Family-Friendly Activities

DW & Associates


Palm Desert, California, is a vibrant community that offers a wealth of family-friendly activities, making it an ideal destination for families looking to enjoy a mix of educational and recreational outings. Whether you’re a local or planning a visit, here’s a comprehensive guide to the best spots and activities that cater to all ages.

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, nestled in Palm Desert, provides a window to the diverse wildlife and plant species that thrive in the area’s desert environments. This institution is not just a zoo but a full-fledged botanical garden, emphasizing the ecological importance of desert climates. One of the standout features is the Australian Adventure exhibit, which simulates an immersive outback experience where visitors can walk alongside wallabies and observe native birds like cockatiels in a naturalistic setting.

In addition to the Australian Adventure, the zoo offers unique interactive experiences such as the Giraffe Feeding Encounter. This activity allows guests to get up close and personal with these majestic animals, creating memorable photo opportunities and educational interactions for visitors of all ages. The Living Desert also focuses on conservation, providing educational programs that emphasize preserving desert environments and the species that inhabit them. The zoo hosts various events and special programs throughout the year that enhance the visitor experience. These include seasonal festivities, night-time adventures that explore nocturnal life, and guided tours that delve deeper into the secrets of the desert ecosystems. The zoo's layout and attractions are designed to educate as well as entertain, making it a cornerstone of family-friendly activities in Palm Desert.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers an unforgettable journey from the hot desert floor to the cool, scenic vistas of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. The tramway features rotating tramcars, a unique feature that provides 360-degree views of the rugged terrain and sprawling landscape as it ascends to over 8,000 feet above sea level. Once at the top, visitors can step out into a different world. The mountain station area presents a variety of activities suitable for all seasons. During the warmer months, families can explore numerous hiking trails that range from easy nature walks to more challenging treks through the state wilderness area. In winter, the mountain transforms into a snowy wonderland, providing opportunities for snowshoeing, sledding, and just playing in the snow — a rare treat in the heart of the desert. The mountain station also houses dining facilities like the café, where visitors can enjoy a warm meal or a hot drink while taking in the panoramic views of the valley below.

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Palm Desert is a vibrant hub for interactive learning designed to stimulate young minds through engaging, hands-on experiences. The museum houses over 80 exhibits that cover a broad range of subjects, including science, art, and nature, making it an enriching environment for children from toddlers to elementary school ages.

Recently renovated, the museum offers a fresh and exciting layout that encourages children to explore and interact with the exhibits. Key attractions include role-playing activities, problem-solving challenges, and physical activities that entertain and educate. The museum's design fosters a playful atmosphere where learning becomes a natural part of the fun. Special programs and events, such as workshops and themed activity days, add to the dynamic environment, providing new experiences for repeat visitors.

Palm Desert Aquatic Center

The Palm Desert Aquatic Center is an extensive water park that serves as a focal point for family recreation in the area. This eight-acre facility features a wide array of aquatic amenities, including three pools: a recreational pool, a splash park for younger children, and an Olympic-sized pool suitable for more serious swimming and competitions. The center is equipped with two 20-foot water slides that offer thrilling rides for both children and adults, as well as various interactive water play features designed to keep younger children safely entertained. For those looking to relax, there are ample shaded areas and cabanas. The Aquatic Center also hosts a range of classes and activities, including water aerobics and swimming lessons, catering to all age groups and skill levels. The facility is available for private parties and events, making it a versatile venue for community engagement and family outings.

Civic Center Park

Civic Center Park, the largest park in Palm Desert, spans 70 acres and offers a comprehensive array of amenities suitable for family outings and community gatherings. The park includes multiple baseball fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, basketball courts, and an amphitheater.

Additionally, the park features a well-maintained skate park, a dog park, and several picnic pavilions, making it a perfect location for a day out with family or friends. Its extensive walking paths are ideal for strolls or jogging, and the beautifully landscaped rose garden and public art installations enhance the park's scenic beauty. Civic Center Park also hosts various public events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and holiday celebrations, enriching the community's cultural life.

Discover More with the DWA Team

Exploring family-friendly activities in Palm Desert offers just a glimpse into what makes this community a fantastic place for families. If you’re considering moving to Palm Desert and want to learn more about its attractions and lifestyle, the DWA Team is here to help. Connect with them for personalized advice and insider tips to make the most of your time in this beautiful desert oasis.

*Header image courtesy of Unsplash