Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is bringing a camp-like experience to city streets this summer. The department will deliver safe, fun play resources to 300 blocks. The effort is part of Parks & Rec’s expanded Playstreets program. Playstreets will also follow new guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health created these new guidelines.

The successful Playstreets program is more than 50 years old. Local volunteers serve as Playstreets supervisors. They’re helped by youth workers from the Philadelphia Youth Network.

Playstreet leaders:
  • Rally their blocks to host a Playstreet.
  • Open and close the street to traffic daily.
  • Give out meals and play items.
This summer’s program is a partnership among:

Here are seven ways Playstreets will make 2020 a summer to remember:

1. Super Streets

50 designated “Super Streets” will receive daily programming, including:
  • Arts and sports tutorials.
  • Pop-up dance parties with Philadelphia sports mascots.
  • Portable play landscapes that encourage safely-distanced play.

Mural Arts Philadelphia will visit Super Streets to:

  • Create 33 temporary chalk murals as part of its Murals on the Move program.
  • Distribute wagons full of fun, including:
    • 1,350 Mobile Mural Kits featuring sidewalk chalk and temporary spray paint.
    • 2,000 Designs for Unusual Times activity and coloring books.
    • 1,000 Chase Doodle books.

2. Play Streets of Wonder

Playstreets of Wonder is back for a second year. The program offers playful learning and literacy support to ten streets. Reading and math is woven into the day’s activities. The William Penn Foundation funded this two-year pilot project. The partners include:

  • Free Library of Philadelphia.
  • Play Captains from Fab Youth Philly.
  • Officers from the Police Athletic League.

3. Nutritious meals steps from the front door

The City has given out meals to city residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children on Playstreet blocks will get two free nutritious meals each day. Playstreets summer meal sites are available here.

4. Active bodies, active minds

Playstreets will feature portable play landscapes designed by Kounkuey Design Initiative. Children can move these large learning structures called “wobbles” into different shapes.

Local design firm Tiny WPA has also created play landscapes. These include customized seesaws and modular play islands.

These will allow for socially-distanced play that mixes education and fun.

5. Beat the heat

100 Playstreets will receive cooling kits. These include:
  • Misting fans
  • Super soakers.
  • Branded tents and patio umbrellas.
  • Neck cooling rags.
Areas most affected by the urban heat island effect will receive the kits. Read more about heat vulnerability.

6. Surprise visitors and special guests

Local professional sports teams will make special appearances at Playstreet locations. The lineup includes the Eagles, Phillies, Flyer, 76ers, and Union.

7. Something for everyone

Playstreets will provide children with a variety of giveaways, including:
  • Sports kits.
  • Art kits.
  • “Play Packs” designed by Studio Ludo.
  • Clay pottery kits donated by the Clay Studio.
  • Books donated by:
    • Wawa Welcome America.
    • Book Smiles Book Bank NJ.
Playstreets has been providing a safe, fun place for Philadelphia's children to play each summer for more than 50 years!