There are so many modern and newly reimagined playgrounds in Central Indiana. Many of these cool parks are geared toward all children rather than a certain age group. This is great for families that have kids at different stages of development, so they can enjoy the park amenities together. However, when visiting with a toddler, you have some very specific needs to help your small child stay safe and have fun!
We searched the city for the very best, age-appropriate playgrounds for the tiny ones. A large portion of these playgrounds feature a rubber cushioned surface or a fake turf so when toddlers fall, they have a padded landing. Others have separate toddler spaces or miniature play equipment that is easily manageable for little legs.
Are you exploring with a toddler in tow? Before you head out, check our list of the best parks around central Indiana where even the smallest children can play safely.
Best Toddler Playgrounds in Indianapolis
45 W 40th St, Indianapolis
Rubber turf, mini slides, low-to-the-ground play equipment – Tarkington Park meets some of our top requirements for a toddler-friendly playground. The northwest corner of the playground is best for those new to the walking game. Kids can conquer the pint-sized slide, crawl through a tunnel, and play peek-a-boo or pretend in a playhouse just their size. There are also infant swings available in this area.
The seasonal splash pad is totally manageable for toddlers as well. Parents and caregivers will appreciate the omission of overhead sprayers and dumping buckets. The large, open space is full of jets that shoot water consistently up into the air, allowing little ones to interact with the water at their own comfort level.
Colts Canal Playspace
701 Canal Walk, Indianapolis
Your toddler won’t be ready for most of the equipment at the Colts Canal Playspace for a couple of years, but there are several elements here they can enjoy safely. A small slide accessed by climbing a rubber turf hill can provide endless entertainment for a little one. Said hill has rock-climbing holds built in, so they can easily scale the incline.
A grown-up can push a toddler on the saucer-shaped swings at this playground as well. Rubber turf is always a bonus, and small mounds built into the ground provide some variety in the terrain that makes it fun for new walkers to navigate. When you’re finished playing, you can always stroll the canal and keep an eye out for ducks.
Fort Harrison State Park
6000 N Post Rd, Indianapolis
The playground located furthest west in the park, across from the sledding hill, is an excellent place to play with your toddler. The main playground is fairly small and manageable for little legs, though you’ll want to spot them if they reach the highest part of the tower. There’s a baby swing as well, and faux rocks that more adventurous toddlers will enjoy climbing.
Best of all is the hill slide. It’s big, so if your child seems intimidated, you may need to ride with them the first time or two. However, the slide moves fairly slowly, so with someone to catch at the end, many 2-3-year-olds will have no problems on their own!
Playgrounds for Toddlers West of Indy
600 E Main St, Danville
The Playscape playground structure at Ellis Park is perfect for toddlers. The wooden structure makes it easy for little legs to climb. We took our daughter to this park on her first birthday, and she loved the “teepee” feature and playing on the different platforms.
Jack Willard Community Park
77 N Kentucky St, Danville
Right near the square in downtown Danville, this firefighter-themed park is named after Danville’s first fire chief. This playground and the various climbing structures are the perfect size for toddlers. The park’s main attraction is a play fire engine complete with a slide that any firetruck-obsessed child will love.
200 N Green St, Brownsburg
Arbuckle Acres Park offers the Tiny Tots Playground, an adorable play space for toddlers that promotes dramatic play with 3 themed, small, house-like structures. These houses include a fire engine/firehouse, a farmer’s market/café, and a home with a mailbox, including a total of 35 interactive activities.
These small structures are all connected by tunnels, which makes it easy for a toddler to move through the different spaces. The purpose of this play space is to enhance children’s sensory, motor, social, and emotional skills. The farmer’s market and the firehouse serve to promote healthy eating and safety.
940 S Locust Ln, Brownsburg
Blast Off playground at Williams Park is a huge wooden playground with a space theme. The wooden structure makes it easy for toddlers to climb around the different levels. There is a specific toddler side of the playground that includes a pretend stage, a tunnel to climb through, toddler-sized slides and swings, a companion tandem swing, and a merry-go-round feature.
300 S. Buck Street, Whitestown
This vivid blue and gray park offers two playground sets. One is designed for toddlers and the other for older children with slides, a swing set that includes a tandem toddler swing, and a spinning sphere climbing structure.
Main Street Park
4286 S. Main Street, Whitestown
The geometric shapes at this playground make for great climbing features. The park also features enticing sensory activities that include turning wheels and colorful bongo drums to pound on. The park also includes slides, swings, and different spinning features. If your toddler is a climber, they will love this park.
Playgrounds for Toddlers North of Indianapolis
450 Meadow Ln, Carmel
Meadowlark Park reopened to the public in the spring of 2022 after having a major renovation. The park features a huge, modern, tree-themed climbing structure best suited for older children. Next to the large tree structure, there is a play space intended for younger children. This area features a toddler and preschool-sized climbing area, a toddler slide, sensory features on the structure, and a variety of swings.
Carey Grove Park
14001 Carey Rd, Carmel
A highlight of Carey Grove is the variety of different musical features, including a tree with greenery you hit to make sounds and a vibrant xylophone with music sheets. There is also an interactive listening game, where you tap the structures when they light up and make a sound.
There is a large climbing structure for older children, but the playground does offer a toddler area equipped with different climbing features, small slides, baby swings, and toddler-friendly activities. A favorite is the merry-go-round attraction that seats 4 children and can be pushed to go around in a circle.
11675 Hazel Dell Pkwy, Carmel
You’ll love the nature theme of the sand pits and stones of the park. Founder’s Park was a huge hit with my daughters who love playing in the sand. Founder’s Park has the best sand area and a great playground with fun rock formations and “caves.” My dinosaur-obsessed daughter loved the dinosaur and other “fossils” she found hidden in these faux rocks.
Westermeier Commons Playground
920 Central Park Dr. W, Carmel
This modern, futuristic playground offers 25,000 square feet of play area. My kids loved the electric feature where you tap the different structures when they light up, as well as the roller slides. Westermeier Commons used universal design principles to encourage inclusion, including ramps for children using wheelchairs to have access to lower-level and upper-level amenities of the playground.
The park is filled with a variety of different swings and climbing structures, a 32-foot-tall, enclosed tower with bridges, slides, numerous tunnels, and caves. The separate toddler area includes small climbing equipment, a miniature slide, and toddler swings.
Finch Creek Park
16233 Boden Rd, Noblesville
This inclusive park in Fishers is accessible to all. Even though the centerpiece of the park is an intimidating climbing structure meant for older children, Finch Creek also offers accommodations for younger children. This includes musical instruments with plastic drums, pipes, and a vibrantly colored xylophone with sheet music to follow.
For toddlers and younger kids, the park features a treehouse play set complete with a slide. The space includes different spinning features, some climbing forms including a log that kids can crawl through or on top of, and a variety of swings. Another inclusive park feature is a SwayFun, where children work together by shifting their weight in unison, causing the entire unit to sway back and forth. The SwayFun allows room for a wheelchair and has a ramp that leads up to it.
Simon Moon Park
3044 E 171st Street, Westfield
This playground features two small castle-themed play structures that each have a toddler-sized slide. The playground also has spinning bucket seats and a large spinning circle that you can sit on while someone else spins it around. The park is small and appealing to younger children, due to the size of its attractions.
Roy G. Holland Memorial Park
1 Park Dr, Fishers
This park has 2 huge climbing structures with tube slides, various climbing and crawling equipment, a reflex balance beam, and several swings including a child-sized expression swing. The toddler section includes a playground with small slides and a couple of riding toys.
Playgrounds for Toddlers South of Indy
2100 S Morgantown Rd, Greenwood
This modern park in Greenwood has some neat features including a Yalp Sona interactive dance and play arch which “challenges players with a range of innovative and engaging games”. The Yalp arch was provided by grants from A Kid Again, Indianapolis, and the NBA All-Star Legacy Grant.
Other features at Independence Park include a StoryWalk, a sensory music area, and a variety of swings including accessible swings and a circular Hoopla swing. The large playground set is wheelchair accessible and includes a ramp and an aero glider feature, climbing structures, a spinning feature, and toddler-sized slides.
Greenwood Fire Station 91 Fire Fighter Play Pocket
155 E. Main St., Greenwood
Part of the Play Pocket trail that links Craig Park to the Fire Station 91, the four playgrounds with bees, trees, butterfly, and firefighter themes are all great playspaces for toddlers. A favorite along the trail is the firefighter-themed playground. This themed park gives parents the chance to talk to their children about fire safety and the heroes that serve our community. The replica fire engine, firehouse, and other features including ladders promote dramatic play.