Play Everywhere
Design Challenge

Eligibility Official Rules

The Play Everywhere Design Challenge, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, will award $1 million to communities in Southeast Michigan and Western New York

KABOOM! and the Built to Play initiative, supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, proudly present the Play Everywhere Design Challenge. This design challenge will award $1 million to communities building landmark playspaces that provide kids with equitable opportunities to play.

Built to Play

Exclusive to Western New York and Southeast Michigan communities, the Play Everywhere Challenge Design Challenge invites communities to submit creative design ideas that make it easier for families to incorporate play into everyday moments. Winning projects will bring play into public spaces in unconventional ways — such as implementing swings at bus stops or play zones at laundromats — in neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment.

Working with Designers

This year, applicants will have the unique opportunity to team up with design experts to support the development and potential execution of their concept. Applicants can partner with designers they already know or get matched up, by KABOOM!, with an expert designer.


To be eligible for a grant, the project must be within the following regions:

Southeast Michigan counties: Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne

Western New York counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Monroe and Wyoming

In addition, the applicant must be either a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit; a federal, state, or local governmental body or agency; or an entity or individual partnering with a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit acting as a fiscal sponsor.

Finally, all applicants must agree to and comply with the Play Everywhere Design Challenge Official Rules.

How to Apply

The Idea Form phase of the Challenge closed on September 11, 2020. A pool of top candidates will soon be selected and invited to complete the full grant application. The deadline to complete the full application is October 30.

For detailed instructions and a preview of the full application, download the Play Everywhere Challenge Application Guide.

Winners will be notified in December 2020 and will have through January 2022 to implement and open their projects.

Play Everywhere Inspiration

Find your Design Challenge inspiration in our Play Everywhere Gallery and in The Play Everywhere Playbook.

The Play Everywhere Playbook features case studies, design guides, and more to help you enhance your vision and connect with your community.

Cassadaga, NY


Loopholes is a playable sculpture composed of five open, climbable cylinders with peek-a-boo holes throughout. Kids can crawl, climb, and use sand — all while being protected by the soft perimeter.

Mount Clemens, MI

Let It Flow, Mount Clemens

Four interactive art installations including an immersive, 3D-effect river mural in an alleyway, and a staircase mural that includes letters and numbers that spell out a secret message.

Daisy’s Adventure Garden
Lockport, NY

Daisy’s Adventure Garden

Opening Soon

Daisy’s Garden will bring together a number of fun structures, including an amphitheater, water playspace, sound garden and treehouse serving an estimated 1,260 kids annually.

Port Huron, MI

Palmer Park Super Slide

The Super Slide provides a year-round sledding experience for kids and families utilizing two, 150-foot ramps.

See more projects in the Gallery

About Built to Play

The Built to Play initiative aims to give kids in Western New York and Southeast Michigan more opportunities for unstructured, kid-driven free play. This need was identified in the regional "State of Play" reports conducted by the Aspen Institute and supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and through research conducted by both The Skatepark Project and KABOOM!.

In addition to the Play Everywhere Challenge, Built to Play is also funding Unique Playground Builds through KaBOOM! and Community Skateparks through The Skatepark Project across both regions. Learn more about the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and these opportunities by visiting

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and KABOOM! logos