After much anticipation, the West Commons Playground and Splash Pad at Central Park is now open to the public. The splash pad will be closing tomorrow (September 28) for the season.
With a playground unlike anything in Carmel or the metro area, the West Commons is sure to become a favorite destination for kids and their families for years to come. (Directions and parking info at bottom)
The park encompasses more than 25,000 square feet and includes numerous areas for climbing, swinging, sliding, exploration, and water play. By incorporating universal design principles, kids of all abilities will be able to enjoy and create memories on this mega-playground.
The playground has a futuristic appearance, which should spark the imagination of kids of all ages. Nestled within a hill that helps keep kids contained and masks the true magnitude of the playground, highlights include:
This park was built with accessibility and inclusion in mind, and we always try to design sites with different elevations. There are a lot of features one can do at ground level. Wheelchairs have access to lower level amenities with a ramp that leads to the top levels and off the ground. Wheelchair bound individuals can transition to a slide, get out and be lifted onto a slide, and a helper can pick them up at the bottom. There are also 3 caves throughout the features if one wants to pull back and watch, providing them control over the environment. Additionally, there are several accessible swings available on the swing set.
In an adjacent but separately contained zone, the Splash Pad is inspired by the surrounding prairie within Central Park. This area provides interest for kids of all ages, with opportunities to spin and rotate features and most importantly, cool off during hot Indiana summers. Giant cattails, flowers, and playful critters join a symphony of sprays and geysers to entertain kids throughout the summer. The splash pad will be open annually beginning Memorial Day weekend until temperatures begin cooling in late September. Both the playground and splash pad are free amenities, with the playground open daily from sunrise until sunset.
Shade structures and benches are located throughout both the playground and splash pad areas, providing a respite from the sun and a place for parents, grandparents and caregivers to comfortably observe all the fun. The main community shelter situated between the playground and splash pad has restrooms and changing tables. Four additional shelters, bound to be popular locations for birthday parties, family reunions, and similar events, will be available for rent beginning in 2017. A new parking lot, located along the Central Park West Drive just east of the College Avenue entrance, provides convenient parking for the new West Commons attractions and a perfect jump off point for the park’s trail network
“The vision for a playground in Central Park goes all the way back to the park’s original 2002 master plan,” said Mark Westermeier, director, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation. “It’s incredibly exciting to see that plan come to life in such a marvelous way.”
A public ribbon cutting featuring local dignitaries will take place at a later date.
Directions & Parking Information
The park is located at 920 Central Park Drive West, west of the Central Park bridge. Parking is available adjacent to the playground. The easiest way is to access the playground off of College Avenue, between 116th and 111th Streets. The playground and parking will be on your right.