It wouldn’t be a trip to the desert without a trip to Palm Desert’s Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, whose mission is to preserve, protect and restore natural environments, ecosystems and wildlife. A family membership here is money well spent. The reason we appreciate this zoo so much is because the animal experiences are more up-close that our local zoos. Also, they are a part of the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) so a membership here makes you a part of the Reciprocal Admissions Program (free and discounted admission to zoos and aquariums all over the United States). As an added bonus, the weekend before Halloween is Howl-o-Ween, when handfuls of candy and informational desert animal cards are given out at stations all over the park. Not that we needed another reason to love this place.