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Dennis the Menace Park

Monterey, CA
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Dennis the Menace Park, Monterey California


This park is so fun for kids! There is a huge old Southern Pacific railroad engine at the entrance and kids can climb inside and over it. Next they can try the rock climbing wall. Parents can relax happily on the little grassy hills under a tree. Kids can climb up a ramp and cross a huge bridge that sways from side to side. Stretched out below them are a series of playgrounds! They can slide down two huge wavy green slides on the hill and then run through cement tunnels. Some retro 70s-looking playground equipment makes for some unusual climbs. There's plenty of sand to run around in. A red roller slide under the yellow arch is a popular spot. On the far end, kids can peek through the fence to see Monterey Skate Park on Lake El Estero. Around the park are views of Lake El Estero and the little paddle boats that you can rent. It's a merry atmosphere, and you can thank Monterey resident and cartoonist Hank Ketchum, who designed the park!
My son wanted to return to Dennis the Menace Park every day we were in Monterey.
Know the hours to make sure your kids aren't disappointed: This park is closed every Tuesday from September to May. Also, it doesn't open until 10am and it closes at dusk.
This park is free of charge.
A place in Monterey that will change your life is Monterey Bay Aquarium- if you're wondering whether it's worth the money, let me tell you it is! Monterey Aquarium is more than just an aquarium- it's another world beneath the sea, with the most amazing exhibits. The jellyfish exhibit will put you in awe of nature's beauty and sense of humor.
From the aquarium you can walk to Lovers Point Park- this is such an intensely beautiful walk, and you can see seals in a little cove on your way. Another fun thing to do is eat and shop at famous Cannery Row. Cool to explore is downtown Monterey, with its little Spanish arcades. It leads to Fisherman's Wharf, a touristy, fun spot with water every shade of green and blue. Beside Fisherman's Wharf is Del Monte Beach, which can be bright and sunny or wild and wintery- there's no way to predict which one.
For another playground, up in the hills above Monterey Bay, check out Veteran's Memorial Park.


Photo Gallery

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The train wagon- great fun to climb!
The train wagon- great fun to climb!
The rockclimbing wall- more fun to be had!
The rockclimbing wall- more fun to be had!
Relaxing for kids, and parents too!
Relaxing for kids, and parents too!
The swaying bridge, and sandy playgrounds below!
The swaying bridge, and sandy playgrounds below!
The swaying bridge.
The swaying bridge.
The entrance to the swaying bridge!
The entrance to the swaying bridge!
The green curvy slides!
The green curvy slides!
Paddle boats on Lake El Estero- the ocean can be seen in the distance.
Paddle boats on Lake El Estero- the ocean can be seen in the distance.
The skate park you can see from Dennis the Menace Park (you must walk around the stadium to get to it).
The skate park you can see from Dennis the Menace Park (you must walk around the stadium to get to it).
Warm golden summer night at Dennis the Menace Park.
Warm golden summer night at Dennis the Menace Park.
The railroad engine.
The railroad engine.
Climbing on the railroad engine.
Climbing on the railroad engine.
Beautiful Monterey.
Beautiful Monterey.
The amazing new red slide that everyone adores!
The amazing new red slide that everyone adores!


From Highway 68, exit at Monterey. Turn right on Fremont, right on Camino El Estero, right on Pearl Street, and there is a parking lot.
Hours: 10am to dusk. Closed Tuesdays from September to May. This park is free of charge.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:

06/23/2012 16:58
Real cool

06/23/2012 16:53
Cool stuff!!

05/23/2012 16:04
It is a great park. I went growing up, and it was even better then. Many of the more adventurous slides and fixtures are gone, probably because they were actually fairly dangerous... but it is still a great park.

01/12/2012 04:18
from the picture it looks like a standard high quality play park for kids aged 2 and up (till 10 years I would hazard a guess).

12/30/2011 06:10
We took a day trip to Monterey and wanted to find a place for our two year old to burn some energy and be free. This is a great park and there is lots to do in a fairly confined area. Kids could spend hours at this park going on the different slides, the 3-4 play structures, life size steel train, maze, etc. The only thing that I did not like is the fact that the bathroom did not have a changing station close by for my 2 month old, however, there is one at the visitor center bathroom, but it is a good distance to walk to. Overall, this is an incredible park, free and lots of fun!!!

11/22/2011 17:47
This was the most wonderful thing I remember about my childhood, going to Dennis the Menace Park was a thrill for me and all of my friends.

07/01/2011 11:29
This park looks so AWESOME compared to our Midland, Texas Dennis the Menace Park. My son would have a BLAST if we could go there but CA is too far. How about calling Midland and telling them to get it updated to the way your looks...

04/19/2011 07:44
This park is awesome, i have taken my grandson there and he has always had a ball. I am now planning on taking my two three year old granddaugthers this summer to watch them go crazy and have the time of their lives. I suggest you take your kids, grandkids and your friend and their kids I guarantee that they will want to return with or without you. ENJOY

04/09/2011 20:37
I love this park.=)

08/16/2010 21:09
Great place for the little ones and for a reminder of the things that we didn't have when we were their age.

07/04/2010 13:20
Hi Deb,
Apparently there is an off-leash area in El Estero Park, which is the larger park that Dennis the Menace the park is located in. Check out this link:

06/28/2010 21:36
Are dogs allowed in the park?

06/19/2010 04:55
Best site Ive seen in years-You go Dennis The Menace....

04/24/2010 16:30
About BBQing at Dennis the Menace: There is a group BBQ area at El Estero Park, which is the park that Dennis the Menace playground is in. But I don't know how close the BBQ area is to the playground. Good luck!

04/24/2010 11:34
can you BBQ at Dennis The Menace park...

03/20/2010 15:56
We stayed overnight in Monterey as part of our honeymoon tour down Hwy 1, and we stopped and played at Dennis the Menace Park. It was chilly and had just rained, but we had lots of fun in the park, and what a beautiful distant ocean backdrop to boot! My wife and I are 32 & 30 years old, respectively, and we acted like kids, which is something we don't normally do. I wish I had that kind of park to enjoy when I was growing up!

Oscar & Sara G.
Omaha, Nebraska

03/14/2010 10:48
Yes the park is free. I live in this area and have spent many wonderful hours at that park with kids. Awsome place. Bring your camera.

02/24/2010 22:25
We have never been to Dennis the Menace Park in Monterrey, CA.

Is it free?

Thanks for responding,

02/23/2010 13:59
A park in Midland TX is supposed to be an exact replica of this. I grew up with the Midland TX park and it has only been renovated once. Its weird going to this one and seeing the similarities and differences. We think the one in Midland TX is actually closer to the original now, since they still have 95% of the original equipment. But this park is prettier and newer looking (the TX park looks like its frozen in 1956). It is weird that we only knew recently that it was based on the CA park!

02/16/2010 21:50
Looks awesome and my kids were super excited. However ,the park was closed today and is every Tuesday. I feel like this should be listed on some website somewhere since we made it part of our plans and we came up short. Hopefully we will have time tomorrow.

11/03/2009 15:40
it is lots of fun im 10 and its very fun and cool you should go there i wish there was one in bakersfeild

10/14/2009 15:55

10/02/2009 01:51
last week my kids and fam visited the dennis the menace park forthe very first time and when the time came up to leave my kids started to cry because they seem to love this preschool park i\'ll never foget the dennis the menace park.

05/03/2008 10:28
This was my favorite Park growing up. It seems much smaller now. It seemed so safe playing there. The maze was always my favorite. I can't wait to go back.

03/15/2008 19:24
This was my favorite place growing up in Monterey. It has some really awesome and unique play equipment that certainly influenced me to become an architect.

I hope they keep what's left of the older welded-steel play equipment, as it is truly one of a kind.

Also, the train is amazing.

12/28/2007 21:01
Our kids loved this park when they were little. We have had many fun visits there over the years. Best of all, it's free. Your kids won't be disappointed.

Last Updated Sat, 29 Mar 2014 00:21:31 GMT