Last weekend, we traveled to Monterey to help celebrate two very special birthdays in my family, plus the 25th anniversary of the world class Monterey Bay Aquarium. While it goes without saying that the aquarium is glorious and is a must-see for any family traveling to or through Monterey, CA, it’s the unexpected OTHER attraction that I’m even more excited to share. (And unlike the aquarium, it’s free!)
“Dennis the Menace Playground” is located in the heart of El Estero Park in Monterey, on a small peninsula surrounded by waters navigable by rented paddle boat. The sprawling play park was created by the author of the Dennis the Menace comic strip as a gift to the city, and has something for kids of all ages, with baby swings and a separate fenced toddler playground on up to a climbing wall and skate park for teens.
Its more unique features include the wide suspension bridge, a small shrub labyrinth with play structure in the center, and the fabulous red-roller slide popular with preschoolers and tweens alike. The retired Southern Pacific steam engine at the entrance is also a popular climbing structure.
More tips for your visit:
– Bring a picnic or buy burgers and refreshments at the booth on the parking lot.
– The playground is open daily from 10 a.m. to dusk, and is closed on non-holiday Tuesdays Sept. through May.
– The Monterey Municipal Beach is across Del Monte Ave. from the park and offers great late-day lighting for pictures with its rare (for the West Coast) northern orientation.
– Click here to see a Google map with Dennis the Menace Playground.
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This post is part of Photo Friday at Deliciousbaby.com. Head over there for more fun travel shots and ideas for your own travels.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning guide Travels with Baby
The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children