There is no shortage of fun parks and playgrounds in Carmel. The nature adventure playground — tucked into the woods behind Jill Perelman Pavilion — is another great addition to that list. This playground is truly a hidden gem, and it’s the only public park in the area with a zip line!
This nature adventure playground is a great place to take an adventurous kid to play, because there are lots of challenges to conquer. Older kids can test their strength and dexterity on the multiple playground structures that feature cargo nets to climb, poles to slide down, obstacles to parkour and a rock-climbing wall to scale. And did we mention: There’s a zip line here! Kids can hop onto the zip-line seat and careen from one side of the park to the other, zipping by just a few feet from the ground.
For the younger kids, there is a play area made just for them! Kids ages 5 and younger can hop onto one of the spring riders that look like insects, play pretend on the wooden house platform, and test their balancing skills on the balance beams.
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For parents, the playground is surrounded by big, mature trees, so there is lots of shade and cool breezes that blow through in the spring and summer when the leaves are on the trees. There are benches to sit on, and it’s a very peaceful and serene place to watch your children play.
The nature adventure playground is called a hidden gem for a reason: You might not notice it if you’re not looking for it! It’s located on the west side of West Park, and you can access it two ways. One, by pulling into the parking lot of Jill Perelman Pavilion, located across the street from University High School on 116th Street. There, you’ll see the playground toward the back of the pavilion. Or, when West Park trails are accessible again, you can access the nature park by walking west from West Park through the woods.
The nature playground is open to the public year round. During the summer months, it is used frequently by day campers, so it can get crowded during that time. The best times to play crowd-free are early in the morning or in the early/late evening during the summer, and pretty much any time during the cooler-weather months.
The nature adventure playground at Jill Perelman Pavilion is located at 3000 W. 116th Street in Carmel, across the street from University High School and west of West Park. For more information visit carmelclayparks.com/parks.