Come Out & Play Festival Turns New York City Into Giant Arcade and Playground from July 21-22

Free annual festival hosts all-ages street games in DUMBO and outdoor adventures at Family Day on Governor's Island.

What: Come Out & Play Festival 2017
When: Friday, July 21st & Saturday, July 22nd
Where: DUMBO (Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza) & Governors Island
Cost: FREE – No tickets or reservations required

New York, NY (May 22, 2017) – Larger than life games involving New Yorkers of all ages will unfold across DUMBO and Governors Island this summer when the Come Out & Play Festival(COAP) returns to the city for the 12th year on July 21st and 22nd.

Going well beyond classic street games like stickball or kick the can, the annual celebration of urban gaming will bring night games to DUMBO (July 21) followed by a full day of family-friendly games at Come Out & Play Family Day on Governors Island (July 22). The games are all free and open to the public.

The Come Out & Play Festival showcases original games that make innovative use of public space, inspire people to interact in new ways, or change the way New Yorkers perceive their city and surroundings. While some use new technology like smartphones, others rely on old-fashioned tech like rubber balls.

New York City-based experience design firm ESI Design is a lead partner in the gaming extravaganza, designing a smartphone-powered search for iconic Brooklyn poet Walt Whitman on the streets of DUMBO and two of the games at Come Out & Play Family Day. ESI has a long track record in developing live-action, multi-player games to inspire engagement, play, exploration, discovery, and learning for museums, cultural and educational institutions, and brands.

“In an age when most games are played between a single person and a screen, people are hungry for live, social experiences where they can have fun with family and also meet new friends,” said Debra Everett-Lane, Director, Content and Activity Design, ESI Design. “The Come Out & Play Festival is a chance to embrace your inner child and experience the thrill and joy of playing epic-size games.”

The Come Out & Play Festival invites game designers from around the nation (and beyond) to submit original games for the festival. The submission process is currently ongoing, and the final list of scheduled games will be available in June. The 2017 Festival will include:


Come Out & Play After Dark

Friday, July 21, 7pm to 10:30pm
DUMBO, Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza (across from 155 Water St.)

The 2017 Festival kicks off with Come Out & Play After Dark, an evening of night games, on Friday, July 21st in DUMBO, Brooklyn. After Dark transforms the Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza and the surrounding neighborhood into a giant arcade through a mixture of social party games, large physical video games, and wild new street games. Some games use new technology like smartphones, while others rely on old-fashioned tech like rubber balls – but they all offer new ways to play and have fun. From small indoor games to outdoor public spectacles, After Dark turns your Friday night into a playful adventure. Original games include:

  • Lost in Time: Players use a smartphone app to role play as crack journalists and track down all-American poet Walt Whitman, who has become unstuck in time and lost in DUMBO. It’s a live-action, interactive story that weaves together DUMBO’s past and present. Created by ESI Design.
  • Higher than the Stars: A game about night as a space to explore identity (and what it feels like to sneak out of your house at night when you’re 13 to hang out with friends). Created by Playmatics.
  • Mastermind Party 1998: This is a fast, unapologetic group puzzle that combines switches, knobs, LEDs, yelling, swearing, Ace of Base, Titanic, and the extreme comedic talent of NYC’s OSFUG. Created by Pete Vigeant & The Completely Surrounded.
  • Karaoke Riot: A giant karaoke sing-along under the Manhattan Bridge, in which two sides battle it out for vocal supremacy. Created by Gigantic Mechanic.
  • Super Skinny Soccer: A game that squeezes all the fun and excitement of soccer down to six players, six minutes, and a three-foot-wide pitch. Can you thread the needle of Super Skinny Soccer in the alley under the Manhattan Bridge? Created by Gigantic Mechanic.


Come Out & Play Family Day

Saturday, July 22, 11am to 4pm
Governors Island, Nolan Park

On Saturday, July 22nd, Come Out & Play Family Day will take over Nolan Park on Governors Island for a day full of original family-friendly games, designed specifically for families and children of all ages (including teens and child-at-heart adults). Family Day is brought to the festival by ESI Design, with original games designed by ESI and other game designers. All games will connect together with a fun storyline about Time Travel – complete with an official Time Travel Agency, games throughout time, postcards to the future, and imminent threats to the space-time continuum. Original games include:

  • Starry Night: Light up the night by throwing out stars and trying to form constellations in this strategic mix of corn-hole and bocce. Created by Gigantic Mechanic.
  • Revenge of the Third Rail: Millions use the NYC subway system every year, but they are just passing through. What about the full-time residents of the subway system? Now’s your chance to identify with some of the most hated, lowly, and misunderstood creatures of NYC by stepping into their shoes (or bodies) — collect as many tossed-away treats as possible, avoid the train, and survive at all costs! Created by ESI Design.
  • Tough Bubbler: Think you’re tough? How fast can you run, bounce, and roll through a wacky obstacle course — while inside a giant bubble? It’s the bubbliest event on the planet! Created by ESI Design.
  • Super Asteroids & Ankle Biters: Karl Rohnke’s groundbreaking recess game is taken to new heights of daring! Can you reign supreme in the ultimate noodle battle? Created by Pete Vigeant & The Completely Surrounded.
  • Moving Targets: This game makes the players the targets, and puts them in constant motion. As more and more bowlers try to score goals on fewer and fewer targets, it’s a game of survival — who will be the last target standing? Created at the Come Out & Play Jam.

The Come Out & Play Festival is free to attend. More information about the festival can be found at Game developers who are interested in submitting games to the festival can contact Greg Trefry of Come Out & Play at or Debra Everett-Lane of ESI Design at

For more information, please contact Jenny Chang at or 212.627.8098. Images available upon request.


About Come Out & Play

Come Out & Play (COAP) seeks to provide a forum for new types of public games and play. COAP wants to bring together a public eager to rediscover the world around them through play with designers interested in producing innovative new games and experiences.

About ESI Design

ESI Design has been a pioneer in experience design and audience engagement since its founding by Edwin Schlossberg in 1977. The firm specializes in imagining and creating immersive and interactive environments that help brands, corporations and cultural institutions engage with audiences and customers in innovative, more meaningful ways. A New York-based, multidisciplinary firm, ESI Design has created experiences, exhibits, and environments for such clients as PNC Financial Services Group, Best Buy, Barclays, Staples, AT&T, Comcast, The Edward M. Kennedy Institute, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., and Beacon Capital Partners. Connect with ESI Design: TwitterLinkedInFacebookVimeo, and Instagram. (


Press Contact

Jenny Chang,
Corey Nord,
PKPR, 212.627.8098
Images available on request.


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