Play Everywhere Challenge
supported by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation

Eligibility   Inspiration   Apply

Awarding $1 million throughout Southeast Michigan and Western New York

Built to Play

KaBOOM! and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation are teaming up again in 2019 to launch the second Play Everywhere Challenge, awarding organizations a total of $1 million to create lasting, scalable design installations that provide more opportunities to play for the kids who need it most.

The Play Everywhere Challenge is a community-focused design competition to develop new ideas for bringing play to unexpected but everyday spaces, making play easy and available for kids and families. Grantees will be selected from Southeast Michigan and Western New York to receive grants in the range of $10,000 to $80,000, for a combined total of $1 million in prize funds.


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

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

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

Applicants may apply from all sectors, including municipal (county, city, town, school) organizations, government entities, community groups, non‑profit organizations, local business groups and faith organizations.

All applicants must agree to and comply with the Play Everywhere Challenge Official Rules.

Help   Apply today

How to apply

January 14 The Play Everywhere Challenge Idea Form opens
Interested applicants can visit to submit a simple Idea Form sharing their idea to get kids and families playing everywhere. You'll be asked to share:

  • Description of your Play Everywhere project
  • Drawing, sketch, photomontage, digital rendering or some kind of visual depiction of the idea
  • Location of the project
  • Any additional project partners
  • A description of the community you wish to serve and why it’s important its kids and families experience Play Everywhere

For instructions and a preview of the online application, download the Play Everywhere Grants Application Guide.

February 15 Early bird deadline for Idea Form
Early bird applicants will receive additional support and feedback from KaBOOM! in developing their Play Everywhere concepts.

March 22 Idea Form final deadline
After the deadline, the pool of Idea Form applicants will be narrowed down to a pool of top candidates. Top candidates will submit a full application for their projects and will receive technical assistance from KaBOOM! to refine their proposals. Applicants will be asked to share:

  • A project budget
  • Timeline for executing the Play Everywhere project
  • Plans for engaging the community in design and implementation

What happens next?

May 10 Final application deadline for top candidates

June 2019 Winner notification

July 15, 2019 - June 30, 2020 Implementation
Winners will implement their projects within one year from the date that they are selected.

Play Everywhere inspiration

Visit our Play Everywhere gallery to see completed projects or review designs from last year's Play Everywhere Challenge. Our Play Everywhere Playbook is a must read for communities considering Play Everywhere projects. It features case studies, design guides and more to help you make the best choice for your community.

Previous Challenge winners

Explore the designs and descriptions of our 2018 Play Everywhere Challenge winners.

About Built to Play

The Built to Play initative 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 Tony Hawk Foundation 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 Tony Hawk Foundation across both regions. Learn more about the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and these opportunities by visiting

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and KaBOOM!