Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Wed December 02 2015

9 Reasons You Should Head to Palm Springs For The Holidays

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | December 02, 2015

9 Reasons You Should Head to Palm Springs For The Holidays

Palm Springs: It’s just like home, but without the chill. If you are sick of sweater weather, then why not warm up in the desert rather than beside the fire this holiday season. The Greater Palm Springs area offers mild temperatures, a variety of high-end hotels (the area has been undergoing a bit of a boom of late) and a roster of festive events that still inspire the spirit of Christmas without the burden of freezing temps.

Special Events

Walking Tour of the Inns

Dec. 10, 2015

Now in is 20th year, this free self-guided walking tour of Palm Springs’ unique collection of boutique hotels and historic inns is a holiday tradition. The city’s historic and mid-century modern gems open their doors for public tours as part of this annual event. The tour begins at 4 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m. Maps can be picked up at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Santa Fly-In at Palm Springs Air Museum

Dec. 13

This is a special event for families. At 1 p.m., Santa lands at the Palm Springs Air Museum, and he brings a bag full of goodies for all children. Kids under age 12 are admitted free with a paying adult.

Holiday Performances

CK Dance Presents: “The Nutcracker” at the Annenberg Theater

Dec. 4-5, 2015

Another local tradition, “The Nutcracker,” has attracted more than 22,000 people during its 17-year run in Palm Springs. Performances will take place at the Annenberg Theater in the Palm Springs Art Museum on Dec. 4, at 7:30 pm, and Dec. 5, at 3 p.m.

Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus presents: “A Mid-Century Modern Holiday”

Dec. 13, 2015

Take a journey through the mid-century modern era, with great holiday hits such as “I’ll be home for Christmas," “Santa bring my baby back”, and so on with the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. This unique holiday program will include Hanukkah favorites and also introduce new small ensembles.

Tree Lightings

City of Palm, Springs Annual Tree Lighting

Dec. 3, 2015

Join the City of Palm Springs and Santa Claus for the annual lighting of the city’s 22-foot "green" holiday tree and receive some free cookies and hot cocoa along with it – as well as a few surprises. Visitors are asked to bring one canned food item to feed the hungry during the holidays. The lighting is from 5 7 p.m. at Frances Stevens Park in the Uptown Design District on the corner of Alejo and Palm Canyon Drive near Palm Canyon Theater.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Annual Tree Lighting

Dec. 6, 2015

Singer Jack Jones will be the celebrity tree lighter at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 6. The festivities begin at the Mountain Station at 5:30 p.m. with the Palm Springs High School Choir singing a selection of holiday songs. The event is free with tram admission price.

Holiday Light Displays

Holiday Villagefest downtown Palm Springs

Every Thursday in December.

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. Villagefest hours are 6-10 p.m.

Festival of Lights Parade

Dec. 5, 2015

The Festival of Lights Parade is a not-to-be-missed holiday tradition in downtown. This year, celebrity Tony Hawk will be the 2015 Celebrity Grand Marshal for the City of Palm Springs’ signature parade, which features floats adorned in colorful holiday lights, marching bands, performing groups and Santa and Mrs. Claus. This year’s parade is slated to kick off at 5:45 pm on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Ramon Road and Palm Canyon Drive.


Daily through Jan. 3 2016

Robolights features painted and recycled sculptures draped in lights, and creator Kenny Irwin says this year will be 50 times better than the last. Nearly three tons of lights will be on display, and there are hundreds of sculptures to see, including a peppermint climbing tower of robots. Daily through Jan. 3, 2016, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Irwin Family Estate.

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