Thursday, January 26, 2017

Palm Springs in 24 hours

To close out 2016 we decided to take a short family trip out to Palm Springs.  Our main purpose was to take the kids somewhere for snow play but since our plans were so last minute, and being that it was around the holidays, we couldn’t find any available accommodations.  We opted for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which takes you 2.5 miles to the top of a mountain in a 360 degree rotating gondola.  The view is spectacular and with the rotation, you won’t be bored looking at the same thing.  The ride is about 10 minutes, just long enough before the kiddos got antsy.  The day we went it actually started snowing as we were on the tram so it was quite a beautiful sight.  The tram lets you off at the top and filters you inside the lodge.  There is a cafeteria, bar, bathrooms, and plenty of seating.  We brought our sleds so we heading outside and down a zig zag ramp to join all the other people having fun in the snow.  We enjoyed a fun few hours before heading back up for some food.  One word of advice, buy your tickets early and online.  Tram tickets are timed so once a slot sells out, you are ticketed for the next available.  We didn’t know and bought the tickets onsite.  Even though we got there first thing in the morning we still had to wait almost an hour for our tram.  After our day in the mountains we checked into our hotel at the nearby Doubletree and enjoyed a nice dinner in the downtown area.

The next day was our final day in the area (I told you it was a short trip).   We decided to check out the Palm Springs Air Museum since my son loves airplanes.  If your kids are too small to enjoy the museum experience, there are several real life displays outside.  There are two main hangers filled with war planes, bombers, and even a little play area for the kids.  The staff is super friendly and love sharing their stories.  Most of them are volunteer veterans so if you’re curious about something don’t be shy to ask.

As we headed back to the LA area we made 2 more pit stops one for the kids and one for me.  We had heard about and seen the giant dinosaurs off the 10 freeway on our way to Palm Springs.  Turns out it’s a museum.  Since it was starting to rain we decided just to stop for some pictures only and never made it inside but just the sight of them was enough for my kids.  I’m really curious if it’s worth going inside for.  If you’ve been, please comment below.

Our final destination was a 5 minute drive over to the outlets!  If you're going to drive all the way out this far, might as well so some shopping on the way home right?  Dessert Hills Premium Outlets has some high end stores like Fendi, Burberry, Tory Burch, as well as your typical GAP, Banana Republic type stores.  If you have a AAA card, stop by the information center and pick up a brochure for even more coupons and discounts.

So that's it, our 24 stay in Palm Springs plus a few extra stops heading back to LA.  Next time we're out there we hope to venture to Joshua Tree.  Stay tuned!

Know before you go:
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Monday – Friday – First Tram up 10:00am

SaturdaySunday and Holidays – First Tram up 8:00am
Adults $25.95
Children $16.95 (3-12)
Seniors $23.95 (65+)

Palm Springs Air Museum
745 North Gene Autry Trail. Palm Springs CA 92262
Daily 10am - 5pm
Adults $16.50
Youth (13-17), Seniors (65+), and Retired Military $14.50
Youth (6-12) $9.50

Cabazon Dinosaurs
50770 Seminole Drive, Cabazon, CA 92230
Daily 10-430p
Adults $10
Children $9 (2-12)
Senior (55+) and Military $7

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Great Room Cafe

What a great addition to the South Bay!  The Great Room CafĂ© recently opened in Redondo Beach and we were very excited to check it out.  It is an indoor play space for kids but also serves a full menu including alcohol.  The play area is separated into 2 rooms, one for toddlers with a wooden play structure, pretend kitchen and books and another room for the older kids which has video games, computers and TV.  The rest is an open dining room with couches, family style seating and lots of big screen TVs.  They also have a private room to reserve for parties.  We took our 2 little ones here and were able to enjoy a nice meal while the kids played in the rooms.  One issue people have complained about is the lack of view of the play rooms from the dining area.  They’ve addressed this issue by always having a dedicated staff in the toddler room to supervise the kids.  I didn’t see any staff in the older kids room though.  The food isn’t bad and the menu here is pretty extensive including salads, pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, desserts and drinks.  We’ve been to several indoor playgrounds and this definitely has a more upscale vibe catering not just to the kids but adults as well.  Stop by to catch up with friends or watch a game while your kids have a great time as well.

Know before you go:
Hours: Daily 7a-10p, Fri-Sat 7a-11p
Free parking is available in their lot.
$10 per child, $8 for siblings

About the business:
2810 Artesia Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
424-255-TGR1 (8471)