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Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert


When planning our trip to Palm Springs for the weekend, our friends recommended that we visit the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert. The last time that we had visited the Living Desert, Andrew was just a baby, and I’ll be honest that it was a bust. It was hot – the baby was crying – and there was not much to see. We took our friends advice, and we jumped into the car to check it out.



When we arrived at the Living Desert, parking was free, but the entrance fee was a little high. The admission was $17.25 for adults and $8.75 for kids. Since we didn’t want to risk the kids getting dehydrated, we paid an additional fee for the shuttle that was $6 for adults, and $3 for children.



When we first walked into the zoo, we were greeted by the shuttle driver who took us on a detailed tour around the zoo on a golf cart. They interacted with the kids while taking the time to stop when the kids wanted a closer look. The extra shuttle fee was the best money that we spent at the zoo, and made it a very enjoyable experience.





The highlight of visiting the Living Desert Zoo is the “feeding the giraffe event.” Every morning at 10am, guests are invited to feed the giraffe’s at no additional fee! We caught a shuttle and they drove us right to the gates of the giraffe feeding area, and the kids had the most incredible experience with the giraffes.


After feeding the giraffes, we jumped back on a shuttle, that took us to explore more animals. The kids got to see a wide variety of animals, and we stayed cooled with the misters located throughout the venue.



We ended our adventure by going for a ride on the merry-go-round ($2 per child). The kids giggled together while spinning around on their favorite animal. When we were done, we had a zoo employee call a shuttle to bring us to the zoo entrance.




We took a few minutes to admire the large mini city that had trains, cars and waterfalls. The boys loved the mini city, and could not wait to get home to try to make one of their own.


Overall, the Living Desert has changed *a lot* since we last visited 10 years ago. It is a great family destination to visit with your family, and the extra fee for the shuttle is worth it’s weight in gold.


Recommendations. I recommend coming right when the zoo opens (it gets hot quick). Go to the giraffe feeding at 10am, and then spend about an hour exploring before leaving to cool off at your hotel.


The Living Desert is located at 47900 Portola Avenue in Palm Desert.

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