Parks & Playgrounds
When fresh air is calling your name, Indianapolis is here to deliver. From hiking to biking to ziplining, here’s our guide to exploring the outdoors and enjoying the top parks in Indy.
White River State Park offers more than 250 acres of green space filled with an array of cultural attractions, public art, and entertainment. Explore the park by bike or your own two feet as you go door-to-door at some of Indy’s finest attractions including the Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana State Museum, and Victory Field.
Just north of White River State park you'll find the Colts Canal Playscape. Tucked on the east side of the beautiful Central Canal, the playscape is a perfect spot for little ones to burn energy while parents enjoy the scenery. The site for the playspace was selected due to its accessibility adjacent to the Canal and its close proximity to the the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The urban playspace features a play structure that blurs the lines between a traditional playground and public art, including a vertical climbing tower and ladder, a spinner bowl, twister nets, stepping stones, water fountains, and more.
At 3,900 acres of land and 1,400 acres of water, Eagle Creek Park is one of the nation's largest city parks. Trails beckon hikers and bird watchers, the lake welcomes fishermen and sailors, and picnic benches encourage relaxing meals in the great outdoors. Canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pontoons, and pedal boats are available for rent. The new Go Ape! Treetop Adventure offers a ropes course and ziplining 50 feet above ground.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park & Landmark for Peace Memorial was named for the famous Civil Rights Leader Rev. Dr. King, Jr. and extends over 14 acres in Center Township of Indy. This park has a rich history within its community. The park’s memorial, “Landmark for Peace,” was dedicated by former President Bill Clinton in 1995 to honor both Dr. King and the late Mr. Kennedy for their contributions to our nation. The park’s mission is “to raise awareness, provoke thought and inspire action to eliminate division and injustice.”
Fort Harrison State Park
This 1,700-acre park offers walking trails, picnic sites, fishing access, a Pete Dye-designed golf course, and two national historic districts. Spring is the time to see flowers blooming, summer is the perfect time to canoe down Fall Creek, fall offers breathtaking views of colorful foliage, and winter is the time to sled down some of the tallest hills in the area.
Located on Indy’s near south side, Garfield Park is a relaxing retreat and every green thumb’s dream. This 136-acre park is home to gardening demonstrations, flower shows, and the Garfield Park Conservatory, which houses 10,000 square feet of plants from the world’s tropics.
It’s hard to find a better playground than the one at Holliday Park. Complete with a 5-, 10-, and 20-foot slide tower, your kids will play Lewis and Clark as they navigate the tunnels, bridges, and a climbable spider web. Kids also love the interactive Nature Center. Explore nature at this 94-acre park as you hike the 3.5 miles of trail along the banks of the White River. A major restoration of the mystical ruins that greet visitors to the park has made an already family-friendly park more enchanting than ever.
For a shady picnic with stunning views of the downtown skyline, you can't beat the quaint charm of Highland Park.