Reading up on places to go with kids in Monterey I was drawn to two places in particular. One is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which I had last visited during my tour guiding days, and the other spot was the Dennis the Menace Playground. During my last visit to Monterey I did not have kids, now I have two.
For the record Dennis the Menace was a comic strip created by Hank Ketcham. Hank lived in nearby Pebble Beach and had the park created and named after the main character from his comic strip. Researching some on the park I read that it once had many super adventurous structures / rides, but through the years they have been replaced by calmer alternatives. We were witnesses to one such item, a locomotive at the entrance of the park. In the resent past children used to play on the train. It was off limits during our stay and I learned that it is now considered a hazard that doesn’t meet the safety regulations enforced by playground officials.
Here are my thoughts on our visit. The park was large. The park was crowded. The park was fun! There was so much to do in so many places that the kids only stayed in one spot for minutes before continuing on to another spot. On regular visits to the park I usually sit down, watch the kids play some, and relax. This is not an option here! I spent approximately 1.5 hours running behind the kids trying to keep an eye on my little people. It was crazy; I actually couldn’t see where they were at times because they were everywhere. I did my best to keep up and to take some pictures along the way.
Personal favorite moments included 1) watching everyone go down the bumpy, bumpy slide and 2) having Matteo call out to me that he needed help to get down from a structure that could be a little tricky for a 4 year old. The funny thing about that structure is that you have to go through a maze made of shrubs to reach it. I had to run through it just to reach my child and then I could help him get down!
One other thing I really liked was the cool signs that had arrows pointing in different directions saying how far Monterey was from this city or that city. That appealed to the traveler in me for sure.
There were adults and kids everywhere, but I have say that there were so many spots for kids explore in this park that it actually did not seen crowded. After attacking the park we headed to the snack bar and the kids loaded up on calories with snow cones. It was a great way to end our visit to this fabulous park. I only hope I have the opportunity to return before my kids are too old to enjoy it!
Just behind Dennis the Menance Park was a skate park. I asked Matteo if he wanted to check it out, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave the fun he was having. I also saw paddle boats that you can rent and go for a spin. We didn’t have the time (or energy) to continue 5 minutes away to go for a joy ride.
I had so much fun snapping photos on my 5 minute break from watching the kids. You might wonder how I managed to take a break from watching the kids? I didn’t ask, I just did it without thinking when we arrived to the park. I was so amazed by everything going on that I had to capture the moment before becoming a mom again. I took the rest of my shots while playing with the kids!