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Idyllwild / Joshua Tree - Thanksgiving

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Santa Barbara
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19 posts
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Idyllwild / Joshua Tree - Thanksgiving

We have 4 kids ages 5 - 11 and are going to spend 3 nights in a vacation rental in Idyllwild over Thanksgiving and then move down to Joshua Tree to a vacation rental there for 4 nights. Wanted time to relax in Idyllwild, do some hikes, and plan to do Joahua Tree National Park - Keys Ranch, Hidden Valley, Live Oak Springs, hikes etc - Pioneertown, and maybe take a day trip to Salton Sea / Salvation Mountain. Is Theatre 29 worth a visit with the kids? Any advice on other things we should consider doing in the area. Also any advice on what we could take in on the way there / way home? We are driving from Santa Barbara. Thanks for any suggestions you might have....

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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1. Re: Idyllwild / Joshua Tree - Thanksgiving

On your trip between Idyllwild and Joshua Tree,you will pass right by the giant dinosaurs off interstate 10 in Cabazon.Might be fun for the kids to see.They have been in a few movies like "Pee Wees Big Adventure".

I would not waste a full day driving to see the Salton Sea.Its not a nice place.Polluted and smelly.Salvation Mountain is a long drive to see not very much.There is nothing else around it to see to justify a trip down there.

Maybe a trip up the Palm Springs Aerial Tram instead?Or a trip to the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert.Between Thankgiving and Christmas, the Zoo has a holiday light show at night that is worth seeing.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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2. Re: Idyllwild / Joshua Tree - Thanksgiving

A friend of mine who goes out that way almost every weekend says that the little town of Joshua Tree, just outside the west entrance has started showing signs of recovery from the recession - has a rock climbing store and a few gift shops. Kids of all ages can enjoy a little bouldering (climbing around on rocks!) throughout the park. The climbing store personnel would be happy to give a few basic suggestions on climbing and probably have one of those climbing walls (you'll want to make sure your kids don't get too far off the ground of course, but Joshua Tree sure is a fun place for kids to play in). There's also a hobby store in town, apparently (for things like balsa airplanes and materials with which to make rockets or kites - all popular activities in the Mojave). There's a skateboard park in Joshua Tree. This is the same town where Pioneertown is, apparently (sounds likes lots of fun).

I've never been to Theater 29 (nor has my friend) but she says she keeps meaning to go (she's a teacher out that way - says she hears good things about it). I think it sounds like it would be way more fun than going to Salton Sea (although if you want to teach your kids about just how harsh parts of the planet can be, a trip to the Salton Sea can make that point - I remember finding it quite a sobering experience when I was about 8).

Santa Barbara
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3. Re: Idyllwild / Joshua Tree - Thanksgiving

Many thanks for your travel tips. Taking all into consideration - I think we're going to skip the Salton Sea drive - kids definitely do not appreciate a long drive unless there's something really worthwhile at the end of it! Not sure if Salvation Mtn would do it from them judging from the feedback I'm getting - esp if Salton Sea isn't up to much! Would never have thought about kites - must put them on the list for packing! Thanks!

Santa Barbara
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4. Re: Idyllwild / Joshua Tree - Thanksgiving

Thanks for that great feedback. Salton Sea is now off the list! Think kids would appreciate your suggestions for Palm Springs much better!

5. Re: Idyllwild / Joshua Tree - Thanksgiving

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