Play Streets

Play Streets make play space available by temporarily opening local streets up for play and limiting vehicle traffic so kids and parents can play outside and get to know one another.

Play Street events temporarily restrict vehicle traffic on quiet local streets, so that children and parents can be active, socially connect, and play in their neighbourhood. They are small, resident-led, local events, held on quiet neighbourhood streets during daylight hours.

Who is usually involved in a Play Street?

Anyone can organise a Play Streets event. They are often organised by a group of neighbours, a school, or a community group, e.g. Scouts. Whoever is leading the Play Street event will need to get permission from the council.

What are the key characteristics of a Play Street?

Below are the typical characteristics of a Play Street based on experiences from New Zealand and internationally:

Play Streets - image courtesy of Waka Kotahi.

Image courtesy of Waka Kotahi.

Play Streets - image courtesy of Waka Kotahi.

Image courtesy of Waka Kotahi.

  • Usually organised by neighbours on their own street – and often with support from council or regional sports trust staff.
  • Simple and low key with a focus on play, physical activity, and community connectivity (as opposed to partying).
  • Play streets allow children (and adults) to play freely, without organised games or activities. In practice, this means kids cycle, scoot, skate, chalk, skip, hopscotch, kick a ball around and make up games.
  • Parents and caregivers are responsible for their children.
  • Held during daylight hours.
  • Traffic is temporarily restricted from the event area for a defined period – usually 2-3 hours.
  • The Play Street might regularly recur, e.g. first Sunday afternoon of each month.
  • The event area is not too large.
  • All neighbours in the immediate area are consulted and included.
  • The Play Street is only ‘advertised’ in the immediate neighbourhood. This means it is not an event that the wider public attend. That keeps crowd size and down and will avoid outside traffic coming to the area.
  • The traffic restriction is set up and stewarded by residents and volunteers (event marshals).
  • Residents’ vehicles may enter or leave the street at walking speed and under Play Street marshal supervision.
  • Usually there are no commercial activities at the event (e.g. food trucks or bouncy castles).

Is your street and location suitable for a Play Street event?

How to apply

To apply for a Play Street please download the application form.

Play Street application form

For further information give us a call on 06 759 6060 or email us at

We require 10 working days' notice to process the application and give approval.

Health and Safety

Your Play Street should be fun, therefore it is important to think about how to keep everyone safe while playing on the street. The hazards common to most Play Street events are set out below. Please add any other hazards that you can think of, as well as the steps to address them, and agree who is responsible for each step.

Your health and safety plan should be developed and discussed with your organising team and form part of the briefing for the event marshals.

Example Health & Safety Plan