When you are a kid it doest't matter if you live down the street or are visiting from across the country or the world, when you drive into Monterey one of the things that catches your eye is this park across from the beach. Dennis the Menace Park, yes that Dennis the Menace. One of the things that make it stand out is that it's bright and colorful and a lot of the toys are tall and not something you or your kids have played on somewhere else, so it really stands out even in a place known for it's beauty as Monterey is. If you have kids this is one place you need to visit whether it's your first time in Monterey County or you drive past this park everyday kids everywhere love it. What can you expect to see and do at Dennis the Menace Park. Well, when you first walk in you have to rub Dennis's belly for good luck and try out the drinking fountain because it's not every place that you get to drink water from the mouth of a lion. Watch out he bites. There is a real steam locomotive for you to climb all over and play on. Apparently when the park opened over 50 years ago it actually had the real working brass bell on it. The kids loved it at the time. I read somewhere that you could here that brass bell all over new Monterey for about 3 days straight when the park first opened. Then finally someone decided to shut off the bell. They put one that doesn't work in it's place. I'm sure that that person whoever he was got the citizen of the year award from the homeowners of new Monterey.
There is also a hill you can climb up and slide down the side of or you can walk across the bridge to get to the hill on the other side. Speaking of that slide down the side of the hill, they have put in a new plastic slide recently. But, prior to that it was just these huge pieces of metal that you would slide on to go down the hill. One of the great things was that you could go really really fast down this thing and it had a bump in the middle and you never failed to catch a little air going down. That is one of the things that this park was known for in the past. They had a lot of toys that were really fun but could actually kill you. Just kidding no one died. But to a kid it sure seemed like there was a sense of danger that added to the fun of it all. But, a lot of those toys have been removed to be replaced by new ones that are just as fun but lack some of the danger as the old ones did. I'm sure this was at the behest of the city attorney or insurance agent. As you can see this park has something for everyone it has regular things like swings and poles to slide down and a maze of shrubbery to hide in. It also has a climbing wall which is relatively new. So it suits a wide range of ages even some adults can be seen playing on these toys or just following their little ones around the park for the day. Have fun.
dennis the menace park, a photo by jenn l. on Flickr.