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Things to Do in Palm Springs When It’s Hot!

I just love Palm Springs. It’s truly like a different world! A little colorful, crazy oasis in the desert. I wrote last year about things to do in Palm Springs with kids (I’m always so surprised when people think it’s not kid-friendly), but what about when it’s insanely hot? On our trip a couple weeks ago the coolest day was 103 and the hottest day was 115. And yes, that’s pretty hot (even for this California native), but it never derailed our plans. Here are some fun things to do in Palm Springs when it’s hot!

Things to Do in Palm Springs When It’s Hot

Get in the Pool

Priority number one? Stay in a place with a really good pool. And not just a pool, but a pool that has shady seating nearby, or even shaded swimming spots. Use a ton of sunscreen and make sure you stay hydrated; swimming can trick you into thinking that you’re feeling fine and then all of a sudden you realize you’re burned and dehydrated!

We stayed at the Westin Mission Hills Villas, and the two pools there were great! Lots of shade, waterslides, nice cabanas, and poolside service. As a side note, I always wear this hat, whether I’m in the pool or not (Maggie stole it from me in the photo above). It’s squishy so it packs really well, it can get wet, and it provides lots of shade. No sun spots or face/shoulder burns since I started wearing this baby!

Shake It Up

I’m not really sure why, but Palm Springs has a pretty legit selection of milkshake shops. I’m a fan of Great Shakes — they have a huge menu of fun shakes, and they each come with a little donut around the straw. You can also go for a famous Date Shake at Shields Date Garden, which is kind of a Palm Springs staple. There’s also Monster Shakes, where you can get a crazy, candy-topped milkshake to end all other milkshakes.

But whichever you choose, a milkshake outing is a fun way to cool off and spend an afternoon.

Museums

This one might not be up your alley if you don’t have kids with you, but we went to the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert for the first time this trip and I can’t believe we haven’t been before! It’s a pretty great children’s museum; we spent about two hours there (in the glorious air conditioning), and the kids could have stayed way longer. There’s quite a bit for them to do, and it’s pretty entertaining for all ages. There’s a toddler zone that’s more play-based, with a ton of the more traditional children’s museum exhibits for the older kids. At 4 and 2, Henry and Maggie could have played there all day.

Dinosaurs

I mentioned the Dinosaurs last time, but wanted to cover it again as a hot-weather activity! The Cabazon Dinosaurs are about a half hour drive away from Palm Springs (toward LA), and we always find that it’s 5-10 degrees cooler once we get there. I like to go close to closing time (they close at 8 pm and stop ticket sales at 7:30), so it’s even cooler. If you arrive around 6:30 or 7 it’s plenty of time to see the whole thing, and the temperatures are significantly less hot. When we went it was 100 in Palm Springs and about 85 at the dinosaurs.

Go Outside Early

And no matter what you do in the desert in the summer, if it’s outdoors it’s best to do it as early as possible! We actually ended up doing most of our swimming in the morning, from around 9-12, and then staying indoors in the hot afternoons — visiting shops, playing with the photobooth at the Ace, museums, restaurants, or just hanging out in our hotel room and playing games.

Would you ever go to the desert in the summer? Or is it just too darn hot for you? xoxo

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3 thoughts on “Things to Do in Palm Springs When It’s Hot!

  1. You didn’t mention the best thing to do in the heat, and also really great in general, the aerial tram to Mt. San Jacinto! We did this last summer when I was pregnant and wilting big time from the heat and it was about 20-30 degrees cooler up there. Plus, the tram ride is fun, very easy walking (would not really call it hiking), beautiful views. It was the best thing we did the whole weekend.

  2. Makes me want to go there. I never had the chance to come when I travelled to LA.
    Tho the heat and me is not a great combination. Which time of the year would you recommend us (with my wife) to come ?

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