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What to do in Palm Springs with a newborn baby?

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Palm Springs is HOT in mid-April. Not like a little hot, but a lot hot. Not hot like Paris Hilton “that’s hot”, but hot like you can cook an egg on the ground.

Then again, if you ask a local what the temperature is like this time of year, they’ll tell you that it’s the comfortable season. I guess it is the equivalent of a local coming to Canada in the fall and saying that it is FREEZING.

Okay, okay, it’s not actually hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk. Trust me, I tried.

Nope – cant cook an egg on the sidewalk in Palm Springs

So, when you’re in the middle of the desert and it’s 100 degrees outside, what do you do with a newborn????

Here are some things we did (some we loved, and some we didn’t love):

Go hiking! I should note that I recommend hiking with a front baby carrier. We used the Baby Bjorn, and it was excellent, although a little hot. It allows you to keep your hands free, and your baby’s head from rolling around. Accidentally for one hike I forgot the Baby Bjorn, and had to carry Haddie on my chest by hand – I do not recommend this – it was brutal.

A Desert Lizard?

We headed over to Indian Canyons a few times, and tried a bunch of different routes.

There is a literal oasis of palm trees

My favourite was Andreas Canyons, which is a great hike with a newborn. It is about a about a 1 to 2 mile loop, mostly in the shade by beautiful palm trees along a little stream. There is a lot of wild life, beautiful mountain views, and pretty flat.

Waterfall at Andreas Canyons

We also did the Palm Canyon hike a few times. It is a 15 mile hike, but with a newborn we only went about a mile in, then turned around. The first mile is scenic, well shaded, and lots of wildlife to check out.

Palm Canyon is much lusher than you would expect in the middle of the desert

Cost: $9 per adult, children, free
Carrier: Baby Carrier

We also brought Haddie to the Museum Trail – about 50 feet in we didn’t feel comfortable and turned around. We returned the next day without Haddie. I would NOT recommend this trail with a baby, or anyone under 15 years old. It is steep, and there is zero shade. I thought I was going to die – literally. The views are incredible, and it saved me from having to go to the gym that day.

Hiking Museum Trail with no baby in tow

Cost: FREE!
Carrier: Do not attempt with a baby

2. Every Thursday on Palm Canyon Drive is “Villagefest”.

Multitasking at Villagefest

The main strip becomes pedestrianized, with local businesses lining the strip. It is an incredible outing with a little one, or fur-baby. There is great food, great art, 200 booths by local businesses and lots of people watching. This is a must. Stroller or baby carrier is good.

Cost: FREE!
Carrier: stroller or carrier

3. The Living Desert was okay, but I would not recommend it with a newborn, unless you love the zoo. Personally, I don’t love the idea of zoos and animals in captivity. We had a nice walk around, saw some giraffes and wart hogs, then we all overheated, and bounced out of there. I am told that there is some good hiking from the zoo, but we were just too hot to attempt it.

Sorry, Giraffes just aren’t part of Palm Springs

Cost: $19.95 per adult, babies are free
Carrier: Stroller all the way.

4. Take the Tram to the top of a mountain. It is HOT outside, and the top of the mountain is chill! If you are looking to escape the heat, and see the mountains, the tram is a great way to get to the top without hiking.

Started on the bottom, looking up

This was a real highlight of the trip, and I wish we spent more time up there. We took the 4pm tram up, and came down for dinner. If we were to do this again, I would recommend going up around noon and taking a picnic, and spend the day hiking around – this was stunning and unique.

We should have spent the day up here hiking

Cost: $24.95 per adult, babies are free:
Carrier: Stroller or body carrier

5. Sit in the shade by the pool, with a fan, and just relax! Although, this is even too hot to do for more than 30 minutes with a baby.

6. Go shopping. We loved Jensen’s Finest Food – they have great produce, and a top quality butcher section. But, I should warn you, it ain’t cheap!

Of course, being from Canada, we had to go to Target 8 times in the few weeks we were here and load Haddie up on some new clothes, and essentials. Palm Desert also has upscale shopping.

6. Walk the strip – the main strip is really nice to walk with some great little shops, and a handful of art galleries. Personally, I really enjoyed Elena Bulatova Fine Art. They have a great collection inside, and outback. One of my favourite pieces was an original collection by Bulatova called “Wall Street Journal Series”. Hopefully she is still selling these when Haddie is a little bit older, as I will totally be buying her something from this series. Walk the strip in the morning or later afternoon when there is a shadow cast on one side of the street – mid day is just too hot.

The Wall Street Journal Series

7. Sit in the air conditioned house! Honestly, between 11am and 4pm it is just too hot to take a baby outside. On a quick stroll to the ice-cream shop (Tutti Fruitti), which is only a 5 minute walk, Haddie overheated.

There is lots to do in Palm Springs, it is an incredible vacation spot, and we definitely didn’t even scratch the surface – in fact, we didn’t even make it to the Art Museum. Renting houses with a pool is easy, and often times more affordable than a hotel room. But, with a baby we felt limited in outings, but loved the house and found the vacation very relaxing.

Know of anything else to do, let me know for our next trip to Palm Springs.

PS: I should note, I am terrible with heat. I like cold and snow.

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