Getting out of the house with little ones isn’t always an easy task. Let’s be honest, getting out of the house with toddlers is never an easy task! But when the weather is nice, the days are long, or everyone’s just getting a little stir-crazy, it helps to know your local, toddler-friendly destination options. Let this be your guide for all the things to do in Terre Haute, IN with toddlers.
When it’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, and it’s not raining, you better take advantage of it! These local parks are all great places to let your little ones get out their crazies.
This huge park on Terre Haute’s East Side has just about everything you could want in a local park. At 177 acres, this sprawling green space is the largest park in the Terre Haute City park system, and also one of the most popular. There’s something here for the whole family. Deming Park has a disc golf course, public pool, basketball courts, tennis courts, walking trails, many shelters and pavilions, and two different ponds.
Little ones will have a blast on a play structure designed specifically for them while older children can burn off energy on a separate, larger jungle gym. Another great toddler-friendly feature is the miniature train that runs in the summer months and for a few weeks in the wintertime. Parents of the newly potty-trained will also appreciate the well-maintained bathrooms on site. Click here to learn more.
Another great East Side Terre Haute park is Dobbs Memorial Park. In addition to the park, this site has a nature center, Native American Museum, and heirloom garden. With its 3 miles of walking trails, restored prairie and wetlands, 3-acre pond, and butterfly garden, Dobbs Memorial Park has so much nature for you to explore with your little ones.
The playground here is small, with older equipment, but it’s still a great spot for toddlers and younger children to get their wiggles out. There is a super tall, twisty tower slide, a play structure with three more slides (and stairs for littles who aren’t yet expert climbers), a seesaw, a climbable truck tire, and a swing-set. Dobbs is a great place for you and your kiddos to get out and discover nature together. Click here to learn more.
Located in East Bank Terre Haute, this isn’t your average neighborhood park. Voorhees is best known for its skate park, but that isn’t all it has to offer. Here, you’ll find a softball field, basketball court, picnic shelter, and playground in addition to some great, wide-open spaces for kiddos to run around and play.
Let your little ones bring along their scooters. You can help them navigate some of the tamer ramps and hills over at the skate park. Toddlers will appreciate the large, modern play structure with multiple slides, a rock wall, a bouldering-style climbable, and stairs for the very little ones. There are even a couple of toddler-friendly panels installed in the playground area where your kiddo can play with a steering wheel and 3-in-a-row style spinning puzzle. This park also has a swing set that includes a couple of baby/toddler seats. Keep in mind that this park does not have public bathrooms. So, be sure to plan ahead. Click here to learn more.
This massive Vigo County park spans over 256 acres, and includes a lake, campground, archery range, fishing docks, boat launch, walking trails, a small amphitheater, and even a labyrinth. There are three picnic shelters at the park and multiple public bathrooms, so it’s got everything you need to spend half the day playing, exploring, and learning in nature. The lake is also fully stocked with a variety of fish, so this is a great place to start teaching your kiddo how to fish.
If you and your little ones are up for an easy walk, Hawthorn boasts a fully accessible trail that’s a little over a third of a mile long. The playground situated right across from the Dogwood Shelter isn’t too large or expansive, but it’s a great size for younger kiddos. There are a few slides, climbables, and stairs for little ones. The area also has a swing set and nearby benches for parents to rest while their kids play. Click here to learn more.
Another neighborhood park, Brittlebank is full of wide-open spaces for kids to run and play. With a picnic shelter, basketball court, new pickleball courts, and a soccer/football field, this park has something for everyone. This park is modest, with only a small play structure that has a few slides, some spots to climb, and wide stairs for little ones. Even without a swing set, it’s still a great place for toddlers to run around, burn some energy, and go for a slide. Click here to learn more.
When the weather isn’t cooperating and you think your toddler might literally start climbing the walls, it’s time to find a local “field trip”. Here’s a list of some of the best indoor, toddler-friendly destinations in Terre Haute.
This place is all about hands-on learning, active play, and kid-driven exploration! There is a section specifically designed for toddlers and littler ones, but really, there are age-appropriate things for kids to do all over this three-story museum. Some exhibits advertised for children 4 and under are Under Construction, AIRways, Toddler Zone, Rev It Up! Racecar, Dig It!, Water Works, Ag-Citing, Built It!, Ready, Vet, Go!, and The Kitchen. Admission is only $9 per person, so it’s a great place to let your kids play for hours. Be sure to check their website for up-to-date hours of operation. Click here to learn more.
The youth services department at Vigo County Public Library is a great indoor space to enjoy with your little ones. There is a lot to do here other than just curl up with a good book. With a number of different activity areas, some wall-mounted play panels, toy bins, and other places to play, the library is a good place to spend a couple of hours away from home with your toddler. Best of all, it’s totally free! Also, be sure to check their website to find out about programs and educational offerings for your child’s age group. Click here to learn more.
If your little one loves nature, you’ll love stopping in here. Dobbs Nature Center is a great place to learn about local plant and animal life, get hands-on with the Touch table display, and observe wildlife in their natural habitat. The center is home to several live animals, including snakes, salamanders, and turtles. The wildlife viewing area has been known to offer sightings of various feeder birds, small mammals, and even the occasional deer, fox, or owl. This isn’t a place that will take too much time to explore, but it’s a lovely, free way to spend some time out of the house with your kiddos. Click here to learn more.
Inside this bowling center, you will also find an arcade, indoor playground, and large inflatables where your little one can bounce, climb, slide, and play. Great for a family night out or a daytime get-the-kids-out-of-the-house excursion, Stikerz is an inexpensive way to let your kids burn off some energy indoors. You can play with your kids in the bowling area or arcade or let them run around like the little monkeys they are in the play area. Check out the website for current operating hours and entry pricing. Click here to learn more.
Some other indoor things to do in Terre Haute with toddlers are:
• catching a show at the Terre Haute Children’s Theatre
• going to see the fish at Atlantis Aquatic Gardens
• catching a sensory-friendly screening of a family-friendly movie at the local AMC
• or spending some time at the Vigo County YMCA.
I hope this guide has given you some more options for your family’s next venture out into the world. A little information can go a long way to making your outings just a little bit easier. And, if you’re a parent or soon to be parent in Terre Haute, check out my blogs about the best pediatricians in Terre Haute and the best OBGYNs in Terre Haute.
No matter how crazy busy this moment of parenting is, take the time to play in the mud, splash in the bath, sing those silly songs, and make those memories. For help making those memories last forever, contact me today! I specialize in documentary-style child and family photography where your family connections and your child’s truest self are all center-stage. Take a look at my family photo galleries, and let’s start a conversation about your in-home family photos today.