5 Family Friendly Activities in Monterey

Taking the family on a trip to Monterey and not sure what to do? Monterey is a wonderful place to visit and provides visitors with a wealth of activities for the family. But in case you need help narrowing it down, here is a list of five family friendly activities that can be found in Monterey.

Monterey Bay Aquarium - Kelp Forest
Monterey Bay Aquarium - Kelp Forest | Source

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Probably the most popular place to take the kids is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Located on Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium provides children of all ages with a number of educational activities. Children can view the marine life exhibits, take an audio or docent-led tour, watch a feeding, or interact with marine life through the various touch pools. The long-standing and prominent feature of the aquarium is arguably the awe-inspiring Kelp Forest tank that provides a view of ocean life as if you were standing on the ocean floor.

More for the kids:

The Splash Zone provides plenty of educational interaction for the kids. Games, learning exhibits and even a toddler zone that allows for bouncing and playing.


Denis the Menace Park - El Estero Park Complex
Denis the Menace Park - El Estero Park Complex

Dennis the Menace Park

A fan favorite for locals and visitors alike, this park resides at the center of the 45-acre El Estero Park Complex. The park comes complete with a climbing wall, a replica of a full size steam engine, multiple jungle gyms and slides, a suspension bridge, and plenty of sand to go around for everyone. The public restrooms located at the entrance of the park are also maintained and kept clean throughout the day.

More for the kids:

There is a separate gated playground with a jungle gym specific for toddlers. In lieu of sand, the jungle gym is surrounded by cushioned rubber mats allowing for a more stable surface for toddlers to walk on.


MY Museum

Located in quaint downtown Monterey, MY Museum is less of a museum and more of an indoor playground. Children are encouraged to learn and explore by building, climbing, gathering and playing with the various props at different themed stations. Your children can pretend to be a farmer, fire fighter, doctor, contractor or professional golfer. There is also a theater that allows future Broadway actors to dress in various costumes and share the spotlight on stage.

More for the kids:

The MY Creation Station is an arts and crafts area that allows children to create artwork using various arts and crafts materials.


Surrey Rental

Great exercise, great fun, great view. There are a few bicycle and adventure shops in Monterey that offer surrey rentals. Surreys are 4-wheeled bikes that allow up to four individuals to sit (two in front and two in back) and pedal together. Excellent for a family of four or more, older children can pedal along with the grown-ups while enjoying the view of the parks, beaches and Monterey coastline. There is a bike path that stretches from Fisherman’s Wharf, past Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium and down to Pacific Grove. The view is amazing, especially on a clear Monterey day.

More for the kids:

Some surreys have toddler baskets for younger children. It allows for a secure and safe seat for those not old enough to sit in the bike seats.

Carmel Beach
Carmel Beach | Source

Carmel Beach

My fondest memories of Monterey as a child actually occurred in Carmel. Just a short distance from Monterey, Carmel Beach is located at the far end of Carmel’s trendy Ocean Avenue. This wonderful stretch of beach is fun for kids and adults alike, and is also dog-friendly. The location is perfect for playing, surfing, or just walking the coastline. It is especially popular to for the sunset.

More for the kids:

Fast digging in the wet sand may provide a quick glance of a burrowing sand crab. Or, you just may catch one.


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acc12 profile image

acc12 5 years ago

We loved Monterey when we were there a few years ago. Our kids also enjoyed making pizzas & wearing paper chef's hats at the Allegro Tratoria. Enjoyed your post!

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