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Monterey, California

Dennis the Menace Playground

This municipal playground was co-created by the father of one of the most playful characters ever. 

Named after the beloved comic strip character, the Dennis the Menace Playground has been delighting children for over fifty years.

The playground was created as part of the El Estero Park complex in 1956. It was established with the help of Hank Ketcham, creator of the Dennis the Menace comic strip, who was a resident of nearby Carmel, and clear proponent of chidish antics and play.

The playground has several play structures, large slides, a climbing wall, a suspension bridge, a hedge maze with a play structure in the center, a giant adventure ship and more. History fans will enjoy seeing the authentic 1924 Southern Pacific steam engine. For decades, children were allowed to climb all over the steam engine, but in recent years the city has become concerned about liability issues and the engine has now been fenced off.

Despite the satellite mothering of the city officials, the Dennis the Menace Playground still offers plenty of opportunities for energetic children to get up to the kind of menace the park’s namesake would have approved of.