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Anyone can organise a Playday event or take part in Playday celebrations.


What's Playday

Playday is the national day for play, traditionally held on the first Wednesday in August. 

Whats Playday
Playday is the biggest play sector event in the UK, and possibly Europe! As well as a celebration of children's right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance
of play in children's lives. Playday is coordinated by Play England, in partnership with Play Wales, Play Scotland and PlayBoard Northern Ireland.

A bit of history

Back in 1986, rumours were rife of imminent cuts on school-based play centres and adventure playgrounds in London. In response, a group of playworkers called a meeting to see what they could do. Not many turned up, but unperturbed Mick Conway, Paul Bonel and Kim Holdaway put their heads together and came up with the notion of having a day for play.

Their initial aims were to raise the profile of play and alert people locally to the potential loss of children’s play services. They had no idea that it would become anything more than an inner London campaign to persuade boroughs to continue to support playgrounds and play centres.

From just a couple of events in 1987, Playday grew to around a dozen in London by 1989, went national in 1991 and is now the biggest celebration of children’s play in the UK, if not Europe. Last year communities across the UK celebrated Playday at more than 850 events.

Nearly thirty years later, Playday again provides an opportunity for the play sector to raise awareness about the importance of play in children’s lives, and show decision-makers that cutting local play services will have devastating effects on children, families and whole communities.


What happens on Playday?

To celebrate Playday, children, young people and communities get out and play at hundreds of community events across the UK.

Playday events range from jubilee style street parties, festivals in parks or village greens, mass adventures in woodlands, fields, even beaches, and public events at community venues. From small-scale events to thousands of children taking part in events organised in parks and open spaces – Playday is celebrated by each community in a way that suits them.


Campaigning for play

As well as a celebration, Playday is an opportunity to campaign on issues affecting children’s play.

Each year, we call on everyone to celebrate Playday and show why play is fundamental for children's enjoyment of childhood, and vital for their health, well-being and development. In light of government cuts to play services across the country, it is more crucial than ever that we unite to stand up for play.


Get involved

Whether you've got kids, you work with kids, or you're a big kid yourself, Playday needs you!

From local authorities to community groups, a wide variety of individuals and organisations get involved in Playday. There are lots of ways you can celebrate Playday and get involved in the wider campaign, why not:

  • Organise a celebration – Anyone can organise a Playday event, whether it’s a large community-wide event or a get-together with friends and family. From funding and photography guidance, to an event planning guide and tips from Playday event organisers, you'll find lots of help and advice throughout this website.
  • Spread the word – the more people that know about Playday, the more opportunities children will have to play where they live. Official Playday promotional flyers and posters are available to order or download free, to help you galvanise support for Playday in your area. To let us know how you’re promoting play and Playday in your area, or to discuss any ideas you have, please contact us.
  • Share your Playday stories and ideas on Facebook and Twitter 
  • Like us on Facebook - Play Day page
  • Follow us on Twitter - Playday account

Where and how you decide to celebrate Playday is up to you – what’s really important is that children and young people get to have fun, and you help raise awareness that not all children have the chance to experience outdoor fun all year round.