There’s really only one word to describe the Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens: magical. Actually, there are two more words: hidden gem. This beautiful park, located on the west side of Carmel, is a magical hidden gem, and it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a more analog park experience for kids.
Open Ended Play at the Children’s Garden
The Children’s Garden is a perfect space for open-ended play and imaginative games because there is almost no playground equipment except a tunnel slide. There are kid-sized tunnels built into small hills, bridges, playhouses, gardens, sand pits and rocks to climb. The rainbow-colored path and Butterfly Village provide a magical setting for all kinds of make-believe games, tag with friends or flying a kite. Wide-open spaces and lots of grass make this an excellent park for picnics and frolicking. Related Article: Nature Adventure Playground at Jill Perelman Pavilion
The Butterfly Village
The Butterfly Village is made up of several playhouses with various themes, including a grocery store, a restaurant, and a jail, among others. Some playhouses include additional activities, such as sunflower hopscotch blocks and a hungry caterpillar rock structure for kids to jump on. Here, children can let their creativity run free.
The Biggest Sandbox in Indiana (probably)
Technically, the “sand area” is not a sandbox but more like a dried-up pond where there is lots of sand to play with. Kids can bring their sandbox tools and explore this giant sanded area. They can also bring their beach toys after a big rainstorm and build castles in the sand.
Raised bed gardens filled with flowers and plants planted during the spring and summer are featured in the Children’s Garden. An outdoor classroom in the Children’s Garden circles a pollinator garden. The plants in the Butterfly Garden were chosen for their ability to attract pollinating insects, such as butterflies and honey bees. The outdoor classroom is a public, open-air shelter that provides a space for nature education programming in an outdoor environment.
Far off from the Children’s Garden is a 90-foot twin bell tower that chimes at the hour. It’s nice to be at the garden when the tower plays songs, like Somewhere Over the Rainbow!
The Clay Township Children’s Pavilion
In May 2021, the Clay Township Children’s Pavilion was added to the Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens. The unique facility features twin shelters joined by a pergola-covered walkway and a fireplace-styled outdoor grill. The pavilion allows for child-friendly activities and supports various children’s programs.
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The Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens is located at 11677 Towne Road in Carmel. It is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. For more info, visit www.myhamiltoncountyparks.com.