Playing Out St Albans District Project

Welcome to the pages of Playing Out St Albans District, a project of the environmental charity, Sustainable St Albans.

Summer Neighbourhood Scavenger Hunt

For our special Summer Sustainability Neighbourhood Scavenger Hunt – click here. Originally written for SustFest21 in May 2021, it’s a great thing to do while out on a walk in your neighbourhood.

Important announcement

We are aiming to be in a position where we can get everyone playing out as quickly as possible once restrictions are lifted.

New streets have until July 12th to apply for Playing Out sessions from September 4th onwards. To find out how to apply to close your road for Playing Out in St Albans District, please read these pages, particularly the Steps to Playing Out page.

The latest dates for information sessions and latest application deadlines are on our Latest News page. Please sign up to our mailing list for updates straight to your inbox.

We hope it won’t be long before you’ll once again be able to close your road to through traffic to let the children play out and the adults get to know each other.

For general information and inspiration about play and the Playing Out movement during the COVID-19 Crisis – please visit the continually updated COVID-19 pages on the national Playing Out website.

What is Playing Out?

  • Kids playing in the street
  • No cars to worry about
  • Adults mingling and meeting
  • Building communities
Road Closed – courtesy of Playing Out Bristol
Everyone out to play – Playing Out St Albans District

Would you like to see your kids playing outside your own house? Would you like to meet neighbours and build support networks in your community?

Playing Out is a nation-wide concept where residents choose to apply to close their road to through traffic to allow the children to come out onto the street and cycle, scoot and play together in the road. It is a fabulous way to build communities, offering neighbours a chance to build support networks and children the opportunity to get fresh air and exercise, as well as learn to play in an unstructured manner with other children of all ages.

Residents of all ages benefit especially children, parents and isolated older people as everyone truly gets to know their neighbours.

Watch our short video – it’s less than 2 mins long…..

Playing Out St Albans District – An introduction. With thanks to Mark Percival

About Playing Out St Albans District

Please find below:

Frequently asked questions

Can I organise Playing Out / Play Streets sessions on my road in St Albans, Harpenden and the villages?

Provided your road is not a bus route or a very major road, your street is eligible to apply.

You must live in the St Albans District Area – that is you must be in St Albans, Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Redbourn, London Colney or Sandridge, ie your local District Council must be St Albans City and District Council. Not sure? Use this link to find your local council – it should say Hertfordshire County Council and St Albans City & District Council. 

You must consult the other residents on your street – so please give yourself plenty of time to do that before the application deadline.

How often can we play out?

In St Albans District, you may apply to close your road for Playing Out up to 8 times a year for 3 hours each time during daylight hours. You can also have an additional closure for a street party – see Street Party information below.

How much does it cost?

There is no charge to residents to apply for Playing Out. In addition, Playing Out St Albans District aims to be able to lend (without charge) all streets the essential kit to enable them to play out. 

How does the road closure work?

Road closures for Playing Out purposes have what they call a “permeable barrier”. Closure points are stewarded by volunteer residents in high viz jackets. Their job is to escort any resident vehicles into the closed area if they need access to minimise neighbour inconvenience. All through traffic is diverted. So, if you live in the closed area and you need to go out or come in with your car, you absolutely can.

Do I have to attend an Information session before I apply?

Many people find our information sessions very useful but you do not have to have attended one in order to submit an application. You can “self-serve” from this website all the information you need – please visit our Step to Playing Out page to find out how to apply to close your road for Playing Out.

I have more questions!

Click here for our  PDF of Frequently Asked Questions.

We can help you with everything you need to do. If you have any further questions, just contact the Playing Out St Albans District team.

3 footballers – Playing Out thanks Nicola Calleja for use of this photo

Sign up to our mailing list

To hear all the latest news about the Playing Out project and street party news, including deadlines for applications and information session dates, please sign up to our newsletter.

Click here to sign up to the Playing Out St Albans District and Our Street Party newsletter

Playing Out Latest News

Click here for the latest news about Playing Out St Albans District – includes events and deadline dates

Steps to Playing Out on your street

Click here for the Steps to Playing Out page – everything you need to know to start your St Albans District street Playing Out.

Information about Playing Out in different languages

We have translated a 2 sided flyer into a number of languages. Click on the image to access the pdf file. If you would like printed copies of these flyers, please contact us.

2 sided flyer in English

2 sided flyer in Arabic
2 sided flyer in Bengali (Sylheti)
2 sided flyer in Polish
2 sided flyer in Urdu

Playing Out St Albans District in the Media

Playing Out St Albans District blogs and videos

Skipping together – Playing Out thanks Nicola Calleja for use of this photo

Playing Out St Albans District’s Funders and Supporters

Playing Out St Albans District is a project run by the local environment charity, Sustainable St Albans. We would like to thank the following for their generous funding support:

Playing Out CIC, Bristol
Hertfordshire Community Fund’s St Albans Fund for the Future
St Albans District Council Community Grant Fund
Hertfordshire County Council Locality Budgets from County Councillors Teresa Heritage, Anthony Rowlands, John Hale and Sandy Walkington
Harpenden Trust
Sandridge Parish Council

In addition we would like to thank the following for their support in kind:

Mark Percival Consulting video productions
The Beech House pub, St Albans
The Enchanted Tea Rooms, Redbourn
The Harpenden Arms, Harpenden

Contact Playing Out St Albans District

How about a Street Party?

Many people start off with a one-off street party to see how it goes. If this appeals to you, Our Street Party can provide you with a free information pack to help you. See our sister website for information about having a street party in St Albans District or email Nicola at Our Street Party. You can have a street party in addition to your 8 Playing Out closures in St Albans District.

Street Party – Our Street Party thanks Pierre Oliviere Photography for use of this photo

Festive Streets and #ShowTheLove

In November and December 2020, we ran a wonderful sister project called Festive Streets, encouraging residents in streets across the district to co-ordinate safely with neighbours to decorate the windows in their street. Click here to be taken to our Festive Streets page.

We also supported the #ShowTheLove campaign from the Climate Coalition during February 2021. Click here to see our blog all about #ShowtTheLove.


Click here for Playing Out Latest News – includes events and deadline dates


Click here for the Steps to Playing Out page – everything you need to know to start your St Albans District street Playing Out.

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