Thanks to the Urbana Parks Foundation for sponsoring our Parent’s Guide to Carle Park in Urbana. Great parks build great communities! UPF recently launched a $2 million fundraising campaign titled Campaign for the Next Century. The campaign seeks to build on more than a century of generosity from individuals, businesses, and civic organizations by supporting a variety of Urbana Park District parks, programs and activities. The campaign targets three specific areas of emphasis which include the Urbana Parks Endowment, Crystal Lake Park, and Youth Scholarships. These areas of support align with UPF’s mission to strengthen the local park system and enhance the health and vibrancy of the community. Gifts for other purposes or projects are also welcome. Whether you live in Urbana or a surrounding community, you can make a positive impact on Urbana’s parks by donating today.
A Bit about Carle Park
This park is hidden among Urbana’s brick-lined streets and it’s very possible you could miss it when driving down Race Street. It definitely can fit the definition for “best-kept secret” and is sure to become a favorite of your family (especially your kids!) after you visit for the first time. Known among kids as the “spider web park,” it has plenty of unique features to offer visiting families.
This park is busiest on Saturday mornings, when a lot of families are out for Market at the Square, and is otherwise fairly quiet.
Part of the Urbana Park District, Carle Park is a stellar playground and one of our favorite places to play in leaves during the fall. The playground has an area geared more toward older kids and a separate area for toddlers and preschoolers. Parents of littles, just watch out for the spinning carousel-like ride that the big kids love!
Tips For Your Trip From Other Parents
- Hit the bathroom before you head to the park and decide where you’ll run to if you need a potty break. There are no bathrooms on site but this park is located near the Urbana Free Library and Lincoln Square Mall, short drives away.
- Walk your kids around to show them the different features when they start to play. Kids may be hesitant to try climbing the spider web, but with your encouragement, you may see them scaling it in no time!
- This is a great park to climb trees. If you want your child to experience this childhood pastime, look for the trees closest to the playground and show them how it is done.
- The historic pavilion, believed to have been built around 1919, is a beautiful part of the atmosphere at this park, but note that there are wrought iron gates present to prevent anyone from entering and to protect the interior.
Is this park good for toddlers?
Yes! We think the space designed with toddlers in mind will be enjoyed by your youngest children. And our readers recommend Carle Park as one of the best parks for toddlers in Champaign-Urbana.
What amenities are offered?
Carle Park offers some amenities, including:
- Drinking fountains
- Walking paths, both paved and unpaved
- Sand volleyball
- Soccer goal
- Playground equipment, designed with a variety of ages in mind
Are there bathrooms?
There are not bathrooms on site. You’ll want to have a bathroom plan in place. We suggest a short drive to the Urbana Free Library.
Are there picnic tables or grills?
There are picnic tables at Carle Park; no grills are present.
Is there any shade?
YES! This is one of the best shaded parks you’ll find in Champaign-Urbana. It is a great park for the summer months thanks to the shade.
When is this park open?
There are no gates at the park and it is open 24 hours a day.
What is parking like?
Street parking is available on the streets bordering the park, like Iowa, Orchard and Indiana. There is no parking on Race Street during school days, as this is directly in front of Urbana High School.