The most successful family vacations keep one essential component in mind: The grown-ups should feel as engaged, excited, and as happy as the young ones, and vice versa. Looking for things to do in Monterey with kids? Now is the moment for a family-friendly adventure in Monterey County fit for both the kids and the kid-at-heart. Check out our story below:
Read more on the family-friendly attractions and experiences in our video, and get excited to plan your family vacation to Monterey County.
An iconic Monterey destination, Cannery Row mixes nostalgia with an exciting new blend of eclectic specialty shops, kid-friendly places to eat, local artists' galleries and more. Tap into your childhood wonder and reinvigorate the soul by playing at places like Escape Room 831, Monterey Mirror Maze and Laser Challenge, Daniels Wood Land and Zucchini’s Tricks ‘n Things. The cherry on top of this family-friendly stop? Sweet treats from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Nestlé Toll House Café, Dippin’ Dots, Ghirardelli and Rock N Roll Donut Bar.
Little and big adventurers will light up at the sight of swimming jellyfish, otters at snack time and peculiar deep-sea animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Curiosity and joy run freely as you discover over 35,000 creatures representing over 550 different kinds of sea life and marine species in habitats from the coastal wetlands to the kelp forests and beyond.
The whimsical and colorful shops lining Montereyʻs Old Fishermanʻs Wharf are an absolute wonderland for kids. Take the family on a whale watching tour to spot sea creatures like seals, sea lions, sea otters, dolphins and magnificent whales out on the open waters. Salivate over parent and kid-friendly menus at restaurants like like Paluca Trattoria, Cafe Fina and Crab House, and finish the day on a sweet note with salt water taffy, caramel apples and chocolate truffles.
A day at the beach finds new comfort at this seaside escape! Nestled along the coast near the tides of the Marina Dunes, your family will wake up and fall asleep to the sounds of the waves at Sanctuary Beach Resort. For some extra delicious fun for the whole family, purchase a s'mores packages from the gift shop to roast marshmallows at one of two beach front fire pits.
A world of life opens up when you and the family explore the many tide pools along Monterey Countyʻs shorelines. Kids will be in awe of the sea life that call these tide pools home including small crabs, fish, starfish, seaweed and more. Please remember that it is vital to protect these tide pool environments. Experience nature’s little wonders by looking but not touching. There is an absolute "no take" policy on all Monterey County tide pools.
Go where the wild things are! Get up close responsibly to wildlife found in Monterey County and around the world at the Monterey Zoo. The Monterey Zoo offers unparalleled opportunities for animal lovers, including the bucket list “Walk with the Animals” tour with full-day, up-close access to kangaroos, sloths and more. Enhance this unforgettable family adventure by staying at the zoo’s on-site accommodations. Hear the roar of tigers and lions near your private bungalow at Vision Quest Ranch Bed and Breakfast, and enjoy breakfast with one of the zoo’s animal ambassadors! One day complimentary admission to the zoo is included with your stay.