What to Do in Palm Springs with Kids: 6 Family-Friendly Activities Unveiled

If you’re searching for ‘What to Do in Palm Springs with Kids’, our guide is your ticket to family fun in this oasis of entertainment and relaxation.

Exploring Nature and Wildlife

A family hikes through a desert landscape, surrounded by cacti and wildlife. A colorful array of birds fly overhead, while lizards scurry across the sandy ground

Palm Springs offers a magnificent array of nature and wildlife experiences that are perfect for the whole family. From the unique ecosystems of the surrounding national park to the immersive exhibits of local zoos and gardens, there’s plenty to keep kids engaged and learning.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a vast and beautiful space that provides a dramatic backdrop for family adventures. Here, your kids can marvel at the iconic Joshua trees, rugged rock formations, and diverse wildlife. Choose a kid-friendly hiking trail and maybe even glimpse a roadrunner or a desert tortoise in their natural habitat.

  • Popular Trails for Families:
    • Hidden Valley: Ideal for a picnic, with a one-mile easy loop.
    • Barker Dam: A short trek leading to a historic dam and petroglyphs.

Indian Canyons Hiking Trails

Exploring the Indian Canyons offers a rich experience where the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians once lived. Trek the Palm Canyon Trail and be surrounded by the world’s largest California Fan Palm oasis.

  • Hiking Options:
    • Andreas Canyon: Easier walks alongside a stream, great for families.
    • Murray Canyon: Look for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Take a walk on the wild side at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, where conservation meets education. Your kids can come face-to-face with giraffes, cheetahs, and zebras. Don’t miss the endangered species carousel or the model train display that’s sure to captivate both the young and young at heart.

  • Highlights:
    • Giraffe Feeding: Experience towering giraffes up close.
    • Wildlife Wonders Show: See birds and other animals demonstrate their natural behaviors.

By engaging with the natural world at these locations, you’ll foster a love for the outdoors in your children and create memories that last a lifetime.

Adventure and Education

Families explore Palm Springs: hiking trails, desert wildlife, and interactive museums

When visiting Palm Springs with your kids, mix fun with learning at attractions that offer exhilarating experiences and educational insights. These family-friendly locales are a gateway to creating lasting memories on your family trip.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and San Jacinto Peak

Experience a breathtaking journey on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, where you can ascend two-and-a-half miles to the majestic San Jacinto Peak. Board one of the rotating tram cars and watch as the desert landscape transforms into a snowy alpine wonderland during winter. Once at the peak, you can teach your kids about the local flora and fauna, and, if you visit during winter, even try snowshoeing together.

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

For a hands-on learning experience, take your kids to the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert. Here, they can engage in interactive exhibits that nurture curiosity and creativity. From science experiments to artistic crafts, the museum offers an array of activities designed to inspire young minds and cater to all ages, even toddlers.

Palm Springs Air Museum

Aviation enthusiasts will love the Palm Springs Air Museum, where you can explore one of the world’s largest collections of flyable WWII aircraft. Watch history come to life as you walk among vintage planes and learn about the pilots who flew them. The museum’s educational programs provide a rich historical context, making it a valuable stop on your educational adventure in Palm Springs.

Leisure and Recreation

Children playing in a colorful playground with palm trees and mountains in the background. Families picnicking and enjoying outdoor activities in the sunny Palm Springs

When visiting Palm Springs with your kids, you have a variety of entertaining leisure and recreational options. From family-friendly shopping and dining experiences in the vibrant downtown area to exciting interactive attractions like the iconic Cabazon Dinosaurs, every moment is an opportunity for fun and education.

Downtown Palm Springs Shopping and Dining

Strolling down Palm Canyon Drive is a delight with its array of boutique shops and diverse restaurants that cater to all tastes. You’ll find it the perfect spot to enjoy the unique flair of Palm Springs while treating yourself and the kids to both shopping and dining experiences. During your visit, look out for the Palm Springs VillageFest on Thursday nights, offering street entertainment and a festive atmosphere.

  • Shopping: Explore a variety of shops, from fashion to souvenirs.
  • Dining: Savor a range of culinary delights, suitable for family dining.

Cabazon Dinosaurs and Family Fun

A short drive from Palm Springs, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are a must-see for families. Bring your children for a prehistoric adventure and enjoy educational exhibits, a dinosaur dig, and even climbing inside Mr. Rex’s enormous mouth! The area also offers additional attractions like Hadley Fruit Orchards for a tasty snack.

  • Interactive Fun: Experience the dinosaur exhibit and enjoy a range of activities.
  • Nearby Attractions: Visit other local hotspots, perfect for a family day out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Palm Springs is a delightful destination with a variety of child-centric attractions that cater to the whole family. Here’s a quick list of fun activities, accommodations, and entertainment options that are perfect for your little ones.

What are some fun activities for children in Palm Springs?

Your kids can explore the natural wonders at Joshua Tree National Park and encounter a variety of wildlife at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. For a unique experience, take them on The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway where you’ll find breathtaking views and hiking trails suitable for families.

Can you recommend kid-friendly resorts in Palm Springs?

Several resorts in Palm Springs offer family-friendly amenities, such as pools with water features and kids’ clubs. Look for resorts that provide spacious family rooms, children’s menus in on-site restaurants, and proximity to popular attractions to make your stay comfortable and convenient.

Where can I find free family activities in Palm Springs?

Downtown Palm Springs is home to public spaces perfect for picnics and play. Visit the Palm Springs Art Museum on free admission days, or spend time at one of the many public parks, like Sunrise Park, which offers playgrounds and open spaces without any cost.

Are there any indoor playgrounds or family entertainment centers in Palm Springs?

For a break from the sun, consider indoor playgrounds or family entertainment centers where kids can play games, climb, and jump in a safe environment. While specific indoor playgrounds can be seasonally available, check local directories for the latest openings and facilities.

What are the best places to take toddlers for a fun day out in Palm Springs?

Toddlers will love visiting the interactive exhibits at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert and seeing the giant Cabazon Dinosaurs. The Palm Springs Air Museum is also fascinating for little ones with its up-close airplane exhibits.

Does Palm Springs offer any water parks or splash pads suitable for young children?

Yes, Palm Springs and the surrounding areas offer several water parks and splash pads that are perfect for young children. The Palm Desert Aquatic Center features pools and play areas designed for all ages to enjoy and is a refreshing way to spend a hot day in the desert.

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Christian Düppre
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