Travel with kids requires careful planning, clever packing and insider tips from people in the know to ensure your precious time is spent well together. Who better to ask about the best things to do in Palm Springs, California, than our favorite family vocational rental site Kid & Coe and LA-based photographer Nicki Sebastian, who recently took a trip there with her young children, camera at the ready to capture all the best moments.
A road trip to Palm Springs isn't complete without a stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs, arguably one of the most iconic roadside attractions in the country. Die-hard "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" fans will appreciate seeing these famous prehistoric replicas in real life, and the kids will undoubtedly marvel at their sheer magnitude.
The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium was established back in 1939, but it has gained popularity in recent years thanks to millennials and their Instagramming ways. Photos among Clark Moorten's desert plant life may be rampant on the Internet, but it's definitely still worth a visit in person. Clark himself (who took over the gardens when his father passed in 1980) greets visitors daily and is a wealth of knowledge and history for those wanting to know more about anything and everything related to Palm Springs horticulture.
You may think of a five-star hotel as a playground for little ones, but a stop at the Parker Palm Springs makes our preschooler feel like a West Coast Eloise, and the unabashed joy on her face as she runs through the topiary-lined trails to the famed Lemonade Stand is just as apparent as it is when we visit our local swing set and slide.
In all honesty, our favorite thing to do in Palm Springs is located (quite literally) right in the backyard of Kid & Coe's East Sonora Residence. Days and evenings in the desert heat are mostly spent in the property's expansive pool, as frequent dips are the necessary antidote to summer temperatures that can climb into the triple digits. The pool and patio area is our family's sanctuary, and even the baby is learning to love splashing about in our arms (while our eldest has to be dragged out at the end of a long day of nonstop swimming, raisin fingers and all).
For a taste of vintage Palm Springs as well as a taste of pure brunch decadence, Norma's at the @parkerpalmsprings is a must. The vibrant teal, yellow and orange patio is as much a visual treat as the dishes, and you can't go wrong with any version of its French toasts (ranging from crunchy and brioche to chocolate-covered) or the buttermilk pancakes!
Trina Turk's flagship storefront takes the cake as the Palm Springs go-to shopping destination for the fashion-conscious set, but when traveling with kiddos in tow, we also love to peruse Ice Cream & Shop(pe)—after ordering frozen treats, of course. Its gift selection features cheeky offerings from colorful companies like ban.do, and the top-your-own sundaes are always a hit with our 4-year-old (and her parents)!
Nicki stayed at the East Sonora Residence in Palm Springs. The three-bedroom house sleeps up to six people plus a baby and costs from $400 per night.