Written by Lisa Viaches
Carey Grove Park is a beloved neighborhood park. The 5-acre park was originally developed from 1997-1998 and was fully reimagined in 2020. Carey Grove Park now features all new playgrounds, equipment, surfaces, and sports courts.
Located on the east side of Carey Road just south of 146th Street in Carmel, Carey Grove Park has been fully reimagined and modernized. The park features two playground areas, musical activities, adult exercise equipment, year-round bathrooms, a parking lot, paved walking trail loop, half basketball court, grassy field, and two large covered picnic shelters.
Carey Grove Park
Like the redesigned Cool Creek Park, there is a playground area geared towards little kids aged 2-5 and a big kids area for kids aged 5-12. The little kids area has short slides, baby swings, and many unique toddler-friendly activities. The big kids area has a large climbing structure with tall and twisty slides and lots of things to climb on. There are so many modern pieces of equipment in the park like a huge orb shaped merry go round that you can climb up and into, a disc-type merry-go-round that you could put babies in, partner swings, see-saws, a mini rock climbing wall, and so much more.
Everything is made of soft, safe plàstic and rubber, including the ground. The whole park just feels very safe. Although the jungle gym in the big kids area goes up four (mini) flights of stairs, it is all enclosed. It seems that the engineers and park designers (Kompan, in this case) keep making parks more exciting yet much safer at the same time.
In addition, the whole park is pretty flat and handicap accessible from the parking lot to the playground to the trail. There are also many manipulatives and instruments that can be reached from a lower height, as well.
Do you have a child that loves all things music? This park has so many neat musical features for children of all ages. At the entrance to the park are several percussive instruments with mallets to bang on the different notes. Some are low to the ground for the toddlers which is great. One even has a songbook for kids who can read sheet music!
At the back of the park in the big kids area is an electronic music game, similar to the one at West Commons Park at the Monon Community Center. The kids follow the sounds and tap the notes that light up, sending them running back and forth on their mission.
Basketball Court & Playing Field
To the south of the parking lot is a half basketball court. The open green space between the basketball court, parking lot, and playground is a grassy field which would be perfect for playing games, soccer, tag, or spreading out a blanket for a picnic.
Adult Exercise Equipment
A fabulous addition to the park is adult exercise equipment that can be used year-round as they are under a covering. There are two adjustable bikes and an elliptical on each side of the park, so six machines total. They all face the playground so you can keep an eye on the kids while you work out. I love that so many parks are adding exercise equipment for adults in their redesigns!
A wonderful feature of the park is the paved and stroller-friendly ¼ mile walking trail that circles the park. Sometimes I get to a playdate early so I can do a loop around the trail (for my dog’s exercise and my own) before setting the kids loose on the playground. If you have older kids, you could even do a few laps while they play as the playground is visible from the entire trail.
There are two covered picnic shelters between the parking lot and the playground. There are lots of picnic tables and seats for snacks and relief from the sun on warm days. The north shelter has two BBQ grills so you can plan an evening cookout with friends! The shelters flank the restrooms at the entrance to the park so the locations will be very convenient to the parking lot and the rest of the park. There are also three small uncovered picnic tables in the middle of the park.
Restrooms & Parking
With little kids in tow, bathrooms and parking are important factors when planning an outing. Some parks have the play areas quite far from the restrooms or parking lot. At Carey Grove Park, the bathrooms and parking lot are all right next to the park. If you leave something in the car, you do not have to lug everything and everyone back to get it. It’s just steps away. You can help one child into the bathroom while still having a full view of the entire park and your other kids and belongings. In between the two single restrooms are two water fountains and a bottle refill station.
Carey Grove Park is open from sunrise to sunset. It is operated by Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation and shelters can be reserved for parties and events through their website. Carey Grove Park is located at 14001 Carey Road, Carmel, IN 46032.
14001 Carey Road