"The Red Pony" -- The story doesn't take place in Monterey, but it's the best introduction to Steinbeck for the younger set. (Preschoolers and up)
"East of Eden" -- The famous opening shot is Mendocino, not Monterey, but the dramatic California coastline is shown to good effect and many key scenes were shot in Salinas, including some at a farm owned by Steinbeck's family. (Teens)
"Turner and Hooch" -- Lots of street scenes in this comedy-adventures starring Tom Hanks were filmed along Ocean Boulevard in Pacific Grove, also at the Seaside market. (Pre-teens and teens)
"Escape to Witch Mountain," (the original, 1975) -- Scenes were shot in Carmel Valley, Pebble Beach, and Big Sur in this Disney adventure about kids with alien powers being pursued by an evil millionaire. (School-age kids)
"The Grapes of Wrath" -- This classic story of a dust-bowl family's migration to California will set the stage for the emphasis on agriculture in the movies at the Steinbeck museum. (School-age kids)
Sardines on toast: These salty fish may not turn out to be a kid favorite, but you don't want to discover once you're touring Cannery Row that your kids don't know what a sardine is.
Crab cakes: Served at many Monterey restaurants, crab cakes are one of the easiest introductions to the delights of seafood for kids more accustomed to hamburgers and fried chicken.
Artichokes: Between Salinas and Monterey, you'll pass farms growing thousands of artichokes, one of the local veggies the region is most famous for.
"A Lot of Otters," by Barbara Helen Berger -- by - a fanciful tale about otters and stars that makes a great bedtime story. (Babies to school age kids)
"A Raft of Sea Otters," by Vicki Leon -- A colorful photographic picture book with lots of close ups that's packed with fun facts. (Preschoolers to preteens)
"The Stowaway," by Kristiana Gregory -- Life in Monterey in 1818 comes to life in this story of pirates and early Spanish settlers.
"Cannery Row," by John Steinbeck: These tales of the adventures of a rowdy band of cannery workers, fishermen, and assorted hangers-on are the reason for the area's fame. (School-age kids and up)