As you know, Alan and I love visiting Palm Springs thanks to the abundance of things we enjoy: sunshine, poolside drinks, late-night dinners, and vintage shopping. Now enter a child who enjoys swimming, the zoo, and exploring new places. I’ve been visiting Palm Springs since before I could walk, so naturally it’s a place I wanted to bring Harlee. We thought we’d have to give up our mode of Palm Springs leisure, but I promise we’ve been able to maintain our stylish getaways while adding some new fun experiences for our whole family.
If you’re a family who’s into trendy yet low key spots, then this guide is for you.
Palm Spring Travel Guide for Families
Afternoon / MCM neighborhood bike tour
One of my favorite neighborhoods in Palm Springs is Indian Canyons. We bring our own bikes that have an attachment for Harlee, but you can also borrow a bike from your hotel or opt to drive around in a car. This is the perfect family comprise for us: Harlee loves getting on the bike, Alan loves checking out architecture, and I get to enjoy being out in the beautiful weather. There is so much more to see in this neighborhood than that Pink Door, so be sure to give yourself enough time to explore.
Night / Bootlegger Tiki
Not really a place for kids, but if you have the option to hire a babysitter, head to the Tiki Bar and try one of their seasonal cocktails. Put on your best vintage caftan and turban and enjoy a couple of rum cocktails.
Morning / Living Desert Zoo
As a parent, the zoo is a must-see. It’s a great way to spend the morning and we love all of the interactive programs throughout the day. We’ve fed the giraffe here about a dozen times and it still doesn’t get old. The petting zoo is another favorite although the baby goats do love to chew on vintage dresses! In the winter months, it’s a great place to just stroll with the endless walkways.
Afternoon / Vintage Shopping
Of course, I love hitting up as many vintage and thrift shops as I can when I visit the desert. My favorites include The Fine Art of Design, Spaces, The Frippery, and Angel View. Even if you’re a vintage shop newbie, it’s doable with a child. If you love vintage furniture, art and decor, then a couple of hours on retro row is a must. If you want a thorough guide, I’ve got you covered with my Vintage Shopping in Palm Springs guide.
Evening / Birba
This is a pre-babe favorite and is still a favorite. Although we’ve swapped our 8PM dinner reservation for the early bird special at 5PM, we get to enjoy our favorite restaurant, delicious cocktails, and one of the prettiest patios Palm Springs has to offer.
Morning / Hike The Araby Trail
There’s a plethora of hiking trails right in Palm Springs and many of them are kid friendly. We love The Araby Trail which offers great views of the Coachella Valle, plus you get to hike right past Bob Hope’s house. If you’re traveling Spring, Summer and Fall, be sure to start the hike early so you avoid the heat.
Brunch / Normas
We love eating here since it’s on The Parker property. Traveling with a child means you’re up early so you beat the crowds and enjoy a pretty serene breakfast at a trendy spot.
Afternoon / Sunnylands Visitor Center & Gardens
Sunnyland Estate is not kid friendly, but the Center and Gardens is perfect place to round out your Palm Springs weekend. The Gardens (and tranquility) are free.
Where to Stay
The Parker will always be my favorite place to stay in the desert. It feels like home away from home (since our house looks similar), but the staff, the grounds, and overall vibe are so welcoming. The lush grounds make it a kid-friendly spot too since we can let Harlee enjoy the walkways without worry. Plus, the pool is fun for Harlee, but we can still enjoy our adult bevvy.
The Rooster & The Pig for the best Vietnamese in the Desert.
Cheeky’s for breakfast.
Melvin’s for old school dining and cocktails.