ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Weekend at an Outdoor Shopping Mall

Updated on September 8, 2012

Clay Terrace Outdoor Mall

You might think a day of shopping is boring not so when the mall you shop at is in a beautiful outdoor setting with trees, flowers, a park, a children's playground and more shops and restaurants than you can possibly visit.

That is only a partial description of Clay Terrace, an outdoor shopping mall in my hometown of Carmel, Indiana.

The official description of this town square style shopping mall is "open air Lifestyle Center." Whatever anyone calls it, Clay Terrace has it all.

Many cities are changing their approach to outdoor malls, often called strip malls. The new outdoor malls are being built in park-like settings that offer more than a shopping experience.

Not many of the nation's new outdoor malls, however, offer as pleasurable an environment as Clay Terrace.

Photos: Taken by designsbysharriet or my husband.

Clay Terrace Playground
Clay Terrace Playground

The Playground

Relax While Your Children Play

Shopping with children can be very difficult, especially when all the mall has to offer is one commercial shop after another.

Even when an indoor mall has areas where children can play it, is never as much fun as an outdoor playground.

Clay Terrace has a very well thought out fenced in and landscaped playground, where the children can play on a variety of equipment, all made of a durable plastic-like material which will last a long time without showing wear.

There is a slide, a seesaw, a climber and several different shaped, themed single seats that spring up and down on which children can ride.

Outside and inside the fence are benches for adults to rest and watch the children.

Clay Terrace Park
Clay Terrace Park

The Park

Also a Place for Entertainment

The park at Clay Terrace has benches, flowers, plants and a fountain. It is located in the center of the mall and is near, but separated from, a variety of restaurants and shops.

The setting is a peaceful and quiet oasis in the middle of a bustling shopping center.

On some occasions, especially during the holidays, you may find concerts in the park.

During those times crowds sing and dance along with the band, turning the park into an entertainment area.

Views - Landscape and Street

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Street ViewLandscapeBroader LandscapingStreet Signs - Lots of Instructions
Street View
Street View
Broader Landscaping
Broader Landscaping
Street Signs - Lots of Instructions
Street Signs - Lots of Instructions
Petite Chou Outside Dining
Petite Chou Outside Dining


Some of the Best in Town

Clay Terrace has some of the best restaurants in Indianapolis.

There are upscale restaurants like Kincaids American Grill, Mitchell's Fish Market, and Kona Grill. There are also casual restaurants like Ted's Montana Grill, Tony Sacco's Pizza, Red Robin, and Paradise Bakery and Cafe.

There are a total of 14 restaurants in Clay Terrace. Most of them offer outdoor seating.

You probably know that my husband and I do not eat out often, and when we do we choose healthy or unusual in some way. That is what we opted for when we ate lunch at Clay Terrace.

We ate at a French inspired restaurant called Petite Chou, which bills itself as a bistro and champagne bar. This is a local eatery run by a very entrepreneurial woman with a vision and taste for great food. The restaurant has a nice view both inside and outside. Great decor is the owners specialty.

But no one eats decor, so let's move to what's on the menu. Since Petite Chou specializes in French inspired fare you will find tartines, open-faced sandwiches served on toasted country bread, croque sandwiches, traditional French grilled ham and cheese sandwiches served on brioche and, of course, crepes and omelettes.

If those choices are a little too French for your taste, this restaurant has soups and salads, some traditional some unique.

Petite Chou serves champagne, of course, also red and white wines and beer.

My husband and I ordered tartines, turkey and tuna salad. They came with a side salad and were delicious. We skipped dessert this time, but the restaurant offers different desserts on their blackboard each day, all locally baked.

This enjoyable lunch was served to us outside, but I took a photo of the inside to show you the decor.

Petite Chou Inside Dining Room

Petite Chou Inside Dining Room
Petite Chou Inside Dining Room
Clay Terrace Side Stores
Clay Terrace Side Stores


The Stores

I was having so much fun, I almost forgot the shopping, which can easily become a secondary experience at Clay Terrace.

There are about 75 shops at this Mall, which sell men's and women's apparel, home furnishings, shoes, sporting goods, jewelry, children's apparel and toys, food, candles, kitchenware and more. There are 18 specialty shops and 8 service shops including a spa and a yoga center.

I went to purchase a low cut boot at DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, my favorite shoe store. I love the freedom to try on every shoe in the place without seeing a sales person, and I think their shoes are stylish and lower priced than regular shoe stores.

I also purchased a pair of ankle length pants at Ann Taylor, which were the latest style of prints. Mine are either animal or camouflage. I am not quite sure, but they fit great.

That was my shopping trip. Most of our time was spent wandering around the mall and enjoying the scenery, since it was a beautiful, and not too hot, sunny day.

Clay Terrace - Shops and Views

The more you see of Clay Terrace the more you get the picture.

Clay Terrace Statistics

Opened 2004

570,000 Square Feet

75 Stores

14 Restaurants

Outdoor vs Indoor Shopping Malls - Which Do You Prefer

Do you prefer outdoor or indoor malls

This Lens Received a Purple Start

This Lens Received a Purple Start
This Lens Received a Purple Start

Love to Know your Thoughts

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent lens, nicely done!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Sounds like a great place to shop.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)