The surrounding mountains are so close you feel as though you could reach out and touch them. I take in these spectacular views through a flashy pair of shades as I sip a crisp glass of white wine, lounging on one of the many restaurant patios that line Palm Canyon drive.
The heat is dry, but not unbearable thanks to the cool refreshing spray of the abundant misters. We are in Palm Springs, baby!
Hollywood’s playground since the 1920’s, this desert oasis has been attracting celebrities and sun-seekers for decades. Teeming with stylish boutiques, fantastic restaurants and luxury spa resorts, it is no wonder this town has earned such a glamorous reputation, but that doesn’t mean it is reserved for only the rich and famous.
Palm Springs is down-to-earth, affordable and fun for families, which is why I want to show you how to do Palm Springs with kids. As Southern California locals, we visit Palm Springs every year as a family because we’ve discovered there are so many fun things to do in Palm Springs with kids – from live music and family-friendly nightlife to swimming and more!
If you are looking for a kid-friendly resort in Palm Springs, be sure to check out our Hot List of the best family resorts in Palm Springs.
So let’s do it, these are our all-time favorite things to do on a family trip to Palm Springs.
Here’s what’s in this article:
Family attractions near Palm Springs
- Palm Springs walk of stars
- Agua Caliente cultural museum
- Cabazon Dinosaur museum
- Aerial Tramway to San Jacinto Peak
- Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
- Palm Springs Air Museum
- Hotel or Resort pool (free!)
Kid-friendly live music & nightlife
Top family resorts
Parks & hiking trails
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Video: Here’s how we do Palm Springs with kids
Kid-friendly Palm Springs Attractions
10 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
As Palm Springs is the Hollywood desert playground, it is fitting that they have a Palm Springs walk fame too. Famous and influential residents of the Palm Springs area, also known as the “Golden Palm Stars”, are forever immortalized along the sidewalks of downtown Palm Springs.
219 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
If you are interested in learning about the culture and history of the Palm Springs area, check out the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. The museum celebrates the history as well as the present times of Cahuilla Indians of the Coachella Valley. What is also cool is that the museum is located on the site of the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring.
50770 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA 92230
The Cabazon Dinosaur Museum is one of the fun and quirky roadside attractions you just have to stop at if you are passing through Cabazon. You can’t miss it, as two enormous steel and concrete dinosaurs rise up from the desert sands. Dinny, the 150-foot long Brontosaurus and Mr. Rex, the 65-foot tall Tyrannosaurus have been greeting the public since the 1970’s and today you can still visit the museum and gift store located inside Dinny!
1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Starting from the floor of the Coachella Valley and ending at the top of San Jacinto Peak, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. The ride takes approximately 10 minutes each way. At the top, there are two restaurants, a cocktail lounge, gift shops and a natural history musuem.
47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a desert botanical garden and zoo dedicated to preserving and conserving various plant and animal life. Not only has it been a top Palm Springs attraction for nearly 50 years, the Living Zoo and Gardens is active in habitat protection, breeding programs and conservation research, which helps the local ecosystem as well as the efforts around the world. In addition, for cute animals to see and interact with there are lovely nature and hiking trails to help you enjoy the natural beauty of the Coachella Valley.
745 N Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262
This awesome aviation museum brings history to life and allows you to get up close and personal with vintage World War II and Korea/Vietnam aircraft. There are over 59 flyable and static planes on display inside the four hangers as well as more outside on the tarmac. Each hanger is themed with an accompanying exhibit and related aircraft. The Palm Springs Air Museum was named one the top 14 aviation museums in the world by CNN Travel.
Palm Springs is hot, especially if you are visiting during the summer. Sometimes there is nothing better to do to beat the heat and have some fun than swimming in one of the many hotel and resort pools. Many hotels have live music, surrounding bars and restaurants and some the resorts have amazing pools ranging from mini a water-park to a relaxing oasis. What is great about Palm Springs is that pools are open late into the night, perfect for enjoying swimming on those warm desert evenings.
If you like to golf, then you will love Palm Springs as it is home to more than 100 renowned golf courses with over 300 days of sunshine to play. You can challenge yourself at any level from casual to advanced. Many of the beautifully manicured golf courses were designed by legends like Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus. Even the PGA and LPGA play in Palm Springs during annual tournaments. If you are traveling with kids, many of the resorts actually offer special rates and family golf sessions.
Family-friendly Live Music in Palm Springs
222 S Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262
Opening in 1958, this family owned restaurant goes back four generations. Still going strong, Las Casuelas is our favorite evening hangout. Not only can you chow down on delicious Mexican food, out on the Terraza you can dance the night away to a live band every night of the week. It’s an open-air, lively and family-friendly atmosphere perfect for a night out with the kids. This is our favorite place to hang out at night with kids in Palm Springs and it is something we build our itinerary around!
450 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Woody’s Palm House is a more casual steak and seafood restaurant featuring gourmet Angus burgers, steak, chops and seafood. What makes this place extra fun is the live Jazz, Blues and R&B music played 7 nights a week. Music starts at 6:30 pm, early enough to enjoy a long evening with the family.
665 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264
Family owned and operated, Pete’s Hideaway is a fun joint that offers classic comfort food favorites like spaghetti and meatballs, fish and chips and patty melts. They also have live music every night starting at 7:00 pm. Kids are welcomed to stay for the entertainment, making this a lively place to grab dinner with the family.
265 S Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA, 92262
Who doesn’t love Italian food right? With a variety of yummy pizzas, salads, pastas and specialty dishes, Sammy G’s menu is sure to be a crowd pleaser. To make the deal even sweeter, Sammy G’s has live music 5 nights a week. On Monday and Tuesday nights live music starts in the dining room as 5:30 pm.
Palm Springs Family Resorts
41000 Bob Hope Dr, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Omni Ranch Las Palmas is a desert paradise for parents and kids with over 240 acres of property to explore. You could honestly never leave this resort and still have an amazing desert vacation. There is a 27-hole golf course, several great onsite restaurants, an amazing pool area complete with water-slides, water playground, cliff-side Jacuzzi and a lazy river and even a Mermaid University.
74855 Country Club Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260
This luxury resort has two championship golf courses on the property, but the highlight at the JW Marriott are the scenic gondola rides along the resorts waterways. They even have an island filled with pink flamingos! To keep cool during hot days, the resort has 5 pools to choose from. Plus, there are several signature restaurants, luxury accommodations and plenty of activities to keep you family happy.
71333 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
The Westin Mission Hills has tons of activities the whole family will love including a 75-foot water slide, various exotic animals to visit around the property and a kid’s club. Yes, there also happens to be two championship golf courses onsite as well as signature restaurants and family programs.
2800 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264
This fun family resort offers an activities department complete with basketball court. There is an adult pool as well as a kids’ pool with a waterfall and water-slide. There is even cave whirlpool! The rooms are spacious for families and the resort is conveniently located near popular Palm Springs attractions.
Kid-friendly Restaurants in Palm Springs
155 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned milkshake, burger and fries. Ruby’s Diner is a popular fifties-style chain restaurant that is bright, cheerful and a crowd-pleaser. They have an excellent location in downtown Palm Springs with a nice patio for enjoying a meal alfresco.
200 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
You can’t miss Lulu’s when walking down Palm Canyon Dr, because it literally sparkles from the street. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant isn’t only yummy – it is colorful and modern with a splash of glam. They have an all-day happy hour and you get a jumbo cotton candy on your birthday!
235 South Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
This is the spot to go if you love fresh seafood. At the Fisherman’s Market & Grill they source, handle, prepare and serve the seafood themselves. It’s a great location in downtown Palm Springs with fresh and healthy dishes, a relaxed and lively atmosphere, and great prices that make this a perfect spot for families to enjoy a yummy meal.
155 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
You can’t go wrong with wood-fired pizza! Brickworks has is located right in the heart of downtown Palm Springs with a big dinning room and a balcony overlooking all the exciting street activity below. The menu is extensive with pizzas, pastas, salads, specialty entrees, grilled sandwiches and more. The atmosphere is cozy and family-friendly, perfect for grabbing a fun lunch or dinner.
Palm Springs Parks and Hiking Trails
This canyon and lands have been inhabited by the Cahuilla Native Americans for over 2,000 years. There is a lot of mythical legends about Tahquitz and the canyon, but one thing is for sure, it is a beautiful two-mile hike that leads to Tahquitz Falls and back. You can visit the visitor center that has educational and cultural exhibits with artifacts on display, an observation deck, and theater where you can learn more about the legend of Tahquitz.
25905 CA-243, Idyllwild, CA 92549
This is an advanced 10.5 mile hike that’s trailhead starts at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. It is a popular hike, known to be rewarding with gorgeous 360 views from the peak. If this seems a little much, take the tram up to the mountain and choose from over 30 trails.
This protected area of Southern California is best known for its twisted and bristled Joshua Trees. The hiking trails weave through the rugged rock formations and boulders in the Hidden Valley. We haven’t visited Joshua Tree yet, but it’s high on our list!
38520 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264
Indians Canyons are the ancestral home to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. There are a nice collection of trails that take you through these sacred canyons where you can still find ancient rock art, house pits, foundations and more.
1701 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264
This 1-acre family-owned botanical garden is home to over 3,000 varieties of plants. Along the nature walks you will discover various types of cacti and desert plants as well as gold-mining relics, ancient fossils, crystals and colorful rocks. The grounds are so beautiful the botanical gardens are often used as a venue for weddings and events.
That’s a Wrap!
A magnificent desert landscape and Hollywood glamour unite to create one fabulous town that is truly one-of-a-kind. Palm Springs attracts a variety of people of all ages. From the young to old, from the wild to retired; it is hard to not fall in love with this little Californian retreat. The vibe is amazing, yet so relaxed that Palm Springs with kids is an absolute blast. Parents don’t have to feel left out of the nightlife just because they chose family travel. Kids are welcomed warmly, helping parents and yes, even grandparents to unwind. Once you visit for yourself, it is easy to understand why Palm Springs is so hot!
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