On our trip to Monterey we stopped by the aquarium of course. I actually did not think that our little guy would enjoy it that much since he never has much patience for the zoo, but he looooved it. His favorite exhibit (and ours too!) was the jellyfish, but he liked watching the penguin feeding and the seahorses as well. I think the Monterey Bay Aquarium is much nicer than the one in Boston which is my only other comparison point...but Boston's Museum of Science is hands down the best science museum ever. If you are a resident of Monterey county you can get free passes to the aquarium through the library, and if you are local I think it is worth it to get a family membership since it pays for itself if you go to the aquarium at least twice. Otherwise tickets are $33 for an adult and $20 for children older than three. Metered street parking is easy to find.
At the coloring station.
Laying down to watch the sardines swim around and around.
It's an Ethan dolphin!
After an seafood lunch we headed over to the Denise the Menace park. It was pretty awesome. The kids just ran around for over an hour trying all the different things to do - bridges, rock walls, a hedge maze, a million different types of slides, tunnels, you name it this, playground had it. And it is free! Just FYI, park is closed on Tuesdays and does not open until 10 AM on the other days.
Denise the Menace.
Entrance to the park.
Lots of trees to climb on.
And play structures to explore.
Bridge to climb up.
So many different slides - rolling, twisty, and winding ones to try out.
We also went to Carmel beach, which has the softest sand and overlooked the Pebble Beach golf course. The beach is dog friendly, family friendly and bbq friendly. We went late in the afternoon both days so parking at the beach was easy to find.
Getting buried in the soft sand.
The Zhangs. Cameron kept falling down on purpose because the sand was so soft.
Dipping toes in the water.
Ethan's favorite activity was to make sand angels.