Palm Springs Activities You Can Even Do with the Kids

Ever feel like there’s not much to do in Palm Springs other than lounging, eating, and drinking? Even if that were true, many of us wouldn’t be complaining. But if you’re looking for some family-friendly Palm Springs activities, you’ll find some gems. Good, clean fun is never far in this city that boasts so much natural beauty and culture.  

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: The Height of Recreation

Video credit: Hoosier Tim’s Travel Videos

If you’re not afraid of heights, the Aerial Tramway is one of the most breathtaking Palm Springs activities you’ll experience. Located outside the city proper, this rotating tram car ascends over two-and-a-half miles to give you unparalleled mountain views. The tram ride itself only takes about 10 minutes, but you’ll discover plenty to do at the top. Consider it your gateway to Mt. San Jacinto State Park and its numerous hiking trails. But you’ll also find restaurants, a natural history museum, and dedicated scenic view spots. If you’re not invigorated by the views at 8,516 feet, you better take your pulse! Admission runs 28.95-dollars for adults and 16.95-dollars for children ages three to 10. 

Palm Canyon Drive: The Heart of the City

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When looking for family fun, one of the best all-ages Palm Springs activities is right in front of your face. A stroll down Palm Canyon Drive in Downtown Palm Springs will surely turn up plenty to see and do (and eat). But even if you’re trying to kill time with a meager budget, Palm Canyon Drive is a good time. The popular street features its own take on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with stars devoted to luminaries through the ages. In addition to shops and restaurants, you’ll also find a fair number of art galleries to inspire you. You can even tour historical buildings for a taste of Palm Springs heritage. 

Thursday evenings elevate this epicenter of community culture to the likes of the best Palm Springs activities for families. That’s because traffic is barred from the street to allow for VillageFest. A collaboration between nearly 200 vendors and the community, VillageFest serves up an authentic taste of Palm Springs spirit. You can purchase organic produce, original art, crafts, jewelry, and more or simply enjoy a stroll by the soft lights enwrapping the palms. It’s a lovely cap to the evening for tourists and locals alike. 

The Palm Springs Art Museum: A Modern Classic

Photo credit: Palm Springs Art Museum

Looking for Palm Springs activities to exercise your mind? Then our next stop is a treat. The Palm Springs Art Museum provides cultural nourishment for humanities enthusiasts of all ages every Thursday through Sunday. Those well-versed in different art styles will likely notice that the museum’s permanent collection favors mid-century modernism. It’s not random. This period of art has left a lasting impact on the culture and aesthetic of Palm Springs. It only makes sense that the community’s sole art museum would pay tribute to its influence. 

The museum’s collection is impressive for a community the size of Palm Springs. Boasting over 3,000 paintings, prints, and sculptures and 2,000 photos, it takes significant time to peruse its displays. It also features a vast collection of works of significant architectural interest, donated by a private collector. 

Even if you’re well-acquainted with the Palm Springs Art Museum, there are plenty of reasons to return. The museum regularly hosts live discussions and Q&As from artists with works on display. The attached Annenberg Theater also offers the perfect venue for a slew of musical and dance performances. While these are often separately ticketed events, some are exclusive to museum membership holders. The museum also hosts circulating exhibitions in addition to its permanent collection of art. 

Admission is free for children under the age of 18 and active-duty military members. And with admission just 14-dollars for adults and six dollars for students, it won’t strain your bank account. 

Palm Springs Air Museum: Relaxation and Aviation

Photo credit: Ted “Rufus” Ross

California has a storied history with aviation. The Palm Springs Air Museum is a more recent, though much-celebrated addition. Opening its doors in 1996, this impressive museum introduces you to over 70 aircraft models housed in four hangars. Most of the aircraft are collected from the World War II and Korean/Vietnam conflicts. You don’t have to be a war buff or aviation aficionado to enjoy the displays. Many of the volunteer docents have more than a passing familiarity with these planes and are happy to share their accounts. Some even served on warships similar to those on display!

The Palm Springs Air Museum is often recognized for boasting one of the largest collections of working World War II-era planes in the world. If you like to mix some learning in with your leisure, be sure to pay them a visit. Adult admission is 20-dollars with entry for seniors, veterans, retired military and teens at 17-dollars. Children age 12 and under get in free.

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