The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the world’s largest rotating tramcar and travels over 2.5 miles from Palm Springs to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains where you can enjoy spectacular vistas of the valley below. Have lunch at the top, take in a short documentary and visit the natural history museum. Plus, there are miles of hiking trails.
Want something more western themed? Enjoy a horseback ride on the trails with Smoke Tree Stables. Tours are by the hour or day and they have all the equipment you’ll need. If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours offers climate controlled (van) and open-air jeep tours of Joshua Tree, San Andreas Fault, Indian Canyons or the majestic Painted Canyon. An open-air Hummer tour of Joshua Tree National Park is another option through Adventure Hummer Tours.
High intensity adventure awaits at Desert Rocks Indoor Climbing Gym. Children 8 and up can follow the clues in Merlin’s Magic School, a family-friendly mystery at the Escape Room Palm Springs. Find the spell and break the curse on the school. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
Enjoy America’s favorite pastime at the historic Palm Springs Stadium where, in the summer months, collegiate athletes from the Palm Springs POWER! play good old-fashioned baseball at good old-fashioned prices ($12 buys you admission, plus a hot dog, chips and a soda). During the winter, watch professional free agents from around the world vie for the attention of major league scouts in hopes of being signed.
Right downtown is the Palm Springs Art Museum, which features a diverse collection of historical and contemporary art including paintings, sculptures, glasswork, Native American baskets and weavings. Enjoy free admission every Thursday evening from 4 to 8 p.m. The Architecture and Design Center Edward Harris Pavilion features exhibits in a classic mid-century modern building.
Did you know Palm Springs has the largest collection of working WWII aircraft in the U.S.? See them up close at the Palm Springs Air Museum where kids can climb inside a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and operate their own flight simulator.
The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert offers hours of entertainment for all ages. Solve puzzles, build a race car, create art, shop at the kid-sized grocery store, or play dress up in “Grandma's Attic.”
On Thursday evening, head on out to VillageFest, an outdoor street fair packed with local artisans, entertainers and vendors selling fresh fruits, veggies, flowers, jewelry and sweets. In the summer, it begins every Thursday at 7 p.m.
Feed a giraffe, ride a camel and meet a lorikeet at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, a unique zoo and botanical garden that features more than 450 animals in recreated habitats in the deserts of the world. Take a safari, ride an endangered species carousel, or get up close and personal with a Gecko. Tip: Get there when it opens as it closes early in the summer to protect the animals from the heat. Then, when the sun sets, journey through the cosmos as expert Sky Guides from Star Watcher Stargazing Tours lead you on an unforgettable adventure. It combines mythology and science with a splash of theatrics from the comfort of an outdoor living room under the stars, complete with chairs, blankets, snacks and drinks.