We arrived back in San Diego after Christmas, to some unseasonably cold weather and decided to head straight toward the desert, bypassing Los Angeles for the time being. We found a campground in Indio, CA, which borders Palm Desert. The boys favorite attraction there was the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which we visited on two separate occasions.
The Living Desert is fun and educational for children and adults alike. Near the entrance, we entered a bird tent, where we were encouraged to feed the plethora of colorful birds. My youngest greatly enjoyed this, and had birds landing on his shoulder and feeding in his hand.
Education and Conservation
As we circled the Zoo and gardens, we stopped to visit different learning tables. Volunteers led hands-on activities that were popular with the kids.
Several types of desert gardens and trails are scattered throughout the Park. The kids enjoyed taking photos of unusual cacti and pretty little birds along the way.
Gecko Gulch is a fun play area. Kids can pan for gold, balance on logs, and crawl through tree trunks. This is a great place for a much needed “grown-up” break.
Who doesn’t love to see animals? The Living Desert is filled with a large variety of desert animals – everything from giraffes to tigers to turtles.
G-Scale Model Train
The extensive train display was really awesome. There was so much detail in the miles of train scenes.
My oldest son captured a great shot in the Butterfly garden.
The kids loved the Petting Kraal. They had many opportunities to pet and brush all kinds of desert creatures.
My youngest son surprised me by enthusiastically going on a ride through the desert on a camel! His smile said it all.
There is a place for those misbehaving kids as well. Check out the JAIL if your child needs a time out.
We even returned to The Living Desert for their special Holiday exhibit. The Park was lit up with festive decorations. Music played in the courtyard while fires warmed up guests. Santa made an appearance as well. It was a nice event.
The Living Desert Information
47900 Portola Ave
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Click HERE for current pricing and hours.
While visiting the area, we stayed at the Indian Wells RV Park in Indio, CA. The resort is open to all ages. At least half of the park consists of permanent trailers. We enjoyed all the cute decorative touches their owners added. One friendly man from Rockford actually hunted us down so he could introduce himself to the fellow “Illinoisans” staying at the campground.
There are several pools and hot tubs, which is always a hit with my family. The pools here are the best with their bath-like temperatures. In addition, the amenities include a fitness center, clubhouse with billiards, a library, laundry facilities, a dog park, and ongoing activities. The RV Park is clean and beautiful, with lovely palm trees lining the roads, and mountain views beyond.
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