Hidden gem: Cool Creek Park in Carmel

At my age, according to my two children, I should have a very long list of accomplishments.

I am apparently supposed to know everything and have done everything there is to do at the ripe old age of 35. But alas, I have failed since today (after they made fun of me) both the kids and I marked another “first” off our list (their lists are quite long for 8 & 5, let me tell you). What did we do, you ask?



We visited Cool Creek Park in Carmel.

Not what you were expecting, right? Me neither.

Cool Creek Park _ Indy's Child

Today we drove over to Carmel and headed to the Cool Creek Nature Center. The kids and I have been there many times but today was different. We were so excited to get to the creek that we flew our way through the center – but not before taking a few minutes to stop by all of the little exhibits inside – there is a lot to see!

Cool Creek Park _ Indy's Child

Our friend Harrison and his mom, Abby, joined us on our adventure and we had fun watching & reading about the turtles and learning about dragonflies. I think our favorite part though was the observation room. We took a minute to sit down on the benches and watch nature unfolding outside the wall of windows. On this visit there weren’t too many birds out and about, but the kids loved the squirrels running around and hopping from tree to bird feeder. When we were leaving the super awesome staff gave the kids some stickers and milkweed seeds – that was a nice surprise!

Cool Creek Park _ Indy's Child

Once we got outside we found a trail and started looking for the best place to go stomping. There are many trails at Cool Creek so we picked one and started walking. The trails we were on were pretty big and we saw a family riding bikes – the trails seemed to be pretty good for three-season hiking and/or jogging. But back to the stomping action.

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I’m sure there are many places along the creek to go but we ended up just down the hill from the nature center by one of the many bridges. The kids were a little nervous to get into the water but once they were in they had a ball! Temperature-wise the water was chilly but on a warm day like today it was rather refreshing. Might I suggest though that you have proper foot wear. Flip flops will not work well when wet and you are trying to get out of the creek – trust me.

Cool Creek Park _ Indy's Child

We had a good time splashing each other, jumping, and trying to skip stones. While some people may think creek stomping is no fun or has no purpose, I think it is probably a right-of-passage for kids – one that I never experienced. There are plenty of warm days left this year and coupled with the other onsite amenities, it’s a perfect afternoon of family fun!

MORE INFO: Cool Creek Park is located at 2000 E. 151st St in Carmel. The onsite Nature Center is open Mondays-Saturdays from 10am-5pm, and Sundays from 1-5pm. For additional details, call 317-774-2500 or visit their website


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