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Soar, Score and So Much More!
This summer, discover the desert's way to play
This summer let the family loose and run wild in the desert! Take an evening hike with glow-in-the-dark scorpions, score a hole in one with a soccer ball or join the fandemonium at Comic Con Palm Springs. Whatever your desire, Palm Desert and the Coachella Valley offer a variety of fresh and exciting ways to spend quality time with the family. Read on to find the best ways to maximize your adventure in the desert.
For newcomers to the area, check out our “kid tested, mother approved” attractions like The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert and The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. These activities are fun for all ages and are a great way to get acquainted with the desert way of life. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens spans over 1,200 acres and features wild animals and botanical gardens from desert terrains in North America and Africa. Enjoy wildlife presentations, scenic nature trails and impressive botanical gardens or visit the Tennity Wildlife Hospital and watch an exam being performed on one of the many wildlife species. Enhance your family’s exploration with a Behind the Scenes Tour or Private Safari and get access to private viewing areas and a more intimate experience visiting and feeding the animals.
The sky’s the limit when exploring the Coachella Valley. Built over 8,500 feet into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, the historic Palm Springs Aerial Tramway provides a great vantage point for viewing picture perfect vistas of the Coachella Valley. Be amazed as you take the 10-minute, 2.5 mile ride up this majestic mountain in one of the world’s largest rotating tram cars. With temperatures approximately thirty degrees cooler than the valley floor below, you can comfortably walk along their nature trails or journey on into the wilderness to explore over 50 miles of hiking trails and wildlife.
The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert (CDMOD) is a great place to let little ones discover and play. CDMOD offers over 80 hands-on exhibits including Toddlertown which is designed for children 4 and under. Toddlertown features different activities Monday through Friday like Music and Movement, All Day Messy Play or Science and Nature. Other exhibits include the Rock Climb, Archaeological Dig, Animal Tracking Station, Trike Track, Grocery Store and Pizza Parlor. And, on the third Wednesday of each month families can take advantage of their special pricing, $5 admission after 5pm.
If you’re returning to the desert, try kicking off your vacation with FootGolf at Desert Willow Golf Resort. FootGolf is a combination of soccer and golf and is played using a soccer ball on an 18-hole golf course with 21-inch diameter cups. This hybrid sport is entertaining for all ages and a fantastic way to engage your family. Play for fun or compete to see who will be your family’s FootGolf champ!
Need more for sports fans in the family? Enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes at the historic Palm Springs Stadium. Palm Springs Stadium, formerly known as Angels Stadium, was previously used for spring training by the Angels, San Diego Padres and Seattle Rainiers and is now home to local baseball team, the Palm Springs POWER. The POWER is a summer collegiate team made up of players from around the country, including, USC, Washington, Oregon State, Iowa, Michigan and many more! Games take place in the evening and are throughout the week through June and July. Don’t miss your chance to watch and take photos of the league’s brightest stars before they go pro.
Bright stars are also in abundance at the McCallum Theatre’s Summer Institute performances. Experience the fascinating world of the arts with these live shows intended for audiences ages 7 and up. This year the Institute presents three performances; Myth and Infrastructure & This World Made Itself by Miwa Matreyek, Mexico De Tierra A Mar performed by Pacifico Dance Company featuring Mariachi Los Toros, and The Boy Who Could Sing Pictures performed by David Gonzalez with Daniel Kelly on piano. These delightfully entertaining performances will captivate and inspire the whole family.
As the night descends, discovery begins with Monument Night Adventures at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center. Take a guided stroll along one of the local hiking trails to uncover the desert’s nocturnal creatures including glow-in-the-dark scorpions, owls, jackrabbits, snakes, coyotes and more. On select nights, observe the night sky come alive when The Astronomical Society joins the event with their telescopes and vast knowledge to provide attendees an extraordinary view of the stars, planets and even the Milky Way.
Every 4th of July, we’ve got our own kind of stars in Palm Desert. Celebrate Independence Day at Palm Desert’s expansive Civic Center Park. Pack a picnic, blanket and chairs, and find your perfect spot for the show. The excitement begins at 7:15pm with the National Anthem, followed by live entertainment at 7:30pm. Vendors are also onsite with drinks and treats for purchase. At 9pm the sky illuminates with a kaleidoscope of colorful fireworks of all shapes and sizes, complemented by patriotic and contemporary music. You can also watch the display from the Palm Desert Aquatic Center located in the northeast corner of Civic Center Park. Children and adults can swim and play during the day and keep cool in the pool during the fireworks extravaganza. Whether in the pool or at the park, this night of patriotic bliss is sure to be full of good times.
Good times at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center aren’t just on Independence Day, they’re all summer long! The Aquatic Center features slides, lap and recreational pools, diving boards, a toddler splash pool and more. This is a great place to take the family for a nominal entrance fee when the kids are looking for more than just a pool. The Aquatic Center also offers extra family fun the first Friday of June and July with their Dive-In Movies event. Lounge around or splash away while watching a family-friendly film.
If you’re looking for a full day waterpark experience, then Wet ‘n’ Wild Palm Springs should fit the bill. Wet ‘n’ Wild Palm Springs includes water and raft slides, lazy river, wave pool, Kahuna’s beach house and their latest attraction, The FlowRider. To save on admission, purchase your tickets in advance at a discounted rate online or check out Groupon for promotional offers on reduced tickets and parking.
So what else is new and exciting? How about an international animation film festival for kids? Joining forces with Comic Con Palm Springs, the Palm Springs International Animation Film Festival & Expo (PSIAF) will screen over 250 award winning short and five feature-length animated films submitted from all over the world. Featured films are for all ages and cover a variety of genres and styles which are sure to entertain and delight audiences. The festival will also include live animation demonstrations, character and model sculptures, VR experiences, animation panel discussions and more.
And, back for a third year with a star-studded line-up, Comic Con Palm Springs welcomes Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner/Battlestar Galactica), Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street), Matt Ryan (Constantine) and many more of your favorite celebrities and artists. Comic Con will have you chillin’ like a villain, as you cruise the area filled with vendors, professional and amateur cosplayers, writers, producers, authors and thousands of fans. This action-packed event also includes exhibits, autograph/photo ops, costume contest, Lego room and celebrity booths. Comic Con Palm Springs offers free admission to children 12 and under, so be a super hero and get your family’s tickets today!
Packed with photo-worthy fun and tons of opportunities, Palm Desert has what you need to create irreplaceable memories on your unparalleled desert adventure. This summer, experience and explore the oasis of activities that will have everyone wild about the desert!