Reba and I are empty nesters but in our day when spring break rolled around we’d pack up the kids and head for a resort for much needed R&R and family bonding. A little bit of luxury and full service amenities were a requirement. A laid back attitude that made the kids feel comfortable was also a must for any resort we’d select. Why Rancho Mirage never hit our radar I’ll never know but as an expert at making wife and kiddies happy on a get-away, I’m here to tell you that the Palm Springs Valley and particularly Rancho Mirage is just about the perfect destination for family fun.

See if you agree with my check list of requirements for a fun family get-away:

  • Great Weather.
  • Resorts that welcome kids, have terrific pools, child friendly restaurants and other amenities designed to appeal to young people.
  • Casual clothing is the norm.
  • Enough luxury to please Mom and Dad.
  • Other families in residence so that children didn’t feel trapped with their parents and they can safely meet other young people to hang out with.
  • Close to home so that the drive to the resort doesn’t take much longer than a couple of hours.
  • Large guest rooms and adjoining rooms so that families can spread out and not feel as if we are camping on top of one another.
  • Lots of interesting outdoor things for families to experience together such as hiking, cycling, tennis and golf. One or two WOW experiences.
  • No packaged activities; after the age of six, Disneyland always seemed like someone else’s idea of fun.
  • Great value at a reasonable price. Book your Spring Break now at a Rancho Mirage resorts and plan your three days of fun. Here’s my suggested itinerary:

    Day 1
  • Get on the road early so that you arrive at your resort for check-in around noon.
  • Hit the pool. Have lunch served in your cabana and let the kids swim and play in the pool until mid-afternoon.
  • Organize a family tennis tournament with lots of cheering and a trophy for the winner. Everyone participates.
  • Mom has a two hour break for a treatment at the resort spa and a little chill time at the spa pool while Dad and the kids watch a movie in the room.
  • Head to The River and let the kids select a restaurant for dinner – no reservations required – followed by an ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. Pop into Borders. Everyone select a book or a magazine for curling up with for the rest of the evening. Lots of cool little children’s toys can be found here as well.
  • Day 2

  • Room service breakfast – kid’s love it and the fun makes it worth the bit of extra expense. Pile into one bed and munch away while watching cartoons on the tube.
  • Head to the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway for your WOW experience. Kids will never forget the 10 minute ride straight-up on the world’s largest rotating tramcar. At the top take a two hour hike on one of the loop trails.
  • Hamburgers at PEAKS Restaurant before taking the tram back to the valley floor.
  • Back to your resort and head to the pool. Dad can enjoy a round of golf.
  • Family dinner at the restaurant at your resort.
  • If you have a telescope – bring it. The stars blaze the night sky in the Palm Springs Valley. Set up on your balcony or on the resort’s golf course and find the Milky Way.
  • Day 3

  • Breakfast at Keedy’s Fountain Grill in Palm Desert. This old fashioned diner has been a favorite of U. S. Presidents, Hollywood celebrities and truckers for decades. Kids love the amazing pancakes and Mom and Dad appreciate the terrific service and price point.
  • Arrive at The Living Desert by 9:30 AM so that by 10:00 AM you can be at the giraffe enclosure for the daily feeding of treats to the gentle giants. No one in your family will forget the massive purple tongues of these beautiful creatures reaching out to snatch a biscuit from your out-stretched palms. Take a camera!
  • Spend a couple of hours enjoying the many attractions at The Living Desert. Don’t miss the collection of cats, the Big Horn Sheep indigenous to the mountains surrounding Palm Springs Valley and the Fanciful Fliers exhibit featuring butterflies and hummingbirds in a 3000 walk-in enclosure.
  • Lunch at one of the many restaurants at The River before heading home with many happy family fun memories.

    RM