10 Kids Activities in Palm Springs

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When we were booking our trip, the travel agent told us that we only really needed 2 days in Palm Springs. Anything more and we's get bored. There's not much to do there, he said, better to spend only two days and then hit up theme parks in San Diego. There's nothing wrong with theme parks but we had planned three days at Disneyland at the beginning of the trip so for the end of the trip we were after something a little different. A week in Palm Springs sounded perfect, so we insisted on a week in Palm Springs and boy are we so glad we did! Even after a week we still hadn't done all of the activities that Palm Springs has to offer and we didn't visit a single golf course, not one (there are apparently 145 golf courses in Palm Springs, though the number varies depending on who you talk to!). This post is a little round up of 10 kids activities in Palm Springs.

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Palm Springs Art Museum

The activities tested by us:

1.

The Palm Springs Art Museum

2.

Cabezon Dinosaurs

(this is not a whole day trip)

3.

Sunnylands Centre

(we did this the same day as the Art Museum)

4.

Joshua Tree National Park

(a day trip)

5. Playground then swimming

6. Walk around downtown

7.

Palm Springs Architecture Design Museum

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Sunnylands Centre

What we were not able to do:

8.

Aerial Tramway

9.

Children's Discovery Museum of the Desert

10. Hire a bike trailer and bike around town

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Joshua Tree

Have you been to Palm Springs? Is there anything that I'm missing?

We had such a good time there. I throughly recommend it as a holiday destination.

Tips for a ski trip with kids

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Today I am sharing a few things we learnt on this past ski trip with Lulu. Some of these things are things I wish I knew earlier, some are things that worked well for us. Here are my tips for a ski trip with kids:

1.

Book ski school / daycare when you book your accomodation

- Daycare was booked out when we were at Fernie and it was heartbreaking, not only for us but also for Lulu who wanted to play with kids.

2.

Clothing

- Put aside $200 and buy kids ski clothes when you first arrive in the cold country. That being said if you arrive any later than December into Canada there will only be bathers in store, so stock up before you leave. If you are skiing in Australia you can hire ski clothes, so no need to buy kids clothing that they probably won't wear again.

3. Equipment

- This you can hire at any ski resort, but it is usually cheaper to hire in town before you go 'up the mountain'.

4. Be prepared for kids to last about an hour before they want a snack/lunch/break

 - most days I don't think Lulu even lasted an hour.

5. Mittens

- buy more than one pair of mittens. These things get eaten just like socks.

6. Book ski in / ski out accomodation

- Yes it costs more but is totally worth it when your kid cracks it after only 1/2 hour of skiing and refuses to ski for the rest of the day. If we weren't staying on the mountain one of us would have had to drive back to town while the other skied. No fun at all. Ski in / Ski Out accomodation meant we could trade off hanging out in the room with Lulu.

7. Book accomodation with a pool

- As per my Tips for travelling with kids post, a pool gives you a non-skiing physical activity to do.

Do you have any tips for a ski trip with kids? Am sure there are many more!

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Tips for Travelling with Kids

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On our recent overseas trip we took 8 flights including two that lasted for 13+ hours and we stayed in 5 different locations. Lulu has been travelling since she was small but she had never been on a long haul flight before. You never know how the kids are going to react to being stuck on a plane for 13 hours, but there are a number of things that you can do to help make the flight and a hotel stay a little easier. Here are my tips for travelling with kids.

THE FLIGHT

We were super lucky in that the long haul flight to LAX left Sydney at 6:30pm. Lulu had a bit of a play on the plane, then dinner. Post dinner she watched a cartoon or two then we changed her into her pjs, cleaned her teeth, read a story and then she went to sleep. We kept her bedtime routine the same as if she was at home (though she doesn't normally watch TV after dinner, but there has to be some on the plane treats, right?!).

Keep the bedtime routine as much the same as your at home bedtime routine. This goes the same for where ever you are during your trip.

PLANE CARRY ON

1. Spare Clothes

Whether or not your child suffers from travel sickness, at some point they are going to spill something on themselves. A spare pair of clothes is a must.

2. Lego

Lego is great for creative play and fairly easy to keep contained within a small space. We didn't end up using it on the plane but it was great for play at the hotel.

3. Books

Stories for keeping bedtime routines the same. Also handy for when the airline doesn't let you use headphones on take off and landing (am looking at you Air Canada!).

4. Colouring in book and crayons or mess free texts.

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HOTELS

1. Stay at a hotel with a restaurant

By the time you are up and dressed everyone is far too hungry and cranky to then be on a search for breakfast.

2. Make sure your hotel room has a seperate space for your child to sleep and if possible a balcony space your you to hang out while your child is falling asleep.

Our hotel near Disneyland had a seperate room for Lulu, which was fabulous. The hotel in Palm Springs had a space with curtains you could pull across to give the child some privacy for sleeping. This hotel also had balconies but we didn't end up using them because I was far too tired to stay up very long after Lulu had gone to bed. Nick ventured to the hotel bar some of the nights while us gals slept early. So I guess the other tip would be to stay at a hotel with a bar!

3. Hotel Pool

Make sure your hotel has a pool that can be used all year round. This will give you a great, 'free' activity to do on any quite days you may have. Again you won't need to travel far to get there either.

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Have you travelled with your kids? What are your hot tips?

Nick's mum overheard a mum saying that she often does the LAX-SYD flight and that they just have it down now - then she saw the mum and her two kids in business class! So that's one other way to make travelling with kids a little easier!

PS Mini-Break (Lulu's first flight!), Solo Plane Flight with BabySlippers, Cuddles and Aeroplanes

Henbury Meteorite Craters

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The Henbury Meteorite Craters are on the road back from Kings Canyon (If you take the Ernest Giles Road). We normally speed right past, keen to arrive home quickly. But this time we had a toddler with us who was getting fidgety and as we were a fair way from the next stop, we pulled in at the Henbury Meteorite Craters to have a closer look and let Lulu have a run around.

The reserve contains 12 craters which were formed when a meteor hit. The walk around the edge of the first crater is fairly easy, perfect for stretching your legs after driving. Lulu even walked some of it. Nick & I were both too tired & wanted to get home quickly so we didn't walk around the other craters. The flowers on the craters were beautiful. We were there late in the day so the lighting was just perfect. No need for photo editing filters!

You can also camp overnight there for a small fee that you drop into an honesty box. There is a long drop toilet and a few campfire pits. A great location if you like to camp in peace and quiet. As I said, we didn't stay too long, but it was definitely worth pulling off the main road and taking a look.

Pit stop on the Feb '13 roadtrip - Coober Pedy

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Coober Pedy lies roughly 800km south of Alice Springs and about 800km north of Adelaide. If you're driving to & from Alice Springs to Adelaide, there is no way to avoid it. The town is surrounded by, well, nothing at all, above the ground that is. The main industry is opal mining. Opal was discovered there in 1915 and many return soldiers moved to town to mine it after World War 1. 

Most of the town lies underground, which makes for a fairly deserted streetscape. It was the return soldiers who introduced the underground living, similar to the dougouts they lived in in the trenches of France. I had thought the underground houses were just to escape the heat! As I had never stayed in one of the underground hotels we took this return trip from Apollo Bay as the perfect opportunity. It was quite strange without natural light and silent, so silent. If you like to fall asleep in a quiet, dark room, The Desert Cave Hotel is the place for you. 

We arrived early afternoon & set out on a little walking adventure, before having a beer at one of the pubs and an early pizza dinner. I love the fruit on the roof of John's Pizza Bar & Restaurant. Everyone from Alice Springs who has been to Coober Pedy says you have to have dinner at Tom & Mary's Greek Restaurant, but we think the pizza at John's is the bomb. After dinner it was a quick sink bath for Lulu and then early to bed for all of us to rest up for the last day of our three day trip home.

Roadtripping with a Baby

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Last Thursday we headed off for our annual trip to Apollo Bay. We had decided to drive, mainly because Apollo Bay is a 2.5hr trip from Melbourne & if we flew we'd have to hire a car to get here from the airport anyway. However, Apollo Bay happens to be a 3 day car trip from Alice Springs and I think Lulu must have sensed that she'd be trapped in a car for 3 days, so she threw up before we even left the house and then 3 more times before we reached the Finke Start/Finish line, which is about 15km from Alice Springs. 

Since we were still in mobile phone range I looked at the cost of a flight to Adelaide for Lulu & I. Fights were less than $250 and with the possibility that Lulu would continue to be sick during the day when we're 300km from no where (not an exaggeration), we turned back and took the flight. Nick, the hero, met us in Adelaide the next day with the car. We spent two nights with my parents before continuing the journey to Apollo Bay. Lulu wasn't sick over the weekend & only threw up twice during what became an over 10hr car trip. 

It's normally about a 7hr trip to the Bay, but when you're travelling with a baby you need to make a lot of stops and the stops aren't just running to use the loo or buy a drink. You've got the nappy change, a feed (and yes, she'll suck that bottle down as slowly as possible), stretching her little legs, playing on the swings. The old 'she'll just fall asleep because it's so boring' did not apply. She slept for maybe three hours in total! My tips for roadtripping with an 11 month old? 

  • ensure you can reach from the front to give the baby a bottle in the back - my arms are way too short for this to be comfortable
  • Interactive book/s - Lulu loves books where she can feel different elements ie sandpaper, fluffy, bumpy. One of these books can keep her entertained for ages.
  • Hanging toys - hang different toys from the handle above the door.
  • Snacks - I lost count of how many rice crackers Lulu ate. Many ended up on the floor but they all kept her occupied for a while
  • Sesame Street - At some point it's all just going to get to be too much. This is when you crack out the sesame street on the ipad. Yes, I was someone who said my kid wouldn't watch tv in the car but when confronted with a crying 11 month old who just wants out though we stopped 10 mins ago? TV wins. 

Have you done a big road trip with your baby?

Any tips for our trip back? We are contemplating another flight!