Rancho Mirage has been occasionally referred to as “God’s Waiting Room”. It is true that the average age of the year round population is above sixty. But most of the folks living here that I know are not waiting around for God or the plumber. That’s what the help’s for – right?
Active, engaged, smart, successful and happy defines the Rancho Mirage attitude and vibe of the residents. Mustn’t forget generous! The Children’s Museum of the Desert is a perfect example of the largess of the residents. The Annenberg’s gave the land; Gerald and Betty Ford lent their name and wrote a check and many others followed suit resulting in a jewel of a playhouse for kids.
So if the residents are all geezers where do the kids come from that can be seen romping at the Children’s Museum? Truth is many successful young professionals live and are raising their families in Rancho Mirage. The Valley has seen a recent surge of growth in young families, with the average age of residents dropping in the last 10 years from 55 to 35 years old. One of the best grammar schools in the Valley is tucked back in a quiet neighborhood in our City. The most esteemed K – 12 private school in the region, Marywood Palm Valley School, with 500 students enrolled, is located here. In the very near future a sprawling public high school will be built in north-west Rancho Mirage. Kids do exist in significant numbers in our town.
Yet at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert kids come from all over the Palm Springs Valley, Southern California and beyond. It’s easy to see why! The beautiful 18,000 square foot complex was designed by the renowned firm MGA Partners that specializes in interactive museums. Fun is waiting at every turn. Exhibits, designed by Hands On! Inc., that engage children in interactive investigation and learning, through fun, fill a huge galley. Mazes, brain twisters, play rooms and so much more make a happy day of exploration for little ones. Painting a Volkswagen, making a pizza, role playing cashier at a grocery store all add up to a happy time for toddlers to first graders.
In addition to the permanent exhibits the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert presents, through out the year in the multi purpose Dinah Shore Center, a host of classes for grammar school aged children. An outdoor amphitheater, garden and play area is the setting for concerts and family fun days.