Was this your first time going to Palm Springs?

We have gone once before years ago when I was pregnant with Camilla. We had the best time and remarked how easy everything was, including the quick flight, small airport, easy car rental, and family-friendly restaurants.

Who did you bring? How many people are in your family? 

We are a family of 4 with two girls: Bianca is 8 and a second grader and Camilla is 5 and is in her final year of preschool.

Where did you stay? Other hotel recommendations/tips?

We stayed in La Quinta which is incredibly family friendly. We chose La Quinta Legacy Villas Resort and booked through Airbnb. The property is at the base of the breathtaking Santa Rosa mountains. At this age, we like having a kitchenette, but also access to a pool restaurant for quick lunches & treats. I typically search out condos or "villas" depending on the property.

How did you handle meals? Any suggestions for family-friendly dinners?

I'm typically the one who handles most meals at home and I want to do as little meal planning as possible when on vacation.  We keep it simple and always do breakfast at the villa.  Typically cereal, eggs, and fruit.  My kids always get Lucky Charms on vacation which is a fun tradition.  When I arrive, I typically order a few things to stock the kitchen with snacks and drinks for both kids and adults and have them delivered via Instacart or do a curbside pickup.  This saves me time.
For lunch, it's always fun for the kids to eat at the pool.  If we're on an adventure that day, then we'll often find a little spot cafe or indulge in fast food.  
For dinner, we prefer to go early when it's less crowded and food comes faster.  I bring games, beads, and coloring books/crayons. The Grill on Main and Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill are in Old Town La Quinta with easy free parking and a central lawn.  Two other La Quinta favorites are La Quinta Cliffhouse and Morgan's in the Desert which has live music. Our family also enjoys happy hour at Tommy Bahama on their large outdoor roof deck after shopping at The Gardens on El Paseo.
For a large group meal with several families, we ordered from La Casuelas via DoorDash, which allowed the adults to relax and the kids to keep playing or enjoying a movie after a long day in the sun.  

Tip: During busy times like Spring Break, reservations are a must! 

Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage

Did you meet friends there?

We met up with three other families we've known since Bianca was in preschool.  One family rented a home through Airbnb in Palm Springs and the other stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage.  Between us, 7 kids don't go to school together, but are all still friends.  We had fun taking turns hosting pool days at each of the locations adding some variety.  
We also met up with Bianca's friend & classmates at La Quinta Resort & Club one evening. It is adjacent to the Legacy Villas and offers a full resort experience.  A family-friend tip is you can order from the resort restaurant to enjoy at your villa or room.  We joined the family for a birthday celebration including dinner from Adobe Grill and ate at their pool-side villa allowing the kids to eat and then night swim while we could relax.

Tip: If you don't have friends to pool hop, check out Resort Pass for a day pass to a resort with water slides and a lazy river like the Omni Resort or one of the many Westin properties, like the Westin Desert Willow Villas.


What did you do during a typical day?

When we weren't enjoying the pool, there were so many family-friendly things to do!
The Tramway is a fun and beautiful way to see the entire Palm Springs area. It can be cold at the top and you might even see snow.  Pack layers and comfortable walking shoes to ensure everyone is comfortable. At the top, there are trails to hike, a cafe, and a full-service restaurant.
The Living Desert is a wonderful family-friendly zoo and garden. You can feed giraffes, attend a learning session, ride the carousel, stop by the petting corral, look at the model trains, or walk through the pollen garden.  Wildlights of Spring is an annual evening exhibit especially geared towards toddlers and preschool-aged kids.  

Tip: Pre-purchase tickets to ensure you don't have long wait times and bring snacks!


Are there any standout experiences/activities that are not to be missed?

While the moms took the kids to the Living Desert, the dads did a day trip to Joshua Tree to hike and explore one of the finest national parks in California. This adventure requires proper preparation with appropriate clothing, water, and gear.
On another day, the Moms left the kids with the Dads at the pool.  Start the day at Ernst Coffee to caffeinate before a morning exploring the decor, vintage, and art galleries in Old Las Palmas.  A late leisurely lunch followed by cocktails at the Parker Hotel's Norma was the perfect escape before joining the families for dinner. 

Let’s Work Together

I love people and connecting with new opportunities. Let's talk about what's next for you, wherever you call home.