Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa is an excellent family-friendly option. Not staying at the hotel? They offer day passes for the pool, waterslides, and lazy river.
PHOTO COURTESY VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
Welcome to the wet ’n’ wild West.
Make a big splash at The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa, which recently upgraded its family pool with a pair of side-by-side waterslides that are perfect for racing. Looking for more twists and turns? Slide over to the water parks at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage or Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. Both offer twisty slides, lazy rivers, and poolside food and drink service.
Pinz & Pints offers duckpin bowling.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WESTIN RANCHO MIRAGE GOLF RESORT & SPA
Skate or strike.
Let the music — and the ice skates — move you at the Berger Foundation Iceplex at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, where the Coachella Valley Firebirds minor league hockey team trains. Kids ages 4 and under get in free. If bowling seems more up your alley, Fantasy Lanes at Indio’s Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is a welcome way to fill your spare time. Or, pop over to Pinz & Pints at The Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort & Spa for duckpin bowling, where lightweight balls are easy for tiny hands to lift. A bevy of beers on tap ups the fun score for parents.
Catch a movie.
Need a moment of chill? See the latest productions and enjoy classic concession-stand goodies at Century at The River & XD in Rancho Mirage, Mary Pickford Is D’Place in Cathedral City, or Century La Quinta & XD. For indie and art options, check the listings at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, and for IMAX screenings, get tickets to Regal Rancho Mirage.
Gelato Granucci offers kid-approved flavors.
PHOTO BY CHRISTINA FRARY
Satisfy a sweet tooth.
A sugary treat is the perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day. For a taste of something local, sip a date shake at Shields Date Garden in Indio or Lappert’s Premium Gourmet Ice Cream, which has locations in Palm Springs and Palm Desert. The latter also serves Dole Whip. For gourmet scoops, try Kreem in Palm Springs, serving up flavors like rosemary and prickly pear. Nearby Gelato Granucci specializes in scratch-made, Italian-style sweetness. If candy is your jam, head to Brandini Toffee in Palm Springs or Rancho Mirage, where crunchy crumbles are the perfect complement to an ice cream bar or milkshake. Speaking of shakes, Monster Shakes in Palm Springs and Cathedral City piles theirs high with toppings like cotton candy, Pop Tarts, doughnuts, and cookies. In Palm Springs, Açai Oasis serves smoothies and fruit-based açai bowls.
The best things in life are free.
When abstract oil painter Kippi Leonard moved to the desert a couple years ago, she immediately looked for a way to connect with a likeminded community and promote emerging artists. The result: The Free Little Art Gallery, a birdhouse-sized box in front of her Cathedral City studio where makers of all ages share their miniature creations. Take something or leave something, or just stop by to browse — it’s all free. Want to cool off? Run through the fountains! In Palm Springs’ Downtown Park, kids gravitate toward the waterfall feature, where they can play amid the fountains spouting water.
Go the way of the dinosaur.
While they don’t date back as far as the Mesozoic era, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are one of the desert’s hottest roadside attractions. You’ve likely passed by the big guys, Mr. Rex and Dinny, while driving by on Interstate 10. But did you know there are actually dozens of dinos at this fun pit stop? You can even go digging for fossils. Stop by the gift shop to get a prehistoric souvenir to take home. Meanwhile, the Museum of Ancient Wonders in Cathedral City displays a collection of replica dinosaur fossils that have appeared at more than 30 museums around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the American Museum of Natural History, taking visitors through the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.
The zoo is a hit for a reason.
PHOTO COURTESY THE LIVING DESERT ZOO AND GARDENS
These activities get an A+.
Kids may be on summer break, but they’ll want to keep learning with all there is to discover in Greater Palm Springs. Animal lovers will go wild about The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, where they can check out a rhino exhibit, explore diverse desert habitats, and even a feed a giraffe. At the Rancho Mirage Observatory, budding astronomers can get acquainted with telescopes firsthand and enjoy group skygazing. Little artists can try their hand at making pottery or painting at La Quinta’s Old Town Artisan Studios, where workshop fees help connect those in need with an artistic outlet. Have a youngster who’s into aviation? The Palm Springs Air Museum features more than 70 vintage war planes, as well as a flight simulator. Weekends offer warbird rides for kids age 13 and older.
A Day With Kaylin
Soon to be a senior at Shadow Hills High School in Indio, Kaylin Montano likes to stay active during summer to maintain top form for wrestling.
The Homestead Trail to the Palm Desert Cross is a must-do! You get in a great workout and an amazing view of our beautiful valley.
The Berger Foundation Iceplex at the new Acrisure Arena is a great place to go ice skating with your friends.
If you are looking for a nice place to eat, you must go to RD RNNR in Old Town La Quinta. It’s a beautiful area, and the restaurant has amazing food. My favorite thing to order there has to be salmon with risotto. Delicious!