Families love Palm Springs as a relaxing destination with warm weather to enjoy all year round, and this Palm Springs itinerary will keep the kids entertained and educated at two of the desert's top family attractions.
Fuel up the family for your day of desert fun with breakfast at Sherman's, which has two locations in the desert. If your hotel is near downtown Palm Springs, you can dine at the Sherman's location on Tahquitz; otherwise, the Palm Desert location is not too far from your next destination on this family-friendly desert day.
A wolf at The Living Desert — Photo courtesy of dustinpsmith
After breakfast, drive toward the San Jacinto mountains of Palm Desert to find your next stop. Tucked behind the bustle of this city, The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Gardens offers a look at wildlife and plants from deserts around the world, including North America and Africa.
It's always best to arrive early for a couple of reasons. First, you'll beat the desert heat in the morning, especially important if you have little ones in tow who aren't used to the desert temperatures. Second, you'll be able to observe the daily medical procedures performed in the mornings at the Tennity Wildlife Hospital. The entire family can watch through observation windows as veterinarians perform routine checkups and small surgeries on resident creatures like foxes, hawks and even larger animals like jaguars.
You can feed giraffes at The Living Desert — Photo courtesy of rootneg2
Make your way through the gardens, aviaries and habitats of the zoo's North American side, where you'll see wolves, coyotes and bobcats, to name a few. Then, work your way toward the Tennity Amphitheater to catch the daily Wildlife Wonders Show and animal presentations. After the entertainment, don't miss the giraffes, warthogs and leopards that call the African portion of the zoo home.
If you're looking for a convenient lunch, refuel at The Living Desert's onsite cafe. If the family's in the mood for a little more variety, try the Daily Grill on El Paseo, which offers a convenient children's menu.
In the afternoon, drive over to neighboring Rancho Mirage to let the kiddos get creative at the Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert. This hands-on museum is all about letting the little ones learn by doing, and activities include archeological digs, rock climbing and animal tracking. Special programs are also held throughout the year, so you may find a daily cooking class or science lab for the kids to enjoy.
Horse statues at The River — Photo courtesy of bossco
End with a stroll through The River, an outdoor shopping plaza where you have your pick of sit-down dinners or casual, quick dining options. If you have older children who aren't quite ready to call it a night, you can also catch a movie here after dinner.