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Top Family Activities in Monterey, California

Updated: May 8

Monterey, California has many exciting activities to offer to parents and kids traveling along the California coast. Most travelers already know about the Monterey Bay Aquarium, as amazing as it is. But there are other lesser known family fun spots that you can explore too. Looking for some kid-friendly things to do in Monterey that most people don't about? Great! Here are some of the Top Fun Family Things To Do with your kids in Monterey (besides the aquarium).



This is certainly one of the more unique things to do in Monterey! Learn about the edible and medicinal plants of nature! It's a family-friendly tour, which will stimulate your brain and your taste buds. Explore a beautiful nature reserve, guided by a local herbalist, who will teach you about which plants are edible, which ones are medicinal, and which ones are poisonous. Kids are provided with a fun activity pack to keep them engaged, including a map with stickers for each new plant they meet. Even children as young as 2 or 3 can enjoy this one. All guests can try their hand at foraging and nibbling on some wild edible plants, with the guidance of the herbalist of course!  After the educational part of the tour, which is usually about 1.5-2hrs, you can optionally enjoy an elegant, sit-down tasting of wild-food hors d’oeuvres.  The park itself is gorgeous and relaxing to explore.  The hike is very easy and only about a mile or so, and mostly shaded. Group tours are typically 2- 8 people, so it’s a more intimate experience.


Duration: usually 2-3hrs.

Larger group and family Pricing is available upon request. Tours are available most weekends, but special requested dates and times are usually accommodated. 

Call (831) 204-5598 to book, or visit for more info.




playgrounds kids fun activities in Monterey

This one deserves a top spot on your list of Things To Do with kids in Monterey. Named after the classic rascally character, Dennis the Menace Playground is a uniquely designed place for kids to run around and explore. It was created back in 1956 with the help of the creator of Dennis the Menace himself, Hank Ketcham, who was a local resident in the Carmel Monterey area. Kids of all ages have several interesting structures to explore, such as several wacky slides, a wall for climbing, a suspension bridge, a hedge maze, and there’s even a huge train engine on display. More info here.





paddle boating family activity in Monterey

What kid wouldn’t love to ride on a giant swan, a huge rubber ducky, or even a purple dragon?! Right next to the Dennis the Menace Playground you can also do some paddle boating on the scenic Lake El Estero. Located within walking distance of downtown Monterey and Fisherman's Wharf, El Estero Boating offers interesting and playful paddle-boats that kids are sure to get excited about! Learn more here.  



colorful maze for family fun in Monterey

A cool and exciting time for the whole fam damily! You can walk (or dance) your way through this creatively designed mirror maze with a psychedelic vibe on Cannery Row, in Monterey. Get lost in the dazzling labyrinth designed with high-tech lighting as you bump along to the dancey music. 

51 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 649-6293




kids playing at museum in Monterey

Visit one of the oldest natural history museums with exhibits featuring stunning monarchs, endless birdlife, vivid wildflowers, rockstar geology, and wow-worthy whales!. This museum is your living guide to the natural wonders of the California Central Coast and a great place to explore with kids.




kids outside learning about nature flowers in monterey Carmel

MEarth (me + Earth = MEarth) is a place for adults and kids alike to engaging in educational activities centered around gardening, sustainability, and being good stewards of the land. They hold several events throughout the year. It's a great place to check out if you're traveling in the Carmel Monterey area. You can check to see their upcoming events here.





rides for kids at the zoo in monterey

Take your little wild ones to where the wild things are! Meet wild, exotic animals from around the world in a beautiful natural setting. Have an unforgettable family adventure at the Monterey Zoo. Enjoy breakfast in a bungalow while you hear the roar of tigers and lions. They even have overnight packages available. You can find out more information here.


 Whether you're staying at one of the beautiful Monterey Hotels, or just stopping through the area on a road trip, these family friendly activities will make your visit to Monterey and Carmel memorable. This list should help you answer the question What things to do with kids near me, or what family friendly activities near me, in Monterey, Carmel, Carmel by the Sea and the central California coast.

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