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Savor Summer With a Play Street

As fall draws near, we notice our evenings getting a little shorter and our shadows a bit longer. Your thoughts may begin to drift from swimming and sunbathing to putting on your favorite pair of slippers and sipping hot chocolate by the fire. Outside, the wintry breezes…wait a minute! Summer’s not over yet! So before you put your favorite Christmas album on the stereo, how about savoring these beautiful summer evenings by hosting your very own Play Street?

In case you aren’t familiar with Play Streets, they are like temporary community block parties hosted by neighborhood residents. With a free permit, hosts are able to temporarily close a block-long section of their neighborhood street to through-traffic, and open it to people, thereby creating a pop-up community gathering space.  As communities all over Seattle have discovered, Play Streets offer an unparalleled opportunity to bring neighbors together and provide kids and adults with room to play, exercise, socialize, and enjoy the outdoors.

You and your neighbors can do pretty much anything in a Play Street: ride bikes, play lawn games, do yoga, have a dance party, host a barbeque – you name it. At one recent Play Street, there was even a giant squirt gun fight! (See the KUOW story on this Play Street, complete with pictures of all the aquatic fun, here.)

Are you interested in hosting your own end-of-summer Play Street party? It’s easy! First, make sure your street fits the following four criteria:

  1. The Play Street should be no more than one block long.
  2. The street should be a non-arterial street (click here to learn your street classification).
  3. There must be clear visibility from each intersection.
  4. The play street must have neighbor support.

Then, if your street meets the above criteria, fill out the short application here. As soon as your application is approved, you’re ready to start inviting your neighbors to your new Play Street.

Need some inspiration for what to do with your new community space? Here’s a video produced by SDOT that features some Play Street activities, and interviews with Play Street hosts and SDOT staff:

We look forward to hearing about what you and your neighbors plan to do in your Play Street!

If you’d like to learn more about what a Play Street can offer, check out SDOT’s other videos on Play Street instrument making, bike rodeos, and craft making, and visit the Play Street website here.