Danville, Indiana is a sleepy satellite community just twenty miles to the west of the state capital, Indianapolis. The town’s focus on family, history, and simple living is a sharp contrast to the hustle and glamor of nearby downtown Indianapolis, but the town’s residents stick by these principles with an unwavering devotion. Danville is a community built for the appreciation of Danville children and their parents; Danville education is chock full of good schools, Danville events offer plenty of opportunities for family bonding, and the Danville arts community is always looking for new ways to get youngsters involved.
One of the finest examples of Danville’s family focus is the Danville parks system. Designed to inspire the imagination, educate the mind, and strengthen the body, the community’s sprawling parks were made for self-improvement. The largest and oldest park in Danville is Ellis Park. Founded way back in 1913, the 49-acre park was renamed in 1971 and has continued to grow with the community. A haven for Danville sports enthusiasts, baseball fields, football fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, shelter houses, open fields, and fire pits all grace this lovely green space; it’s a perfect spot to bring the kids for a fun weekend away from television and video games.
Ellis Park is home to a variety of Danville attractions to delight and entertain its residents. One of the most popular during the summer is the Gill Family Aquatic Center, a brightly colored water extravaganza that has something for everyone. For the adrenaline junkie, the Gill Family Aquatic Center offers two 125 foot water slides, and there’s always the lazy river, swirling vortex, and zero entry pool for those who prefer a little relaxation. Ellis Park is also home to the Playscape, a sprawling playground, fort, and jungle gym that will delight children and, more importantly, tire them out for the car ride home.
During the holidays, Ellis Park really comes alive. One of the top Danville events, the Winterland Light Show draws visitors in to Ellis Park from all over Central Indiana, including nearby Avon, Plainfield, and even Indianapolis. The Winterland Light Show is a sprawling display of colorful and intricate Christmas lights, strewn up all throughout the park grounds. Participants can meet Santa, take in the lights, and even take a carriage ride through historic downtown Danville.
Of course, what Danville park would be complete without a gathering place? Ellis Park’s amphitheater is a great place for residents to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and hear some free Danville music. This concert space is a popular venue in the summer because this is where the town’s summer concert series is held. Indianapolis music groups and musicians from all of Indiana come to Ellis Park to perform for an audience sprawled all across the park. Past guests at the amphitheater include the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Marshall Tucker Band, and the Hendricks County Symphony Orchestra.
|Video of the Hendricks Symphonic Society, a Danville, Indiana musical organization. The group has played at the Ellis Park Amphitheater.|
The Danville parks system also includes several areas for nature lovers. Blanton Woods is connected to Ellis Park; the nature preserve encompasses 73 acres of untouched deciduous forest where plant life flourishes and animal life abounds. It’s a great place to take a stroll and get back in touch with nature. Also part of Blanton Woods is the Blanton House Conference and Retreat Center, an ideal place to hold a wedding, party, or Danville business meeting. Danville has also recently set aside two areas for local gardeners to plant community gardens. These spaces are sure to be a colorful departure from the brick and concrete of the city.
All in all, Danville is a city devoted to its resident families. The Danville parks system is a perfect example of this; these are safe, fun, and relaxing venues for families to spend a leisurely afternoon in. Play a game of catch in Ellis Park, ride a slide at the Gill Family Aquatic Center, hear sweet sounds at the amphitheater, or get in touch with the earth at Blanton Woods; regardless of what you’d like to do, the Danville parks system promises a relaxing, fulfilling experience.
Ellis Park / Gill Family Aquatic Center / Amphitheater / Blanton Woods
600 E Main St
Danville, IN 46122
The Blanton House
625 N Washington St
Danville, IN 46122
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