Dennis the Menace Park, Monterey
It's not often you find a playground that is as much fun for adults as it is for the kids. The Dennis the Menace Park in El Estero Lake. The playground was designed by Hank Ketcham, creator of the famed Dennis the Menace comic.
When you first walk through he gate, you'll see bronze statue of Dennis himself greeting you. A large antique train engine sits near the entrance, welcoming kids and adults to climb on, over, under and through.
The walking paths of the park are think rubber that bounces as you walk and prevents kids from injuring themselves as they run around. A kiddie-sized climbing wall, rope bridge and giant sand pit make the playground an enticing place for kids to get some exercise. A great addition to the playground is a labyrinth with shrubs high enough so the wee ones can feel "lost" while low enough for parents to see where in the puzzle their child hides.
The playground is completely free, including parking. Across the road you'll find a dog park and on the other side of the parking lot is a baseball field. Lake El Estero surrounds the area and the beach is only a block away, giving the playground a peaceful feel (aside from the screaming kids, that is).