Make This Season Bright: A Guide to a Palm Springs-style Holiday!

Spending the holidays in Palm Springs? Whether resident or visitor—there’s sure to be no coal in your stocking this year. There’s nothing like the clear, starry skies of a Palm Springs December night, and the days are picture perfect—sunny and bright with impossibly blue skies cradling the stark and steep expanse of the San Jacinto mountains—the perfect climate to enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities: golf, tennis, swimming, hiking, cycling, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, shopping, dining, tours, and so much more. Greater Palm Springs offers a wealth of activities and events to entertain you day and night during this holiday season…from farmer’s markets to naughty plays, make this season merry and bright Palm Springs-style! Here are some of my top picks for Palm Springs-style holiday happenings, and don’t forget to check our Calendar of Events for up-to-the-minute ideas and even more adventures. No matter which holiday you celebrate, may the peace and joy of the season be yours—make it a merry one, Palm Springs!

And, if you happen to snap some fabulous pics of yourself or your loved ones enjoying the holidays Palm Springs-style, feel free to share ’em with us on Facebook, we’d love to see what you’ve been up to! Have a wonderful holiday season, Palm Springs! Wishing you all peace, hope and joy. XO Kate

Holiday Villagefest in Downtown Palm Springs
Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA
Every Thursday in December, 6pm – 10pm

Holiday lights dazzle the palm tree-lined streets of Palm Canyon Drive for a holiday shopping spree ranging from fashion apparel to art galleries to home furnishings in downtown and the uptown design district! Join thousands of visitors and locals in beautiful downtown Palm Springs this Thursday for the valley’s finest event. Every Thursday evening, Downtown Palm Springs transforms into a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, jewelry, snacks and sweets. Add all that to the great shops, restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues located along World Famous Palm Canyon Drive, and the result is one of Southern California’s most popular weekly events: VillageFest! Plus, they’re dog friendly! For more information, please call: 760-320-3781 or visit:

The SantaLand Diaries
69620 Hwy 111, Rancho Mirage, CA, 92270
Performances are Fridays & Saturdays 8pm, Sundays 2pm through December 18, 2016.

This charming play is based on the true chronicles of NPR humorist David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display. This Christmas classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’ truly odd encounters with his fellow man during the height of the holiday crunch. It’s not your usual Christmas memories….a very funny and very real glimpse into the workaday world of Santa’s Helpers! Not really for children. No really, not really. Tickets and more information:

NEW: The WildLights Festival at The Living Desert
47-900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA
GREAT Deal on Wildlights Tickets HERE!
Dec. 9th, 10th, 16th, 24th, 6pm – 9pm.

307197The WildLights Festival at The Living Desert (47-900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA) sponsored by the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, opened for the holiday season on Friday, Nov. 25th. This magical event is presented by the City of Indian Wells and runs select nights over the holiday season. With over 750,000 twinkling lights illuminating the park after dark, this annual event turns the desert into a holiday wonderland. Come join us for “Holidays Around the World” featuring new light displays, international food and beverage offerings, Camel and Carousel Rides, Holiday Entertainment, Wildlife Wonder Shows, and much, much more! Tickets: Non-member Adult $10.00 and Members, Children, Military (with ID) $8:00. For more information, please call: 760-346-5694 or visit:

Walk of the Inns
101 Museum Way, Palm Springs, CA

Thursday, December 8, 2016; 5pm – 8pm

186877-800Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of Palm Springs’ unique collection of boutique hotels and historic inns this holiday season! The city’s historic and mid-century modern gems are opening their doors for public tours as part of its annual ‘Walk of the Inns.”  From 100-year old adobe inns to 1920s jewels to Mediterranean inspired villas, the “Walk of the Inns” is not to be missed.  Inns participating in the event include Casa Cody, Old Ranch Inn, Orbit In, Korakia Pensione, Calla Lilly Inn and several others. The evening self-guided tour begins at any of the participating hotels or at Palm Springs Art Museum (101 Museum Way in Palm Springs), which will also provide free maps and flashlights for the walk. For more information, please call: 760-320-9346

Rock-A-Holly Christmas Concert: Elvis and Sinatra (together again!) [ish] 1350 Ladera Circle, Palm Springs, CA, 92262
1647-2Saturday, December 10, 2016; 3pm – 6pm

The Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway (aka the Alexander Estate) welcomes you for the 23rd annual Rock-A-Holly Christmas Concert!  Enjoy live music by Peter Alden, award-winning Elvis Tribute Artist AND James King who will be Rockin’ the hits of the 50s & 60s!   
Concert: $45 per person / Tour & Concert Combo tickets: $60 per person.  For more information, please call: 760-322-1192 or visit:

Singing On The Holidays
Rancho Mirage High School, 31001 Rattler Road , Rancho Mirage, C
Sunday, December 11, 2016; 7pm – 9pm

The Coachella Valley Symphony is proud to launch their 24th season as Your Community Orchestra with 310875-800-jpgSinging in the HolidaysThis volunteer orchestra serves our community from both sides of the stage. On stage, local adult and youth musicians are featured. The symphony also provides free instruction for the Buddy Rogers Youth Symphony as well as additional mentorship and scholarships. They are committed to serving the community by providing affordable concerts for audience members. This year’s season title, “It’s Magic,” describes what they do on so many levels. Bringing together a diverse group of volunteers and providing a professional level musical experience is magical, as is watching youth develop musical talent and a life-long love of music. Join them this holiday season in celebrating what we can do together! For more information, please visit:

Drum Circle & World Peace Meditation
1572 S Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA
Friday, December 16, 2016; 5pm – 6:30pm

310703-800Ready to embrace your inner hippie-peace-love child on Winter Solstice? (Because really, who isn’t?) Peace Love Yoga Palm Springs will host a Winter Solstice Drum Circle & World Peace Meditation, hosted by special guest Maggie Wilcox Batt ( Gather with this tribe and align hearts and minds with the sacred rhythm of the drums to release all the “stuck” energy you are ready to release on physical, emotional, mental and divine consciousness levels. Together, the event purports to draw the Solstice light to the Earth and raise the frequency of our planet by bringing more Peace into the world. Love offerings joyfully accepted. Bring drums and rattles! Blankets, mats, bolsters, etc. provided. Enjoy complimentary water and healthy snacks. For more information, please call: 760-600-0328, or visit:

Dancing with the Desert Stars—A Benefit for the Desert AIDS Project
277 N Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, CA
309988-800Saturday, December 17, 2016; 6pm – 9:30pm

Seven local celebrities train with seven professional dancers for one enchanted evening of music, movement, and magic!Cocktails will be served at 6pm and the show starts at 7:30pm. This year’s local celebrities include: Erin Scott, Rick Manzano, Christopher Kennedy, Mayor Robert Moon, Jill Gover, Dr. Naren Chandrashekar, and Alexandra Pierce. This sensational event is not to be missed! For more information, please visit:

Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Hollywood Holidays!
2401 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs, CA
Sunday, December 18, 2016; 8pm – 10pm
Let’s go to the movies! Remember those great holiday songs from Hollywood? From the 40s with Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland singing your favorites from “White Christmas” to the animated holiday traditions of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” to new favorites like “Polar Express” and “Elf,” this show will have you grabbing your matinee snacks as you take a seat in the newly remodeled Palm Springs High School Auditorium to enjoy all your favorite Hollywood Holiday music. For more information, please visit:

About David J Castello

David J Castello is the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Operating Officer for the Castello Cities Internet Network (,,, etc). His debut novel, The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) was published in 2016.

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