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I’ll be honest with you… Palm Springs was not our first choice when it comes to traveling. When I thought of Palm Springs, I thought of a quiet, middle-of-nowhere, retirement town or spa village that we just passed through on the way to LA, which is far from a place to take a preschooler. However, we purchased a sampler timeshare package from Diamond Resorts (we also stayed a week in Ormond Beach, FL and a week in Orlando, FL with them), and had to use our points by the end of 2017.
We’ve done the drive many times before, so packed up the car, gathered our road trip activities, and were off to Palm Canyon Resort by Diamond Resorts. After a few games of license plate ABC’s, the license plate game, and coloring endless pages, we arrived in less than 5 hours.
Now, the pool…ahh, take me back! From water slides (one for adults, one for kids) to waterfalls, an in-cave whirlpool spa to the 1.5 acre heated swimming pool, it was amazing to swim outdoors a week before Christmas. Plus, they had a poolside bar. And, the room! We got a 2-bedroom villa that could have easily fit a large family. If that isn’t enough, the resort had a gym, indoor basketball court, and daily activities.
Now, about Palm Springs. I was impressed and loved it, so my original assumptions were wrong. If you combined Sedona, Arizona with Ferndale, Michigan vibes, and added a California touch, you would have Palm Springs. While we did spend one of our days at the resort and in the pool, we used our other days to venture out and explore.
As for food, we had breakfast at Elmer’s in Palm Springs, which is a must stop for families. They are known for their German Pancake, however, the Cub Cakes are adorable for the little ones and the Apple Cherry Streusel Crepes were out of this world!
We stopped for Boba Tea at Tutti Frutti Palm Springs Frozen Yogurt and Juice Bar and walked along Palm Springs Canyon Drive to shop and be a tourist. There were stars on the ground, giving it a Hollywood feel, and palm trees everywhere you looked. We found a toy shop and candy shop that were fun to shop in.
After researching “things to do”, we decided to combine adventure with education and embarked on The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. After a short drive away from town and up a mountain, we arrived at the parking lot (there is a parking fee). The lot is very angled – if you have little ones and bring a stroller, be sure that the brakes work well.
The first step is to purchase your tickets if you didn’t pre-order them already. At the boarding time, you will soar 2.5 miles to a pristine wilderness aboard the world’s largest rotating tramcar. At 8,500 ft, it will be A LOT colder – think snow in the winter months, so bundle up! We went on a warmer day, so it was only about 50 degrees at the top.
Not only is there winter fun, but there are hiking trails, two restaurants, an observation deck, documentary theatres, a gift shop, and natural history museum. The whole experience was a lot of fun with memories to take with us forever.
In addition to what we did, there are many kid-friendly activities to do in Palm Springs, such as The Living Desert (zoo/botanical garden), The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage, exploring Joshua Tree National Park, hiking the Indian Canyon Trails, learning at the Palm Springs Air Museum, taking a break at Ruth Hardy Park and Playground, and taking a step back in time at the World’s Biggest Dinosaur Museum. I will no longer think of Palm Springs as a place where only adults can have fun.
What is your favorite place to visit in Palm Springs? Where is your favorite place to eat? Let us know in the comments.