Family Activities in Palm Desert

By Jane Rodda
The desert presents many sightseeing opportunities.
The desert presents many sightseeing opportunities.

Just 11 miles east of Palm Springs, California, Palm Desert is a popular spot in Southern California for families to visit for the warm climate during the winter months. It is also attracting more full-timers as an affordable place to live. Whether you and your family are just visiting for the warmth or are considering full-time residency, you will find plenty of fun activities in this resort town.

Parks and Recreation

The city of Palm Desert ( has several family friendly parks. Civic Center Park (no website; Fred Waring Drive; 760-568-9697) is one of the larger parks and has fountains, play fields, a pond, volleyball courts, basketball courts, picnic pavilions, a tot lot and a concession stand. Freedom Park (no website; 77400 Country Club Drive; 760-568-9697) is a smaller park yet has many playground options as well as picnic shelters, grass fields and basketball courts. The Palm Desert Aquatics Center ( is an outdoor swimming locale housing three pools, diving boards, slides and other play features.

Wildlife and Nature

The Palm Desert area is home to numerous creatures and beautiful landscape. Families will enjoy viewing and learning about nature in the desert. The Living Desert ( is a wildlife conservation center offering visitors a chance to learn about and see many of the animals that live in the deserts around the world. On exhibit are animals including mountain lions, bobcats, snakes, giraffes, warthogs and sand cats. Sky Watcher Stargazing Tours ( educates folks about the stars during an evening stargazing tour.

Off-roading Tours

A popular activity in the area is going on a jeep tour. Desert Adventures ( provide all sorts of tours, including jeep tours along the San Andreas Fault, jeep-drawn wagon tours, walking and hiking tours, and Joshua Tree National Park Tours. Big Wheel Tours ( also offers jeep tours, bike tours, bike rentals, Joshua Tree tours, hiking tours and a new wildlife preserve tour. The wildlife tour takes you through diverse and natural habitats sure to interest the whole family.

The Arts

McCallum Theatre ( has live stage productions suitable for all ages. The theater regularly features singing performances, concert bands, talent competitions and popular stage plays. The Palm Springs Art Museum ( is also an option for art appreciation. With a location in Palm Desert, the museum houses a sculpture garden, paintings and photography. Families can learn about forms of art from around the world. Also available are educational workshops for children and teenagers.

About the Author

Jane Rodda has been a writer since 2004, with articles featured in "Gameday Magazine" and "Urban Family Magazine." She is also the social media director and lead copywriter for a piano instruction website. Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.