Palm Springs won our hearts over in Spring 2017 when we took our kiddos for our first photoshoot there! Right away we loved what a GREAT place it is to take kids! After being back a few more times and really settling on our faves, we wanted to make this guide to share! If you want an easy long-weekend getaway with kids, you should definitely consider Palm Springs and here's the guide that will not let you down!
1. PALM SPRINGS AIR MUSEUM
We love this museum! The airplanes outside against the mountains, opportunities to get inside the planes and explore and the kid area all make this so worth it and kids under 5 are free!
2. GREAT SHAKES
"Splurge worthy"shakes! (FYI there are dairy-free options!)
BEST coffee in Palm Springs and as a traveling parent, I know how important it is to find your coffee spot!
Always good to know where the local Target is— Last minute run for swim diapers, sunscreen and anything else forgotten!
5. TRADER JOES
First thing we do when we travel: find the best local grocery store to stock up on the kids faves! Going from adventure to adventure is lot easier having things on hand to feed the kids.
6. JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK
I could write an entire post on this town alone but a day trip to Joshua Tree is TOTALLY worth it! Just gonna give some quick tips. HERE is where you can find the excursion options Some super easy excursions we recommend are Skull Rocks, The Cholla Gardens, Hidden Valley and Barker Damn. While you are in town, you should definitely check out the pizza at Pie for the People as a post-hike reward! (And/or grab a coffee at Joshua Tree Coffee Company)
7. ICE CREAM & SHOP(PE)
This is the CUTEST ice cream shop! Amazing flavors and a darling gift shop too! If you are there during the week, they have $2 scoops on Tuesdays! (PS- lots of vegan options too)
8. PALM SPRINGS ART MUSEUM
Kids under 18 are free and they are very welcoming to kids! The architecture of the building alone is so cool to take in. Definitely recommend! Our museum trips are always quick with the kids but even just being there one hour was totally worth it.
Ok, so we've done hotels and airbnb's and there are pro's and con's to each. I think it depends on your family. Here are the hotels we've stayed at and can vouch are kid-approved...
9. THE SAGUARO
The rainbow vibes of this place are totally kid-approved! Lots of great lawns for the kids to play in. I would get pool-facing room (otherwise you will face the parking lot) and I also highly suggest you check what is going on in Palm Springs that weekend! Depending on when you are there you could have a really crowded pool and it might not be as kid-friendly as you may like. The hotel should be able to tell you this if you call ahead! The breakfast is really great here with simple options that are great for kids.
10. PARKER PALM SPRINGS
Ok, this hotel is a splurge. If you are into that for your trip... I highly recommend! Lots of room to walk around the resort, amazing food and a kid-friendly pool with friends! Mama can sneak away to the spa... one of the best spa experiences I have ever had. And Norma's is one of the best breakfasts I have ever had! 10/10 hotel experience for me so definitely check it out if you prefer resort-life on vacay and are prepared for a splurge.
So, having been to both of the above hotels, I can say that AIRBNB is the way to go for us. Having your own pool and the option to make your own meals is our personal preference so this works out GREAT for us. I totally get that's not how a lot of families like to vacay but, if you do, the Airbnb options in Palm Springs are endless. Definitely get a pool!
12. CABAZON DINOSAURS
This wonder is about a 15 minute drive from town and any kid can vouch that it's SO worth it! We go to see, let the kids run, photo and head back. Takes up no more than 1.5 hours of our day!
Some other great tips are:
-I didn't put it on my guide because it's only in the Spring but DESERTX is SO fun to see! We usually pick one or two installations to experience. They are usually a little remote but so neat to see! They change every year. Check it out if you are there during the exhibition!
-SUNSCREEN UP! The soft light in spring can make you think it's not gonna burn you but we get pink soooo fast in PS!
-Along the same note, make sure you pack hats and sunglasses! I also like little neck bandanas!
-Have a fanny pack or purse for the kids! So many neat rocks to collect. Also great to have a couple things inside the kids can play with.
-It's really dry (desert) so hydration is key! Keep water bottles on hand for them. We always travel with THESE.
-Bring scooters for the kids if you have. Riding up and down Palm Canyon Drive is so fun for the kids! Micro Kickboard are our favorite! For packing, we just disassemble and lay in a suitcase.
-If you are going in the Spring, it can be cool in the mornings and evenings. I'd recommend a light layer like a cardigan or jacket!