*this is a guest post
With a superb range of child-friendly attractions and experiences, Palm Springs is the perfect destination to discover with the family. It’s less than two hours away from Los Angeles, the route taking you along the edges of the San Bernardino National Forest. You can choose to travel by making use of a good car rental service in Los Angeles that can be arranged at the airport, through hotels or at local offices, so grab your keys and head east. Here are some of the top attractions.
Knott’s Soak City Water Park is an extravaganza of watery fun that kids of all ages will love. Taking its inspiration from 1950s surf culture, the rides and attractions feature surf music, classic cars and thunderous waves! Take your pick of the rides, from Pacific Spin, which takes four people for a giddying raft spin, to Tidal Wave Tower, speed slides that soar into the sky seven stories high. For younger kids the rides include the Sea Snake tube ride, Pipeline Point body slide, and Surf Rider Rapids open slide. Take a more relaxing journey through the water with the lazy Sunset River, or play in the Rip Tide Reef wave pool.
Take to the Tramway
The fun continues with the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which travels thousands of metres up the dramatic cliffs of Chino Canyon. There are spectacular views to be had from the tram and the top. Once landed you can explore the walking trails of Mt. San Jacinto State Park – perhaps the easy looping Long Valley Discovery Trail, the scenic Desert View Trail, or the spectacular hike to Wellman’s Divide.
Explore the Desert
Over at The Living Desert, kids can explore the world’s deserts, from North American deserts and palm-fringed oases to the landscapes of Africa and Madagascar. In North America, look out for hawks and eagles, together with bobcats, coyotes and even wolves. There are doves and finches flying overhead, lizards sunning themselves on rocks, and you can even spot the desert bighorn sheep on the rocky slopes of Bighorn Mountain. The flora complements the fauna, with a beautiful collection of desert plants including yuccas and sages. In Africa, marvel at the habitats inspired by the Sahara and Kalahari, with gazelles, antelope, meerkats, warthog, giraffe, ostrich and cheetah, set against a backdrop of acacia and other African plants. A fun selection of special events and interactive exhibits add to the appeal.
Learn more at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert, where there are all kinds of hands-on science exhibits for kids to discover, together with physical activities such as rock climbing and dressing up fun.
Catch a Show
For entertainment, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the McCallum Theatre, where the shows include everything from ballet and classical and blues music to comedy, magic shows and children’s favourites. Or you could catch a movie at one of Palm Springs fantastic cinemas – for superb 3D action head to the Desert IMAX at Cathedral City.
There are several beautiful natural parks around Palm Springs. Joshua Tree National Park is almost 800,000 acres of desert and scrub, featuring the strange looking Joshua Tree for which it is named, together with a surprising diversity of other plants and wildlife.
You can hike, cycle and even horse-ride along the region’s trails, or book a jeep tour for an exhilarating off-road adventure. For hiking, try the Hopalong Cassidy Trail, a great easy trail for kids, or the Randall Henderson Trail, a more challenging hike with great mountain views and wildlife-spotting opportunities.
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