14 Fun Things To Do In Palm Desert California


Palm Desert, California, is a great desert community full of fun activities. You can go hiking in the mountains, participate in some airsoft battles, and even take a trip to a nearby casino. The town has tons of great restaurants too! If you’re looking for things to do in Palm Desert California, look no further than this list compiled by locals who love living here:

Palm Desert

Palm Desert is located in the Coachella Valley and is a great place to visit. If you are looking for something fun to do, then Palm Desert has it all! Many activities can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. 

Whether you want to go shopping, play golf, or just relax on the beach there are plenty of things that you can do during your stay here at Palm Desert. The weather here is great most year-round so making plans for your trip will be simple once you figure out what time of year works best for traveling here!

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

I recently visited this amazing park, and it was a great time! The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park are located in Palm Desert, CA. This park is a wildlife conservation center, zoo, and botanical garden all combined into one beautiful space. It’s also a great place for kids to learn about animals from around the world and how we can help them survive on our planet.

The Living Desert has many different exhibits for you to explore including:

  • Animal Encounters – These are shows put on by animal trainers who teach you about the different species that live at the zoo. You may even get up close with some of these animals during these shows!
  • Sunset Safari – During sunset, they open up special areas where you can see how certain species behave when night falls over them (this is called “nocturnal behavior”). This experience alone makes it worth visiting this park at least once during your stay in Palm Desert!
  • Nocturnal House – Here they will teach you all kinds of interesting facts about nocturnal creatures like bats or owls while allowing you to get up close with them as well! This exhibit also includes an indoor playground so children have fun playing while learning something new as well which makes this my favorite part of our experience here today!

El Paseo Shopping District

El Paseo is a 5-mile-long upscale shopping district. It’s lined with palm trees, has a beautiful outdoor mall and it’s home to many high-end boutiques and shops.

You’ll find lots of restaurants here as well, including some that serve scratch-made desserts. There are also many cafes where you can take in the view while enjoying a latte or cappuccino.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is located in the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s the highest elevation of any commercial aerial cable car system in the United States, with a top elevation of 8,516 feet (2,590 meters) and a vertical rise of 2,000 feet (610 meters). The trip takes approximately 10 minutes/one way and you can see Coachella Valley on one side and Salton Sea on the other side.

Note: This is not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights!

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark

The waterpark is located at the front of Knott’s Berry Farm, right next to the park itself. This is a large waterpark offering seven different slides and attractions for all ages. Several things make this place special compared to other places I’ve been; some of them include a lazy river ride that goes around the entire park and has three different tunnels you can go through while riding it; 

There’s also an area where you can play volleyball in one section of the park while going down a slide in another area (the same slide you use for your inner tube). This way everyone gets what they want out of their day trip without having to wait long periods between activities or run back and forth constantly throughout their visit.

Hours: Open daily from 11 am – 5 pm (last admission at 4 pm) Cost $35/ticket for ages 2+

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert is an interactive, educational children’s museum where kids can explore and learn about the world around them through fun exhibits.

Kids can role-play being an astronaut and practice their math skills by counting real stars at night at Planetarium shows. Children can also splash through water tables, dig in sandboxes, ride on tricycles or run their lemonade stand.

Kids will need to be accompanied by an adult unless they are using one of the play areas designed just for them that include a ball pit with giant foam blocks, tunnels, and slides. Because admission is free, most rooms are wheelchair accessible as well a hearing loop is available throughout the museum.

Sunnylands Center & Gardens

You might have heard of the Annenbergs, but did you know that Sunnylands was once their private estate? It’s now a National Historic Landmark and is run as a cultural center. The property includes gardens, sculptures, art galleries, an outdoor theater, and more than five miles of trails that wind through the area.

It’s open to the public for tours and events throughout the year—including during its annual garden festival held every March. However, if you’re visiting during this time you’ll want to book your tickets early as they tend to sell out fast!

Spotlight 29 Casino

Spotlight 29 Casino is an upscale, four-star hotel that has all the amenities you could want. With good restaurants and a casino, it’s great for groups who like to gamble.

Old Town La Quinta

Old Town La Quinta is a shopping district with a small-town feel. The area is home to many shops and restaurants, as well as museums. You can spend hours walking around the shops and exploring all that Old Town has to offer. It’s very safe and walkable, too!

Indian Canyons Hiking Trail

The Indian Canyons Hiking Trail is a 2.5-mile trail that winds through the Coachella Valley Preserve, which is owned and managed by The Desert Land Trust. The trail begins at the Visitor Center, where you can pick up a map before setting off on your journey. This flat and easy hike is shaded by trees along most of its length, making it an ideal place to take a stroll with your family or friends!

The Coachella Valley Preserve

The Coachella Valley Preserve is the perfect place to go for a hike. The preserve offers many trails, allowing you to choose from short or long hikes. You can also spend as much time as you want to explore the trail and resting at different spots along your journey. 

At one point on the trip, I took a break and sat on a rock by some waterfalls and ate my lunch while I admired how beautiful it all was. This was just one of many stops along the way where there are benches or rocks for resting purposes!

Desert Fox Airsoft Field and Range

At the Desert Fox Airsoft Field and Range, you can engage in an airsoft skirmish with friends. This is a great way to get some exercise and have fun at the same time! The facility has a range that features multiple fields of play, including woods, deserts, urban areas, and more.

For those who are new to the sport or have never played before: no worries! The staff here will give you all of the necessary gear needed to play. You will also be taught how to use it properly so that everyone gets as much fun out of their experience as possible.

With over 10 different fields available for play (each offering a different kind of terrain), chances are there is one that fits your style perfectly! A good rule of thumb when planning your visit would be not only looking into what type(s) of equipment you need but also making sure there isn’t anything else going on there at that time–such as another group playing with their radios on their channel–as this could cause interference with the communication between teams during gameplay.”

The River at Rancho Mirage Shopping Center

If you’re looking for a shopping experience, head to The River at Rancho Mirage Shopping Center. With over 100 stores and 20 restaurants, it’s a place where you can get lost in the sea of options. You can also catch a movie at the Regal Cinema, or just enjoy some outdoor patio seating while you wait for your food at one of the many restaurants.

The River is great for kids too! There are tons of places to shop here—from small boutiques to big-name department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom Rack, and Ralph Lauren Factory Store. Kids will love hanging out with Santa Claus during his annual visit on November 18th-23rd or making holiday crafts with The River’s free craft stations!

Palm Desert is a great place to visit with lots of fun activities.

Palm Desert is a great place to visit with lots of fun activities. Some of the activities you can do are:

  • Walking through the Palm Desert Botanical Gardens
  • Skiing at Mt. San Jacinto Ski Resort, which is about 45 miles away from Palm Desert
  • Taking a walk down Highway 74, which will take you past many shops and restaurants


These are just a few of the many things to do in Palm Desert. You can find more on our website and we’d love to hear from you!

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