Block Parties and Play Streets

Block Parties and Play Streets

You can make non-arterial streets great places for kids (and adults!) to play and socialize — especially in areas where parks or private yards are limited — by temporarily closing the road with a Block Party and Play Street permit! We issue free and simple permits to use streets this way.

Note: we do require that the street remain open for vehicles needing access to buildings on the block, such as deliveries or emergency services. 

Current recurring Block Parties and Play Streets

Use the map below to explore current and recent recurring Block Parties and Play Streets. These events are open to the public, so find one in your neighborhood!

Get Your Neighbors Involved!

Block parties and play streets are great ways to build community and get to know your neighbors! To that end, try to coordinate your block party or play street with your neighbors before you apply. This can help you select dates that don’t conflict with another neighbor, who may have a lot of visitors or a construction project planned the same day that will bring extra vehicles to your street. Once your permit is approved, you are required to notify neighbors at least 2 days before the event itself. So if you’ve done this step before you even apply, you’ll be ahead of the game!

To make coordinating with your neighbors easier, we've made some materials to help! Click the thumbnails below to download the full-sized door hanger and flyer.

Neighborhood outreach flyer 

Door hanger for neighborhood outreach

If you plan to reach out to your neighbors by e-mail or online, here's a sample e-mail or post for you to use:

"Hi Neighbors!

We are applying for a free Block Party/Play Street permit from the Seattle Department of Transportation to host a neighborhood party (with [activities, i.e. bike riding, snacks, water balloon fight, dancing]), and we would like to get your input on the proposed days and times before submitting.

We are thinking of [day/days] between [start time] and [end time]. Please let me know in the next few days if you have any concerns or questions by contacting me at [email address, phone number, or street address].

It's important to note that this will only restrict through traffic. All local traffic, including neighbors, visitors, deliveries, and emergency vehicles, will still be able to access the street.

We hope you can join us!"

Applying for Your Block Party or Play Street Permit

There are a few things to keep in mind when applying for a permit:

  • You must submit your application at least 14 days before your first event
  • The street closure should be no more than one block long, and may not include an intersection
  • The street should be a non-arterial. You can find your street type here. (Pro-tip: click on your street and the closest cross streets to see if the "arterial classification" has the word "arterial" anywhere in the name. If it is "not designated," it is not an arterial.)
  • The street cannot have buses running on it
  • Large objects (such as a stage or bouncy house) may be allowed, but require additional information:
    • Submit a site plan and identify a 20-foot fire lane open for emergency vehicles
    • Insurance is required (CAM 2102)

Ready to Apply?

Use the button to the right to login to the Seattle Services Portal.

Under Create New select "Permits-Street Use" and navigate to and select the "Short Term Use" and "Block Party" record type.

How to Close Your Street

Once you have printed and signed your permit, follow the steps below to get play time started! 

Signs

Borrow "Road Closed to Thru Traffic" signs that must be placed at the ends of your closure. These can be picked up at the Street Use permit counter or at your local City of Seattle Customer Service Center. Once your event(s) have concluded, you will need to clean and return your signs to one of the locations above.

We also encourage you to make or print informational signage to inform others why the street is closed. Examples are provided below, but feel free to make your own!

Street Closed Neighbors at Play sign

Put together a waste station so friends and neighbors can recycle and compost at your event- it's easy with these printable labels from Seattle Public Utilities.   

Make Your Own Waste Station flyer    Labels for making your own waste station

Barricades

You must also provide barricades at both ends of your street closure, spaced five feet apart and at least three feet tall. Be sure an adult monitor is visible from both barricades and on-site at all times to quickly move the barricades for local traffic (including residents, visitors, deliveries, and emergency vehicles). Depending on your street, you may either use personal trash bins or furniture as your barricades, or you may rent them from local providers.

Assistance

If you need help getting appropriate barricades for your street, we may be able to offer financial assistance. Please email publicspace@seattle.gov to learn more.

Questions?

Get answers to frequently asked questions here:

For permit holders
For neighbors
General

Night Out

Night Out is a national event held annually in August that is promoted in Seattle by the Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention team. We do not issue permits for these events. Please visit the Night Out web page to learn more.