Palm Springs with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

Palm Springs with Teens: A Family Vacation


Palm Springs, Calif., is an oasis in the desert located at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. The weather here is beautiful year round (though it can get steamy in the summer), providing the perfect playground in which to spend the day with your teens. There are so many activities offered throughout the year in Palm Springs that teens will enjoy that you may have a hard time choosing among them all. Let's help you embark on your perfect family vacation in Palm Springs with teens.


Start your day off bright and early with breakfast at the much-loved Elmer's Restaurant. Dine on huge portions of tasty fare like French toast, pancakes, crepes, waffles, and more. Be sure to try the Dutch Babies (similar to a German pancake). They are one of the best things on the breakfast menu. Order them with the apples dripping in caramel maple sauce. Your hungry teens will not be disappointed! Get there early, as it can get crowded fast. They are open daily 6AM-9PM, and most items are under $10. Elmer's is located at 1030 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92264. (760) 327-8419.

One of the best family vacation ideas with kids is to take them on an off-road tour of the desert in an air-conditioned Hummer H2. Elite Land Tours offers several different tour packages encompassing most of Palm Springs and the surrounding desert areas. Join one of many experienced guides as you drive through Joshua Tree National Park, take a windmill or city tour, or try the two-hour desert sampler tour, which includes a close-up look at the San Andreas Fault line. Snacks and refreshments are included. Call to make a reservation, as tours book up early. Prices begin at $69/pp. Elite Land Tours is located at 540 S. Vella Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264. (760) 318-1200.

Travel from the hot desert floor to the cool mountaintop and make your next family adventure the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. One of the largest rotating tramways in the world, its cars carry passengers up the sheer face of the San Jacinto Mountains to an elevation of 2,643 feet. While at the top, take a hike, play in the snow or just sit and admire the breathtaking views of the valley before heading back down. The trip takes about 15 minutes each way. Ticket prices are $23.25 for adults, $16.25 for ages 3 - 12 and $21.25 for seniors. Children under 3 are free. The tram opens at 10AM Mon - Fri, and 8AM Sat, Sun and holidays. It is located at One Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262. (760) 325-1449.


After a morning filled with sightseeing in Palm Springs, your teens have probably worked up a good appetite. How about sinking your teeth into some great Mexican food at Las Casuelas Terraza? This family-owned establishment serves up scrumptious traditional dishes such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas and tamales. This is a great choice for family vacations with kids. Teens won't go hungry here – there's plenty of food, an extensive menu and a wonderful atmosphere. If it's not too hot, sit on the patio and people watch while you enjoy your meal. Las Casuelas Terraza is located at 222 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262. (760) 325-2794.

Next, try a history lesson that's a favorite of both kids and teens. Palm Springs Air Museum lets them view the world's largest display of WWII aircraft located in large airplane hangers. Visitors at this museum are allowed to walk around the aircraft with no restrictions, which makes this a perfect thing to do with kids. Be sure and check out the other displays of authentic clothing, artifacts and artwork. Talk to some of the volunteers, as many of them have flown these planes. They also have a great library with a flight simulator inside and a great collection of vintage automobiles. Check their website for a calendar of events. The museum is open from 10AM - 5PM, and ticket prices are $5 for ages 6 – 12, $10 for ages 13 – 17, $12 for ages 18 - 65, $10 for seniors and children under 5 are free. They are located at 745 North Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92262. (760) 778-6262.

Palm Springs can get very hot. If you happen to be visiting between March and September, take your kids to Knott's Soak City and let them have some fun in the sun (and water). They will have a blast joining other kids as they fly down tunnels, ride the rapids or hang out at Kahuna's Beach House, featuring five water slides. This is the perfect Palm Springs family adventure on a hot day! Check the website for hours and online discount tickets. Knott's is located at 1500 Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, CA 92264. (760) 327-0499.


For that last bit of fun on your vacation in Palm Springs with teens, hit Boomers Family Fun Center. You and your kids can let loose around the track in a go cart race, play some miniature golf, climb the rock wall or get dizzy on the bumper boats. Boomers also has an arcade. Prices vary according to ride, so check the website for pricing and discounts. Kids under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Boomers is open 12PM – 9PM Mon - Thu, 12PM – 10PM Fri, 10AM – 10PM Sat and 10AM – 9PM Sun. Boomers is located at 67-700 East Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City, CA 92234. (760) 770-7522.

If your stomach can take food at this point, cap off the family vacation in Palm Springs with a visit to Picanha Churrascaria. This traditional Brazilian barbeque restaurant serves up to 15 different kinds of grilled meat at your table. Waiters carry beef, chicken, lamb, pork and sausages on long skewers and cut them right onto your plate. Come hungry, because the meat is so good you will not want to stop eating! They also have a big salad bar and a great variety of side dishes. Prices vary at each location, but expect to pay $25-30 for dinner. The restaurant is located at 68-510 E Palm Canyon Dr. Cathedral City, CA 92234. (760) 328-1818.

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