Taking your not-yet walker out to a park can be a super fun experience–if you chose the right place. It lets them explore new surroundings, get some fresh air and vitamin D, and interact with other kids. But--things like mulch, sand, or anything else they can put in their mouths can make these outings tricky.
Below you’ll find my top 4 recommendations for parks to bring your baby/pre-walking toddler to in and around the Carmel area!
1. 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 smaller play area called the Tot Lot.
This play space was designed for small kids, hence the name. The flooring is all rubber, making it soft for crawling knees. It’s shaded in most areas, so you don’t have to worry about your babe being in harsh sunlight while playing.
The main play structure is very low to the ground, so crawling kids can still explore the play equipment without having to be able to stand or go to unsafe heights.
2. Monon Play Space
Along the Monon trail, roughly 571 Monon Blvd. Carmel, IN
Without an official name, this play space is carved directly into the Monon trail just south of midtown plaza. It 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 park followed by a little walk along the Monon Trail.
The flooring of the park is a mixture of rubber and faux grass, nothing that can be eaten or choked on by babies/young toddlers. This park is great for parents with babies and older siblings because it has play areas that are fun for both ages!
3. Westermeier Commons
20 Central Park Dr W, Carmel, IN
This looks like a really big park to recommend for babies, but hear me out. Located in the center of Central Park in Carmel, Westermeier Commons is a giant park with huge play structures you can see from far away. However, there is a small section separate from the main play area that is great for the baby-pre/walker age.
The flooring is all rubber, and the play equipment in the little kids area has a stone wall separating it from the giant big kids area. While the park can get crowded, this separate little kids area seems to be the least crowded spot of the whole park. The equipment is low to the ground with lots of things to pull-up on and explore, and there are baby swings right next to the play structure.
4. Simon Moon Park
3044 E 171st St Westfield, IN
Simon Moon Park is a great faux grass play space. It’s a smaller playground area but packed with lots to do. My kids always end up wanting to play at this park for longer than I expect them to!
It’s a great park for a crawler/pre-walker to be able to safely explore. The equipment is close to the ground and gives lots of options for early movers to check out. There is a covered picnic shelter adjacent to the playground, pack a picnic and check it out!