Fun Things To Do With Kids in Monterey, CA

In 2012 and 2014, we visited my grandparents (my kids’ great grandparents) in Monterey, California. The following are activities that all three generations enjoyed during both visits. First, we went to Dennis the Menace Playground. It features several play structures, each designed for a specific age range. Restrooms are available and parking was free but limited. I recommend getting there when it opens (i.e., around 10am) because it may get busy around lunch time with school field trips.

Dennis the Menace Playground

Our kids had a blast exploring the playground. There were three play structures that consumed most of our time. First, was a bridge that wobbled as the kids ran across it.

Second was a unique slide with spinning red pipes.

Third, was an especially long and curvy slide.

Dennis the Menace Playground Slide

In 2014, we had fun on the climbing wall.


The train would be a popular activity but has been out of service for some time.

The next place we visited was Lover’s Point Park. It offers a great view of Monterey Bay. Restrooms are available and parking was free but limited.

It had a small beach that was free, easily accessible, and which our kids had fun at.

Lovers Point Park Beach

Last, we took our kids to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A day pass or annual membership was required. We parked for free on the street about half way between Lover’s Point and the aquarium. It featured native plants and sea life. In addition, it was very kid friendly because it included stations for touching sea animals, water play areas, and indoor mini playgrounds.

We saw an active octopus that captivated us for a long time.

Octopus at Monterey Bay Aquarium

The jellyfish were active and with vibrant colors.

Black Sea nettle
Black Sea nettle

The sea turtles were one of our favorite animals.

In 2014, we watched the sea otters during a scheduled feeding show.

See otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Last but not least, a Chambered Nautilus.

Chambered Nautilus
Chambered Nautilus

The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail was an 18 mile paved path from Castroville to Pacific Grove. It featured free dog waste bags and plenty of space for runners, walkers, and cyclists. The left side of the following picture shows a family of four riding a rented bicycle. Renting a single family bike looked like a lot of fun but we didn’t think we could secure our 20 month old on it. Instead, we walked the one mile stretch from the Aquarium to Lover’s Point.

The highlight of our walk was seeing a large of group of resting sea lions.

In 2014, we added Asilomar State Beach to our list of favorite places to visit in Monterey.

The following Google Map shows the locations of the aforementioned places.

In sum, all three generations had fun exploring Monterey. One place we’d like to check out on our next visit is the self-guided nature trail at Jacks Peak Regional Park. What are your favorite kid activities in Monterey Bay?

If you head north from here, be sure to visit Muir Woods.


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