There are so many fun things to do with kids in Monterey, California! With its beautiful coastline, world-famous aquarium, and abundance of parks and gardens, there is something for everyone in this charming seaside town. Come explore Monterey with your family today.
Fun Things to Do With Kids in Monterey
Here are some of our favorite activities for families in Monterey.
One of the most famous attractions in Monterey, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is home to one of the largest single-tank exhibits in the world. Kids will love learning about all kinds of sea creatures while they enjoy getting hands-on at the touch tanks.
Rent bicycles and ride along Monterey’s famed 17 Mile Drive, a beautiful road that hugs the coast of the Monterey Peninsula. The route is known for its world-class Monterey Bay views, scenic vistas of Monterey’s famous canyons, and rock formations like the Lone Cypress, Pebble Beach Golf Course, and Point Lobos.
Stop at a Park Along the Monterey Bay
There are many fun parks and beaches in Monterey. Some of our favorites for kids include Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Lovers Point Park (offering free pony rides), Fisherman’s Wharf Beach, and Rio Del Mar Beach.
Fisherman’s Wharf offers many shops that sell toys and souvenirs or just provide interesting window shopping opportunities. If your kids love animals, you’ll find them at the Monterey Zoo, which includes an aviary where visitors can feed birds by hand!
Cannery Row is a fun place to visit for its fascinating history and beautiful architecture. Kids will love the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s nearby Steinbeck Plaza, which has interactive fountains, gardens, and art installations. There are also several restaurants where you can get a bite.
Monterey State Historic Park
Monterey State Historic Park offers a glimpse into Monterey’s past. Kids can explore the many historic buildings and learn about life in this California town back when it was founded.
A visit to Pacific Grove is a must if you’re in Monterey with kids. This charming small town has beautiful gardens, interesting shops, and the Pacific Grove Butterfly Grove, where kids can learn about and see many different butterfly species. The beautiful garden sanctuary is home to thousands of Monterey’s most beautiful butterflies. You can see them up close and even get a chance to feed some!
Winter Whale-Watching Tour in Monterey Bay
Whale-watching tours depart from Monterey Bay. In the winter, you can see massive numbers of whales migrating south to Mexico or north to Alaska! The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is an excellent spot for whale spotting, and it’s also fun to explore if your kids love marine biology.
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a fantastic resource for exploring Monterey’s incredible marine life. It includes the breathtaking Monterey Canyon, one of the deepest ocean canyons in North America. There are also several aquariums and research facilities that you’ll want to visit with your kids while you’re here.
Dennis the Menace Playground
Dennis the Menace Playground is a fun place to let your kids run wild. It has a large play structure, swings, and plenty of open space for running around.
If you’re looking for Monterey activities that are more outdoorsy, Monterey Bay kayaking is a fun way to explore Monterey from the ocean. On these tours, kids will learn about Monterey’s local environment, see lots of marine life and even get the chance to kayak around Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Point Sur State Historic Park Lighthouse
The Point Sur State Historic Park Lighthouse is a Monterey attraction that’s just plain cool. It stands on the site of California’s first lighthouse, and kids will love climbing to the top for views of Monterey Bay.
Monterey County Fairgrounds
Monterey County Fairgrounds hosts several fun events throughout the year, like Monterey Car Week and Monterey Jazz Festival. Kids will love the carnival games, rides, and petting zoo during these events.
MY Monterey is Monterey’s newest museum made just for kids. It focuses on Monterey County’s history and culture, including exhibits about the region’s biodiversity, fishing industry, and dairy farms! Kids will love seeing all the intriguing artifacts, like old farm equipment and historic photographs. The best part? Admission to MY Monterey is free!
Del Monte Beach
Del Monte Beach is an excellent spot for a Monterey family outing. It’s got a wide beach, playground and plenty of picnic tables. It’s also just a short walk from the Aquarium.