So on the eve of the election we packed our bags made a run for it. Not, as you might expect, to the border. But instead to my happy place in the desert – Palm Springs. It had never really occurred to me that Palmy might be an ideal destination for kids but it was awesome! Chilled house, turquoise pool, silent starry nights and just enough easy-access walking tours and museums to keep our two maniacs sedated for five days.
The Cabazona Dinosaurs, just off the I-10, were quite literally the best thing our three year old son had ever seen in his life and saved the day after a long sweaty driving afternoon on Day 1. Other kid favorites were the The Living Desert (sand dune play area, cactus slide, real life camels and of course the ubiquitous model railway, what’s not to love?) and The Palm Springs Air Museum, an old air field and museum with some amazing examples of WW2 aircraft and a lovely ‘panama hats and cigars’ kind of taste of life in Palm Springs in a by-gone era. Archer particularly loved climbing into the cockpit of an old fighter plane complete with about a zillion buttons and levers, meanwhile Big M enjoyed his Top Gun moment 🙂
However, hands down the favorite day for the kids was running, climbing and sliding around the incredible landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park. We’d visited, child-free, in years gone by and so knew to time our exploring with the golden hour at sunset; cooler temperatures and long golden shadows. Just awe inspiring.
The all-time adult fav for us was a morning at The Parker, complete with the best brunch I have ever tasted at ‘Norma’s’. The Parker is the kind of hotel that will make you wish you were child-free, the delicious hipster-cool decor (including the famous Jonathan Adler designed front door) is even more scrummy than the food. None the less they did a great job of welcoming our little ones like royalty, sticky fingers and all. The pool is Palm Springs perfection. The lawns look edible. I was so glad I’d washed my hair that morning and even swopped out my mum-birkenstocks for real lady sandals. One day, ten years from now, we will stay there.
Last but not least we took a stroll around the best of Palm Springs’ neighborhoods, taking in some old Hollywood homes and fabulous mid-centiry mod architecture, not to mention #thatpinkdoor !
The vintage hip vibe combined with the cool stillness of the dessert makes Palm Springs one of my favorite places in California. It was the perfect place to turn off the tv on that terrifying night.
Our best bits:
The Parker – theparkerpalmsprings.com
The Living Dessert – livingdesert.org
The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert – cdmood.org
Joshua Tree National Park – joshuatree.org
The Palm Springs Air Museum – palmspringsairmuseum.org
The Cabazona Dinosaurs – cabazonadinosaurs.com