Things to Do in Monterey with Kids

A great vacation or weekend getaway doesn’t have to take you miles away to a whole other continent to have fun. Some of the best vacation spots exist in the United States, and a getaway with the kids could cost the family budget a lot less than you would expect!

Monterey isn’t just famous for being the place where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire, there’s a lot more to it.

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Here are some of the best things to do in Monterey with kids.

Unique Things to Do in Monterey with Kids

Dennis the Menace Park


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Dennis the Menace Park is a simple, safe playground setup that’s great for young and active kids on holiday. As a great childhood memory, this is one of the most famous attractions in Monterey that many people still remember going to when they were children. Admission is free, and there’s a spot where parents can supervise the visit without being too far away.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

photo source: via Justin Ennis

Monterey Bay Aquarium is the largest education-based aquarium in the area, with hundreds of exhibits that will keep everyone in the family informed and entertained. There’s always something special at the aquarium, including guided tours, programs for teens, and separate tours for groups with small children.

Pebble Beach

photo source: via Charlie Day

Pebble Beach is one of the most beautiful sights in Monterey, and it’s a great place to go out with the kids for a day. Entrance to this particular beach is free for everyone, and there’s a lot to see around the beach too.

Things to Do in Monterey This Weekend with Kids

Monterey State Historic Park

photo source: via Sarah Stierch

Monterey State Historic Park is a collection of older buildings that make up part of the rich history of Monterey’s past. Guided tours are available on most weekends and weekdays, and there’s a lot to be learned about how this wonderful area came to be.

Monterey Bay

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Entrance to Monterey Bay is free, and you get one of the greatest views of the beach from here. If you have a lot of time to walk around, you’ll see some of the great culture, restaurants, and stores that also line this area of the beach. With the weather conditions just right, there’s a lot of fun at Monterey Bay.

Cannery Row


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Cannery Row is called this because it used to be lined with canning factories that have long since closed, but the name remains — and now it’s one of the hottest destinations in Monterey, especially if you have a bit of a budget to spend. There’s almost everything at Cannery Row, including restaurants and stores, that you’ll only find here.

Things to Do in Monterey with Toddlers

Monterey Mirror Maze

If you are in Monterey with active toddlers to keep busy for the rest of your vacation, then the Monterey Mirror Maze is ranked as one of the top kid-friendly attractions in town. Everyone can enjoy the intricate mirror maze; there are more activities here, like laser tag for older kids and adults.

Monterey Movie Tours

Monterey Movie Tours takes you through some of the most famous filming locations in Monterey. If you and the kids want to see where you might have seen Monterey in your favorite shows or movies before, this is the tour to take. There are more than 200 unique filming locations as part of the tour.

Dennis the Menace Playground


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If you have toddlers to entertain, spare one more mention for the great Dennis the Menace Playground. It’s a safe space where kids can enjoy some exercise on a traditional obstacle course for kids while parents are there to supervise for safety.

What Can You Do for Free in Monterey with Kids?

Carmel River State Beach

photo source: via Ken Lund

Carmel River State Beach is one of many ways to access Monterey’s majestic beachfront. Entrance is free, and you can spend a great day out with the kids while holding your budget closed as much as you need to. It’s the perfect spot for a beach picnic or a great view.

Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail


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The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is one of the most popular walking trails in the Monterey area. If you are a more advanced family of hikers, you are welcome to walk the longer trail — although if you aren’t as experienced, there are shorter walks that can still show you the greatness of the trail.

Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail

The Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail is another popular walking and biking trail that can be found along the Monterey Coast. If you want to walk with kids, remember to choose comfortable shoes and pack more than enough drinks and snacks.

Where Should I Eat with Kids in Monterey?

Rosine’s Restaurant

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Rosine’s Restaurant is one of the top-rated restaurants in all of Monterey, and it’s also ranked as one of the best restaurants with a kid-friendly menu. As one of the most legendary dishes you can find at this place, make sure you try some of the chocolate desserts — and you’ll have guaranteed happy kids for most of the trip!

Sandbar & Grill

photo source: via Trisha Fawver

The Sandbar & Grill is a great place to hang out that gives visitors a wonderful view of Monterey beach but also access to great food and a wonderful atmosphere that most people come back for at least twice!

As one of the most famous dishes here,  adults and some seafood-loving kids will dig the Crab Louie. If you aren’t a seafood fan, then there’s more than enough else on the menu for you.

Chart House


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The Chart House is a varied, comfortable bar and eatery with something on the menu that’s perfect for everyone in the family. Their seafood is some of their most famous, but there are other options to keep meat-eaters and vegetarians or vegans enjoying their time just as much.

Things to Do in Monterey in Summer with Kids

17 Mile-Drive

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If you have the budget for a taxi that takes the trip or makes the vacation work in a rental car, there’s the 17-Mile Drive. Let’s say that this is one of the most famous road-trip attractions in the whole of Monterey — and it’s something that the whole family will love to see as an iconic strip with plenty to see and do.

Carmel River State Beach

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

A trip to the Carmel River State Beach can be one of the best things to do in Monterey, especially when the weather is just right for a day at the beach. The entrance is free, and great restaurants are located just around the corner.

Monterey Bay Whale Watch

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Monterey Bay Whale Watch is one of the favorite attractions for family vacations — and it can get you and the family so much closer to nature than you have ever been. Sometimes, you’ll get close enough to snap some unique holiday pictures! It’s an affordable day out, and there’s plenty to do around Monterey Bay once you’re done.

Things to Do in Monterey in Winter with Kids

Point Sur State Lighthouse

photo source: via NOAA Photo Library

If you’re in Monterey for the winter, you might want to spend more time seeing indoor attractions. The Point Sur State Lighthouse is a historical landmark in Monterey, and guided tours can show you one of the best views you can still appreciate, even in colder weather.

Conquest Laser Tag Monterey

If you have older kids or teens to entertain as part of the vacation, it can be hard to stay indoors for a day — but Conquest Laser Tag in Monterey is a great way to keep the kids occupied in a safe environment. It’s less painful than paintball, and active kids almost always enjoy a round or two of laser tag.

Monterey Bay Food Tours

Monterey Bay Food Tours can show you the best to eat in the area, and the tour can incorporate younger visitors who love food just as much as their parents!

Exodus Escape Room Monterey

If your kids love the idea of mystery-solving, then make your way to the Exodus Escape Room in Monterey for an unforgettable experience and a unique escape-the-room adventure that you’ll find only here. It’s great for younger kids and older ones, with varied levels of difficulty depending on the group that books the room.

Is Monterey CA Worth Visiting with Kids?

Monterey, CA, is one of the best vacation spots in the United States, especially thanks to its cultural diversity and attractions that can fit everyone in the family’s tastes.

Monterey is great for kids, and if you plan your trip just right, there’s something for kids and adults of all ages to see.

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