12 Best Things to Do with Kids in Palm Springs

If you’re looking for a fun vacation destination the whole family will love, look no further than Palm Springs, California. This desert hotspot in the Coachella Valley may be known for its luxury resorts, golf courses, and sunny weather, but it’s also filled with family-friendly attractions that kids of all ages will love.

Fun Things to Do in Palm Springs with Kids

Ready to start planning your next summer vacation, family reunion, or spring break getaway to Greater Palm Springs? If so, follow this list of kid-friendly things to do in Palm Springs to guarantee a great time for everyone.

1. Palm Springs Air Museum

Fighter jets at Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs is home to the world’s most extensive collection of aircraft from WWII, housed at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Kids can learn about the planes and American history from the museum’s volunteers—and many are retired veterans.

In addition to the incredible collection of aircraft, this popular museum also has vintage cars, flight simulators, and an on-site cafe.

2. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a 45-minute drive from Palm Springs, but it’s a must-visit natural attraction for your family vacation. Kids will admire the larger-than-life rock formations, unique plants and, of course, Joshua trees while venturing along the park’s hiking trails.

Tip: If you’re visiting during the warmer months, arrive early to stay cool and beat the crowds, so you can enjoy an immersive experience in nature.

3. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

If you’d like to enjoy a complete change of scenery and cooler temperatures during your vacation to Palm Springs, take your entire family on a ride into the Santa Rosa and the San Jacinto Mountains on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the world’s largest rotating aerial tramway.

During your 10-minute ride to the top, you can enjoy 360-degree views of Greater Palm Springs while gaining over 6,000 feet in elevation!

In the summer, plan your tram ride in the afternoon to escape the heat. In the winter, bring your cold-weather gear to play in the snow at the top of the mountain. You can also rent cross-country skis or snowshoes for exploring!

4. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Giraffes at Living Desert Zoo in Palm Springs

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is located in Palm Desert, just a short drive from Downtown Palm Springs. You and your family can see exotic animals, like giraffes, zebras, and cheetahs, in addition to animals native to the American Southwest, like bobcats, coyotes, and bighorn sheep.

Kids will love attractions like the Model Trail Exhibit and Endangered Species Carousel. This popular location also has native plants on display, making it the perfect hybrid between a botanical garden and a traditional zoo for your vacation to Palm Springs with kids.

5. Indian Canyons

Indian Canyons is a collection of three canyons in the Coachella Valley—Andreas Canyon, Murray Canyon, and Palm Canyon—filled with hiking and walking trails in Palm Springs.

You can choose from a wide range of hiking trails, from easy to challenging treks, to accommodate your children’s age and experience levels. Regardless of which trails you choose, your family will be immersed in a unique desert oasis that is unlike anything your kids have seen before!

6. Cabazon Dinosaur Museum

Dinosaur statue in front of the Cabazon Dinosaur Museum

If you have dinosaur-obsessed kids, you can’t miss the opportunity to make the 20-minute drive from Palm Springs to see the Cabazon Dinosaurs—also known as the “World’s Biggest Dinosaurs.”

Kids will love climbing the stairs to the top of Dinny the Dinosaur and exploring the dinosaur-themed gift shop inside. Before heading back to Palm Springs, you can also say “hello” to Mr. Rex—a faux 65-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus Rex.

7. HyTides

Even if you’re not staying at Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, it’s worthwhile to get a day pass to this resort to enjoy HyTides—the resort’s water park. HyTides has seven swimming pools, a splash pad, a 450-foot lazy river, and the largest waterslides in the Greater Palm Springs area.

In addition to the expansive pools, the resort also offers on-site dining, a golf course, and other unique amenities adults and kids will love. 

8. Palm Desert Aquatic Center

If the resort pool seems a bit much for your family, the Palm Springs Aquatic Center is an excellent alternative for your vacation. This aquatic center has three swimming pools, a few waterslides, diving boards, and other water-themed activities for kids.

9. Smoke Tree Stables

If you’re looking for more desert adventures, head to Smoke Tree Stables. These stables offer horseback riding through Indian Canyons or the Santa Rosa Mountains from the fall to the spring.

When you’re done with your ride, head to Smoke Tree BBQ (just a three-minute drive from the stables) to enjoy a tasty family dinner.

10. Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

Children's Museum in Rancho Mirage

Located in Rancho Mirage, the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert offers over 50 hands-on activities that will keep your kids entertained all day long.

The activities are grouped by themes, such as science, physical activities, and desert adventures. Kids can go rock climbing, pretend to grocery shop, do an archaeological dig, and more!

11. Get Air Trampoline Park

If you’re looking for a place to take your kids to beat the heat in Palm Springs, head to the Get Air Trampoline Park. This indoor attraction in Palm Desert includes wall-to-wall trampolines, a dodgeball zone, foam pits, and plenty of seating for parents.

12. Shields Date Garden

Located in Indio, the Shields Date Garden is a staple attraction in Greater Palm Springs!

Kids can walk through the 17-acre date garden, explore the locally harvested goods in the store and, of course, enjoy a famous date shake—a milkshake made with vanilla ice cream and date paste from dates harvested in the garden.

Start Planning Your Palm Springs Family Vacation by Booking a Short-Term Rental with Savvy VRM

It’s easy to see why Palm Springs is the perfect destination for a family vacation in Southern California! From outdoor adventures, like horseback riding and hiking, to indoor attractions, like museums, there is no shortage of fun activities kids will enjoy in Palm Springs.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Palm Springs, look no further than our beautiful, well-located vacation rentals. Regardless of your family’s size, style, or budget, we’re confident that we have the perfect rental for you. You can browse our short-term rentals to find the right “home away from home” for your upcoming vacation to Palm Springs, California!

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