Use our guide if you’re looking for a new place to make a big splash this summer. There’s no need to lose your cool when it gets hot outside in Indiana — not when you live in Carmel. Your family is just a short drive from some of the area’s best pools, water parks, and waterways. Here are a few places to cool down and have fun near home.

West Commons Playground and Splash Pad

Small child standing in a shallow pool.
Image via Flickr by shixart1985 Licensed CC BY 2.0

Head to Central Park on Central Park Drive East for cool fun in the sun this summer. This outstanding 159-acre neighborhood park is home to the popular West Commons Playground and Splash Pad. This seasonal destination is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from sun up to sundown, and admission is always free.

One of the best things about this splash pad is in a self-contained area, separate from the adjacent playground. The city designed the feature using environmentally friendly water management practices. It blends into the natural surrounding, with features like cattail geysers, flower sprayers, and native animals. Central Park also features a community center, and a 25,000 square foot playground with loads of areas for your children to explore, climb, swing, slide, and use their imagination.

The Waterpark

The Waterpark in Carmel on Central Park Drive East is another terrific place to while away the summer days. This awesome local amusement center offers fun for all ages like heated pools, play areas, cabanas, and snacks. Discover activities like two adventure slides, a plunge slide, a lap pool, and a wave pool. Watch the little ones splash in the kiddie pool, relax with a float down the Lazy River, or try out your skills and scale the AquaClimb’s slippery wall.

Admission to the facility is free with your Monon Community Center membership or purchase a season pass and never miss a chance to cool off at The Waterpark. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and the 2022 season runs from May 28 through August 7.

Morse Park and Beach

Did you know there’s an excellent beach near home that offers everything from sun and sand to refreshing water? Pack a picnic, some towels, sunscreen, and check out Morse Park’s swimming beach. It’s easy to spend the whole day at this 23-acre oasis, between the playgrounds, the shore, and the Water Adventure Park.

In addition to swimming, it also boasts an 18-hole disc golf course, volleyball courts, picnic shelters, walking paths, a large grassy field, and a bathhouse. There’s even a fishing pier and a boat launch if you want to paddle the lake. You’ll find Morse Park and Beach in Noblesville off Morse Park Lane. It’s open Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Finch Creek Park

Center your summer activities around the amenities at Finch Creek Park on Boden Road in Noblesville. This 200-acre neighborhood gathering space provides families with loads of outdoor recreational opportunities, including an outstanding splash pad. Your kids will kick off their shoes, put on their goggles, and make a beeline for the water while you sit on your towel and watch them jump and play.

Visit the Splash Pad at Finch Creek Park daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. It opens on Memorial Day and closes on the first Sunday of October, weather permitting. Find updates on the city’s social media page. Finch Creek Park also offers pickleball courts, basketball, playgrounds, picnic shelters, walking trails, restrooms, and plenty of free parking.

Saxony Beach

Saxony Beach is another stellar destination near Carmel where the whole family can get wet. Life is always better at the beach, and this sandy playground opens for the 2022 season on Saturday, May 28. You’ll feel miles from the hustle and bustle of your family’s daily grind without leaving home.

Go sun bathing, swimming, or build a sand castle with pure Indiana sand. There’s even an inflatable obstacle course off shore or you can rent a kayak and paddle around the 20-acre lake. If you have a fishing license, cast your line in the lake see what you can reel in. Dig your toes in the sand at this 300-foot shoreline off Pennington Road.

Lawrence W. Inlow Park

Inlow Park on East Main has been a top local hot spot for families that enjoy the outdoors since 2001. This 16-acre outdoor recreation area is perfect for a day in the sun, complete with a nine-hole disc golf course, playgrounds, hiking trails, and a picnic shelter.

Officials closed the park in 2021 so that the city could make $2.5 million in improvements. It opens this spring with a brand new splash pad, two pickleball courts, new restrooms, and a larger parking lot. The colossal water feature is the perfect place to cool off after an afternoon burning off some energy. There’s plenty of shade for parents to sit and relax and there is no reason to leave until it’s time to go home for dinner. Don’t wait until summer’s over to check it out.

Forest Park Aquatics Center

Head to Forest Park Aquatics Center on Cicero Road in Noblesville next time your family wants to go swimming. This awesome public facility kicked off the summer season on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 8 a.m. This center has everything you’d expect from a premier aquatics program, like all-ages swim lessons, splash pad, water slide, zip line, water climbing wall, and a heated zero-entry pool just for your little one.

For parents, there’s an Olympic-size pool with diving platforms if you want to get in a few laps. There are even adult-only classes if you need to brush up on your water safety skills. Its never too late to learn to swim for fitness or fun.

So, there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Carmel shared this guide to the area’s best pool and splash pads with you. What do you think of the spots we picked? Let us know if we forgot your family’s favorite place to chill out on a hot summer day in Indiana. Send us a note so we can add your ideas to our following guide.