Kokomo Parks Offer Free Family Fun

Summer is a great time to load up the family, grab a picnic lunch, and head outdoors!  Kokomo has a great selection of community and neighborhood parks.  Here are three suggestions for family outdoor recreation in Kokomo. 

Highland Park

Highland Park – 1402 W. Defenbaugh
The sights of this scenic, 80-acre park include “Old Ben” (World’s Largest Steer), the giant Sycamore Stump, Vermont Covered Bridge, and Kokomo Creek.  Plenty of playground and picnic areas make this a great place to spend the day! The park offers tons of shade and is perfect for biking, hiking, and running.  In addition, Kokomo Park Band concerts are held every Wednesday night at 8 pm in Highland Park now through July 28. Admission is always free!  

Foster Park – Located at the corner of Washington & Superior St.
Foster Park is located near downtown Kokomo and is a short walk from Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center.  The Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence also winds through the park and is great for walking, biking, and running.  A variety of free, family concerts are held throughout the summer and fall at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion located in Foster Park.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an evening in the park!   

Kirkendall Interpretive Nature Center in Jackson Morrow Park

Jackson Morrow Park – 4200 S. Park Rd.
The Kirkendall Interpretive Nature Center and Kokomo Pipeline Skate Park (fun for skateboards, bikes, and blades) are both located in Jackson Morrow Park. The Nature Center offers a variety of programs throughout the summer for kids and is a great place to learn about native Indiana wildlife.  This park also has a 1.3 mile paved walking trail that winds through several wooded areas in the park.  As Kokomo’s largest park, Jackson Morrow offers lots of space for kids to play and run outdoors.

Enjoy a visit to one of Kokomo’s great parks this summer for outdoor recreation and family fun! For more information on all the parks located in Kokomo, call 765-456-7275 or visit the Kokomo Parks & Recreation Department website.

What Is Your 2010 Resolution?

Here we are at the start of a new year again.  As I rang in the start of 2010 last week, I began to think of all the resolutions that I have made over the years and how many of those I have actually kept (not many!)  I would like to suggest a new resolution to think about this year . . . plan to travel more in 2010. 

No matter if you go somewhere across the country, within your state, or just visit attractions in your own community, traveling inspires new experiences, an opportunity to try new cuisine, and the chance to learn about new places and people.  It can also give you a much needed break from the regular busyness of life to relax and take time for yourself.   

I encourage everyone to take the time and effort to plan a getaway this year.  Whether you plan a trip to Kokomo, to Indiana, or even down the road from where you live, don’t miss the chance to discover something new in 2010.  Here are some great (and budget-friendly) ideas to start.  Happy travels!

  • Take a fascinating tour at the Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory to see the production of art glass and watch a glass blowing demonstration.
  • Learn about the inventor of America’s First Car at the Elwood Haynes Museum.
  • Visit the stunning Seiberling Mansion, filled with late-Victorian architecture, hand-carved woodwork, and local history exhibits.
  • Take a stroll through the past at the Kokomo Automotive Museum, containing over 100 antique automobiles and memorabilia. 
  • Visit Old Ben, the World’s Largest Steer, in Kokomo’s Highland Park. 
  • For more Kokomo area attractions, check out our website and download our visitors guide at www.VisitKokomo.org.

Who is Old Ben?

Old Ben is the World’s Largest Steer and one of the many attractions found in Kokomo.   

Old Ben - The World's Largest Steer

Old Ben - The World's Largest Steer (Credit: Kokomo Parks & Recreation Dept.)

 Old Ben was an enormous steer, born just north of Kokomo in 1902.  By the age of four, he weighed two tons.  He had become quite a celebrity and was exhibited at many fairs and festivals.  Ben grew to over 4,700 pounds and was 16′ 2″ long from the tip of his tail to the end of his nose!  In 1910 Ben slipped on some ice, broke a leg, and was euthanized. 

Old Ben in Highland Park

Old Ben in Highland Park (Credit: Kokomo Parks & Recreation Dept.)

A taxidermist was hired to stuff Ben and he is now on display in Kokomo’s Highland Park.  Old Ben is located in a pavilion that was built to house him and the World’s Largest Sycamore Stump.  The exhibit is open daily from dawn to 11 pm in Highland Park.

For more information on Kokomo attractions, call 1-800-837-0971 or go to www.visitkokomo.org.