Celebrating the Holidays in Palm Springs - Visit Palm Springs tag-img

Celebrating the Holidays in Palm Springs

A Palm Springs Holidays Guide

As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to plan a memorable Christmas getaway that combines the magic of the festive season with stunning surroundings. Look no further than Palm Springs – a desert oasis in Southern California with a unique blend of sunshine, relaxation, and festive cheer.  Let’s explore why Palm Springs offers an unparalleled experience for those seeking a delightful holiday vacation and a list of exciting things to do during your visit.

Jingle All The Way Kickoff

Palm Springs Holiday Market @ VillageFest – Nov. 30

Get into the holiday spirit at VillageFest with the exciting kickoff event, “Jingle All the Way.” This outdoor gift market is the perfect place to jumpstart your holiday shopping. Stroll down Palm Canyon, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations, as you explore a diverse selection of unique and handcrafted gifts. From one-of-a-kind artworks to artisanal foods, you’ll find something for everyone on your list. With live music, delicious treats, and a joyful atmosphere, “Jingle All the Way” at VillageFest is the ultimate destination for spreading holiday cheer and finding that perfect present. Enjoy cookies with Mrs. Clause. You may even see Santa! Open every Thursday in December, 6 – 10 pm.

Plus, stop by the Palm Springs Holiday Market booth located at Tahquitz Canyon and Palm Canyon and pick up your free jingle bells. (while supplies last)

VillageFest

Tinsel Times Carolers

Sundays & Wednesdays

Tinsel Times Logo

Dec. 3, Della Lindely Elementary School. 3 – 5 pm

Dec. 6, Desert Winds Freedom Band. Starbuck’s Plaza at The Block. 4 – 6 pm

Dec. 10, Palm Springs High School. 4 – 6 pm

Dec. 13, Cathedral City High School & Nellie Coffman Middle School. 3 – 5 pm

Dec. 17, Palm Springs High School. 4 – 6 pm

Dec. 20, Palm Springs High School. 3 – 5 pm

Jan. 6, Performer to be announced.

Tinsel Times

Festive Events and Decorations

Despite the desert setting, Palm Springs takes its holiday celebrations seriously. The city comes alive with festive decorations and vibrant light displays, transforming the streets into a winter wonderland. Don’t miss the dazzling Festival of Lights Parade, where elaborate floats cruise through downtown Palm Springs, accompanied by marching bands and joyful spectators. From tree lighting ceremonies to holiday concerts, there’s no shortage of festive events to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.

Nov. 22 – Dec. 30. Wildlights at the Living Desert. 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. 6 – 9 pm Tickets

WildLights photo

Nov. 29, Wreath Auction. The annual Holiday Wreath Auction benefits The Center and the Palm Springs Animal Shelter. This festive event raises funds through beautifully crafted donated wreaths from our community. You can preview and bid online for your favorite wreath and enjoy a special holiday show live at the patio of Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge. The auction begins at 6 pm.

Dec. 1, Jingle Mingle Tree Lighting & Carols. See Event Details

Palm Springs Tree Lighting

Dec. 2, Festival of Lights Parade. The 31st annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade will take place on December 2nd at 5:45 pm. The parade is on Palm Canyon Drive between Ramon Road and Tachevah Road. This beloved holiday parade features Macy’s-style balloons, marching bands, floats, and much more.

Palm-Canyon-Drive-pre-Festival-of-Lights-Parade

Dec. 3, Come Jingle with Santa. Get a jump on the holiday shopping in downtown Palm Springs. While you’re there, stop by and say hello to Santa near the Marilyn statue by the Downtown Park. Noon – 2 pm.

Dec. 12, Photos with Santa. Palm Springs Public Library. 300 S. Sunrise Way. 4 – 7 pm.

Dec. 14, Walk of the Inns. One night each winter, several distinctive boutique hotels in Palm Springs take part in the Walk of Inns, opening their doors to welcome all visitors. This is an event where hoteliers showcase and decorate their properties. Some arrange for music, food, and drinks.

This annual event is a free, self-guided walking tour and a fun way to get to know the eclectic properties in the neighborhoods between Ramon Road and Tahquitz Canyon Way. Palm Springs Art Museum is serving as the official starting point. There, you can drop off unwrapped toys for Well in the Desert, plus pick up a free map of all the stops and a small flashlight. Flashlights are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Alternate starting location at the Palm Springs Woman’s Club where they have a bake sale.

PS Woman's Club Bake Sale for Walk of the Inns

Dec. 16, Breakfast with Santa. The City of Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Department celebrates breakfast with Santa. It begins at 8 am and includes pancakes, games, crafts, and a photo with Santa. It takes place at the Palm Springs Pavilion at 401 S. Pavilion Way.

Dec. 16, Santa Paws 5K Run/Walk. This one-of-a-kind 5K event where every participant can be Santa Claus. Each participant receives a Santa suit that can be worn during the event and is then yours for keep. All participants run, walk or stroll the 5K (3.1mile) route. Strollers and doggies are welcome. Following the 5K, there is also a 200 meter Elf Dash for children 10 and under. Entry for the kids’ event is $15 and includes a finisher medal! Register.  9 am.  332 W Alejo Road

Santa Paws 5K

Dec. 19 – 23, Snowtopia at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Come to the Palm Springs Air Museum to experience a Winter Wonderland for the entire family! Each evening Santa Claus and his friends will arrive at the Air Museum to greet all the good little girls and boys who have come to see him. In addition, there will be a playground of 40 tons of real snow, craft making, hot chocolate, smore’s and more. Snowtopia is open from 6 – 9 pm. Kids 3 and under get in free. Tickets

Snowtopia at the Air Museum

Palm Springs Holidays at the Aerial Tramway

Dec. 2, Breakfast with Santa. Join Mr. and Mrs. Claus for breakfast, holiday crafts, and storybook readings from 8:30 – 10:30 am. Breakfast with Santa tickets are $55 for adults and seniors, and $45 for children (ages 3-10). Tram fare is included. Menu includes French toast, scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, and assorted pastries. Advanced tickets are required and can be made by calling (760) 325-1449.

Dec. 3, Tram Christmas Tree Lighting – The holiday season at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway begins with the lighting of the Christmas tree. Celebrity tree lighters are Judith Chapman and KESQ’s Patrick Evans. 5:30 pm

Special hours of operation for Christmas Week run December 21 – 31. First tram up is at 8 am. Buy Tickets

Tram Christmas Tree

Sounds of the Holidays at the Tram.

Special holiday choirs will be performing at the Mountain Station at 5 pm & 7 pm. Entertainment is included with your tram admission. Performances are on the Pines Café stage with food and beverages available for purchase. The tree lighting is on December 3, and the Palm Springs High School will be performing on the outside terrace at 5:30 pm.

Nov. 30, Jurupa Valley High School. 5 & 7 pm

Dec. 3, Palm Springs High School. 5:30 & 7:30 pm

Dec. 6, Coachella Valley High School. 5 & 7 pm

Dec. 8, Cathedral City High School. 5 & 7 pm

Dec. 10, Encor High School. 5 & 7 pm

Dec. 9, Santa Visits the Mountain Station. Santa’s visit in Pines Café is included in general tram fare admission. Tram tickets are $30.95 for adults, $28.95 for seniors, and $18.95 for children (ages 3-10). Children can share their Christmas lists with Santa himself, pose for photos, and receive a free candy cane.

Santa at Tram

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will operate on a special holiday schedule December 23 – January 7. First tram up each day is at 8 am and last tram up at 8 pm. Last tram down is at 9:30 pm.

Enjoy a Palm Springs Holiday Live Show

Nov. 16, Alex Mendham & His Orchestra. One of Jazzville‘s most-anticipated shows this fall, Alex Mendham and his Orchestra are returning to us from the U.K.! Vintage jazz done authentically from the charts, vocals, clothes, and showmanship. Essex-born musician, singer, and lyricist Mendham burst onto the scene by forming his orchestra at the age of 20 (and refusing to slow down ever since.) This show will sell out as before! Tickets

Holiday Alex Mendham Orchestra

Nov. 17 – Dec. 30, Christmas with the Crawfords – This holiday musical comedy is performed by the Desert Theatreworks. Performed at the Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs. This riotous camp classic is based on the actual Christmas Eve live radio broadcast from the Crawford family’s Brentwood mansion in 1949. Filled with exaggerated silver screen icons, this mash-up musical parody is a loving homage to Hollywood’s “Golden Age” and features appearances of Tinsel Town divas such as Judy Garland, Carmen Miranda, Gloria Swanson, Hedda Hopper and the Andrews Sisters. Buy Tickets

Christmas With Crawfords

Nov. 25 & 26, Nutcracker Suite & Holiday Favorites. Dancers performing from age three to adult in ballet, hip hop, jazz, modern, and tap. Bring the family and enjoy the event. Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Nov. 25 at 6 pm. Nov. 26 at 11:30 am. Tickets

Nov. 30, Greg Adams and East Bay Soul present Sweet Soul Christmas. Returning to Palm Springs for jazz, soul, R&B, and some Holiday favorites! Their extraordinary combined talents bring incredible energy to the music with heart and soul. East Bay Soul is dedicated to a singular vision of bringing their brand of funk and the magic of their live performance into every note they play. It always sells out! Tickets

Dec. 1 – 17, Elf The Musical. Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a hilarious journey through New York City in search of his family. This modern-day holiday classic will bring out the Christmas spirit and make everyone embrace their inner elf. Palm Canyon Theater. Tickets

Elf the musical

Dec. 1 – 23, Dickens Writes a Christmas Carol. Presented by the Revolution Stage Company this adaptation of Dicken’s Christmas Carol puts him centerstage as the characters in the story argue, debate and cajole him into writing his most famous work. Plenty of free parking along with an ice cream station inside the theatre. Runs Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. Tickets are just $35. $25 for seniors, students, and military/veterans.  Tickets

Dickens Writes A ChristmasCarol

Dec. 2, Modern Men present Comfort And Joy. This Palm Springs Cultural Center holiday concert celebrates beautiful, healing, and inspirational music that will bring everyone enjoyment this holiday season. 7 pm. Tickets.

Modern Men Comfort And Joy

Ded. 2, Dirty Dizney, A Drag Parody Show at Oscar’s. See the drag show that has gained cult status in Arizona! Dirty Dizney or, filthy songs about a famous mouse, has been scandalizing audiences since 2008. Stuffed with the filthiest parodies ever written, these queens will ruin all of your fondest mouse-filled memories! Oscar’s. Doors open at 5 pm for a 7 pm show. Tickets.

Dec. 3, Judy’s Old Fashioned Christmas. Presented by the talented female impersonator, Michael Holmes. This blend of hysterical comedy and outstanding music explodes into an evening of nonstop belly laughs, glamour, and high camp, as celebrated entertainer Michael Holmes parodies Judy Garland, who, in her 1964 television variety show, played host to some of the greatest female icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Purple Room. Tickets

Dec. 5, Holiday Evening with John Lloyd Young.  Usher in the season with this Tony and Grammy winning star of Jersey Boys as he sings classic hits from the midcentury, Broadway, and beyond. Oscars  Dinner and drinks begin at 5:30 pm. The show is at 7 pm. Tickets

Dec. 6, 13 & 20th – Cozy Little Christmas. This live show at Reforma stars Drew Sebastian and Ethylina Canne. They find joy in the most unlikely of places. Seating for dinner at 6pm with show at 7 pm. Must be 21+  Tickets

Cozy Little Christmas Reforma

Dec. 6, Rock the Park featuring Kenny Cetera’s Chicago Experience. Downtown Park. 7 pm. Free

Dec. 6, A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan with Rose Mallett. You may have seen her perform at The Purple Room, but the last time she did her Sarah show was in 2019. One of the most highly respected musicians in the valley, this is a golden opportunity to hear Mallett like you haven’t heard her before. Revolution Stage Company. 611 S Palm Canyon Drive. 7 – 8:30 pm $45 Tickets.

Dec. 7, Holly Street Stompers. This may become a favorite Holiday show you’ll be glad you didn’t miss! Not only are these musicians massively talented and deliver the “art of the show,” but you’ll be blown away by the Americana jazz music they’ve researched, the songs they select, the harmonies they create, and the fun they have on stage together. Tickets

Holiday Street Stompers

Dec. 8 & 9, Oy Vey In A Manager. We find Angel, Winnie, Trixie, and Trampolina, also known as The Kinsey Sicks, trying to sell off their manager – yes, that manager – before it’s foreclosed upon. Crises arise, secrets are revealed, Jewish-Gentile tensions surface, and mayhem ensues – all in glorious four-part harmony. Purple Room. Tickets Dec 8   Tickets Dec 9
Dec. 8, Home for the Holidays Tour with Levi Kreis. Experience an unforgettable evening as Tony Award-winner Levi Kreis presents the 9th annual Home for The Holidays Tour. A seamless blend of jazz, gospel, country and rockabilly, Levi gives a fresh and unique perspective to a flawless collection of Christmas classics and holiday favorites. From uproarious storytelling to soul-stirring renditions, Kreis will leave you laughing, crying, and filled with the spirit of the season. Don’t miss this extraordinary evening from one of Broadway’s finest. 7 pm. Tickets
Levi Kreis
Dec. 9, It’s The Most Miserable Time of the Year! This year marks Jackie’s 25th annual holiday show – time flies when you’re making fun of everything people hold dear. This show is the perfect blend of crass classics and naughty new material, all sung live by the iconic drag queen who has written for Joan Rivers, Margaret Cho, Jennifer Coolidge, Sandra Bernhard, Elvira and more. Oscar’s.  7 pm  Tickets
Dec. 9 & 10, CK Dance Company: The Nutcracker. CK Dance, Palm Springs’ award-winning dance company returns to the beautiful Annenberg Theater for its 27th Anniversary performances of “The Nutcracker”, the quintessential holiday ballet of Tchaikovsky’s classical masterpiece. Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Dec. 9 at 7 pm. Dec. 10 at 1 pm. Tickets
Dec. 10, Judy’s Old Fashioned Christmas. Presented by the talented female impersonator, Michael Holmes. This blend of hysterical comedy and outstanding music explodes into an evening of nonstop belly laughs, glamour, and high camp, as celebrated entertainer Michael Holmes parodies Judy Garland, who in her 1964 television variety show, played host to some of the greatest female icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Purple Room. Tickets
Dec. 13, Joy! Join contemporary jazz pianist Scott Wilkie as he gathers his favorite musicians to present an extraordinary Christmas concert at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Scott’s arrangements of holiday classics are inspired by the unique energy of his longtime bandmates — Pat Kelley on guitar, along with bassist Nathan Brown and drummer Jeff Olson. Tickets
Dec. 13, Gand Band Blues Brothers Holiday. Its been 45 years since Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi debuted their much loved Chicago Blues tribute on Saturday Night Live. Enjoy this tribute to the Blues Brothers by the Gand Band featuring Dion Khan and Short Stack Steve on vocals, Walter Gentry on sax, Teri Lee Miller on harmonica, “Booker T” Joan, Gary “Cropper” Gand and some surprise guests. You’ve never heard the holidays sound like this. Cascade Lounge. 7 pm. Tickets.
Dec. 14, Latin Jazz Christmas with Margo Rey with an All-Star Latin Jazz Quintet led by Grammy-winning pianist Oscar Hernandez. This season, Margo embraces her roots as an accomplished Latin jazz musician, presenting a modern American & Latin American Holiday songbook reimagined for the times. She’s a stellar vocalist with an incredible band, and this will be a fabulous show. Cascade Lounge. Tickets
Dec. 14 – 17, Ring! Swing! Sing! The Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus annual holiday concert. Featuring special guest artist and Palm Springs’ own gem, Hope Diamond Deans. The concert also includes music from Broadway and Hollywood, songs for Chanukah and Kwanzaa, and even a handbell choir. Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Dec. 14 – 16 at 7 pm. Dec. 17 at 2 pm. Tickets
Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus "Naughty or Nice?"
Dec. 15 & 16, Jame Monheit: The Merriest! One of jazz music’s best-loved voices, Jane Monheit, is back with a warm fuzzy holiday show guaranteed to stir up feelings of nostalgia, family, and home. Purple Room. Tickets Dec. 15   Tickets Dec. 16
Dec. 16, Cocktails & Classics. Join host Jerome Elliott for an evening of song celebrating the great American Songbook at the Palm Springs Cultural Center VIP Lounge. Tickets
Cocktail Classics with Jerome Elliott at the Cultural Plaza
Dec. 17, Judy’s Old Fashioned Christmas. Presented by the talented female impersonator, Michael Holmes. This blend of hysterical comedy and outstanding music explodes into an evening of nonstop belly laughs, glamour, and high camp as celebrated entertainer Michael Holmes parodies Judy Garland, who in her 1964 television variety show, played host to some of the greatest female icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Purple Room. Tickets
Dec. 20, Have Yourself a Judy Little Christmas.Quadz. 6 – 8:30 pm.  More details soon.
Dec. 21, Ginger & The Hoosier Daddys. Ginger Pauley, a darling of the vintage Hollywood music community, performs classic swing and jazz hits and the best Helen Kane/Betty Boop songs of the ’20s & ’30s. Her 7-piece band, The Hoosier Daddys, are all top-shelf musicians specializing in those hot tunes from the 1930s and 1940s. Ginger is fast becoming a favorite among swing dancers and vintage music fans. Feel free to dance in our wide aisles. Cascade Lounge. Tickets
Ginger Hoosier Daddys
Dec. 21, Lady Bunny: A Very Boue X-Mas! – Oscar’s presents a Lady Bunny, everyone’s favorite holiday ham with a potty-mouthed parody treatment of over 30 Christmas classics that will leave you disgusted and howling with laughter. Enjoy hits like “It’s Beginning to Look Apocalypitic and Santa Clause is Spreading Covid Around.
Dec. 22 & 23, Seasons of Love: A Holiday Celebration. Presented by Branden & James, a classic-pop duo, it features songs that include many of the holiday favorites. Purple Room. Tickets Dec. 22   Tickets Dec. 23

​Dec. 28, NUTTY. This is a hard-swingin’ jazz octet that weaves intricate interpretations of pop and rock classics onto a jazz canvas, using straight-ahead jazz, big band swing, crime/spy jazz, Latin, bebop, and classic film and TV themes as the soundtrack. And when frontman Sonny Moon saunters up to croon, you might feel it’s 1960 again. Cascade Lounge. 7 pm Tickets

Nutty at Jazerville

Hanukkah

Hanukkah begins at nightfall on December 7 and ends with nightfall on December 15.

Dec. 9, Wine Tasting Hanukkah Celebration. Bouschet. 4 – 5:30 pm

See A Holiday Movie

Dec. 16, The Muppet Christmas Carol. The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve. Palm Springs Cultural Center. 6 pm.

Dec. 20, A Timeless Christmas at PS Air Bar.

Special Holiday event movie screening of A Timeless Christmas including a special Q&A with producer Ron Oliver and actor Nelson Wong. 7 pm. $25 per person Includes popcorn, a movie themed holiday treat, and one special holiday cocktail!  Tickets

Bouschet Timeless Christmas

Dec. 23, Elf. Buddy (Will Ferrell) was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Palm Springs Cultural Center. 6 pm.

Muppet Christmas Carol

Dining Experiences & Lounge Parties

Dec. 8, Holiday Soiree at the Chi Chi. – Midcentury Palm Springs boasted a variety of elegant supper clubs, including the Racquet Club, the Doll’s House, Ruby’s Dunes, and the Purple Room, but the infamous Chi-Chi Club outshone them all.

In homage to the fabled Chi-Chi Club, you will step back in time and get a glimpse of the performances of yesteryear with a Holiday twist! The artists at PS Underground will bring the spirit of the season to the stage, as you revel in the festive glamour surrounding you. Their secret menu unfolds as the evening progresses. Chef David Horgen has been tantalizing diners in the desert for years with his unique approach to food. Includes 4-course dinner, show, and free flowing cocktails, beer, and wine. 7 pm, 21+  Tickets

Dec. 9, Jingle Ball. Get ready to dance, sing, and jingle all the way at V Wine Lounge & Martini Bar. This event will be the ultimate holiday extravaganza, featuring music, delicious drinks, and a lively atmosphere. Take advantage of the chance to celebrate the season. Mark your calendars and get your jingle on at Jingle Ball 2023! 6-9 pm. Free Event.

Dec. 13, Holiday Jazz @ PS Underground. It’s that time of year again… the weather is cooler, homes are decorated, friendships and family are celebrated; it’s the Holidays! Join us at the table for a delightful evening filled with an array of holiday jazz music, paired with a secret 4-course winter-inspired menu that is sure to satisfy even the Grinch! Includes 4-course dinner, show, and free flowing cocktails, beer, and wine. 7 pm, 21+  Tickets

holiday jazz

Dec. 16, All I wAnt For Christmas (Mariah Carey) Drag Brunch 

Celebrate the QUEEN of Christmas with a Mariah Carey drag brunch. You’ll hear Mariah’s classic Christmas songs and her top hits. Singing and dancing is encouraged. Hosted by Epiphany Kali. 21+ Reforma Palm Springs

Dec. 17, HO – A Sunday Brunch @ PS Underground.

Join us for a sidesplittingly funny yet raunchy romp into the darker side of this usually sparkly holiday season. The characters in this laugh-a-minute twisted Sunday Brunch are pulling out all the festive, naughty stops! Not for the faint of heart, you can expect raunchy lyrics and hilarious twists on holiday songs, poems and stories from a cast of very off-color, holly-not-so-jolly characters. Includes 3-course holiday brunch, show, and free flowing bloody mary’s, mimosas, and spiked egg nog.. 11 am – 2 pm, 21+  Tickets

Funny-Santa-With-Wine-Glass

Dec. 19, Steven Brinberg presents – Simply Barbra, The Holiday Show. 

Steven is the premier Barbra Streisand impressionist! He’s performed his incredible show, Simply Barbra, to international acclaim both on stage and television (and performing regularly with none other than Marvin Hamlisch!) as he pays homage to all that is Streisand!

“A delicious combination of humor and great singing. A must see for Streisand fans and anyone who enjoys musical-comedy” — London Times

Oscar’s  at 7 pm. Tickets.  $25 minimum food/drink order.

Dec. 24 & 25, Purple Room Jazz Dinner.

Celebrate the holidays with jazz and a traditional three-course holiday dinner! The Kevin Tokarz Quartet sets the tone for Holiday Jazz in the intimate setting of the Purple Room, home of the Rat Pack, along with a prefix three-course holiday menu including your choice of Herb Roasted Prime Rib, Scottish Salmon, Roast Pork Tenderloin and Vegan Bourguignon. Table preference based on first reservations. Reservations

purple room stage

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