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Parks with Shade

In the midst of Indiana summers, sometimes all you’re looking for is a little shade! When things heat up, so can playground equipment so knowing a couple parks that have shade is critical.


The Groves Playground

3000 W 116th St, Carmel, IN

Affectionately known as the “zip-line” park in my household, this (literal) hidden gem can be found just behind the Jill Perelman Pavilion on Carmel’s west side. Built into the woods, the two main play areas are made out of sanded timber.

Because this playground is completely surrounded by a canopy of trees, it is pretty much shaded all the time. There are two sections of the park, connected by a zip-line that kids can ride to take them from the front section to the back.

The front section has smaller play equipment, similar to a mini-low ropes course. The back section is a bigger version of the front, with the same low-ropes course style just a little bigger obstacles for bigger kids.

Lions Park Tot-Lot

1053 Sycamore St, Zionsville, IN

The main Lions Park playground has a hidden gem right behind it–the Tot Lot. If you walk past the main park, in about 3 minutes you’ll arrive at the newly renovated Tot Lot that is mostly shaded throughout the day.

The park is designed for smaller aged kids (hence the name “tot” lot) but there are big kid swings and a teeter totter that are fun for kids up to age 6. There are also a couple basketball courts next to the playground that are partially shaded and viewable from the park.

Of all the parks we’ve been to and play at, this is my favorite for babies/pre-walkers. The floor is rubber material, and the play structure is low enough to the ground that littles can explore easily.

Coxhall Garden Children’s Garden

11677 Towne Rd, Carmel, IN

Located in the back corner of the larger Coxhall Gardens park, the Children’s Garden is a breath of fresh air in comparison to your traditional playground. The replica “town” full of children sized houses and businesses provide great shade. There is another area above the sand river that has shaded huts with benches below for parent seating.

The Children’s Garden is also a great spot for a shaded picnic if you want to get out of the house for lunch. The newly built Children’s Pavilion is a huge structure right in front of the Garden’s entrance and has lots of tables and chairs underneath. There is also an “outdoor classroom” on the left right past the Children’s Garden entrance that has picnic tables in the shade.


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