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Community Services Department Community Services Department Updates

Permits & Rentals FAQs

NOTE: These amenities may be modified or temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For City of Santa Monica information as it becomes available, please check Re-opening is subject to change based on the County of Los Angeles Public Health orders and guidelines. 

Beach-Related Permits & Reservations

Do I need a permit for youth or adult group activities, including surf camp at the beach?

Yes. Santa Monica State Beach is a popular destination. For the safety of our visitors, large group activities involving more than 20 people require a beach/water activity permit or tower reservation. Beach Permits & Surf Instruction. Any commercial fitness instruction also requires a permit. 

I'd like to get married at the beach. Do I need a permit or reservation?

If you have less than 150 participants, you do not need a permit and reservations are not issued - spots on the beach are available first-come, first-serve. For a list of other things to keep in mind as you plan your wedding, read our Do's and Don'ts for Saying 'I Do' at Santa Monica State Beach.

Park-Related Permits & Reservations

Do I need a permit to use a BBQ grill at a Santa Monica park?

You do not need a permit (for groups under 150 people), but reservations are recommended. Picnic areas will grills are located at Airport Park, Clover Park, and Marine Park. Reservations can be made online. See the Group BBQ Area page for more information.

We're holding a birthday party at a Santa Monica park. Are bounce houses allowed?

No. Jumpers, bounce houses, or “moonbounces” are not permitted in the parks. Additionally, alcoholic beverages, overnight camping, golfing and live animals (other than dogs on leashes or dogs in dog parks) are not allowed.

Do I need a permit to use a sports field?

Some playing fields are open for drop-in play but many can be reserved in advanced. Please note: City programs, schools, and organized youth sports groups have priority. More Information

Do I need a permit to hold an event at park?

Events with more than 150 participants are subject to the City's Community Events policy and require a permit. For more information, see Community Event Permits.

I would like to provide fitness sessions and/or training in a Santa Monica park. Do I need a permit?

Yes, a permit is required to offer commercial fitness training in the parks and on the beach. 

Do I need a permit to use a park facility meeting room?

Yes. Please see the Meeting Room Reservations page for more information.

I'm not a Santa Monica resident. Can I still reserve Santa Monica's park facilities?

Yes, reservations for BBQ areas, fields, and facilities can be made by a nonresident of Santa Monica. Procedures and fees may differ from the resident procedures and fees.


Do I need a permit to film in Santa Monica?


Yes, a film permit is required for commercial filming or commercial still photography in any public space.
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