Below you will find information on the most recent events including National Play Day, Magic Dave and Tropical Encounters performances as well as previous National Play Days.

map markerNational Play Day 2017

Coming soon... 02/08/17

map markerNational Play Day 2016

A huge thank you to everyone who made National Playday 2016 such a great success! An estimated 3500 children young people and their families enjoyed a great afternoon in the sunshine playing till their hearts content!

Here is what people thought of the event!

“What a brilliant event! -We come every year”

“We love the fact it’s free - holidays can be very expensive – thank you!” 

 “It’s a great day out for the family, would love this to be over 2 days, bring on next year!”

“Another well ran Play Day and a success. It was organised well and the staff were really helpful and supportive. Our area (offering 0 – 5 activities) remained busy throughout the whole of the event. It was good to network with other agencies that attended.” Spurgeons Children’s Centres

“The event was incredibly well organised with fantastic staff and very helpful, well briefed volunteers. We would be delighted to be involved next year. We have managed to get information out to many families who may need our help, and it looks like we have already got 1 referral as a result of us being their which means one more family supported! Thank you so much for all your help and hard work.” NorPIP

We are again truly thankful to this year’s event sponsors who have proudly contributed to help make the event happen for its 8th year! Without this continued support National Playday would not have been able to go ahead!

Northampton Community Foundation

Sauls of Spratton Ltd

Nottingham Community Housing Association

Northampton Borough Council

The Deco Theatre


Each year we are extremely thankful and taken aback by the kindness and generosity of local business, organisations and community groups that give up their time to help make up Northampton’s biggest play event of its kind. Click on the link below to find out why local people give up their time to celebrate children's play.

Why We Support National Playday!

 NCF 15th bday

map markerNational Play Day 2015

 "Another brilliant event for all the familiy to enjoy!!!"

This year over 4000 children, young people and their families attended a fantastic National Playday event. Popular favourites including ARIA with their reptile show and Lenny the Land train were there plus some brand new activities for this year provided by Mad Science and Magic Dave to name just a few. We would like to thank our funders for this event including Councillor Danielle Stone, Sauls of Spratton, Nottingham Community Housing Association, Northamptonshire Childminding Association and Northampton Borough Council Small Grants and Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

2015 Sponsors:

Northamptonshire Childminding Association – Want to know more about childminding?

Registered childminders work from their own homes, so minded children benefit from being in a family environment. Childminders only look after a few children at a time so they can give each child lots of attention, meeting their individual needs. This is particularly important for babies, very young children and those with additional needs. Childminders can also care for older children so siblings can be cared for together in a real family environment.

Childminders offer a variety of services, including government funded places for 2 Year olds so if you have a 2 year old you can check your eligibility using the County Council website or click 'paying for childcare' in the parents section on the NCA website and read about Free Childcare and Education for 2 Year Olds.

It is really important that you and your child are happy with the childminder that you choose and Northamptonshire Childminding Association can help you find the right childminder for you.  Have a look on our website or phone us on 0845 838 3724  

Northamptonshire Childminding Association are proud to support National Play Day – we love meeting and talking to parents at this annual event – come and talk to us about using a childminder, becoming a childminder or whether you might be eligible for free childcare for your two year old.

Nottingham Community Housing Association

We are rated in the top quartile of housing associations on measure of performance, provides over 8,700 homes for 15,000 tenants in the East Midlands and works with 29 local authorities. NCHA also supports 2,095 vulnerable people through its extensive provision of housing with care and support services. For 40 years NCHA has provided families with a place to live. It is important to us to make sure that the children of those families have safe and engaging spaces to play close to their homes.”

Councillor Danielle Stone (Northamptonshire County Council)

I support the play week every year and play in general because I think providing play opportunities for children and young people is the most important thing we do. Play is childrens work. They need to play in a variety of ways and in a variety of contexts. If you show me a child that doesn’t play I will show you a child that is very miserable and underachieving.

Sauls of Spratton

Sauls of Spratton is a traditional multi-award winning family butchers, producer and caterer based in the village of Spratton for more than 80 years. Nowadays we make all our own sausages, pork pies, meat pies, pâtés and potted beef, sausage rolls, cornish pasties, ready meals and bread. We use only the best and freshest ingredients and follow our traditional family recipes to produce the best food that we can.

As a very strongly family and community orientated business we really value the work that the National Playday Scheme is doing and are proud to support such a worthy cause. Play, good nutrition and exercise are vital for the well being of our next generation and we believe our ethos of producing good quality food and promoting local British produce dovetails with the work of the National Playday scheme to encourage children to eat well and play well."

 Playday logo 2015


map markerNational Play Day 2014

We had a fantastic National Playday event this year! We managed to beat the expected torrential rain, and instead ended up with beautiful sunshine!! This year’s activities were varied and included old favourites such as the climbing wall and Lenny the Land Train, alongside creepy critters in the reptile tent and a variety of taster sports sessions.

New attractions to this year’s events included Go Karts, Northamptonshire Police and a live and loud local young talented singer/ guitarist.

If you are a local business or organisation and would like to sponsors next year’s event, or are a local club interested in attending the event please contact the Play development Team on 01604 838036.

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map markerNational Play Day 2013



Another great National Play Day this year! A huge thank you to all the providers of activities including, self defence, junk modelling, a climbing wall, trampolines, puppets, sensory tent and much more!

We are also very much greatful to all our sponsors without which the event could not take place. Thanks to, Rock UK, Kingsthorpe Children's Centre, Nottingham Housing Association, Sauls of Spratton, Deco Theatre, and First Class Learning.



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map markerNational Play Day 2012

What a wonderful day of children's activities we had! Abington Park played host to whole range of activities including, ARIA and their reptile wildlife display, facepainting, science workshops, football and  variety of coaching sessions, loose part play and many under 5's bases activites! Everyone came together to celebrate children's right to play!

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Click here to read our Play Day case study.

map markerNational Play Day 2011

Thousands of people arrived at Abington Park this Summer to celebrate National Play Day 2011. The weather was fantastic and the sun came out to play all day long.

With children of all ages enjoying bouncy castles, junk modelling, trampolines, go karts, a land train, a climbing wall, reptiles and so much more... the day was a great success.

Check out some of the pictures from the day

Play Day 2011

 Click here to read our Play Day case study.

map markerPirate Play Day 2011 (February Winter Play Day)

Over 1300 children, young people and their parents descended as pirates to the Northants County Cricket Ground last Saturday to take part in our Pirate Playday. Children took part in activities ranging from face painting, practising their jumping skills on the bouncy castle, mask making, watching pirate puppet shows and rock climbing.

All activities were free and were offered by local play providers, organisations and play centres who willingly donated their times to help us highlight the importance of children's rights to play.

One parent said, "it's a great day for the girls because there are so many activities". Other parents hailed the event " A huge success" "Well organised" and "Welcoming". Amongst the children's favourite activitities were ARIA who brought along their collections of snakes, reptiles and spiders along with a science workshop provided by Sublime Science.

All photos from the event can be found on our Facebook Page by searching 'Northampton Sports and Play'