Joshua Tree National Park draws visitors from all over the world, campers, hikers, and regular travelers, each searching for their own unique experience in the otherworldly beauty of the desert. Exploring rugged dirt trails for secret gardens of blooming cholla cacti, discovering old ruins from the wild west days, wandering through sprawling forests of Joshua Trees—it’s all in a typical day for a Joshua Tree vacation, and visitors from all walks of life can find excitement in the geological wonder of the desert. That makes it the perfect destination for a family vacation, and it’s a popular national park for families on vacation!
Besides the obvious sites, you’ll want to explore, you might find yourself wondering what else you can do with the family while you’re visiting Joshua Tree, and what events are family-friendly enough to attend with the children. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of family friendly activities in Joshua Tree, so you can have an unforgettable family getaway to the majestic landscape of the southwest!
Family Friendly Activities in Joshua Tree
This is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes-style peek at what goes on at the park. Enjoy a selection of several programs designed to educate visitors about the wildlife and vegetation throughout the park, as well as the human history of the area and how the desert landscape was formed throughout the millions of years of our planet’s history! There are programs for both the day and night, so be sure to dress appropriately and bring sunscreen during the day. You can find a list of ranger-led programs on the National Park Service’s website!
Joshua Tree Farmer’s Market
This is a terrific event to attend with the family, and it occurs on Saturday mornings throughout the year off Highway 62 in downtown Joshua Tree. Our local farmer’s market is certified, meaning that it had to meet strict rules in order to receive such a certification—so expect only locally grown and handmade items here! You can find all manner of fresh produce, as well as goods like pickled garlic and peppers, homemade spices and seasonings, fresh-cut flowers, handpicked fruit, handcrafted jewelry, bags, coffee, and more. Pick up a piece of blown glass to display in your living room back home or buy some prints from local artists to frame on your wall. The kids will love the wide array of colorful things to look at, and you can grab lunch while you walk around.
Joshua Tree Music Festival
In October, you’ll find our local music festival taking place annually—and it’s been rated as one of the top family friendly festivals in the country! The festival prides itself on being friendly to parents with toddlers and younger children as well and offers a special “Kidsville” area for the kids to enjoy activities and rock out to the live music. You’ll find arts and crafts booths, yoga, puppet, and magic shows, as well as free face painting that’s sure to delight the kids. Tickets for kids are discounted, there’s plenty of shade at the festival, and well water offers festival goers free water refills. If you’re visiting in October, this family-friendly festival is a must!
Embark on a Tour of Keys Ranch
Located within the Joshua Tree National Park, Keys Ranch is a historic site that you can only access by a ranger-led walking tour. The Keys family were some of the original homesteaders in the desert, and the tour includes educational information about life and what it was like to survive in the desert back in those days. The walking tour will take you to the ranch house, as well as other sites on the property like the schoolhouse and workshop. The tour runs from October-May, making it ideal for families visiting the park during the fall, winter, and spring breaks from school.
Night Sky Festival
One of the huge attractions in Joshua Tree is the night sky itself, as mostly clear desert skies and a lack of trees blocking the horizon makes for unbeatable star gazing. Every September the Night Sky Festival is held, and the ticket event is held at the Limit Nature Center and Observatory by the park’s north entrance. Educational for the kids and fascinating for all ages, this is a magical night of stargazing that they’ll remember forever!
Reserve Your Family-Friendly Vacation Home in Joshua Tree Today
Our friendly team can help you plan your family-friendly Joshua Tree vacation and book your ideal rental for an unforgettable getaway. We offer a wide selection of properties ranging in all sizes, with perks like hot tubs, flat-screen TVs, outdoor firepits, and gorgeous desert views. Give us a call to learn more about our vacation rentals and start planning your Joshua Tree vacation today!