Palm Springs may be known as the playground to the stars, but this desert oasis is also a fun playground for families looking to relax. With warm weather year-round, Palm Springs is a family-friendly destination with plenty of activities to offer.
Sherman’s Deli & Bakery
Start your perfect day with a hearty breakfast at Sherman’s Deli & Bakery, an authentic New York-style deli in the heart of Palm Springs. While Sherman’s is known for its deli meats and desserts, it’s also a full-service restaurant with an impressive offering of breakfast fare. Not only does the restaurant have plenty of options for parents, but children are welcomed with a pack of crayons, coloring sheet, toy and kid-friendly menu.
Moorten Botanical Garden
Enjoy breakfast on the patio to take in the desert scenery and warm air. With your appetites satisfied, grab your cameras and head to Moorten Botanical Garden to see more than 3000 different desert plants from around the world. Take a guided tour or explore the arboretum at your own leisure, and walk the plant-laden path as you enjoy desert flora and fauna.
The arboretum is home to an abundance of cacti and succulents, and you just might catch a glimpse of desert rabbits and birds on your visit, too. After you finish the walking trail, stop by the garden area as it makes a perfect backdrop for snapping a few family pictures before you leave.
Palm Springs Art Museum
After enjoying the desert flora, the next stop for your family’s perfect day in Palm Springs is the Palm Springs Art Museum. Children age 12 or younger get in free and can enjoy hands-on activities in â€œZone 101,â€ a family-friendly zone meant to encourage free expression in children and adults alike.
The museum offers a variety of interactive classes and is always adding new art activities to their schedule, so drop in and get creative with the family. Classes cover art forms such as photography, painting, storytelling and music.
Once you finished soaking up the art, head to Tyler’s Burgers for juicy hamburgers, homemade potato salad and thick malt shakes. This popular burger bar often has a wait list but is well worth it, so go early to avoid the rush. Sit on the covered patio while you enjoy authentic, fifties-style burgers.
Palm Springs Air Museum
After lunch, experience history at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Next to the Palm Springs airport you’ll find one of the largest collections of World War II aircraft in the world, and kids and parents alike are welcome to get hands-on and climb on the aircrafts.
Tours are also available and will enlighten your family about military history as you examine the aircraft up close and personal. Children can also experience what it’s like to be a pilot through the museum’s flight simulators. Flight demonstrations are held regularly so your family may get to see these historical birds up in the air.
Palm Canyon Drive
No trip to the desert is complete without walking through the main street of downtown Palm Springs. Lined with boutiques shops that sell everything from clothing to candy, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Grab some homemade fudge for your sweet tooth or an iced drink to keep cool, and don’t forget to buy a few souvenirs to remember your perfect Palm Springs day.
If your visit falls on a Thursday, enjoy Village Fest, a street fair that transforms downtown into an outdoor marketplace full of shopping and activities.
As dinnertime approaches, head to Matchbox for a notable selection of pizzas that will ensure everyone is happy. Matchbox’s pizzas are known for their gourmet thin crusts and artisan toppings, but picky eaters are welcome as pepperoni and plain cheese pizzas are available.
After dinner, take your time to finish exploring the nearby shops as the sun sets behind the San Jacinto Mountains. Grab a self-serve frozen yogurt at Yogurt on Tap or an after-dinner coffee at Espresso Cielo. Don’t forget to look up as the clear skies make for great stargazing as your family ends its perfect day in Palm Springs.
What & Where
Sherman’s Deli (401 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, 760-325-1199)
Moorten’s Botanical Gardens (1701 S. Palm Canyon, 760-327-6555)
Palm Springs Art Museum (101 N. Museum Drive, 760-322-4800)
Tyler’s (149 S. Indian Canyon Drive, 760-325-2990)
Palm Springs Air Museum (745 N. Gene Autry Trail, 760-778-6262)
Downtown Palm Springs (North Palm Canyon Drive)
Matchbox (155 S. Palm Canyon Drive, 760-778-6000)
Yogurt on Tap (190 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, 760-699-7486)
Espresso Cielo (245 S. Palm Canyon Drive, 760-327-9050)
Marissa Willman is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, health and lifestyle writing.
Based in the Southern California desert, Marissa’s chronic case of wanderlust has taken her across Asia and the West coast. She spent two years living in South Korea as an ESL teacher and holds a journalism degree from California State University, Fullerton. Her work has appeared in USA Today Travel Tips, 10 Magazine, The Desert Sun and 52PerfectDays.com. Marissa’s portfolio can be found on www.marissawillman.com.