For years I had heard about Monterey's Dennis the Menace Playground and I had always wondered if it was worth the fuss. Turns out, this playground lives up to the hype! It is located in Monterey's El Estero Park and there is a gate around it. This is good to know because the park is CLOSED ON TUESDAYS when the Monterey school system is in session. Parking is free on site. There are restrooms and a seasonal snack bar.
We planned on spending maybe 45 minutes at this playground and ended up staying for almost three hours because they kids were having so much fun. There is a large climbing wall, several slides, tunnels, suspension bridge, a few play structures, and so much more! My husband and the kids found it to be the ideal place to play tag and spent almost two hours chasing eachother around the place. Since the playground is so big I suggest setting up a meeting place in case you do get separated. In addition to the playground, there are paddle boats nearby that look like fun when the weather is warmer. If you need a place for the kids to run out some energy, this is definitely THE place to go.
Located in beautiful Monterey, Dennis the Menace Park was the perfect place to bring kids to explore, stretch their legs, and their imaginations. If I could have given it more than 5 stars, I would have. It was HUGE! Everything in the park had a purpose and enables kids to be free. There was a huge wooden hanging bridge that kids loved to run and jump across. There were tunnels to run through, a climbing/bouldering wall, and multiple playground areas suitable for all ages of kids (Including a fenced-in toddler minded playground). Most of the playspace were built around and over sand, which allowed for imaginary sand play as well. There was a child-size maze, with a playground in the center. There was also a train engine to look at (although not to jump on). The park was located along the water, but the water was not accessible from inside the park fences. The playgrounds were unique, including large slides, and areas to climb. We visited on a 3-day holiday weekend, and while there were lots of people, we had very minimal waits. The park was so large with so many options that it didn’t feel over-run.
We were on our way to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and saw the park out of the corner of our eyes. We were looking for a place to have lunch so we pulled in. It is a very large play ground with many different structures for different ages. It is completely fenced with only one entrance. There are bathrooms right by the entrance. There were things to do for all of my kids ranging from 20 months to 11 years. The older kids loved the suspension bridge and everyone loved the rolly slide.
We had to leave to make it to the aquarium but we returned on our way back to our camp site and stayed until dark. We weren't intending to come here (as we didn't know about it) but we would go out of our way just to make another visit to this play ground. Well worth the trip!
This is a great park that’s been around since the 1950’s.
Nice features parents will appreciate: free parking, restrooms and a snack bar.
Located in El Estero Park, there is so much to do here: tunnels, a maze, climbing wall, multiple play structures and slides, swings, a stationary locomotive (currently closed) and a wobbly bridge. Also nearby: El Estero Lake, Monterey Youth Center, Paddle Boat rentals, and plenty of waterfowl to interact with.
The only negative thing about this park is that it’s covered in sand, which makes its way into shoes. It would be nice if the ground was covered in the more typical bark, or soft rubber that is found in most playgrounds. Overall, a fabulous park to visit.
Only reason we only give it 4 stars is because it is a sand park. Maybe one day they will replace the sand with cleaner, healthier bark or better yet recycled rubber.
After you are done at this park, a nice beach is only two blocks away (a great time to go, the kids will already have sand everywhere, you have nothing to lose.
There is also a Snack bar at the park and a McDonald's and the Wharf within walking distance.
This amazing playground was the brain child of the creator of the Dennis the Menace comic strip. It includes a steam engine so cool it earned this review a spot on my Train Fanatics List. There is also a climbing wall, a suspension bridge, adventure ship and so much more! My kids eyes were like saucers as we pulled up this park. There's a tot play area --- and my son's favorite, the giant curvy green slide! And it all comes at the best price --- FREE! All of the fun takes place under the watchful eye of Dennis himself, there is a cute spunky sculpture of him in the park that has popped up in many a photo album I'm sure! The park is open from 10AM to dusk. There is a snack bar on site. Mr. Ketcham (Dennis' creator) left a wonderful legacy not only with his comic strip but, the landmark to childhood adventure he had built for the children of Monterey and those who visit this fine city.
This is one of the best parks I've ever been, too. My daughter loves to go fast and climb on the most dangerous looking structures, so it's perfect for her. The park is bright and colorful with many beautiful statues, slides, swings, a great big bridge, etc. This is one park that even I can stay at for hours and I usually get bored and want to go home.
This playground is well spread out and has lots of fun equiptment to explore. Our 2 year old had lots of fun running around. I would say it is best for 4-8 year olds because some of the slides are high and go fast...ours started to go too fast down one of the slides and started to slide out of control. Don't miss out on the slide under the sun bridge!
Ride the locomotive, slide down the numerous slides, climb a rock wall. Dennis the Menace Playground is free and great for many ages. Eventhough the park was crowded, the playground splits into different areas so it didn't feel crowded. Our daughter loved the climbing structures and attempted the rock wall.
This is *by far* the most fun playground I have ever taken my kids to!
Nestled against the water about a mile north of the Aquarium, the Dennis playground is a wonderland. Step inside the white picket fence (!) and climb aboard a real steam engine! Kids can clamber all over it- bring your camera for adorable photo ops.
Next, race your kids up the concrete hill and jump on the giant swinging bridge. Try not to wet yourself as you hop up and down and jiggle those wobbly postpartum bladder ligaments. Ahem.
Perhaps a change of clothes would be a good idea.
If incontinence is not your problem, dry clothes would still be a good idea after your paddle boat ride around the adorable little marina. Careful not to steer into the flotilla of resident ducks. Bad karma. You just might come back in the next life with bladder problems.
If your are up for more, try the massive twisty slides, the zip line, or the roller slide.
Small babes will enjoy the smaller tot climbing structures and the swings.
I don't know if I can add much more than what other reviewers have noted, but we just got home from a trip to Monterey and Dennis the Menace Playground was one of the highlights for my 2 1/2 year old son. We stopped by this park just before hitting the road for our drive back and it was the perfect thing to do to wear him out and allow him to fall asleep quickly for the ride home.
This park is huge, with multiple play structures, a maze, a long suspension bridge, a massive locomotive to explore, enormous slides, paddle boating, and even a skate park for older kids. There's enough here to occupy even the most difficult to please families. The only downside is that the parking can get ugly with anxious parents fighting over very limited spaces.
It is definitely one of the best parks in the bay area.
Parking could be a bit tricky - if you don't see the steam train then you have probably parked around the corner which is no big deal but there is an option to park close by so ..
We had fun especially with the Steam engine and the slide. Other than that some of the activities are not for my 2 and a half year old.
HUGE!!! renovation that updated Dennis the Menace Playground. Thank god they hadn't touched the antique steam engine. Its a real steam engine, you can climb all over that thing and even go on top too! Unlike many other parks, where insurance policies have made such features off-limits, Old No. 1285 is still climbable and was covered with kids. So is the Dennis the Menace statue commemorating the comic's creator, Hank Ketcham is also very awesome!
Dennis the Menace Playground is pretty cool. This place was definitely designed with older kids in mind, you know...the ones too big and cool to play at the park. There are fantastic slides and bridges, a maze with a lookout tower at the center. My 4 year old son is still too young to fully enjoy this park, but we take him anyway, and play with him on the climbing structures at the center of the park. He looks wistfully at the biggest curviest slides and the long suspension bridge but always says no when we offer to take him up. He's not quite ready yet, but I know it won't be long before he is. If you freak out every time your kid almost falls, this park probably isn't for you. But if you like to let your kids run and play fast and hard, they'll love you for taking them here. There are also paddle boats for rent within the same park area (but not right at the playground) as well as a baseball diamond where you can watch teams play.
We stopped here after the aquarium. It's by far the best playground in California. It has multiple climbing structures, a train, bridges, and the coolest roller slide ever. My kids could have easily spent 8 hours there. However, because the park is so big, it can be difficult to keep track of more than one kid. If your children don't play together, it's better if there is one adult to watch each child.
We always make it a point to stop at the Dennis the Menace playground when we're in the area. It is such a cool park! My son's favorite part would have to be the huge locomotive that the kids can climb on. It can be a bit crowded on the weekends though, so be prepared.
This park has it all! A real train car you can climb on, various play areas, a pond, grassy areas and shade. Throw in the fact that it's free and it's a parent's dream. This park has so much to do that your kids will be busy for hours! Even the kids that think they're too old for play equipment will soon be captured by the fun.
I love this park! It has everything you could want from a playground. Mazes-check; Train that you can climb on- check; tunnels-check; playground-check; unique slides-check! It's amazing! I wish I lived closer to Monterey so I can take my kids all the time. I might even have more fun than they do!!! :)
We happened upon this park while in the area for a wedding. My 10-year old niece and 5 year old niece joined our toddler. We had SO much fun, even the older niece. Yes, it's huge but has a wide range of fun things including a small climbing wall, hedge maze, and a LARGE real steam locomotive engine on display (not running).
A unique park designed by Hank Ketcham, the cartoonist who created Dennis, with fantastic structures such as a steam locomotive, a giant swing ride, a roller slide, anda special play area for the handicapped. A skateboard park is located adjacent to the playground behind the ball field. Kids love powering their own paddleboats on Lake El Estero and you can rent kayaks and canoes, too (831–374–1484).