If you have a child in a wheelchair, then you know all too well the unique challenges that come with finding accessible playgrounds that are accommodating to those with physical disabilities. My son is nine years old and LOVES to play at the park, especially on the swings and slides! Dyllan has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which makes it very hard for him to walk. As he gets older and heavier, we are finding that a wheelchair-accessible park is a must!
There are a growing number of accessible playgrounds around the city that have gone above and beyond to provide ramp access, turf for wheelchairs, and other great features to maximize inclusion and fun for people with physical disabilities. We want to highlight and celebrate these accessible playgrounds in our community that allow everyone to play together.
Accessible Playgrounds Near Indy
Roy J Holland Memorial Park
One Park Drive, Fishers
Roy J Holland Memorial Park is located in the middle of Sunblest Neighborhood in Fishers. It is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. The playground was rebuilt a few years ago and is now installed on a firm rubber material that makes it easy to push a wheelchair straight onto the playground. There is a ramp to access all slides on the first level of the playground, as well as two handicap-accessible swings. Do you have a child in a wheelchair that cannot transfer? Holland Park has a bench swing system where a wheelchair can be brought up via a ramp and the entire platform sways like a swing!
There is a very nice paved walking path that goes around the entire park facility, which is perfect for even a wide wheelchair to enjoy. Another nice feature is the picnic shelter right next to the playground. It’s open and easy to bring the wheelchair into, and a perfect spot to cool down if your child needs a break from the sun.
“Everyone’s Playground” at River Heritage Park
11813 River Road, Carmel
River Heritage Park got a fancy renovation back in 2022 and “Everyone’s Park” is more inclusive than ever. The entire playground is rubber turf and there are many accessible features throughout the park’s play “pods.” A highlight is a spinning carousel that allows a wheelchair to roll right on. A path with paved, turf, and wood surfaces connects three main sections of playground equipment through the woods.
2100 S Morgantown Road, Greenwood
Independence Park located in Greenwood is open from 6:30 am- 8:30 pm, seven days a week. First built in 2000, it is known as Indiana’s first all-accessible playground. In March 2020, the playground re-opened with even more accessible options! There is an 8,000-square-foot playground with a rubber surface that makes pushing the wheelchair so easy.
With over 100 components to the playground that are all wheelchair accessible, you can stay and play for hours without limitations! They’ve added a Cozy Cocoon swing to combat overstimulation and lots of tactile play stations. The Aeroglider has benches at each end for children and adults, room for two wheelchairs, and stepping platforms on the outside of each end for more people to join the fun. There is a paved, wheelchair-accessible trail, in addition to the half-mile hiking trail, and a StoryWalk interactive reading experience. All wheelchair accessible!
Freedom Trail Park
500 Deer Walk Trace, Westfield
Freedom Trail Park is open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. With almost 30 acres of land, this is a sizable park that was specifically designed for the inclusion and acceptance of children with disabilities. Rubberized material throughout the playground makes it easy to push a wheelchair for direct access to equipment. When the equipment was built, the ramps were designed to allow more than one wheelchair to pass on the wide ramp system, which lead to all the playground features.
The most unique feature of this park is the sensory garden. With over 2000 plants, as well as multiple interactive sensory elements, it is the first of its kind in the state of Indiana. The garden is 100% accessible to all abilities and engages four of the five senses- sight, sound, smell, and touch.
“Unity Park” Blue Heron Park
405 Driftwood Court, Franklin
Unity Park, within Blue Heron Park, is open from 7 am-8 pm, seven days a week. This playground is incredible for children with disabilities. The entire playground has a rubber flooring surface for easy access. It includes a seesaw that is wheelchair accessible, and wide ramping systems to access all playground equipment. There are several handicap-accessible swings, as well as spinning equipment with high-back seating and straps for safety. You will also find paved walking trails, picnic shelters, and wetlands to explore!
753 S County Rd 625 E, Avon
The playground at Murphy Park is exceptional as far as providing unique opportunities for children needing extra support and accessibility as they play. The main play structure is wheelchair-accessible, as is the merry-go-round built flush with the rubber turf playground surface. There is also a zipline equipped with a chair seat that can hold older children and adults, allowing everyone to experience the thrill of the zipline. This park is located in the same park as Murphy Aquatic Park, which was also built with accessibility in mind.
Many different organizations have come together around Indianapolis to make our parks more inclusive and accessible for people of all abilities. Add one (or more!) of these accessible playgrounds to your Summer Bucket List, and make sure to share your memories with us, by using the hashtag #PLAYindy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
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