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“An essential Palm Springs visit if you have kids” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Living Desert Zoo & Gardens

Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
47-900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260
760-346-5694
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Top Rated
$159*
and up
Palm Springs and Outlet Shopping Day Trip from...
Ranked #2 of 11 Attractions in Palm Desert
Type: Natural History Museums, Deserts, Gardens, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Parks, Zoos & Aquariums
Activities: Group tours/walking tour, Viewing foliage, Viewing wildlife, Walking
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Attraction details
Owner description: The botanical gardens of this park offer great opportunities to see desert vegetation.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
“An essential Palm Springs visit if you have kids”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2007

The Living Desert is a very well managed, small theme "zoo", focused on the animals found in the world's desert regions. The animals' living situations appear well-managed and well-cared-for, and the park stresses education and conservation in everything they do.

We have visited the Living Desert virtually every year for the last 15 years, and have been impressed how the facility has grown while continuing to emphasize public education and wildlife conservation. Arrive early and read the daily program to find out when educational shows and activities will occur. Later in the season, and especially in the summer, the animals are inactive during the heat of the day -- but if you arrive early, you may be treated to cheetahs running, Mexican wolves "hunting" and more. Today, after years of visits mid-day and later, we saw more activity (including a bighorn sheep) than we've ever been treated to before (I assume because we arrived at 9:15am).


The Living Desert is an excellent local attraction for all, and particularly for families with young children.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manzanita, Oregon
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
“Great Place to Visit!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2007

A must if you are in the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area.
Large animal/zoological compound suitable for all ages. Entertaining and educational.
Arrive early and plan at least 3/4 of a day.
Lots of walking however, shuttles are avaialble. Good idea to bring some bottled water, snacks and a camera.
Good self guided maps are available and are easy to follow.
A special lighting occurs around Christmas.
Ample parking and easy to find. Call ahead for hours, prices and list of special presentations on the day you plan to go.
Some food and drinks are available for purchase on site.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Great day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2005

I can't believe no one else has reviewed the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Springs. This is a great day out with something for everyone.

We enjoyed the American animals in the park more than the African section, probably because as UK visitors there are many species we have not seen before.

The planting is lovely and well maintained. Perhaps best of all if you sit in the gardens you will see hummingbirds, butterflies and roadrunners which live in the park. There are also wildlife walks, though we didn't do these because it was about 105 degrees.

Don't miss the animal encounter in the animal hospital, where a ranger will bring out a mystery animal and tell you all about it. It is also worth talking to the staff (many volunteers) who are dotted around the park as they have a lot of interesting facts to tell you.

You will need at least half a day here - there is loads to do. It is a lovely place to spend the day and I would highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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