Cool Creek Park and Nature Center

Are you looking for a new park to explore this summer with your kids? Well, look no further! Cool Creek Park in Carmel just reopened after a total remodel, and it does not disappoint! There is so much about Cool Creek Park that is different and unique, including music integration, unique climbing features, and outdoor fitness equipment! 
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Playground at Cool Creek Park

The big kid section and the toddler section are separated with a nice picnic shelter in the middle of the two playgrounds, providing a 360 degree view of all play spaces. Parents will love the layout of this park for a couple reasons, with four kids between 2 and 12, I find myself trying to watch everyone running around and it can be challenging. With this layout, you can see every section of the park from the picnic shelter! I was able to sit on the benches, watch the kids, and wasn’t constantly moving between the big kid and toddler sections. The other reason this layout is great for caregivers, is that it allows the little kids to play separately from the bigger kids and avoid getting trampled, or getting on to equipment that is too big for them! They even have the baby swings and the big kid swings separate for easy access on either side of the park!

Toddler Playground at Cool Creek Park

The toddler section is really nice! You can tell Hamilton County Parks really took their time in the design, and put thought in to maximizing the equipment and space. The monkey bars are small and easy for little kids and the climbing features and tunnels are smaller, shorter, and have wide foot holes for those little feet to balance. In addition, they have several slides and multiple levels of play space for the little ones! My kids loved the tunnel that you can enter from the ground, perfect for those small toddlers who are still getting the hang of walking and climbing. 

Big Kid Playground at Cool Creek Park

The big kid section is amazing, and has something for children with many interest and abilities! There are so many slides to choose; tunnel slides, three way racing slides and more! You’ll find a rock wall, balance obstacles and over a dozen different climbing features!

Staying Cool at Cool Creek Park

When they remodeled this park, they also added very nice shades on top of both the big kid, and toddler section, which provided a decent amount of shaded play areas! We were there when it was in the 90’s and very humid, so I really loved that feature! In addition to six traditional swings, there are also two swinging saucers which my kids loved! They are very large and sturdy, and fit multiple children easily and safely. I was initially concerned that the plastic might be hot on the saucers since it was such a hot day, but all of the equipment was cool to the touch and very safe for the kids. Did you know that Cool Creek Park has a Nature Play Area that features natural elements in a wooded and shady space? This “playground” was designed to encourage unstructured play in a natural setting.

Musical Playground at Cool Creek Park

The music integration throughout the park is so cool! There are flower shaped bells, and colored drums for the toddlers, as well as musical pipes for the big kids, and small musical features integrated underneath some of the park equipment! My kids really enjoyed playing with the flower bells, I practically had to drag my two year old away from them! 

Fitness Equipment for Kids

The outdoor fitness equipment was something I have never seen at another park in Indianapolis! There is fully functioning gym equipment, with instructions, and even demonstration videos on how to do the exercises accessed by a QR reader. Some of the equipment was cooperative and could hold four children at a time! There is a visual on each piece that tells you which muscle group it targets, how to use it, and the suggested age range, so it is very user friendly. While we were there, I even saw adults using it! What a great opportunity to get active and play alongside your children! You can also easily see this section from the centrally located picnic shelter, so your kids are always in sight if you need to take a break and get five minutes to yourself. (Summer break is LONG and we are only human after all!)

Nature and Trails

If you need a break from the heat, you can follow the interactive walking trail at the entrance to the park, to access the nature center! There are several fun little games built into the construction of the trail, including educational options, as well as classics like hopscotch!

Cool Creek Nature Center

The Nature Center is a great place to learn as well as play. You can continue into additional walking trails outside, or you can enter the Nature Center! There are several species of turtles and tortoises there to see, educational games, and even a viewing area for bird watching! My four year old loved the bird watching area. There were little play binoculars to use to find the birds, and he found lots! We even saw a few squirrels and chipmunks. There is a library where the naturalists on staff can help you with reference books, a fun coloring station, and a large oak tree where the kids can go inside and play! The interactive learning stations were fun, and even I walked away learning new things! The poison ivy identification section was really helpful, and my kids loved the nest section, where you could learn about different species of birds, and how they build their nests. 

The Cool Creek Park hours are from dusk to dawn, but the Nature Center is open from 10 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and 1-5 pm. on Sundays. With the playground, picnic shelters, hiking trails, and nature center, you could easily plan an entire day of fun here that the whole family can enjoy! Cool Creek Summer Concerts in the music pavilion are popular among residents and families who drive from nearby communities in central Indiana.

The playground, soccer and lacrosse fields, softball diamonds and basketball court are usually buzzing with activity and the Nature Center is a hot spot for birthday parties for kids. Cool Creek Park offers perfect spots for creek stomping and exploring. Free weekly family campfires are held during the summer, complete with entertainment and s’mores.

For even more ideas for fun stuff to do this summer, check out our Ultimate Summer Bucket List

2000 E 151st St.

Visit Cool Creek Park and Nature Center

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