family-activities-greater-palm-springs

Family: Explore with the Kids

Emily Chavous Attractions, Current Guide

family-activities-greater-palm-springs
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY GREATER PALM SPRINGS CVB

Having children in tow is the ultimate excuse to wander to places you might not 
go otherwise. Learn and discover alongside the kiddos, take a ride down a waterslide, 
and make the kind of memories that the whole family will cherish. Or just kick back and let everyone do their own thing. There’s plenty of space to sprawl out.

stay

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
This serpentine oasis, with multiple pools and an on-site water park, is pure magic. It’s got a dreamy desert feel nestled amid mountains with more palm trees than you can count. Splashtopia has two 100-foot waterslides, a lazy river, and fountains and water guns that will keep the kids occupied for hours. For you, the coffee shop serves freshly brewed Peet’s Coffee, and at bluEmber you’ll find fusion eats from brunch till dessert. There’s really no reason to leave, but The River at Rancho Mirage dining and movie complex is across the street if you do.

omnihotels.com

Staybridge Suites
Tucked away from the bustle but minutes from the airport, freeway, and downtown Palm Springs, Staybridge welcomes guests — and their pets! — with a heaping complimentary daily breakfast as well as frequent free dinners. The pool overlooks lush golf fairways and Mount San Jacinto, and rooms come with a fully equipped kitchen.

staybridge.com/cathedralcity

 staybridgesuites

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY STAYBRIDGE SUITES/IHG

Staybridge Suites in Cathedral City.

taste

Las Casuelas Terraza
Almost as rich in history as its mole sauce is in spices, the local Las Casuelas restaurant was founded 60 years ago by the Delgado family. The Terraza location opened in 1979, taking over a historic 1920s Palm Springs casita and filling it with the savory smells of traditional family recipes.

lascasuelas.com

 lascasuelasterraza

Shields Date Garden
You can’t possibly come to the desert without tasting its signature fruit: the date. Shields Date Garden is an experience 
all generations will enjoy. The café serves up a menu of specialty dishes, from pancakes to a date burger to blue-cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. And of course, the staple date shake. But there’s more to explore: A pathway dotted with curious biblical statues winds through the 17-acre date farm; there’s also a lake, novelty shop, and theater with educational programming.

shieldsdategarden.com

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY LAS CASUELAS TERRAZA

Las Casuelas Terraza

shieldsdategarden

PHOTOGRAPH BY LISA CORSON

Shields Date Garden

Brandini Toffee
This candy shop is the brainchild of young local entrepreneurs Brandon Weimer and Leah Post. It all started in 2006, when the pair prepared some toffee to raise money for a class trip to Italy. The venture spiraled into an Oprah-approved business that serves everything from toffee popcorn to milkshakes, with two locations in the valley and an outpost at the outlets in Cabazon. The Rancho Mirage flagship, home to the factory where all the sweet stuff gets made, hosts regular tours.

brandinitoffee.com

Explore

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
An epic place to visit to see a plethora of desert-dwelling animals in close proximity. There are opportunities to feed giraffes, watch live wildlife shows, and take nature walks through native flora. Be sure to check out the educational summer workshops for kids.

livingdesert.org

LivingDesertPalmDesert

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY GREATER PALM SPRINGS CVB

The Living Desert Zoo & Garden

wetnwildpalmsprings

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY GREATER PALM SPRINGS CVB

Plunge into a massive wave pool at Wet ‘n’ Wild.

Wet ’n’ Wild
Splash between plunging seven-story-tall speed slides and the lazy river. There are two easy slides for the littlest riders, plus a massive wave pool, a giant funnel that spits rafters down a waterfall, and a four-floor interactive beach house with a 1,000-gallon bucket that’ll dump water all over your head. Rent a cabana for the afternoon to set up home base in the shade.

wetnwildpalmsprings.com

Laser Oasis
Holy laser tag, Batman! This indoor fun center is equipped with a multilevel 6,000-square-foot laser-tag zone, a ropes course and tightrope walk, and an arcade with more than 40 games.

laseroasis.com

Mary Pickford 14 / D’Place Entertainment
Catch a flick and kick back in a state-of-the-art cinema. Some theaters feature comfortable recliner seats — one with a row of D-Box motion-simulator chairs — while the Barco Escape theater has three screens for an immersive panoramic experience. The café is stocked with ice cream, beer and wine, and plenty of munchies. June 12 through Aug. 17, there are 10 special kids’ screenings for just $1 at the door, or $5 for entry to all 10 films.

dplaceentertainment.com

 laseroasis

PHOTOGRAPH BY LISA CORSON

Laser Oasis

shop

Cabazon Outlets and Desert Hills
Premium Outlets
Get your comfy shoes on — you can spend many, many hours wandering the retail wilds of Cabazon. It’s a great way to force the kids to expend some energy — and a great way to expend some cash from your wallet. Don’t miss the Cabazon Dinosaurs (climb Mr. Rex for a great view).

cabazonoutlets.com

premiumoutlets.com

shoppingpalmsprings

PHOTOGRAPH BY THINKSTOCKPHOTOS.COM

Cabazon Outlets

Q & A

Carol E. Scott

CEO of the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage

The museum has served more than 1.5 million visitors in its 30 years 
of operations. Scott works to cultivate a play-based environment with 
hands-on “learning laboratory” experiences in arts and sciences.

What’s new at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert?
The museum has a traveling exhibit program providing fresh experiences for visitors every three to four months, so there’s always something new to check out. The museum has also expanded its outdoor exhibitry, beginning with the Rancho Mirage Trike Track and a new musical outdoor experience. And we added two new members to the team, Smiley and Abigail, desert tortoises who are thriving in their new habitat.

What’s happening in 
the summer?
There is a robust camp program that takes place throughout the summer break, because, as 
they say, “When school 
is out, CDMOD is in!”

What’s your mantra?
Mister Rogers was 
right: “Play is the work 
of childhood.”

cdmod.org

carolscottchildrensdiscovery

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY CAROL E. SCOTT

Carol E. Scott