PLAY NYC brings safe, hands-free play for children on closed-off streets in high-need NYC neighborhoods. The set-up includes an obstacle course, exercise activities, and learning experiences. PLAY NYC builds on our work at play streets since 2013 and has been redesigned from the ground up with industrial designer Hannah Berkin-Harper in response to COVID-19. Program elements include:

  • Street Marking Kit which includes chalk, stencils, protractors, other tools approved by NYC Department of Transportation for marking the street;
  • Street Layouts to create engaging, appropriately-distanced zones for story hour, street games, and physical activities (obstacle course, maze, race track);
  • Barrier and Multilingual Signage System to guide pedestrians through the installation and maintain distancing, while also serving as a basis for obstacle courses and other games;
  • Custom-designed benches that are hand-deployable, easy to disinfect, and stored on a rolling dolly in a compact stack;
  • Clipboard-based activity kits with reading, writing, and drawing activities;
  • Teaching artists, performers, and readers;
  • Street Lab staff to oversee all.

We’re determined to make a safe place for learning and play, so kids in these neighborhoods don’t fall behind. Thanks to SPIN for early support.

Get involved

NYC Mayor announcing Street Lab at 2020 Play Streets:

PLAY NYC Design Partner:

Hannah Berkin-Harper

PLAY NYC Fabrication Partner:

Bancroft Design

PLAY NYC Founding Sponsors:

Lead Sponsor 2020

NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund at The New York Community Trust

Become a sponsor of PLAY NYC!

Blog posts about PLAY NYC:

Adding reading to Open Streets in Red Hook

Adding reading to Open Streets in Red Hook

Every Tuesday this summer, Red Hook Initiative is organizing activities for kids and families on the West 9th St Open Street in Brooklyn. We’re supporting this community effort by deploying PLAY NYC, our program to support safe, hands-free play for children on the...

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Rolling out PLAY NYC, hands-free play for the street.

Rolling out PLAY NYC, hands-free play for the street.

Since the day we suspended our public programs in March, we’ve been working behind the scenes on how to return to the street and help New York’s public spaces bounce back. The time has come to get back out there. Yesterday, we partnered with Red Hook Initiative to...

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Next Steps

Next Steps

Dear friends and followers, We hope you are healthy and safe. Just six weeks ago, we were poised to launch our biggest season ever, with 157 deployments already scheduled across NYC. All of that is now on hold. The need for everyone to stay home has been a near...

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