There is a lot to love about Tarkington Park.
There’s the massive slide that can practically accommodate an entire family. (This thing is big, guys.) There’s the huge splash pad with cascading water and bubbling rock features. There’s the giant rope climbing sphere that looks like an alien spacecraft landed in Midtown.
But what’s most impressive about Tarkington Park is just how unusual-looking it is. If you’ve seen Teletubbies — that British children’s television show from the late ‘90s and early 2000s — then you might know what I’m talking about. I thought maybe it was just me picking up on the Teletubbies vibe the first time my children and I visited Tark Park, but then my oldest son said, “Doesn’t this park kind of look like that show with the sun baby?” Bingo. Yes, son. Yes, it does.
Most likely, the park designers didn’t have Teletubbies in mind when they created Tarkington Park, though. And frankly, this park is way cooler than Teletubbies land. Tark Park has rolling hills of soft, green turf that is perfect for rolling down and climbing up. There is a music area with several musical instruments to play, including a xylophone. Right beside the music area is a tunnel that’s built into one of the hills that is perfect for escaping into when playing hide and seek. Just beyond this area is a small, futuristic-looking play house that’s a great place for little ones to play and pretend.
For little climbers, Tark Park offers several opportunities to get that climbing energy out. Along with the rope climbing sphere, there is a rock wall for older kids, and a smaller rope climbing wall for younger kids, as well as rubber-coated grips built into one of the hills to make it easier to scale.
Older kids can play a pickup game on one of the park’s half-court basketball courts. Near the basketball courts are swinging benches with overhead shade. If basketball isn’t your thing, bring your tennis racquet and tennis balls to play on the tennis courts that sit just beyond the main park.
Tarkington Park has been a part of Midtown for many years, but it was completely redesigned and reintroduced to the community in mid-2017. There are even more plans for improvement to come, including adding a café, new walking paths, a performance shelter, and updated tennis courts. It will be exciting to see how this park develops during the years!
Tarkington Park is located at 45 W. 40th Street in Indianapolis.
Nicole Sipe is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis. A Southern California native, she enjoys exploring Indy with her husband and two sons.