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Guide to Carmel Playgrounds: Central

Central Carmel is home to the most parks in the city. Ranging from smaller, intimate settings to the biggest parks in the area–you can go park exploring for days in central Carmel. Below are the playgrounds you can find in the heart of our city.

The goal of this guide is to provide the right details you need to know before going to play with small children.

For each park, you’ll find:

  • Wins” and “Watch Outs” list

  • Overall rating for specific age groups–babies/pre-walkers, toddler/walkers, and ages 5+.

    • Scale -- 1 is not a good option for that age group, 5 is the best.

  • Rating on ease for a one-parent outing -- scale: easy, neutral, hard.

My reviews are tailored for younger age groups based on my experience with my kids! The goal is to give you the information you need to feel prepared heading into the park, all while ensuring you and your kiddos have a great time!


Westermeier Commons At Central Park

20 Central Park Dr W, Carmel, IN

A futuristic giant in the center of central park, the Westermeier Commons playground has something for all age kiddos. When you enter the park, the playground structures will be on your left and a sprawling splash pad will be on your left.


  • This park has every piece of playground equipment you can think of–swings, springed teeter totter, slides, climbing structures, rope bridges, etc.

  • There are two playground areas, one for toddlers and one for bigger kids

  • No mulch, rubber flooring throughout

  • In the summer, you can go back and forth between the playground and splash pad

  • There is sidewalk access to the large central park pond which is full of fish, turtles, etc if you get tired of playing and want to do something different.

  • Clean, updated bathrooms on-site with changing stations

Watch Outs:

  • The bigger section has many “escape routes” and poor visibility. If your kiddo goes up into the main structure, it’s very hard to keep track of them. There is an opening along the backside of the main structure with a bridge to an upper level sidewalk at the back of the park. Kiddos can “escape” through this while you are still on the lower level and can’t reach them.

  • There are openings in the main structure that are high off the ground, creating fall risks from higher heights.

  • This park can get VERY crowded, especially on the weekends after 10am.


Baby/Pre-Walker: 5

Toddler/Walker: 4

Age 5+: 4

EASE FOR A ONE PARENT OUTING: NEUTRAL when not crowded, HARD when crowded


Monon Trail Playspace

Along the Monon trail, roughly 571 Monon Blvd. Carmel, IN

Without an official name, this playspace is carved directly into the Monon trail just south of midtown plaza. This playspace is a crucial stop on one of my favorite outings–grabbing coffee at Java House or a smoothie at Pure Green, then taking the kids to run off some energy at the playspace followed by a little walk along the Monon. Although small, this playspace is packed with fun features. A large cement slide, a caged lily-pad climbing structure, STEM stations built into the back wall, and a half dome with holes for climbing. It works great if you are waiting for a table at a restaurant in Midtown and want to take the kids somewhere to play!


  • Rubber flooring, no mulch or mud in sight!

  • Great for little babies, toddlers, and bigger kids. I remember letting my younger son crawl around this playspace while my older one was off scaling the walls!

  • A great piece to a fun outing coupled with stopping by other local businesses along the Monon trail in Carmel

  • Great visibility, you can see the entire park at one time.

Watch Outs:

  • It is literally on the Monon trail, so you need to be mindful not to wander into the bike lane and get clipped!

  • It is the smallest park on the list, so it can feel crowded quickly. Rarely crowded during the week, but can get busy around dinner/post dinner time on weekends.

  • May not keep their attention for longer than 45min to an hour due it’s smaller nature.

  • No bathrooms onsite


Baby/Pre-Walker: 5

Toddler/Walker: 5

Age 5+: 5



Meadowlark Park

50 Meadow Ln, Carmel, IN

One of the newly renovated parks in Carmel, this one is a personal favorite of both me and my kids. The park designers did a really nice job mapping out this park. The center climbing structure is designed like a giant tree, giving it a really cool vibe that still gives the kids a “wow” factor when walking up. There are climbing structures ranging in big, medium, and small. Swings, springed teeter-totters, manual merry-go-round, this park has it all!


  • Rubber flooring, no mulch or mud

  • The biggest climbing structure is completely enclosed, eliminating any fall risk from high heights

  • Great visibility, you can see the entire park from viewpoints in the park, making it easy for multiple kiddos to do different things

  • The climbing structures are progressive–easy, medium, and hard. They each look similar making them all enticing to different age kiddos (i.e. one doesn't look significantly cooler than another, drawing everyone to one place.) There is truthfully an area for all ages.

  • Clean, updated bathrooms on-site with changing stations

Watch Outs:

  • Because the largest climbing structure is completely enclosed, it is hard for a parent to get a child who may be stuck up there and needing help down.

  • There is no shade on the playground equipment. There are two pavilions that are covered at the front of the park.

  • The parking situation can get tricky if it’s crowded. The lot is small, and if it’s full–there is no place to turn around. If it looks like the park is crowded, you may want to park on the street leading up to the park to be safe!


Baby/Pre-Walker: 5

Toddler/Walker: 5

Age 5+: 5

EASE FOR A ONE PARENT OUTING: EASY when not crowded, NEUTRAL if crowded


Cool Creek Park

2000 E 151st St, Carmel, IN 46033

The farthest north of the Carmel parks on this list, Cool Creek playground is just on the border of Westfield. It’s a fun, more traditional playground with designated areas for bigger and littler kids. There are bridges, tunnels, slides, big and small play structures, swings, and some interactive STEM features.


  • The toddler play area has lots of room for adventure with low fall risk

  • The bigger kid play structure is very open, making for good parental visibility

  • It is a big park with lots to explore and kids can stay busy for a long time.

Watch Outs:

  • It’s a mulch park and can get muddy after a rain.

  • There is a section of adult workout equipment that is not really separate from the playground. Kids try to play here, but it’s designed for adults to use and they could get fingers pinched, etc.

  • Smaller kids who want to play on the bigger structure can get out of reach quickly.

  • No shade on the playground equipment, there is a covered picnic structure in the center with shade.

  • No bathrooms onsite. The closest bathroom is a walk/drive into the nature center inside Cool Creek nature park.


Baby/Pre-Walker: 1

Toddler/Walker: 3

Age 5+: 4



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