20 Fun Things to Do in Palm Springs with Kids

Palm Springs is a beautiful resort city located in the Coachella valley of Southern California that offers many exciting activities for families. With year-round sunny weather, scenic desert landscapes, and tons of kid-friendly attractions, it’s the perfect place for a Southern California family getaway

From natural attractions like the Indian Canyons and Joshua Tree, to zoos and museums, there’s no shortage of fun activities and things to do in Palm Springs with kids. 

Whether riding the aerial tramway or visiting old Western towns, this family fun guide features 20 kid-friendly activities in Palm Springs to help you plan a memorable family trip. 

PLANNING A FAMILY TRIP TO CALIFORNIA? ALSO READ OUR GUIDE TO THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO WITH KIDS

Fun things to do in Palm Springs with kids

Located southwest of Los Angeles, Palm Springs, California is best known for its recreational activities geared more toward adults, like golf courses, spas, and hot springs, but the destination city is actually very family friendly. 

Here are 20 of the best things to do in Palm Springs with kids.

1. Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

the view from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, one of the best things to do in Palm Springs with kids
A scenic ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is one of the best things to do in Palm Springs for families. | Photo by Jess Joyce on Unsplash

Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to San Jacinto peak for breathtaking views of the Coachella Valley. The Aerial Tramway is the largest rotating tram car in the United States, reaching an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet. 

These large tram cars can hold up to 80 passengers, so you can bring the whole family. At the top of the station, there’s a museum, gift shop, and restaurant. Just remember to bring a jacket, since it’s cool and windy at the top. 

1 Tramway Rd, Palm Springs, CA. Open 10am to 8pm on weekdays, 8am to 8pm on weekends. Tickets cost $30.95 for adults, $17.95 for children.

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE PALM SPRINGS TRAMWAY

2. Stroll Around the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens

a giraffe at the Living Desert Botanical Garden and Zoo - one of the best attractions near Palm Springs for kids
The Living Desert Zoo is one of the best attractions near Palm Springs for kids. | Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is a lovely desert botanical garden and zoo. The zoo has a merry go round, model train, animal petting stations, and lots of kid-friendly exhibits. 

Visitors can explore cactus gardens, feed giraffes, and see everything from camels to bighorn sheep. It’s located in Palm Desert, a 30-minute drive from Palm Springs. 

47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA. Open from 8am to 5pm daily. Last admission at 4pm. Admission is $29.95 for children (3+), $39.95 for adults. 

3. Ride A Hot Air Balloon Over the Desert

For a thrill, get a breathtaking view of the Sonoran Desert on a hot air balloon ride. Fantasy Balloon Flights offer 60-to-90-minute hot air balloon rides that can hold 2-10 people. 

From the top, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of Palm Springs’ beautiful desert landscapes, celebrity homes, the windmill farms, San Andreas Fault, and more. The all-inclusive price is $230 per person, but they offer discounts for families. 

To make a reservation, you’ll want to call 72 hours in advance. 

Meeting location is at Shields Date Garden: 80225 Hwy 111, Indio, CA 92201. Call 760-347-0996 or visit their official website to reserve a flight. 

4. Boomers Palm Springs

Head to Boomers Palm Springs to celebrate a birthday or entertain kids for a few hours. Boomers is a small amusement park with mini-golf, go-kart racing, bumper boats, arcade games, and more kid-friendly activities in Palm Springs. 

You can buy single tickets for each attraction, or unlimited ride tickets. It costs $27.99 per person for 4-hour unlimited rides and mini-golf, and $36.99 for all day. 

67-700 E Palm Canyon Dr, Cathedral City, CA 92234. View tickets & packages for pricing. 

5. Hike the Indian Canyons

a cactus and desert landscape in Indian Canyons
The hiking trails in Indian Canyons are great for active families who like to explore the outdoors together. | Photo by TopSphere Media on Unsplash

The Indian Canyons are a group of desert canyons with over 60 hiking trails, picnic areas, and a gift shop. Visitors can hike, bike, or go horseback riding throughout the different trails. 

A good family-friendly hiking trail is the Andreas Canyon Trail. This is a 1-mile loop with scenic desert vistas that’s short and easy for kids. They also offer ranger-led educational hikes, from Friday through Sunday. 

If you plan on visiting, make sure to bring extra water and comfortable walking shoes. 

38520 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs. Admission: $12 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for children. View the park hours and trail maps

BOOK A HIKING AND JEEP TOUR THROUGH INDIAN CANYONS

6. Tour the Palm Springs Windmill Farm

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

The Palm Springs Windmill Farm is a popular landmark with over 2,000 windmills that were built in the 1980’s. This is the oldest wind farm in the United States, and it’s located just off the I-10 freeway as you enter Palm Springs. 

Visitors can tour the farm to learn about wind energy and take photos standing in front of the windmills. They offer self-guided driving tours and golf cart tours. This is a great roadside stop and one of the best things to do in Palm Springs with kids. 

62950 20th Ave, Palm Springs, CA. Self-guided driving tours cost $59 per 2 adults, and $10 for each additional adult. Golf cart tours cost $55 per person (up to 5 people). Children under 12 are free. Open daily from 9am to 2pm. 

7. Go Horseback Riding

Located right by the Indian Canyons, Smoke Tree Stables offers morning and afternoon horseback rides. Families can book a private guided ride or go on one of their various trail rides. 

They have one-hour trail rides and longer trail rides through the scenic Indian canyons. 

2500 S Toledo Ave, Palm Springs, CA 92264. To check pricing and make a reservation, visit their website at www.smoketreestables.com

8. Visit the Palm Springs Air Museum 

a military jet outside the Palm Springs Air Museum one of the best family friendly attractions in Palm Springs
Little aviation lovers will enjoy touring the Palm Springs Air Museum, one of the most family-friendly attractions in Palm Springs. | Photo by Bob Osias on Unsplash

The Palm Springs Air Museum is a fascinating aviation museum right by the airport, with a collection of vintage aircrafts. 

There are a variety of display aircrafts, educational exhibits, and a gift shop so it’s a great museum for the whole family. The museum is 86,000 square feet and takes around 2 hours to fully explore.

745 N Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262. Admission costs $18 for children (12+), and $20 for adults (18+). Children under 12 are free. 

9. Enjoy Ice Cream from Lappert’s 

Stop by Lappert’s Super Premium Ice Cream Shop for some of the best ice cream in Palm Springs. This ice cream shop serves everything from dole whip soft serve to chocolate covered frozen bananas.

They have 125 rotating ice cream flavors, with vegan and gluten-free options available. They’re located near the Walk of Stars in downtown Palm Springs and have a second location in Palm Desert.  

130 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA. Open Thurs.-Sat. 11am to 10:30pm, Sun.-Wed. 11am to 9:30pm. 

10. Stop by the Cabazon Dinosaurs Museum

a giant dinosaur statue of T-Rex wearing an I love California shirt
The Cabazon Dinosaurs Museum is a fun roadside attraction in Palm Springs for kids. | Photo by Kadyn Pierce on Unsplash

The Cabazon Dinosaurs Museum is a must-see roadside attraction for anyone visiting Palm Springs with kids. This iconic museum has two gigantic dinosaurs made of steel and concrete and has been featured in movies dating back to 1985. 

Visitors can tour the museum full of dinosaur exhibits, or shop at their gift shop for free. It’s located right off the I-10 freeway, 20 minutes west of Palm Springs. 

50770 Seminole Dr, Cabazon, CA. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, and $13 for children. Open daily 9am to 9pm. 

11. Visit the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in Downtown

Stroll downtown to visit the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. This sidewalk is embedded with over 400 stars and statues, honoring different celebrities that have lived in Palm Springs. 

The sidewalk spans a short 2 blocks and is near many great restaurants and bars. 

10 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262. 

12. Take A Trip to Pioneertown

Pioneertown is a charming Western-themed movie set. | Photo by Karly Jones on Unsplash

Just 40 minutes from Palm Springs, Pioneertown is a unique 1880s themed Western town used to film movies. This charming town spans 3 blocks, and has small shops, mock houses, and the popular Pappy and Harriet’s restaurant. 

The best time to visit Pioneertown is on the weekends when the majority of shops are open. If you visit during October through May, they feature cowboy shows every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at 1pm. 

53626 Mane St, Pioneertown, CA 92268. Most shops open from 10am to 6pm. Pappy and Harriet’s restaurant closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

13. Go Bowling at Palm Springs Lanes

For a fun family night out, go bowling at Palm Springs Lanes. This small bowling alley has cosmic bowling, arcade games, pool tables, and a restaurant and bar. They’re located just 10 minutes from downtown Palm Springs, and open late daily.

68051 E Ramon Rd, Cathedral City, CA 92234. Open weekdays 2 to 10pm, weekend’s 12 to 10pm. Around 5 miles or a 10-minute drive from downtown Palm Springs. $30 bowling for 60 minutes. $60 cosmic bowling for 60 minutes. $5 shoe rentals.

14. Solve an Escape Room with Family

Head to Palm Springs Escape Rooms to solve an escape room with family. Visitors will get 60 minutes to find clues and solve puzzles to escape everything from Bank Heist to Titanic themed rooms

Each room can hold up to 6 people, and most games are suitable for children with adult supervision. Additionally, escape rooms are a great place to visit in Palm Springs at night

2500 N Palm Canyon Dr B3, Palm Springs. Costs $35-$39 per person. Up to 6 people per room. One player older than 18 required. 

15. Try A Date Shake from Shields

Shields Date Garden is a 17-acre date farm with a cafe, gift shop, and outdoor area with biblically themed sculptures. This date farm has been operating since 1924, and Floyd Shields is one of the first inventors of the iconic Palm Springs date shake! 

Visitors can stroll around the garden, shop for different date varieties, and try out a date shake from their cafe. They’re located in Indio, a 30-minute drive from Palm Springs. 

80-225 CA-111, Indio, CA 92201. Open 9am to 5pm. Garden hours 9am to 4pm. 

16. Visit Joshua Tree National Park

boulders in the desert in Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree is known for its beautiful desert landscapes. | Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

The Joshua Tree National Park is an 800,000-acre desert haven, that’s known for its stunning rock formations and beautiful desert scenery. 

The national park has a visitors’ center, hiking trails, picnic areas, and campgrounds. In the park, there’s everything from archery to family-friendly rock climbing so it’s an amazing place for kids. 

Looking for other great national parks in the western USA to visit with kids? Check out Zion National Park in Utah, Mount Rainier in Washington, or Yellowstone in Wyoming.

DowntownTwentynine Palms at 6533 Freedom Way. Open 24hrs. Visitor center is open from 8:30am to 4pm daily. Entry fee is $30 per car (valid for 7 days), $55 per person for an annual pass or $80 for a National Parks pass to all US parks.  

BOOK AN OFF-ROADING TOUR IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

17. Visit Cabot’s Pueblo Museum

Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is one of the most unique attractions to visit in Palm Springs. It is a 5,000-acre house built by the artist Cabot Yerxa over a century ago, out of old telephone poles, wagon parts, and other reclaimed materials. 

The museum has a gift shop, art gallery, and outdoor garden area. Visitors can go on a tour, self-guided audio tour, or roam around the museum’s grounds. It’s located in Desert Hot Springs, 20 minutes from Palm Springs. 

67616 Desert View Ave, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240. Costs $5 to visit the grounds, and two rooms (water and exhibition gallery). Self-guided tours are $13 for adults, $11 for children. Guided tours are $16 for adults, $14 for children. View their official site for tour schedules. Open 9am-4pm weekdays, 10am-4pm Saturday, 12-4pm Sunday. Closed Mondays. 

18. Get Air Trampoline Park

To escape the heat, stop by Get Air’s trampoline park. This indoor trampoline park has wall-to-wall trampolines, dodgeball courts, foam pits, and a kiddie court for toddlers. 

Adults can join the fun, or relax on their massage chairs while enjoying the AC. 

34450 Gateway Dr Suite 110, Palm Desert, CA 92211. 

19. Explore the Palm Springs Art Museum 

a sculpture at the palm springs art museum
The Palm Springs Art Museum is sure to inspire your budding artist. | Photo by Bob Osias from Unsplash

The Palm Springs Art Museum is a must visit place in downtown that’s just a few blocks down from the Walk of Stars. This 150,000 square foot art museum has a sculpture garden, interesting exhibits, and impressive art collections from world-renowned artists

The admission is completely free for children under 18, and $14 adults. 

101 Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262. Free admission for adults on Thursdays from 5-8pm. 

20. Visit San Andreas Fault on A Jeep Tour

Jeep tours are the most popular activity in Palm Springs, and a great way to explore the Sonoran Desert. 

You can go on a jeep tour to learn about desert geology and see beautiful desert oases created by the San Andreas fault. If you want to go on your own, you can visit the Coachella Valley Preserve, which lies directly over the fault. 

The Coachella Valley Preserve has hiking trails, 20,000 acres of stunning desert scenery, and is just 30 minutes from Palm Springs. 

Final thoughts on Palm Springs for families

Palm Springs is the perfect destination for a family getaway, with everything from educational museums to horseback rides through the desert. 

If you plan on visiting, make sure to pack items like sunscreen and lightweight clothes to layer since it can get cool at night. 

Do you have a question or comment about any of these fun things to do in Palm Springs with kids? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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