Roughly a decade ago, several of Palm Springs’ favorite old-school haunts, such as The Avalon Hotel, received a fresh coat of “Hollywood Regency” glamour that would make Frank Sinatra and his fellow mid-20th-century Rat Pack swoon. And baby, it was hardly the kind of “retirement” scene people once associated with the desert community two hours outside of Los Angeles and San Diego.
The late 2000s brought back the cool flair and sunlit color schemes of that earlier time. However, more people got to go to the party, from newly minted L.A. hipsters just out of college to Palm Spring’s stylish LGBTQ+ community to young families wanting to experience the past and future of the Coachella Valley in the days just before the word “Coachella” became a global cultural phenomenon.
At The Saguaro, which adds an irreverent twist to the retro-chic vibe of Palm Springs, the party continues throughout the year. Its Mexican restaurant, El Jefe, is a local favorite for good reason — its artsy south-of-the-border dishes and beverages taste as good as they look. There’s also historic interest, as the 244-room property was repurposed from a motel originally built in 1964 for visiting families.
Kids will immediately be hooked with the most progressive and inclusive “Barbie Dream House” in existence, as well as the giant Jenga game, ping-pong tables and free rental bikes arranged inside the front lobby. Teens and adults can enjoy free yoga classes offered daily as well as a nice little fitness room. The interiors of the private rooms are just as much fun, decked out in Crayola-bright hues with views of the pool area.
In addition to day-to-day chilling, the property also stages several fun events making the most of Palm Spring’s colorful and arty vibe, from She’s Crafty classes hosted by the Coachella Valley Art Scene and outdoor movie nights to Taco Tuesdays and Thursdays at El Jefe.
Though the pool, the hotel’s internationally photographed aquatic focal point, can get a little crazy (especially in summer with a post-Coachella Festival deluge of bachelorette and graduation), parents with toddlers and elementary school-aged children will find the hotel’s almost utopian mood welcoming. Families on holiday I encountered during my stay came from as far away as Shanghai, China; the United Kingdom; and Japan; and as nearby as San Diego, Los Angeles and Baja, Mexico.
As The Saguaro is just a few minutes’ drive or a free shuttle ride (when available) to downtown Palm Springs, it’s easy to take advantage of several all-ages dining opportunities along Palm Springs Boulevard, such as Lulu’s (known for its mix-and-match four-course special for $20) and The Draughtsman (whose best menu item is a flawless grilled cheese sandwich for kids of all ages).
However, for what’s perhaps the most authentic taste of Palm Springs, be sure to include Thursday in the plans. On Thursday nights, Palm Springs Boulevard is closed to traffic for its weekly street fair, which includes local artisans, street musicians and the best street food in the area, including The Tamale Guy (amazing vegetarian options) and artisanal sweets makers (Suzy Q’s Sweet Things, Robertson Roasted Almonds, Brandini Toffee) who tempt passersby with samples. What really makes the weekly festival a treat is the opportunity to mix with local families as interesting and colorful as the facades and interiors of The Saguaro. The local pride here is infectious.
With cooler weather and fall colors on its way, it’s time to plan your fall family travels. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort PA Wilds in Mansfield is the perfect destination, and with both scary and not-so-scary events, kids and parents alike can celebrate the festive season with trick-or-treating, fall crafts, fun with the Yogi Bear characters and more.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Oktoberfest is not all about beer. Although beer does play a major role, many of these German-themed fall festivals include activities fun for the whole family. You don’t need to travel to Munich to enjoy the oom-pah bands, lively dances, colorful Bavarian dress and traditional German foods; you can find them in almost all regions of the United States this October. Here are some good choices for families:
Rome is a city full of musts for visitors. You must visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps. And the list goes on, all the way down to trying gelato. No trip to Rome would be complete without the obligatory sweet treat, and for good reason. Gelato is delicious, refreshing and it comes in every flavor you can imagine. But while you can find it just about everywhere you turn in the Eternal City, it’s important to know not all gelatos are created equal. The city is brimming with fakes, and once you know how to tell the difference, not only will you see the fake stuff everywhere, but you will also refuse to settle for less than authentic.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Looking for a unique, fun and educational activity for the kids during your next family travels? Well, Kidzania has you covered. Located in Dallas, Texas, this city is not only built for kids but also run by kids. It’s unlike any other entertainment parks; in Kidzania, kids learn useful knowledge, skills and experiences, all while having the chance to be independent.