Best Playgrounds in Carmel | Parks with the Best Play Areas for Kids

No matter what season it is, kids love a good playground. The Indy with Kids crew has spent more than a decade exploring the best parks and playing on the best playgrounds. We’re back at it and sharing them with you!

City of Carmel Playgrounds for Kids

With over 500 acres of parks and greenways Carmel, Indiana has plenty of outdoor fun for everybody. Pack a picnic and maybe a change of clothes; you’re sure to find something for everyone in your family. Here are the ten best playgrounds in Carmel, Indiana.

Westermeier Commons

(formerly West Commons) 920 Central Park Dr W, Carmel

Bring the whole family out to play on the futuristic design of this playground. With more than 25,000 square feet of play space kids of many abilities will have plenty of features to enjoy, with ramps giving access to the higher activities. This playground also offers a few cave-like areas, perfect for reading a book or playing hid and seek. The “caves” also provide a calmer, quieter space for children to play away from the stimulation of typical playground noises. Westermeier Commons playground also has a mess free, mud free playground surface, making it a great option even after it has rained.

Founders Park

11675 Hazel Dell Pkwy, Carmel

A change of clothes is a must for this super fun playground, unless you like sand all over your car. The favorite feature of this Carmel playground is the giant playground sandbox. Bring your own sand toys, like these ones, but be prepared to share because not everyone has access to this helpful tip. You’ll find nature-inspired swings, climbing and play structures, and so much more. This 37-acre park also offers a large shelter, restroom facility, open sports fields, walking trails and more.

Carey Grove Park

14001 Carey Rd, Carmel

Have you seen the upgrades to this park? The two new playground features a couple different play areas for different age groups. Kids can create beautiful music throughout the playground when they bang on the permanent instruments. Parents, wear your work out gear because they’ve also installed permanent outdoor exercise bikes so you can “ride” while you keep and eye on your kids. Updates also include year-round bathrooms,, parking lot updates, resurfaced trails and basketball court, and both a community and seasonal shelter.

Lawrence W. Inlow Park

6310 E Main St, Carmel

This park is huge! With separate playgrounds scattered throughout the woods with lots of options for the kids, this might require multiple trips. Little ones will be thrilled at the first area: great features perfect for their size and abilities. Head to the back of the park and the massive climbing structures will make your big kids feel like they’re walking in the clouds. There is also a huge water spray feature where kids can play. Pack a picnic and plan to spend the day here. Seasonal restrooms available.

Meadowlark Park

450 Meadow Ln, Carmel

Renovations are planned for 2021.

There is currently a large playground with colorful climbing structures and slides that twist and tunnel. The shelter area is perfect to sit under and get out of the sun. Make sure you take a break and walk the trail that wraps around the pond. Bring the fishing poles; it’s annually stocked with catfish, sunfish and trout and this is a great place to go fishing in Carmel. This park also offers a full basketball court and open grassy areas for recreational sports.

Coxhall Gardens

11677 Towne Rd. Carmel

Coxhall Gardens is not your traditional playground with swings and monkey bars, but kids love letting their imaginations run wild as they play at the miniature storefronts, run the rainbow path and picnic on the island. Stroll the gardens, take part in the educational programing, learn about nature and gardening and listen for the Carillon bells.

West Park

2700 W 116th St, Carmel

As one of the largest parks in Carmel, West Park is a favorite for many. That being said, Carmel is doing renovations on the older, well-loved equipment set to reopen in June 2021. In the meantime, explore the rest of the 120 acres; In the summer, the kids will enjoy playing in this beautiful Carmel splash pad, kicking a ball around the giant open grassy area that’s also great for flying a kite. During the snowy months this huge Carmel sledding hill will provide hours of winter fun. The gradual incline helps make hauling the sleds up the hill a lot easier for everyone. On the west side of West Park is the Jill Perelman Pavilion and the adventure playground in the woods (which will remain open and accessible during renovations). The kids will love working on their parkour skills, climbing the wooden and rope play structure and the ZIP-LINE. For the littles this playground has wooden riding toys (including a scooper to dig and dump the wood chip mulch).

River Heritage Park

11813 River Rd, Carmel

This is certainly a hidden gem in Carmel, it’s never very crowded. This fun park has an enormous playground that includes handicap-accessible play features, slides, swing sets and more. It’s guaranteed to keep kids busy for a long time. My kids love running up and down the ripple of hills just behind the playground and digging in the huge sandbox. Restrooms and a shelter are available if needed. Need a break from the playground? Follow the path through the wooded area that leads to the White River.

River Road Park

12575 River Rd, Carmel

Learn about Native American life hundreds of years ago. You’ll learn while you play when you visit this newly developed archeological themed playground. The kids will have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning! Enjoy paved trails, lots of green space, wetlands, and prairies. There are soccer and baseball fields for recreational use.

Cool Creek Park and Nature Center

2000 E 151st St, Carmel

(renovations are planned for 2021)

Cool Creek has quite a few options for playing but nothing can top the natural play areas. In addition to the traditional playground area, the incredible nature based area encourages imagination and unstructured play. Have your kids test out all 13 slides and then pick their favorite. The swing situation is awesome as well, you’ll have to see it for yourself. This playground has so many things the little ones will love, most of the climbing equipment is toddler friendly and they have a decent sized sandbox too! Cool Creek Park also offers one of the best places to go creek stomping.

Pack some snacks and plan your next visit to the incredible playgrounds in Carmel parks; any one of these Carmel playgrounds will provide hours of entertainment for the little and big kid in all of us. Let us know which are your favorites and take us along in your journey. Use #PLAYIndy on social media so we can follow along!

Stay tuned for all the updates the current parks are getting in 2021. The Early planning stages for a brand new park, Bear Park, started in 2020 with a hopeful completion in 2024.

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