Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
California: Palm Springs, Family Vacations with Golf, Tennis and a Living Desert. The Coachella Valley in Southern California is blanketed with natural beauty and framed by snow-capped mountains. Sunny days, starry nights and a delightfully arid desert climate make vacationing pleasantly care free. From golf and tennis to jeep adventures and hot air balloon rides the family vacation options are super.  Stargaze, enjoy jazz, see a film, shop for turquoise or just chill and take advantage of the serene ambiance of the desert.
Need a few reasons to make plans? We have included our suggestions below. The valley includes the communities of Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.
Explore the desert. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is designed to introduce visitors to the diverse life forms that inhabit the deserts of Southern California. Walk or ride a tram through sectors recreating life in a range of desert zones; see and learn about the wide variety of plants, insects, and wildlife, including mountain lions, rattlesnakes, lizards, golden eagles, bighorn sheep, and the ubiquitous roadrunner. The captivating variety will keep even the most discerning of visitors engrossed. Bonus points: Kids under the age of 3 are admitted free, and admittance rates are reduced during the summer months. (47-900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA, 92260. 1(760) 346-5694 or
Fly away. For the more adventurous, visiting the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a must. The 14-minutes ascent up nearly 5,900 feet to the upper slopes of Mount San Jacinto offers riders a beautiful bird’s-eye perspective of the Coachella Valley. Along the ride the Swiss funicular cars rotate slowly offering each passenger a panoramic view. At the top visitors will love the alpine scenery, ski-lodge restaurant and temperatures 40°F cooler than the desert floor. During the winter the mountaintop offers visitors a snowy wonderland, perfect for hiking and sledding. Bonus points: Guided mules rides and cross-country ski equipment are available at the top. (One Tramway Rd. Palm Springs, CA, 92262. Toll- free 1-888-515-TRAM or
Step into history. The Palm Springs Desert Museum offers visitors a glimpse at traditional Indian life (primarily of the local Cahuilla tribe) as it was lived for centuries. Displays featuring tools, basket, relics, and world-class Western and Native American art collections, complete the picture. Alongside the cultural components of the museum is the natural history of the desert and the ways in which the desert environment has shaped the people within it. Bonus points: Admittance to the museum is free for children under the age of six and free for all-comers each Thursday after 4pm. Need to know: The museum’s Annenberg Theater often hosts plays, lectures and other events – see the events calendar for more information. (101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262.) 1(760) 325-7186 or
Shop around. Every Thursday evening check out the Palm Springs Village Fest; featuring a variety of vendors displaying arts & crafts, food, live entertainment and a Certified Farmers Market the Village Fest is a great way to enjoy an evening out, calming and fun for everyone. Bonus Points: The Palm Springs Village Fest is officially dog-friendly. Need to know: October through May the Fest is open from 6-9pm, and from 7-10pm June through September. (North Palm Canyon Dr. From Baristo Road to Amado Rd.) (760) 320-3781 or 
Ride in a Jeep. Explore the infamous San Andreas Fault in a big red Jeep with Desert Adventures. Steep canyons tower over head as the tour winds through the tortuous terrain created by the awesome power of the San Andreas Fault – a great excursion for kids from 6 to 106. Bonus Points: Desert Adventures offers 5 different tours, offering participants a range in insanity and locale. (74-794 Lennon Place, Suite A, Palm Desert, CA, 92260.) 1-888-440-JEEP, (760) 340-2345 or
Explore Joshua Tree. Visit the national park made famous by the UK sensation U2 and enjoy the other-worldly landscape, diverse flora and fauna, and campgrounds, as well as horse and hiking trails. Bonus points: During the spring and fall, visitor to JTNP can participate in a variety of walks, hikes and campfire talks led by park rangers and naturalists. (Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree, CA – about an hour from Palm Springs.) (760) 367-5500 or 

Content created by Travel Communications Inc. and images courtesy of Living Desert Zoo. Copyright  updated 2016.