Palm Springs is a great destination for a family trip. Whether you’re planning to go for two days or ten days, whether you want more indoor or outdoor activities, Palm Springs has something for every member of the family. Start planning that family trip to one of the most popular desert spots in southern California with our list of Fun Things to Do in Palm Springs with Kids.
Family Fun in Palm Springs
Shields Date Garden
80225 US Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201
For many folks, a trip to Palm Springs means a trip to Shields Date Garden. Pick up some tasty dates and snacks (including the popular date shake and date ice cream), stroll through the Gardens, and enjoy something to eat at the on-site Cafe. Take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the 17-acre date grove and botanical garden before getting back in the car. They are open seven days a week.
500 W. Mesquite Ave., Palm Springs, CA
Tahquitz Canyon is described as being “one of the most beautiful and culturally sensitive areas of the Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation.” You’ll find a 60-foot waterfall here as well as rock art, ancient irrigation systems, and native wildlife and plants. The Visitor Center offers special exhibits and artifacts on display as well as an observation deck. Be sure to bring plenty of water. Check the website for details about the trail. Admission is $12.50 for adults; $6 for children ages 6-12.
38520 S. Palm canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA
Also be sure to check out Indian Canyons, the “ancestral home of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.” Depending on the type of hiking you want to do (taking into account duration and degree of difficulty) families can also explore Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon, and Murray Canyon. You’ll explore tranquil settings, observe a variety of animals (be on the lookout for the endangered Peninsular Big Horn Sheep), and more. Check the website for details about minimum water requirements.
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50770 Seminole Dr., Cabazon, CA 92230
Of course no trip to the desert would be complete without a stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs, the “world’s biggest dinosaurs.” This popular roadside attraction was established in 1975 and has been delighting families since then! Park the car, go for a walk, stroll through the dinosaur garden, and check out these amazing creatures! Additionally, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays families can enjoy a treat from the “Wafflesaurus Truck,” serving ice cream treats. Admission is $13 for adults; $11 for children (3-12); $10 for seniors (55+) and military; free for children 2 and under.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
A ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is an experience like no other. “Ascend two-and-one-half miles to a pristine wilderness aboard the world’s largest rotating tramcar.” It takes about ten minutes to reach Mountain Station, elevation 8,516 feet, where you’ll find over 50 miles of hiking trails, two documentary theaters, a gift shop, two restaurants, a natural history museum, and observation decks. Admission is $26.95 for adults; $16.95 for children ages 3-10; and $24.95 for seniors 65+.
Palm Springs Skate Park
401 S. Pavilion Way, Palm Springs, CA
The Palm Springs Skate Park is considered to be one of the best skate parks within the state of California. The 30,000-square foot concrete skating surface is “designed to challenge skills of both in-line skaters and skate boarders alike.” Test your skills maneuvering the Flow Bowl, the Nude Bowl, and the Combi-Bowl. Helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads are required.
Palm Springs Windmill Tours
62950 20th Ave., Palm Springs, CA 92258
Get in the car and get ready to learn about wind power. Palm Springs Windmill Tours offers interactive and educational self-guided tours throughout the “first commercial wind farm in the United States.” Tours are currently offered Wednesdays through Sundays. The tour takes about an hour to an hour-and-a-half depending on your pace. Details and reservation information is available online.
Related: Visiting Joshua Tree
Boomers! Palm Springs
67-700 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City, CA 92234
If it’s too hot outside, stay inside and don’t worry – you won’t run out of things to do and try at Boomers! It’s the site of Thunder Road Go Karts (drivers must be 58”; passengers must be 40”); Bumper Boats; a Rock Wall; Batting Cages; two 18-hole Miniature Golf courses; and an arcade with more than 100 video games. You’ll also find an on-site café as well.
Palm Springs Art Museum
101 Museum Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262
The full collection of the Palm Springs Art Museum includes “20,000+ objects that rotate in and out of view.” On display, you’ll find examples of Modern and Contemporary Art, which is “at the heart of the museum’s identity and its mission.” The collection is made up of about “3,000 sculptures; paintings and prints; 2,000 fine art photographs; and 40,000 negatives, contact sheets, and other photo-based objects.” The museum’s collection also includes Architecture and Design and Art of the West in the Americas. Check the website for information about special events. Admission is $14 for adults; $11 for seniors 62+; and $6 for students/teachers. The museum offers free admission each Thursday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm as well as on the Second Sunday of each month. Admission is always free for children under 18 as well as active duty military and their family members.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is involved with the “important work of preserving, conserving, and interpreting the desert and all its varied plant and animal life.” Families will enjoy interactive experiences (such as the chance to feed a giraffe, get up close with an animal, explore at the Discovery Center, and much more). The exhibits include over 1600 species of plants and 140 species of animals from the deserts of Africa and North America. There are also several dining options on site-as well. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. Check the website for the latest details about hours and special programs which vary from season-to-season. Admission is $24.95 for adults; $22.95 for seniors 62+; $14.95 for children 3-12; children under 3 are free. Parking is free as well.
Palm Springs VillageFest
Downtown Palm Springs, Palm Canyon Dr.
Be sure to visit Palm Springs on a Thursday, when you can stop by VillageFest. VillageFest is described as a “street fair featuring arts, crafts, food, and entertainment.” The festivities take place each Thursday, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. You’ll find over 180 vendors here as well as many merchants who stay open late to participate.
Smoke Tree Stables
2500 S. Toledo Ave., Palm Springs, CA 92264
Smoke Tree Stables is family-owned and operated and in business since 1927. Families can explore by horseback by the hour or for the entire day. The Stables are generally closed on Wednesdays and most Thursdays. Reservations are not required; families are served on a first-come, first-serve basis. Children must be at least 7 years old to ride, and riders must be under 240 lbs. Check the website for details.
Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert
71701 Gerald Ford Dr., Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert “inspires personal growth through exhibits and programs that inspire the curiosity and creativity of visitors through hands-on exploration.” You’ll find over 80 hands-on exhibits in 3 galleries designed for children of all ages. There are also outdoor activities including the Discovery Garden, a trike track, a music garden, and the opportunity to observe the tortoise habitat. The Museum also has special programs and events scheduled throughout the year. Admission is ($9.95 per person).
Get Air Trampoline Park
34450 Gateway Dr., Palm Dresert, CA 92211
If it’s too hot outside, head to Get Air Trampoline Park. Kids will enjoy “wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, dodgeball, slamball, ninja obstacles, and more.” A special Kiddie Court is reserved for little ones under 46 inches. Check the website for details about special weekly activities including a weekly time dedicated for jumpers with special needs when music is played at a lower volume and the park’s atmosphere is calmer.
Palm Springs Air Museum
745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262
The Palm Springs Air Museum was established in 1996 and since then has been delighting visitors. The Museum is a “living history museum” which “preserves, exhibits, and flies aircraft from World War II, Korea, and the Vietnam Wars.” There are also hands-on activities and exhibits sure to engage all visitors. There is also an on-site cafe, the Victory Canteen. As an additional experience, visitors can choose to book a ride in one of the museum’s vintage Warbirds. The museum is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $18.50 for adults ages 18-65; $16.50 for seniors 65+ as well as youth ages 13-17 and retired military. Children 5 and younger as well as all active military receive free admission. During the summer, children 6-12 receive free admission with a paying adult.
Moorten Botanical Garden
1701 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92264
The Moorten Botanical Garden may be the first “Cactarium” you and your family have ever visited. It was established in 1938 and now serves as a popular destination for those who wish to view desert trees, plants, and catci from around the world. You’ll also find “glistening crystals, colorful rocks, ancient fossils, and pioneer and gold mining relics” on-site. Admission is $5 for adults and seniors; $2 for children 15 and under; and free for children under 5. Check the website for details on hours; hours are reduced in the summer due to heat.
Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Dr., Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
While not technically in Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park is somewhat nearby and makes for a great side-trip. Joshua Tree is described as the special place “where two deserts meet;” the Mojave and the Colorado desert ecosystems. You’ll find a variety of plants and animals here as well as incredible geologic features and spectacular opportunities for stargazing.
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