (SMMC 4.55.045)
May I slackline between park trees?
Attaching wire, rope or any object to a public tree is prohibited (SMMC 7.40.140).
Why are the Palisades’ bluffs off-limits?
The bluffs are very fragile and subject to erosion.  The area is very unsafe and should not be entered (SMMC 3.36.115).   
Are skateboards, roller skates, in-line skates, and scooters allowed? 
Yes, in general, if used in a safe manner, respectful of other park users. These are not allowed on tennis and basketball courts, or on athletic, playing or synthetic fields (Rules II, IV, and VI).
When do I need an event permit?
An event permit may be required for activities that involve 150 people or more, or for the use of a temporary structure (tents, stages, etc.) which would require a permit from Fire and/or Building and Safety (SMMC 4.68.040).
Are weddings allowed in Palisades Park?
Weddings are allowed, with certain restrictions. Please consult Wedding Rules for details.
Do I need a permit for filming or photography?
A permit may be required for filming or photography activities undertaken by commercial, nonprofit or student organizations (SMMC 6.110.030).
May I sell things?
Vending (the offering of merchandise, food, beverages, admission tickets, services, etc. for profit) at parks is only allowed at City-produced events, or in the form of classes taught by a City-contracted instructor (SMMC 6.36.100).
What if I violate a municipal code or rule?
Violations may result in a citation, fine or other penalties. 
Camping (SMMC 4.08.095), interfering with maintenance and repair work (SMMC 4.55.090), amplified sound between the hours of 10PM and 8AM (SMMC 4.12.100), posting signs or handbills (SMMC 4.08.480), are all prohibited in parks.

Park Rangers

Santa Monica's Park Rangers patrol and monitor park activities on a daily basis to help promote safety for all users and answer questions.

For More Information

Permits and rules 

Classes & Programs

Classes & Programs at
Virginia Ave Park


Park Maintenance 

Improvement Projects


Government Outreach
City of Santa Monica © 2017

Community and Cultural Services | 1685 Main Street, Room 210 | Santa Monica, CA 90401 | Submit a Request