Pankowski Friends Amphitheater


Nestled into the woods near the visitor center, the Pankowski Friends Amphitheater is a natural gathering place for programs and events. Tiers of native sandstone blocks built into a grassy hillside provide seating for 200 to 250 people. A large concrete stage area has a soaring, curved cedar roof suspended by massive wood timbers. Dimmable lighting above the stage and electrical outlets are available, along with free Wi-Fi. The amphitheater was constructed in 2019 by the Friends of Schmeeckle Reserve, a nonprofit support organization, and funded by nearly 100 generous donors.

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Renting the Amphitheater

The Pankowski Friends Amphitheater is an ideal venue for weddings, reunions, concerts, plays, programs, and other private and community events. Rental fees directly support trail maintenance, habitat restoration, and student employees at Schmeeckle. Click here to read the Rental Information & Policies document for details about reserving the amphitheater.

The amphitheater is located just across the trail from the Menzel Pavilion, an open-air picnic shelter with a two-story, double-sided fireplace. The pavilion, fireplace, and firewood are provided at no additional charge when renting the amphitheater. Click here for more information about the Menzel Pavilion.


Reservation costs

The amphitheater can be rented between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. The fee includes use of the amphitheater, an adjacent woodchipped area, and the Menzel Pavilion picnic shelter for a full day, and parking for 15 vehicles in the paved parking lot with additional parking for 50-60 vehicles in a gravel overflow lot.

The base cost to reserve the amphitheater depends on the group type.

Types of Group Peak Season Cost (April-October)
Off-season Cost (November-March)​
Private events (weddings, celebrations, family gatherings)
$500 per day* ​$250 per day*
For-profit groups / company events $500 per day* ​$250 per day*
Nonprofit / community groups: Charging fees for event
$350 per day* ​$175 per day*
Nonprofit / community groups: No fees being charged $250 per day ​$125 per day
UW-Stevens Point / school groups: Charging fees for event
      Event more than 2 weeks away
$250 per day ​$125 per day
UW-Stevens Point / school groups: No fees being charged
      Event more than 2 weeks away
$150 per day
​$75 per day
UW-Stevens Point / school groups: Event less than 2 weeks away
​Free to use
​Free to use

   * Price includes a 2-hour rehearsal on a day prior to the event, if needed.


Availability and reservation requests

See the calendar below for availability. Reservation requests may be made a maximum of 1 year in advance of the event. Requests are reviewed by Schmeeckle staff and may be either approved or denied. No payment is required until a request has been approved. Once a reservation request is approved, the renter will have 14 days to pay the full base cost of the reservation. Reservations are not confirmed until payment is received.

Before making a reservation request, be sure to read the Rental Information & Policies document for details about reserving the amphitheater. Information is also included in the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have any questions, contact Schmeeckle Reserve at schmeeckle@uwsp.edu or 715-346-4992.

Click here to fill out an Amphitheater Rental Application

Pankowski Friends Amphitheater Availability