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Family Vacations

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Evening Entertainment for Families

Two wonder-filled musicals open on the Monterey peninsula in August, different in mood but equal in joy for young audiences.

From August 12-28, the Morgan Stock Stage at MPC bets that "the sun will come out tomorrow" for its production of Annie.

Over in Carmel, Pacific Repertory presents a very special production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, August 18-September 25.

Either (or both!) would make a grand night out after a day exploring Monterey.

Family Vacations

Family VacationsThe most successful family vacations keep one essential component in mind: the grown-ups in the group have to feel as engaged, as excited, and as happy as the young ones – and vice versa. Theme park getaways often pall on parents by the umpteenth ride, while few children could trudge from art gallery to museum through sweltering city streets without becoming a bit surly. Monterey County, on the other hand, has amusements for children that make parents smile, and attractions for adults that will have the young ones asking for another visit.

Choosing What To Do

Monterey has so many intriguing options, your most difficult moment will be deciding what to do each morning. There’s MY Museum, a real hands-on place where kids can make a tv program or run a country store, and the adventure playground of Dennis the Menace Park (created for the city by the creator of Dennis, Hank Ketcham). They can learn about our marine wildlife at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, then play ‘eye-spy’ during a drive through Pebble Beach’s 17-Mile Drive, home to shoreline birds, harbor and elephant seals, and more. You may never hear them say ‘are we there yet?’ again. At least until you leave Monterey...

The Great Shopping Compromise

Children can be reluctant shoppers. To coax a little cooperation, choose a destination that makes browsing as much fun as possible: Cannery Row. The old canneries are now packed with a dazzling array of shops, galleries and places to eat. You can reward patience while you do some bay-side wine tasting at the end of Steinbeck Plaza by sampling every known flavor of salt-water taffy, or honor their good humor while you tried on sportwear and silver jewelry in the American Tin Cannery with a kite or wind-toy.

Who knows? You might even pique their curiosity about how the Row got its name: buy them a copy of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row to read on the way home.

Top 5 for Families
o Watch sea otters roll and tumble in the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
o Ride the merry-go-round in the funny old Edgewater Packing Company on Cannery Row.
o ‘Treasure hunt’ the galleries of the National Steinbeck Center.
o Pack a picnic and head to Marina State Beach to fly a kite or build a family-sized sandcastle.
o Pick luscious strawberries beneath the giant-sized field workers at The Farm.