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Things to do with the kiddos besides the aquarium

My husband and I are planning on taking a day trip to Monterey one of these weekends to take our kids to the Monterey Aquarium.  We plan to get there early enough to do an early lunch, spend maybe 2-3 hours at the aquarium, then we'd like to explore more of Monterey and have dinner.  Besides the aquarium, what other fun kid-friendly activities are there to do?  Also, restaurant recommendations for lunch and dinner would be great.  We hear that there are good breweries down there, so if there are brewery restaurants that can accommodate 3 munchkins, even better.  Thanks!

2 Answers

top answer by
Tiffany from Corvallis

If you're in Monterey with kids (especially younger ones), you absolutely have to go to the Dennis the Menace Park on Pearl Street.  It isn't far from the Aquarium and is absolutely fabulous. So fun, HUGE, and great for kids. This is one of the best playgrounds I've ever seen and my kids didn't want to leave.

The Cannery Row area is full of shops and restaurants, but is a bit touristy to me. I love heading to the Historic District around Alvarado Street.  There's a great Greek Restaurant that I love called Epsilon Fine Greek Restaurant that's amazing, but if that's not great for your family, you will find other restaurants in that area.

At the end of Alvarado Street is Portola Plaza.  From here, you can walk along the water's edge on a beautiful path for miles to Lovers Point Park and beyond. It's truly an absolutely gorgeous walk and the kids will get some running around time and will love seeing sea lions out there in the wild. It's so cool.

There's a free MST Trolley (Monterey-Salinas Transit) that goes between Downtown Monterey, Old Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium for FREE!  It looks like a cable car.

If the season is right and you have time, the whale watching trips are wonderful. You may see several varieties of dolphins and whales. May be you need two days.  :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dennis the Menace Park (attraction)
  2. Cannery Row (attraction)
  3. Epsilon Fine Greek Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Lovers Point Park (attraction)
  5. Monterey (city)
  6. Old Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
  7. Monterey Bay Aquarium (attraction)
5 thankscomments (3)

answered first by
Oleg from Sacramento

Hi Avery,

I have two of my own munchkins, and we love playing in Carmel By the Sea/ Monterey.  We're actually developing a new entertainment dashboard to help fellow parents find family-friendly things to do (, but since it isn't quite ready, here are a few suggestions:

1) Monterey Farmers Market (it's on Friday's, but works for an extended weekend).

2) Fairs and Festivals - for example, there's a holiday gift fair nearby this weekend run by the Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society, with jewelry, beads, fossils, geodes, etc.

3) Sunday Seaside Crafts - through the end of November, at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center (Long Marine Lab)

4) Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey doesn't compare to SF, but it's a nice stroll.

Have fun!!!

-- Oleg

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Carmel By the Sea (city)
  2. Monterey (city)
  3. Monterey Farmers Market (attraction)
  4. Seymour Marine Discovery Center (attraction)
  5. Old Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
4 thankscomments (2)

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