3 Things We Love About Carmel For Teenagers

My parents moved us from Ft. Worth, TX to Carmel, IN in 1990 when I was 14 years old. Making a huge transition like that during one of the most daunting stages of life is terrifying. I said goodbye to the friends I had known all through elementary and middle school and started a new journey as a freshman in Carmel. Back then, 9th grade was kept at middle school and the high school only housed 10th-12th graders, which was a blessing, as it allowed me to get my feet wet and make new friends before joining the masses at CHS. All went well. I thrived as a student and navigated the social aspects of high school successfully, graduated in 1994, and headed off to IU Bloomington for the next adventure. Looking back now, I am extremely grateful we made that move, as I have come to love Carmel so much that I chose to move back after college and raise my own family here. My husband and I have three boys who are now teenagers themselves. Their ages are 13, 14, and 16. Our oldest is a junior at CHS and the younger two are in 7th and 8th grade at Clay Middle School. We feel so fortunate to live, work, and play in this great city and for all it offers our boys. Here are three things we love about Carmel for our teenagers:

Carmel Dad’s Club:  I recently read on a local FB group that some newcomers are unaware or confused about CDC. This organization has been so valuable to our family. Simply put, it has been our community’s most popular youth sports program for over 60 years. It was a handful of local dads who started the organization, hence the name. However, today you will find not only dads, but moms, family & community members volunteering their time to coach and lead participants of all genders. The facilities are well-maintained, and many are shared with Carmel Clay Schools, as the two have a very strong partnership. The staff is dedicated, and the participants are community members like you and me. It has over 13,000 annual participants in a variety of sports that include football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, rugby, lacrosse, and cheerleading. Through the years, my family has participated in most of these programs, giving us a bounty of experience as players, coach, commissioner, and sponsor. We have nothing but great things to say about this organization. Our experience has been top notch! CDC has allowed my boys to try new sports, learn to be a supportive teammate, improve athleticism, gain confidence, and win or lose with grace. It has also allowed my husband to improve his skills and embrace his passion for coaching football. And has allowed me the joy of cheering on my players and coach from the sidelines, organizing team parties, and sharing my brand by being a sponsor. Additionally, we have all made friends with others in the program and look forward to maintaining those incredible relationships for many years to come. I am happy to share more about my experience with this program over the years, so feel free to contact me directly. Read more about the history, program details, and register for sports at  https://www.carmeldadsclub.org/

Monon Community Center: This beautiful, centrally located facility in Carmel is a hub of activity. It houses a fitness center, gyms, track, group fitness classes, indoor pool, outdoor waterpark, skatepark, and is the primary location for Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation’s summer camp, creative classes, nature programs, and so much more. My husband takes spin classes, utilizes the fitness center, and relaxes in the steam room. I attend yoga classes and take advantage of the indoor track when weather prevents outdoor walking. But what I love most is how much my kids get out of it. When they were little, I would drop them at childcare while attending my yoga classes. We also spent a lot of time at the indoor activity pool during those long Indiana winters and many hot, summer days were spent at the outdoor waterpark. Now that they are older, they can attend unsupervised. My kids have recently been spending a lot of time on the basketball court. My oldest plays pick-up games with other teen and adult members and occasionally hits the weights. The younger two enjoy meeting their friends there after school, in the evenings, or on the weekends to shoot hoops. The skatepark and outdoor waterpark are popular destinations for them in warmer months. As a working parent, it is reassuring to know I can drop my kids at a place where they are safe and active. The family membership is only $107/month and allows each member access to everything the facility has to offer. We are so grateful for this wonderful Carmel amenity. Find more details and purchase memberships at https://www.carmelclayparks.com/monon-community-center/

Midtown: Not too long ago, the city of Carmel made upgrades to the section of the Monon Trail that runs through its epicenter. One of the completed projects is known as Midtown Plaza, which is one of my family’s favorite spots. Sitting adjacent to the Monon Trail just north of downtown and south of the Arts & Design District is the 14,000 square foot outdoor gathering place. Dynamic first-come open seating surrounds a large, turfed, greenspace at center stage. Restaurants overlook the plaza on all sides, each with its own outdoor patio seating, strategically placed for its guests to view the action. Free activities offered at the plaza include a big screen for community viewing parties, billiards, ping pong, swivel chairs, swings, and a fire pit. The nearby restaurants offer delicious food and beverages that guests are permitted to take outside to the plaza. Alternatively, people can bring their own. We usually pack a cooler with drinks and snacks, grab an outdoor table, and enjoy the people watching with our friends while our boys get a game of touch football underway on the lawn. Other times, we get a table on the patio at one of the restaurants and the boys play a game of pool while we wait for our food. Then after dinner as my husband and I sip on cocktails, they walk down the Monon to get ice cream. Oftentimes our boys will ask us to drop them off at Midtown, where they meet up with friends to hang out or walk around. We are comfortable with this, knowing the area is safe. Rated the #1 safest city in Indiana, our beloved hometown offers this sense of security when our teens visit just about anywhere. Read more about Midtown Plaza at https://www.carmel.in.gov/our-city/experience/attractions/midtown-plaza

If you are looking to create your own beautiful journey in Carmel, we would love to help! We’re more than just residents; we’re advocates for this incredible city. Let us guide you in finding your perfect home, discovering local gems, and integrating into this vibrant community. Remember, Carmel isn’t just a location; it’s a lifestyle. Start your Carmel adventure today by contacting the Home Living Team.