Palm Springs, California, often conjures images of a serene desert oasis for adults seeking relaxation and luxury. While it indeed offers a haven for grown-ups, it also has a wealth of family-friendly activities that make it a perfect destination for parents traveling with children. In this essay, we will embark on a journey through the top things to do in Palm Springs with kids, ensuring a memorable and joyful family vacation.
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
Start your Palm Springs adventure with a thrilling ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Ascend over 8,000 feet on the world’s largest rotating tramcar, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the desert landscape. At the Mountain Station, you’ll find a natural history museum, hiking trails, and even snow during the winter months. It’s an exhilarating experience that will leave the whole family in awe.
- Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert
For an interactive and educational experience, head to the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert. This museum is designed specifically with kids in mind, offering hands-on exhibits that stimulate curiosity and creativity. From a play supermarket to a science discovery center, children can explore a variety of topics while having fun. It’s an excellent way to balance entertainment and learning.
- Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a remarkable blend of wildlife park and botanical garden. Kids can get up close and personal with desert animals, including giraffes, cheetahs, and camels, while also discovering the beauty of desert flora. The park also offers a range of interactive programs and animal encounters, making it a memorable and educational experience for the entire family.
- Palm Springs Air Museum
For young aviation enthusiasts, the Palm Springs Air Museum is a must-visit attraction. It houses a vast collection of aircraft from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The museum’s exhibits and docents provide insights into the history of aviation and military conflicts, making it an engaging and educational experience. Kids can climb into some of the planes and feel like a pilot for a day.
- Palm Desert Aquatic Center
When the desert heat becomes too intense, cool off at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center. This family-friendly water park features multiple pools, water slides, and a lazy river. It’s a perfect place for kids to splash around and have a blast. The center also offers swimming lessons for all skill levels, making it an excellent opportunity for children to improve their aquatic skills.
- Indian Canyons
Explore the natural wonders of the desert at the Indian Canyons, just south of Palm Springs. These pristine canyons offer hiking trails suitable for various skill levels, including kid-friendly routes. The Andreas Canyon Trail is a popular choice, featuring lush oases, sparkling streams, and beautiful desert scenery. It’s an excellent way to introduce children to the wonders of nature and desert ecosystems.
- Palm Springs Skate Park
If you have skateboarders or rollerbladers in the family, the Palm Springs Skate Park is a fantastic place to let them show off their skills. This 30,000-square-foot skate park is one of the largest in Southern California and offers ramps, bowls, and rails for skaters of all levels. It’s a fun and active way for kids to spend their time while in Palm Springs.
Thursday nights in downtown Palm Springs come alive with VillageFest, a lively street fair that’s fun for the whole family. You can stroll along Palm Canyon Drive and browse a wide array of booths offering artisanal crafts, jewelry, clothing, and delicious food. Live entertainment, street performers, and musicians add to the festive atmosphere. Kids will love the vibrant atmosphere and may even pick up a unique souvenir.
- Joshua Tree National Park
While not technically in Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park is just a short drive away and offers an unforgettable family adventure. The park’s unique desert landscapes, iconic Joshua trees, and rock formations are a sight to behold. Families can explore the park’s trails, go rock climbing, and even stargaze at night. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature and instill a love for the outdoors in your children.
Palm Springs may be renowned for its relaxation and luxury, but it also offers a wide range of family-friendly activities that cater to the young and young-at-heart. From thrilling tram rides to hands-on museums, encounters with desert wildlife, and refreshing water adventures, Palm Springs has it all. So, the next time you plan a family vacation, consider this desert oasis as your destination of choice, where sunny skies and endless fun await parents and children alike.