Detour to Sunnylands

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Anyone on California’s I-10 East this weekend will notice a surge in traffic. Why the mass flight to the desert? Some might say The Coachella Music & Arts Festival.

We think it’s due to Sunnylands Center & Gardens “In the Gardens: Birds, Bugs and Blooms” program, a free Family Day this Sunday, where the spotlight will be on insects, birds and flowers.

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So where should cars be directed? To Rancho Mirage, where the former, 200-acre Annenberg Estate will be welcoming Family Day participants from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m..


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On the itinerary — a 30-minute children’s garden walk at 10 a.m., and a special Family Day garden walk at 11 a.m..

Also on tap:  insect, bird, and reptile exploration centers, a scavenger hunt, family-friendly games and activities and craft-time for creating bird, bug and bloom masks.

And fans of all things butterfly will have the opportunity to chat with students from Coachella Valley and Palm Springs high schools about their participation with Sunnylands in the Southwest Monarch Study, which is monitoring the migration pattern of monarch butterflies.  An added perk: guests will have the opportunity to learn how to tag the beautiful insects.

Yes, yes, we love outdoor concerts as much as the next person. We’re pretty sure, though, that if you listen closely while at Sunnylands’ Family Day, you might just hear a butterfly sing.

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Sunnylands Center & Garden is located at 37977 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage. For more information about Sunday’s free Family Day, visit Sunnylands Center and Gardens at


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