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Play street permits are back! Celebrate Earth Day outside with your neighbors on an (socially distanced) Earth Day play street!

Hello, April! AKA Earth Month! Birds are singing, the sun is (sometimes) shining, and flowers are blooming. The longer days mean more daylight to play outside and connect with your neighbors.  

As of last week, play street permits are back – just in time for Earth Day fun on April 22nd! This comes after nearly a year-long hiatus in issuing these permits on account of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. 

With our free play street permit, you can open your street for exercise and fun and limit vehicle traffic up to 3 days a week, for a maximum of 12 hours per week during daylight hours. Learn all about play street permits and how to apply for one.  

Neighbors enjoying a playstreet in 2019 (pre-pandemic). 

Plan an Earth Day play street

Earth Day is coming up on Thursday, April 22! Celebrate Mother Nature with your neighbors on an Earth Day themed play street between April 22 and April 25.  

What can one do on an Earth Day play street? You can: 

  • Name your trees: choose a favorite street tree on your block and ask neighbors to share goofy name suggestions.  
  • Plan a nature scavenger hunt: come up with a list of trees, animals, and flowers that kids (and adults!) can spot on your block. 
  • Beautify your block: rake leaves and cherry blossoms, clear storm drains, freshen up gardens, or draw pictures with sidewalk chalk. You can also sign up for a Clean Cities Initiative volunteer event at a park near your neighborhood. 
  • Hop like a bunny: set up a hopscotch course or dust off the ol’ jump rope and start bouncing.  
  • Have a picnic: pick up some seasonal produce and enjoy the flavors of spring outdoors.  
  • Test your cycling skills: create a bicycle obstacle course and challenge your neighbors to friendly game.  

Apply for an Earth Day play street permit!

Enjoy time with neighbors on your street! Follow the latest public health guidance from Public Health Seattle-King County such as wearing masks and limiting close contact with people outside of your household. Photo above is from a play street in High Point in 2019 (pre-pandemic). 

Here are some things for you to know about play street permits: 

With a free play street permit, you can open streets for neighbors to get outside to walk, roll, exercise and play by closing non-arterial streets to through traffic.  

  • Play street closures may be up to one block long and must not include an intersection.  
  • To help keep Seattle moving, we’re unable to issue play street permits on streets with bus routes. 
  • For everyone’s safety, play streets may operate between 9:00 AM – dusk or 9:00 PM (whichever is earlier) including setup/cleanup.  

Although play streets are free and open to the general public, we are nonetheless encouraging residents to enjoy play streets close to home while continuing to maintain social distancing and following the latest public health guidance from Public Health Seattle-King County. This includes wearing masks and limiting close contact with people outside of your household. With the resumption of play street permitting, we’ll sunset our Stay Healthy Block permit. 

Ready to have fun? Visit our play streets permit page to get started

What’s the difference between a Play Street and Stay Healthy Street

Play Streets are temporary street closures that are only one block long and for specific days and times. Residents can apply for a Play Street permit for their blocks.  

Stay Healthy Streets are many blocks long and open to people walking, rolling, and biking 24/7. Efforts to install 20 miles of permanent Stay Healthy Streets are in progress and, when requested, we will pilot Stay Healthy Streets in underserved communities. Our goal is to open up more space for people rather than cars as a way to improve community and individual health. You can learn more about the Stay Healthy Streets program on our website.