Christmas golf

Palm Springs Winter Things

Palm Springs Winter Things

Christmas in Palm Springs. That sentence feels like a whole contradiction, doesn’t it? What winter things are there to possibly do in Palm Springs during Christmas time? You would be surprised that the answer is actually: lots!

Winter in Palm Springs can be a one-of-a-kind, incredible experience. I am here to show you all the fun things you can do!


WildLights Holiday Festival at The Living Desert

WildLights Holiday Festival at The Living Desert

When? Select nights, 6pm – 9pm
November 22-30
Closed December 25

Where? The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert

Get ready for this zoo to be transformed into a magical winter wonderland this holiday season. There will be over a million twinkling lights to enjoy, and life-sized glowing animal lanterns will be around the zoo as well, plus SO much more! This year, experience several new and reimagined light exhibits, such as the new 30-foot-tall holiday tree and lighted animal-themed displays. But don’t worry, many of your festive favorites are returning, such as the Tunnel of Lights, smores station, holiday carousel, photos with Santa, and much more! In true WildLights tradition, the G-scale model trains, with more than 3,300 feet of track, will be decked out for the holidays>>> Learn more here!


Polo Club

Indio, CA
Nov. 17th – Dec. 31st, 2023
Sun-Thur 5:30pm-9pm | Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:00pm
Where? 81-800 Avenue 51, Indio, CA 92201

The Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, hosts the Magic of Lights yearly. This drive-through holiday lights experience features dazzling displays with the latest LED technology and digital animations. Visitors can enjoy the holiday scenes from the comfort and safety of their own cars as they navigate through the sparkling path. The event includes attractions like the MagicVision World and a Jolly Holiday Village for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ticket prices vary, with special offers for military and first responders, and they are available for purchase online and at the gate>>> Learn More Here!

Holiday Dining at the Aerial Tramway


The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway—the world’s largest rotating tram car—travels over two-and-one-half miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

A cafeteria-style restaurant, Pines Café is open daily with the following hours:
Monday through Friday 10:00am – 8:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 8:00am – 8:30pm
Prepackaged sandwiches, salads, and beverages are available for purchase.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers a special ride and dinner combination ticket from 4:00 p.m. daily with meal service from 4:30 p.m.
On December 25, Pines Caféholiday dining hours are 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (last tram up 8:00 p.m.) 

Where? 1 Tram Way Palm Springs, CA 92262
Phone: (888) 515-8726

Festival Of Lights Parade

When? Saturday December 2, 5:45pm
Where? Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs 92262

A PARADE?? I know. This is sooo cute and festive, and a Palm Springs holiday tradition! With Marching Bands, performances, and guests like Mickey and Minnie, Goofy, and others, and most importantly, all the incredible floats, it is always an outstanding celebration every year. It is a very popular parade and thousands of thousands of people visit every holiday season to embrace some holiday cheer>>>Learn more here!

Parade of Lights & Holiday Festival

When? Saturday December 9, 5:45pm – 10:00pm
Where? 11999 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

ANOTHER Parade!! I am loving the holiday spirit. This parade, full of beautiful floats, is followed up with a festival. Expect free carnival rides, free cotton candy, food vendors, Santa, and live performances! It’s going to be one heck of a time>>>>Learn more here!


Santa Fly-In and Winter Light Show

Santa Palm Springs Air Museum

When? December Start: 18th, 6pm – End: 23rd, 9pm
Palm Springs Air Museum

Come to the Palm Springs Air Museum to experience a Winter Wonderland for the entire family! Santa Claus and 60 tons of real snow will land at the Palm Springs Air Museum for SNOWTOPIA! December 19 through December 23 from 6 to 9 PM.

It’s a Winter Wonderland with Meet and Greet with Santa and all sorts of fun family activities! Enjoy 60 tons of snow in a playground outside on the tarmac; ride a real holiday Train; make your own S’Mores over outdoor firepits. Feast on pizza, hot dogs and more from Food Trucks. Frosty the Snowman, Elves and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for photos galore. Enjoy craft-making and holiday shopping inside the Miles Hangar. Hot chocolate and cookies will also be available for purchase.

Kids 3 and under get in free>>>>Learn more here!


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in La Quinta

La Quinta Resort Christmas Tree Lighting

When? December 3rd @ 6pm-8pm

Where? 78495 Calle Tampico La Quinta, California 92253

Join the beautiful city of La Quinta for their annual tree lighting ceremony! >>>>Learn more here!

The Shops At El Paseo Tree Lighting Ceremony

El Paseo Tree Lighting

When? November 18th @ 4:00pm (Tree Lighting at 6:30pm)

Where? The Shops at El Paseo

Another tree ceremony on December 3rd! It’ll be hard to choose which one, but we love the options! The ceremony at El Paseo is going to be filled with fun. There will be a photo booth, dessert spots, and a snow globe photo op! Bring the whole family for some cheer>>>>Learn more here!

Best Hotels to Stay During the Holidays

JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

Marriott Desert Springs

This resort is amazing during any time of year, but during the winter they have a life-sized gingerbread house. I know. You can also take a gondola decorated “sleigh ride” driven by an elf. And of course, the resort will be seasonally decorated.
74-855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Book Your Marriott Desert Springs Reservations Here!

La Quinta Resort and Club

La Quinta Resort

Right next to Palm Springs is La Quinta, and here lies La Quinta Resort and Club. During the Holiday season you will be able to roast chestnuts, crafts for the kids, breakfast with Santa, and activities with the fam such as fudge making classes, etc. La Quinta Resort and Club will be beautifully decorated for Christmastime. Enjoy their fire-pits or admire the giant decorated white fir Christmas tree in the main plaza.

Book Your La Quinta Reservations Here!

Miramonte Resort and Spa

Miramonte Indian Wells

Book Your Miramonte Reservations Here!

Roast chestnuts, make scores, decorate cookies, write to Santa, and more! Another wonderful Resort to bask in the holiday spirit.

Christmas in Palm Springs Is Magical!

There are so many winter things to do in Palm Springs. Don’t let all the palm trees fool you, it’ll be a perfect North Pole getaway!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Palm Springs!

xoxo, Jess!

www.palmsprings.comLET’S CONNECT!

My IG: @jessicacastello

Twitter: @jessicacastello

About Jessica Castello

Jessica Castello is the Editor of and associate Editor for Jessica was born in Santa Monica, California. She is an Actress and has always had a passion for traveling. Between auditions, filming, and photoshoots, she would plan amazing trips to Europe, Australia, and even local wonders in the USA. She wishes to share what she finds of the world, to the world, in hopes that others like her can find the magic in traveling.

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