Welcome to Holliday Park

Plan Your Visit

One of Indianapolis’ oldest parks, Holliday Park is located just six miles north of downtown and encompasses 94-acres of beautiful green space.  Visitors can explore the nature center, play on one of the city’s best, hard-to-leave playgrounds, hike more than 3.5 miles of picturesque trails down to the banks of the White River or take a stroll around the one-of-a-kind Holliday Park Ruins.  

Admission to Holliday Park and the Nature Center is free! Some classes and programs have fees.

Holliday Park is a beautiful setting for individual and family photos.  Visitors are welcome to take photos for their personal use.  Professional photographers are asked to complete the Commercial Video and Photo Shoot Permit and return it to Holliday Park staff along with the applicable fee. Please call the nature center front desk at 327-7180 for more information.

As Friends of Holliday Park (FHP) helps improve and enhance the grounds of Holliday Park, please also consider a donation to FHP (https://www.hollidaypark.org/donate/).

Nature Center featuring Habitat Hall

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The 13,000 square foot Nature Center focuses on educating visitors about the natural world and features hands-on, discovery-based activities for all ages. Two classrooms and an auditorium host classes on nature, after-school activities and arts and crafts with an environmental theme. Check out our upcoming programs.

The bird and wildlife observation area offers numerous feeding stations with a sound system to allow viewers to hear the birds, the library provides a quiet place to flip through a field guide or read a book, and nearby wildflower gardens and a wildlife-friendly prairie give visitors inspiration on how to bring nature into your own backyard.

The recently renovated Habitat Hall, courtesy of Friends of Holliday Park opened in 2015. The dynamic new exhibits include the White River Water Table, Music of the Wetlands Exhibit, and an elevated Hardwood Forest viewing area allowing visitors to experience the forest canopy. Live animal enclosures, costumes, games and interactive exhibits help visitors learn about nature and foster excitement to get out and explore the park grounds. Habitat Hall is free and open to the public. Explore the new space Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

For information regarding renting space within the nature center, visit Facility and Outdoor Rental.

Playground

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The playground, funded by Friends of Holliday Park boasts state-of-the-art equipment in distinct areas for varying ages designed to bring out the child in everyone. Conquer the rock climbing wall, test your bravery on a five, 10 or 20-foot slide tower and see if you can make it to the top of the spider’s web. Younger children will enjoy exploring tunnels, crossing bridges and swinging next to mom or dad. When it’s time to refuel, families will find a number of picnic tables and benches to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Indoor restrooms are available at the Nature Center Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Outdoor restrooms are available at the playground from April through October.

The Ruins

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The revitalized Ruins at Holliday Park reopened in September 2016 after more than twenty years behind a chain link fence. The project was made possible by Friends of Holliday Park with a $3.2 million campaign to fund and endow the project. The new attraction features a children’s water table, shimmer fountain, benches, an allee of tress and a number of new gardens making it the perfect space for family fun, concerts, festivals, and weddings. The fountains and Ruins restrooms are open from March to October.

To learn more about weddings at The Ruins visit Facility and Outdoor Rental.

History of The Ruins:

In the 1950s, the St. Paul Building, at 220 Broadway in New York City, was torn down to make way for a modern skyscraper. Karl Bitter, one of the outstanding architectural sculptors of the late 19th century, had designed the facade of the original building, including three massive statues made of Indiana limestone called “the Races of Man.” To find a new home for the sculptures, the building’s owner, the Western Electric Company, held a competition among U.S. cities, which were required to submit plans for their display and preservation. Indianapolis proposed to place them in Holliday Park, which was then an arboretum, and the city was ultimately awarded the highly prized sculptures, valued at the time at $150,000.

Elmer Taflinger, who provided the sketches for the proposed structure, was chosen to carry out the design. He worked to complete the project over the next 20 years. For the complete story, download History of the Ruins at Holliday Park (PDF, 713 KB).

Gardens and landscaping

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The diverse landscaping and gardens of Holliday Park provide visitors beauty no matter the season. A walk through the grounds will take you through prairie habitat and native wildflower gardens, as well as provide inspiring views of beds cared for by groups such as the Marion County Master Gardeners, Fall Creek Garden Club, Indiana Daffodil Society, Indiana Daylily-Iris Society and Indianapolis Hosta Society. Holliday Park also boasts an arboretum with over 1,200 individual trees labeled by species, and the breathtaking, historic Rock Garden dating back to the early days of the park. To learn more about volunteering in the Holliday Park gardens, visit the Volunteer page.

Trails

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More than 3.5 miles of trails lead hikers into the park’s densely wooded ravines, past natural springs and wetlands and along a dramatic stretch of the White River. While exploring, keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers and wildlife; over 200 species of birds have been spotted in the park, as well as deer, fox, beaver, rabbits, squirrels and many other species that reside in this natural oasis.

White River

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Flowing in two forks across most of Central and Southern Indiana, the White River creates the largest watershed contained entirely within the state, draining all or part of nearly half the counties. The section of the West Fork at Holliday Park is among the most wooded in Marion County and is home to bass, bluegill and macroinvertebrates as well as great blue herons, owls, beaver and red fox. Anglers and paddlers alike frequent this riparian corridor.

A wheelchair-accessible platform can be reached from a parking lot on the southeast corner of Meridian Street and Arden Avenue, as shown on our Holliday Park map.