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Palm Springs
Family-friendly activities

Family-friendly activities
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Top activities in Palm Springs

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Our most recommended Palm Springs Family-friendly activities

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

1. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

From top to bottom, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway delivers a scenic and educational journey as you travel through 5 transitional zones. Some have compared it to taking a ride from Mexico to Alaska in just 10 minutes. See for yourself as you ride up to the top, where spectacular views await! The 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) ride from the Valley Station (elevation 2,643 feet, or 805 meters) to the Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 feet, or 2,596 meters) transports you from the warm desert sands to cool mountain air, with temperatures that are generally 30-degrees cooler than on the ground. The tramway is the threshold of the 14,000-acre Mt. San Jacinto State Park, a natural place with some of the last pristine wilderness in Southern California. In the winter, try cross-county skiing or snowshoeing. Rental equipment is available at the Adventure Cether, snow conditions permitting. During the summer months, camping, guided nature walks, and 54 miles (87 kilometers) of hiking are available. There are 2 dining options at the Mountain Station: Peaks Restaurant offers upscale contemporary cuisine with a spectacular view of the desert floor, and Pines Cafe is a cafeteria-style restaurant that offers a casual dining experience. Also at the top are gift shops, a Natural History Museum, and 2 documentary-style movies on the history of the tramway and the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

Palm Springs: Drag Show with Brunch

2. Palm Springs: Drag Show with Brunch

The Saguaro Hotel presents PS Drag Brunch, the winner of 2022 Best Drag Brunch Award. You'll enjoy a lavish 3-course menu, served at a private table and accompanied by Bottomless Mimosas, Unlimited Champagne, and never-ending soft drinks. While you dine, be entertained by one of the best drag experiences available anywhere. You'll see the top drag talent in California and beyond, a cast featuring Emmy Winners, nationally touring drag artists, and local celebrities. The show wows guests with the costumes, the dancing, the perfect makeup, and the precise lip-sync. Audiences are left alternatively gasping at the shade these queens can throw, or cheering the spectacle unfolding right beside their table. With 5 stars on every review website, PS Drag Brunch is always at the top of everyone's list of things they "must do" in Palm Springs. And with good reason: nearly half guest testimonials use the word "amazing" to describe their experience. And even the most seasoned lovers of drag culture describe this as the "best drag show they've ever seen". Come and enjoy the most remarkable experience in Palm Springs. And leave with "that" photo, the one where you're posting with our cast, that will define your entire trip to magical Palm Springs.

Palm Springs: Legends and Icons Tour

3. Palm Springs: Legends and Icons Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Palm Springs and see the houses once occupied by the rich and famous, including celebrities from Hollywood’s golden years. Discover where current celebrities live and keep your eyes open for some star spotting. The glamorous movie colony of Palm Springs boasts more than 50 celebrity homes, including those of Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and the small house owned by Marilyn Monroe on Rose Avenue. Many stars built smaller getaways than their LA mansions, located just east of Palm Canyon Drive to Ruth Hardy Park. Visit the property known as “The Rat Pack Hideaway” and the location of the Liberace movie, “Behind The Candelabra,” starring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, and Debbie Reynolds. Hear about the numerous Palm Springs landmarks, such as the Art and Air Museum, the Plaza Theater, The Indian and Tahquitz Canyons, the aerial tramways, historic inns, and many more. Dive back in time and learn about how the Cahuilla Indians lived in the area over 3,000 years ago, long before Hollywood arrived.

Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

4. Palm Springs: San Andreas Fault Open-Air Jeep Tour

Board your open-air Jeep and embark upon a scenic and informative exploration of the stunning landscape of an active earthquake zone where you will travel across private property only accessible by 4WD and only open for this specific tour. This exciting 4WD adventure to the private Metate Ranch reserve on the San Andreas fault line is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any visitor to the Coachella Valley. Discover the unique geography of this tortured landscape as you explore the skeleton of the earth. Visit a natural oasis and uncover the mysteries of the hardy plants and animals carving out an existence in the dry barren landscape.  Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Cahuilla Indians and how they used the desert’s plants for food, medicine, tools, weapons, shelter, and more. You will have an opportunity to walk among the stone corridors and sheer granite walls of ancient canyons as you learn the fascinating history of the primal forces that shaped the valleys and surrounding landscape and the people that called this place home for millennia.

California Audioguide for Self-Drivers

5. California Audioguide for Self-Drivers

Complete your road trip around California with an audio guide featuring 169 locations and 3 hours of audio in 1 app. Listen to the recordings as you take in views at Yosemite, Mt. Whitney, and Zabriskie Point, experience the unique cultures of Silicon Valley, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, and drive down Highway 1. Feel at ease taking in the views while the app uses GPS to find your location and suggest stops. From famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge to lesser-known gems like Moss Landing, appreciate the wealth of beauty and history in California with detailed audio descriptions.   Stop and start your journey as often as you please, there’s no constraints once you download the app and activate your audio guide. If there’s a specific site you’d like to visit, manually choose audio guides from the built-in map or from a list.

Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

6. Palm Springs: Self-Driving Windmill Tour

The Palm Springs windmill self-driving tour is an interactive, educational, and fun tour for friends and family. This tour will guide you along with an audio program provided through an app with clearly marked destinations throughout the first commercial wind farm in Southern California. After check-in at the Tour Center, you will see a 15-minute video before your self-driving tour. There are exhibits inside the Tour Center on wind energy. You will then be given a map and directed to where to start your tour. You will then take a journey through 10 marked stops, starting with a display yard of non-operating wind turbines. Learn about the successes and failures and visit a real generating wind turbine, where you can get up close and take pictures. Continue to a solar farm and end the tour with a stop at the old gas plant.

Palm Springs: City and Desert App-Guided Driving Tour

7. Palm Springs: City and Desert App-Guided Driving Tour

Explore Palm Springs with a smartphone app that functions as your personal guide, audio tour, and map. Begin your adventure at the Palm Springs Visitor Center. From there, drive to the architectural wonder of the Kaufmann House, a pinnacle of mid-century modern design. Continue to the striking Liberace House, a testament to the extravagant lifestyle of the legendary entertainer. As you keep driving, dig into the lives of the movie stars of yesteryear and find out why so many came to Palm Springs in the first place. Then, be dazzled by the quirky and vibrant Robolights installation, a must-see for anyone in the area. Next, cruise past the legendary Frank Sinatra's Residence, where you can soak in the sounds of the Rat Pack era. Visit the Walk of Stars, celebrating the icons who have shaped Palm Springs' legacy. Drive through the Coachella Valley and hear the true story behind the Coachella Music Festival. Then, see Frank Sinatra’s final resting place and solve one of the mysteries of his burial. End your journey at the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, exploring lush trails hidden in the heart of the desert.

Palm Springs: City Highlights Scavenger Hunt Smartphone Game

8. Palm Springs: City Highlights Scavenger Hunt Smartphone Game

Looking for a way to turn Palm Springs into a giant game board? Urban Adventure Quest has created an interactive scavenger hunt that combines the fun of the Amazing Race with a one and a half hour sightseeing tour of Palm Springs. Guided from any smartphone, groups make their way among well-known and overlooked sights of this little town known as Hollywood’s Desert Playground, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. The adventure begins downtown at the Palm Springs Art Museum and the route leads you to outdoor sculptures and art murals, through the Walk of the Stars, past historic buildings, and delicious date shakes. You'll discover iconic sights and hidden gems of this desert oasis while learning why movie stars have been flocking here since the 1920s. The tour requires approximately 1.25 miles of walking. Using a smartphone as “the guide” allows participants to start when they want and determine their own pace of play. Stop to enjoy the beautiful scenery or grab a bite to eat along the way….why not, it’s your schedule? Available 365 days a year from Sunrise to Sunset. Offered at a fixed price for a group vs. per person pricing, this city tour/game offers a great value to those on a budget.

Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

9. Joshua Tree National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

Tackling the vast beauty of Joshua Tree National Park has never been easier. With Trippy Tour Guide's Self-Driving Tour, experience the park's splendors from your car, guided every mile by expert narration. Your journey begins at the Bajada Nature Trailhead, a perfect starting point to immerse yourself in the park's beauty. Make sure to stop by the Cottonwood Visitor Center for valuable information and insights into the park's ecology. As you continue, be captivated by the serene environment of Cottonwood Spring, an oasis amidst the desert. The middle part of your tour is just as exciting. Prepare to be amazed by natural formations like Arch Rock and Heart Rock, each telling a story of geological history. The Split Rock Loop provides an excellent walking trail to stretch your legs and take in the sights. One of the park's most iconic features, Skull Rock, is a must-see photo opportunity. As you delve deeper into the park's history, the Desert Queen Mine offers a peek into the area's past, surrounded by ancient Joshua Trees. For those seeking a more challenging activity, the Ryan Mountain Trail promises breathtaking views and a rewarding hike. As your tour nears its conclusion, the tranquility of the park becomes more pronounced. The Hall of Horrors Area, despite its daunting name, is a quiet retreat, perfect for contemplation. The peacefulness continues at Cap Rock and the calm Barker Dam Trailhead, each offering a unique perspective on the park's serene beauty. Be sure not to overlook Intersection Rock and the Hidden Valley Nature Trailhead, which provide a closer look at the park's diverse ecosystems. The Boy Scout Trail is another highlight, showcasing the rugged terrain of Joshua Tree. Concluding your journey, discover the lesser-known Samuelson's Rock, a hidden gem within the park. Your tour ends at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center, where you can reflect on the incredible experiences and natural wonders you've encountered throughout your adventure.

Palm Springs & Joshua Tree: National Park Self-Guided Tours

10. Palm Springs & Joshua Tree: National Park Self-Guided Tours

Start by downloading the audio guide app with maps and embark on a captivating journey through Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, blending natural wonders with rich celebrity history. Your adventure begins at the Joshua Tree Visitor Center, setting the stage for the marvels ahead. Then, discover the hidden stories of Samuelson's Rock and the tranquility of Willow Hole, before witnessing the iconic Intersection Rock and the unique formations of Cap Rock. Explore Lost Horse Valley's rugged landscapes, followed by the mystical Skull Rock. The Sky's The Limit Observatory and Nature Center then offers a celestial experience. Queen Mountain's majestic views are next, leading to the historic Desert Queen Mine. Stroll the Arch Rock Nature Trail, marvel at the stark beauty of the Ocotillo Patch, and find solace at Cottonwood Spring and its visitor center. Next, head to Palm Springs Visitor Center for a dose of urban charm, before ascending the heights with the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The Palm Springs Art Museum beckons with cultural treasures, followed by a star-studded walk on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Immerse yourself in history at the Palm Springs Air Museum, then embrace the natural serenity of the Coachella Valley Preserve. Reflect on history at the General Patton Memorial Museum. Take a detour to admire the architectural wonders of the Kaufmann and Liberace Houses, a testament to luxury and style. Drive through the Movie Stars of Yesteryear, reminiscing about the golden era of Hollywood. The Movie Colony reveals more star-studded stories, leading to the whimsical Robolights. Pay homage to Frank Sinatra's legacy, then delve into the Rat Pack's history in Palm Springs. The Walk of Stars further celebrates the region's luminaries. As you head towards Coachella Valley, the tour narrates the history of the famed music festival. Passing the Palm Springs Airport, learn about Bob Hope's influence, the region's date palms, and its golfing legacy. The tour concludes with a visit to the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, where desert geology and the serene Willis Palm and Pushwalla Palms Trails await. This comprehensive tour offers a unique blend of natural beauty, celebrity glamour, and historical insights, making for an unforgettable self-guided adventure.

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What people are saying about Palm Springs

Highlight of our trip. Airtram ride was great and once at the top enjoyed the presentations. Views were exceptional and had good fortune of going up morning after snowfall. Ate at restaurant with magnificent view. Food was very good and not too unreasonable. Service was great.

Excellent information and a great learning experience that was actually very interesting, too. Learned a lot that we knew nothing about & learned things that we didn’t even know existed. Certainly worth the time and money.

Highly recommended to purchase ticket ahead of time to bypass long lines. Thanks for the experience, especially with my family visiting from Malaysia. They had a great time👍

Beautiful views of the mountains. Pleasant experience in the lodge. Lunch was great.

It was an amazing experience. I will recommend to all I know