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Dennis the Menace Park

Set up a picnic on the tranquil shore of Lake El Estero and let the kids run free in this sandy playground.

Dennis the Menace Park is a fun playground area within the larger El Estero Park complex. On the shore of a picturesque lake, the colorful slides and climbing frames will keep kids busy for hours. Get your photo taken by friends beside the Dennis the Menace statue in the center of the park. It was stolen in 2006 and recovered in 2015.

Watch the kids swirl down the large slide in the main playground, which also has climbing nets and a zip line. Find your way through the elegant labyrinth that is made from hedges. The maze contains a lookout tower in its center with views of the lake and the rest of the playground.

Ascend the 9-foot (3-meter) climbing wall to conquer the world. Play sports on the lawn with your kids and their friends. Among the attractions is the steam engine, which has been in place since 1956.

Bring the younger children to the smaller toddler area, where they can play with other kids their age. It has a boat theme and consists of two charming slides.

The park provides a picturesque and serene setting in central Monterey. Lay down a blanket on the sand or grass and enjoy a picnic with a scenic backdrop of the lake. Stroll along the pleasant paths that run through the El Estero Park complex, which comprises 45 acres (18 hectares) of pretty grounds.

Learn the interesting history of the Dennis the Menace Park, which was partially funded by Hank Ketchum, the creator of its namesake comic strip. After opening in 1956, the park has undergone several renovations to reach its current modern state.

The playground, which is free to enter, opens daily from morning until sunset. It is closed on Tuesdays in winter.

Dennis the Menace Park is on the southern shore of the bend in Lake El Estero. Take a bus across the Pearl Street bridge to the peninsula on which the park lies. Visit nearby landmarks, such as the San Carlos Cemetery, the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo and the Monterey County Youth Museum.


Guide to Exploring around Dennis the Menace Park


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Lodging Near Dennis the Menace Park

See all 311 Properties near Dennis the Menace Park
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay $200
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Two Portola Plaza, Monterey
     
    4.2
    of 5, from 3,198 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Just 200 yards from Fisherman's Wharf, this resort borders Custom House Plaza, with the beach and sparkling bay just beyond; Cannery Row and the aquarium are a short walk away.

    Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa $152
    Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

    Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

    1 Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey
       
      4.0
      of 5, from 4,952 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      After undergoing a $60 million renovation, this 550-room hotel and conference center is situated on 22 acres next to the 18-hole championship Pebble Beach Resort's Del Monte Golf Course, 6 blocks from the beach and 1 mile from downtown Monterey.

      Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa $186
      Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa

      Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa

      700 Munras Ave, Monterey
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 1,962 reviews
        3.5 out of 5.0

        This downtown Monterey property is a half-mile from Monterey State Beach and within a mile of Monterey Fisherman's Wharf.

        Monterey Surf Inn $74
        Monterey Surf Inn

        Monterey Surf Inn

        1200 Munras Ave, Monterey
           
          3.6
          of 5, from 1,547 reviews
          2.0 out of 5.0

          Situated near the airport, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Don Dahvee Park, Fisherman's Wharf, and Maritime Museum. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Dennis the Menace Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Monterey Marriott $199
          Monterey Marriott

          Monterey Marriott

          350 Calle Principal, Monterey
             
            4.1
            of 5, from 876 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Connected to the Monterey Conference Center by a footbridge, this smoke-free downtown hotel is 3 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, and less than 2 miles from Cannery Row and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

            The Monterey Hotel $126
            The Monterey Hotel

            The Monterey Hotel

            407 Calle Principal, Monterey
               
              3.9
              of 5, from 1,653 reviews
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Old Monterey, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Golden State Theatre and Maritime Museum. Fisherman's Wharf and Dennis the Menace Park are also within 15 minutes.

              Monterey Bay Inn $249
              Monterey Bay Inn

              Monterey Bay Inn

              242 Cannery Row, Monterey
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 1,081 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Anchoring the quiet end of Cannery Row, this waterfront boutique hotel is perched above Monterey Bay, with Fisherman's Wharf a quarter-mile away, A Taste of Monterey winery a half-mile away, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium within a half-mile.

                Monterey Bay Lodge
                Monterey Bay Lodge

                Monterey Bay Lodge

                55 Camino Aguajito, Monterey
                   
                  4.0
                  of 5, from 824 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated near the airport, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Lake El Estero and Dennis the Menace Park. Fisherman's Wharf and Maritime Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km).