We’re going to Palm Springs for spring break and can’t wait!  I’ve been going to Palm Springs since I was about 10 years old when my grandparents moved there and boy, has it changed.  Back in those days, my grandparent’s golf retirement resort was one of the first and there was barely anything there.  Now there are more golf resorts than sand and a plethora of things to do. Palm Springs for kids, here are ten things to do!  Fun Fact: My daughter Zoe was even born there–long story!

“Palm Springs” can incorporate several different towns.  Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, and Indio and Indian Wells are all considered to be in the Palm Springs area and are all close and easily accessible to each other.

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The weather is fantastic pretty much year round and don’t be put off by the fact that it’s inland and not near a beach.  There are more than enough things to do in Palm Springs with kids and some of them are truly a blast.

 

Hot Air Ballooning:  I did this with my parents when I was about 11 and I still remember it like it was yesterday!  Havnfun Hot Air Ballooning, Fantasy Balloon Flights and Balloons Above the Desert all offer tours.  Most go up at sunrise or two hours before sunset and include champagne, a flight certificate and sometimes meals. It’s not cheap, but it’s a great experience. I still remember going at age 10.

Horseback Riding:  What kids doesn’t fantasize about being a cowboy?  Smoketree Stables to the rescue!  They have hourly group or individual rides.  These stables have provided horses for for prime time television and networks such as Oprah and Bravo. We have trouble with horseback riding because Keith is so allergic to horses, but for the horseback riding aficionado, you can’t beat the desert landscape of Palm Springs. The kids have been asking us to go a lot lately.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway:  The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a thrill for any kid.  Palm Springs for kids almost requires a tramway ride! This tram takes you on a ten mile ride up Chino Canyon, where you will end up at an elevation of 8.516 ft.   The Peaks Restaurant at the top has fantastic food and amazing views of the valley.  The Tramsters Club is open to any child ages 3-12. It is free to join and members receive a 10% discount on Tram Rides and 10% discount on gift shop purchases. For more information e-mail tramsters@pstramway.com. We try to do this every time we visit.

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Pool Time:  The pool!!  Palm Springs with kids requires a pool!.  Palm Springs has the most pools per capita in the world…..at 50,000 pools!  If you forgot your noodle or floaties, have no fear…..there’s a pool store on practically every corner in the valley.  Many hotels have what’s considered a “pool scene”, which may not be great for children, but if you’re so inclined to leave the kiddos at a kids club for the day, check out Riviera Palm Springs, The Saguaro, Ace Hotel and Swim Club, and the Hard Rock Hotel.  If you’re wanting a more kid friendly adventure, try to Palm Desert Aquatic Center.

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Wet n Wild:  This waterpark is located in Palm Springs and it’s pretty fun. Our kids loved it but Keith and I were incensed that they weren’t selling beer 😉 And the water was seriously freezing. But every resort town needs a fun water park, right?

The Living Desert:  The living desert is a “zoo” that was built for a variety of reasons–to preserve the desert in it’s natural state, to foster an awareness for a variety of plants plants and animals in worldwide ecosystems, to build up populations of various species of animals that are endangered in the wild.  Kids love this place.  There are a variety of kids programs, such as ZooCamp, Starry Safari and Park After Dark and they have a GIANT model train, which everyone loves.  The Living Desert is truly a gem.  Fun Fact: there is a plaque in the onsite veterinary hospital dedicated to my grandpa, who was a vet! 🙂 Even after going to Africa, and seeing the “real thing”, we love visiting the Living Desert.

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Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert: Even if it’s not a rainy day (which usually never happens in Palm Springs), the children’s museum is worth a few hours.  Palm Springs for kids and the Children’s Museum go hand in hand. Lots of activities for kids of all ages.  There are also camps and pottery classes.

Indian Canyons:  Indian Canyons has amazing natural scenery and a variety of hiking trails.  Palm Canyon in particular has moderate trails and super cool scenery to entertain even the whiniest of children.  I remember when my sister and I were kids, we used to call it “the oasis” because it has desert scenery and also a beautiful stream and palm trees, like a mirage “oasis”.

The Palm Springs Air Museum:  The air museum has something for everyone.  Lots of planes to see, a ton of history, and a  kid sized control tower.  This will thrill kids for a couple of hours.

Casuelas Cafe:  This place holds a special place in my heart.  Casuelas absolutely has the best mexican food I have ever had anywhere, hands down.  I’ve been to this place at least 30 times and it’s wonderful every time.  Plenty of coloring for the kids, great decor and friendly service.  HUGE margaritas.  There are several Casuelas throughout the valley–this particular one is in Palm Desert. They recently revamped the interior of the Palm Desert location and added a HUGE back patio.

 

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Palm Springs for kids truly is an endless list and I feel like I add to it each year. This year, we’re hoping to hit Joshua Tree National Park and/or The Salton Sea (before it disappears!). Occasionally we throw around going somewhere else, but PS is such a special town and our kids love it. I really can’t imagine going anywhere else for spring break!

 

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Melissa

 

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