The ULTIMATE Guide to Palm Springs with Kids

The Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs with Kids | Global Munchkins

Sure Palm Springs is better known or their trendy hotels, stunning golf courses, world class spas, amazing shopping and their fantastic dining scene. But, guess what?? Palm Springs is also an amazing spot for families.

The ULTIMATE Guide to Palm Springs with Kids

Getting There

Getting to Palm Springs is easy. You can hop in the car and drive from San Diego or LA. Either way it takes about 2 hours. Or if you are flying in you can catch a flight to the Palm Springs International Airport with daily flights throughout the US and Canada. You can even take a train as Amtrak has a station right next to the Palm Springs Airport.

Transportation

Once you are in Palm Springs getting around is simple. The town is incredibly pedestrian friendly. Your resort most likely will have bike rentals and/ or a shuttle service to and from the main attractions in town as well. Or you can always just grab an uber.

There is also a new trolley service called The Buzz Trolley which is complimentary and runs Thursdays-Sundays from 11am-1am. This program has 4 trolleys which stop at 30 locations throughout Palm Springs making it incredibly cheap and easy to get around town

Palm Trees | La Quinta Resort | Palm Springs

Where to Stay

There are a ton of fantastic places to stay within Palm Springs. Just take a quick look at the Palm Springs Visitors Bureau website here.

Depending on what type of trip you are taking you may prefer a large resort with tons of pools like: Omni’s Rancho Las Palmas, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa or La Quinta Resort & Club (pictured above).

Or you may be better off checking out a vacation rental property. Palm Springs is known for their stylish hipster and modern homes with fun pools. Many times I prefer traveling this way because it is so convenient to have all the amenities of a home when traveling with kids. Not to mention when the kids go to bed the grown ups can still chill in the backyard or stay up and watch movies in the living room. That doesn’t happen when you are crammed in a hotel ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I mean how fun would it be to rent the Amado out with friends (pictured above) or found here on AirBnB. You can rent or unit or the entire complex which is what I am dreaming up right now (((swoon))).

Click here for more Vacation Rentals in Palm Springs.

Things to Do

There is plenty to do in Palm Springs including relaxing at the pool A.L.L.ย  D.A.Y.ย  L.O.N.G. which is fine by me. However, if you are looking to get out and explore here are my Top 20 favorite Palm Springs Activities.

Living Desert Zoo | The Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs with Kids

1. Living Desert Zoo

The Living Zoo is a wonderful family fun activity. The zoo is small making it incredibly manageable to walk around. Yet its still big enough to house over 600 animals plus unique interactive experiences that will entertain everyone. My kids especially loved the Africa area and the Village Watutu. It is designed beautifully and brought back SO many memories of our recent trip to Ethiopia (read more about that trip here).

The kids favorite experience at the zoo hands down was getting to feed the giraffes. They are still talking about it!! The Living Desert Zoo also had an interactive butterfly exhibit and camel rides available.

Don’t miss the awesome model train display or the gecko gulch playground. Both provided great entertainment for our crew.

Find more information on the Living Desert by visiting their website here.

Palm Springs Guided Jeep Tourssource

2. Jeep Tours

I was hoping to get the chance to check out one of the awesome Jeep tours. Some even take you to the San Andreas fault. How cool is that? You can find different Jeep Tour companies here.

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3. Hike Tahquitz Canyon

If you visit outside of summer Tahquitz Canyon is a great 2 mile loop hike that includes a gorgeous 60 foot waterfall. The trail is easy enough for kids just be sure to pack enough sunscreen, water & snacks for everyone. Find out more about the trail here.

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4. Aerial Tram

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the World’s Largest Rotating Tramcar. During the winter you can take the tram up and play in the snow. Bet you wouldn’t have thought you would find snow in the desert ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can also snowshoe or go cross country skiing if the weather permits.

During the summer camping and hiking are available too. And, no matter when you visit the views from the tramcar are absolutely stunning and kids and adults of all ages will love this activity. Find out more here.

Palm Springs CA the ULTIMATE guide | www.GlobalMunchkins.comsource

5. Palm Springs Air Museum

Do you have a kid that is fascinated with planes? I know my boys were when they were little. This museum was actually named one of the World’s 14 BEST Aviation Museums by CNN Travel! Get more info here.

Petting a Horse | Things to do in Palm Springs | Global Munchkins

6. Horseback Riding

Our family loves checking out new towns by horseback. So, for us this is an obvious choice. I was told that Smole Tree Stables is the place to go. Smoke Tree Stables is family owned and operated, and has been for over 65 years. Located in the heart of South Palm Springs up against “Smoke Tree Mountain,” the stables are located at the base of hundreds of miles of trails. To read more about our horse back adventures click here.

Kid climbing a wall | The Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs | www.GlobalMunchkins.com source

 

7. Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

I love interactive museums and the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert is just that with over 80 hands on activities this is a great place to beat the heat when visiting Palm Springs. Learn more about this great museum here.

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8. Stargazing Tour

What better place to search for constellations than under the desert sky? Take the kids out on a guided tour to learn all about our amazing solar system. Find more info here.

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9. Farmers Market

We love a good farmers market. My kids love checking out all the varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, they love talking to the farmers and learning how all the produce grows. Palm Springs has a fantastic Farmers Market that is open from October- May. You can stop by on Saturdays from 8am-12:30pm. It is located in the Palm Springs Mall parking lot at 2300 E. Baristo Rd. Our read more about it here.

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10. Joshua Tree

If you are visiting for multiple days a road trip out to Joshua Tree is pretty awesome. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from Palm Springs but this park is pretty amazing. Don’t forget to bring your camera because it makes for amazing photo op’s too! Get more info about day tripping to Joshua Park here.

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11. Check out Indian Canyons

If you are into hiking, landscapes or history than you should also visit Indian Canyons. These canyons are located on Agua Caliente tribal land and have a fascinating history. There are 3 separate canyons and a bunch of trails. You can get all the details on their website here.

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12. Wet ‘n Wild

One of the BEST ways to beat the heat in Palm Springs with kids is to head over to Wet ‘n Wild Palm Springs. The park is open mid March- August and then on weekends through most of September and October. The park has a handful of body and tube slides, lazy river and splash parks. Find out more about ticket pricing and hours here.

13. Boomers

Your kids will LOVE Boomers but I suggest you hit this one up in the cooler months as it gets TOO hot in the summer. Boomers has mini golf, bumper boats, rock climbing, go karts and a fantastic arcade. On Tuesdays your kids can play all the games they want for just $12! Find out more about Boomers here.

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14. VillageFest

Every Thursday evening Palm Springs comes alive with their awesome street festival- VillageFest. The downtown area features artists, artisans, entertainers and more! Plus, there are tons of vendors with amazing snacks and sweets. Not to mention all the restaurants, bars and shops along Palm Canyon Dr. This is an event worth checking out! Find more info here.

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15. Palm Springs Skatepark

Have a little skate lover with you. Don’t forget to pack their board so you can head over to the Palm Springs Skatepark. This park is actually known as one of the BEST skateparks in all of CA. Read more about it here.

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16. Cabazon Dinosaur Museum

Just 13 miles west of Palm Springs you can check out the Famous Cabazon Dinosaurs. Its a California roadside classic stop and one your kids will be totally amused by. The prices are pretty cheap and the kids will love the ride and climbing Dinny- a 150 foot long Apato dinosaur. Find out more about pricing and directions here.

17. Big League Dreams Sports Park

My boys are HUGE sports fans and they all dream of playing in the big leagues someday so a trip to the Big League dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City is a fun option. They have a replica fields of Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field. Besides checking out the replica fields the kids will enjoy the batting cages and the playground too! Find more info here.

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18. Grab a Date Shake

Did you know that 90% of the World’s dates are grown in SoCal? Try out this delicious sweet treat from nature by slurping down a delicious date shake. The most famous spot to grab one is from Hadley Fruit Orchards but you can also save yourself a drive and stop by the Palm Springs Fudge and Chocolate shop to get yours.

19. Hot Air Ballooning

Take in all the gorgeous views as you float above Coachella Valley overlooking the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. This is a great option for families traveling with teens. View more info here.

20. Covered Wagon Tour

Looking for a completely unique educational experience? Book a tour on a covered wagon. You get to ride in an actual mule-drawn covered wagon through the desert. Although for your comfort this wagon has padded seats and rubber wheels. But, you get to explore the practically untouched desert floral and fauna as you ride along. The night ends with a chuck wagon dinner and live music. To book a tour click here.

Bob's Pizza | The Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs with Kids

Places to Eat

Palm Springs has a ton of amazing restaurants for all kinds of foodies. I think you can find just about anything you were looking for. However, with kids in tow you will want to try out some of our fives including these ones below.

Bill's Pizza | The Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs with Kids

Bill’s Pizza

Pizza is the ONLY food option everyone in our family can agree upon so finding a good one in each new city we explore is a MUST! In Palm Springs we LOVE Bill’s Pizza and turns out so do a lot of other people. Bill’s Pizza was recently named one of the Top 10 Pizza Restaurants in the U.S. by Tripadvisor (2015). The kids enjoyed the Buffalo Chicken and Cheese Pizzas. But, I recommend you grab their Hammer & Sickle or their Elton John both of which are absolutely amazing!!!

The Sandwich Spot - Palm Springs, CA, United States. The Copacabana ($9.95), flanked by the Dreamkiller (veggie).source

The Sandwich Spot

We are sandwich people and with all the outdoor experiences in Palm Springs stopping by the Sandwich Spot to grab some sammies to go is always a great idea. Make sure to get your sandwich served on their yummy Dutch crunch bread.

 

Elmer's Restaurant - Palm Springs, CA, United States source

Elmer’s Restaurant

Kids of all ages love this hometown cafe with big cozy booths and just the right amount of noise to make it feel fun. Try their delicious German pancakes. Their servings are huge and great for sharing too. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner but I would recommend coming for breakfast.

Las Casuelas Terraza - Palm Springs, CA, United Statessource

Las Casuelas Terraza

In California we are blessed with amazing Mexican food so I am picky when it comes to this cuisine. Las Casuelas nails it so you must give it a try. Mexican is another option that everyone loves.

Woody's Burgers - Palm Springs, CA, United States. Jalapeรฑo burgersource

Woody’s Burgers

If you LOVE a good burger and some tasty fried stick Woody’s Burgers on your list. I highly reccommend their Jalepeno Burger (above) for those of you that like a kick in your burger. Pair it with their sweet potato fries and you’ve got the perfect burger combo. FYI- this is more of a dive cafe, but it still feels cool in a retro kinda way ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Kings Highway

If you want to feel uber cool head on over to the classically remodeled Denny’s at the Ace Hotel known as King’s Highway. Here you can expect fresh locally- sourced ingredients and knock your socks off yumminess. Try their Smoked Black Rice and Bloomsdale Spinach Salad or their Buttermilk Fried Jidori Chicken with habanero honey. They offer a kid’s menu as well which keep everyone’s mouths happy!

Pin for Later-

The Ultimate Guide to Palm Springs with Kids | Global Munchkins

 

Find tons of information about planning a trip to Palm Springs at the Palm Springs Visitors Center.

Located at 2901 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

Travel Info: www.VisitPalmSprings.com / 800-347-7746

 

Have you visited Palm Springs before?

Let me know about your experience in the comments below.

*A special thanks to the Palm Springs Visitors Center for helping the munchkins plan our trip. We received some complimentary items in exchange for our honest reviews. All opinions expressed are, as always 100% my own.
Wander Mum

10 Comments

  • Mara says:

    Great list! I just love Palm Springs! It’s so beautiful, especially during the winter months. Since moving to CA a few years ago, I find that we travel there often because there is so many fun and interesting things for kids and grown ups alike to do. I’ll have to bring my kids to the discovery museum. It sounds both fun and educational and it’s one place in Palm Springs that we haven’t yet explored.

  • Love this post (especially the food recommendations). I have only done about half (maybe less) of the things in here. I may be going to the areas in about two weeks. I want to go to the Cathedral City Balloon Festival. That should be fun.
    Ruth – Tanama Tales recently posted…Laja: First Taste of Baja Med CuisineMy Profile

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Oh wow… I didn’t know they had a balloon festival. Great to know. Maybe we should head back out there and check it out. It’s only a hop skip and a jump from where we live ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • susanna says:

    I haven’t been to Palm Springs since Spring break many many years ago! It looks like it has changed. I must visit again on one of my CA trips. x

  • What a great guide, so many tips. I didn’t know a lot about Palm Springs except the sunshine and architecture before, but loads for kids to do (I would settle for some warmth and the pool right about now, although I know my daughter would love the dinosaurs). Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  • Fantastic guide! I want to go now! There’s so much to do..I love the sound of the canyon trips and the tramcar although I’m sure my daughter’s preference would be wet n wild! I’ve heard loads of great things about Palm Springs so I look forward to visiting someday – especially now I have the ultimate guide!! Thank you for linking to #citytripping

  • Wow, so much to do! When my hubby and I lived in San Diego we drove up for a night but didn’t do much. I’d love to take my kids back to California for a visit. Joshua tree looks amazing!

  • Nicole says:

    Wow great pics and I had know idea all these things could be found in neighboring Palm Springs, CA! I will be revisiting soon for Disney tips ๐Ÿ™‚
    xo, Nicole
    lilflowermama.com

  • Tara says:

    Awesome post. Palm Springs is not in my immediate future (as far as I know), but your guide is a great resource for anyone planning a trip to the area.
    Tara recently posted…Exploring Kapuskasing, OntarioMy Profile

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