The weather outside is far from frightful, which means winter in Greater Palm Springs is oh-so-delightful. Here, we stuff our stockings with sunshine and wrap our palm trees with twinkling lights. The season is filled with fun ways to celebrate the holidays, so get ready to find festive new holiday traditions in Greater Palm Springs.

Tree Lightings

Nothing can match the joy of watching a holiday tree light up. Luckily, the oasis has no shortage of spectacular tree lightings this holiday season. 

Stop by La Quinta Resort & Club for their annual tree lighting on November 30. Enjoy carolers, cookies, hot chocolate and more alongside employees and members of the Greater Palm Springs community. The City of La Quinta will also be hosting a tree lighting event on December 6, complete with live performances, crafts, pictures with Santa and more. The City of Indio will be kicking off their holiday season with their own tree lighting on December 5, featuring carolers from local schools, holiday storytime, and of course a visit from Santa.

Make your way up to the top of the mountain for a one-of-a-kind tree lighting experience. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is hosting a tree lighting event on December 1, featuring Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist, Hank Plante, as their celebrity guest and tree lighter. Don't miss a performance by the Palm Springs High School Madrigals & String Quartet, a special appearance by Santa and more. 

Holiday Displays & Festivals in Greater Palm Springs

Light up giraffes at The Living Desert

This Southern California oasis is in the spirit all winter long with the twinkling lights of the holiday season. Even the wildlife gets into the holiday spirit in Greater Palm Springs. Every winter, The Living Desert transforms into a festive winter display complete with seasonally themed animal encounters, hot chocolate, carousel rides, Santa appearances and, of course, lights! In fact, more than a million lights illuminate the park during WildLights. Wander through twinkling tunnels and under illuminated palm trees as you discover the wild side of the season on select nights through December 28.

Experience the wonder of Palm Springs' annual Festival of Lights Parade. Pick your spot on Palm Canyon Drive and get ready to view a line-up of holiday floats and displays covered in bright lights. Come out and enjoy a true Greater Palm Springs holiday tradition.

Stop by Gingerbread Lane at Old Town Artisan Studio in La Quinta and get lost in a breathtaking 3-acre winter wonderland. Walk through multiple trees, trimmed garland, twinkling lights and an array of decorations perfect for getting in the holiday spirit. 

El Paseo is kicking off their holiday festivities with A Miracle on El Paseo on November 23. The shopping district will be decked out in holiday decor. Bring the whole family and enjoy a five-story Ferris wheel, family fun activities, food vendors and more. Additionally, El Paseo will also be presenting Jingle & Mingle throughout the month of December. Swing by for the opportunity to mingle with Santa and his elves. Dates for this event vary and the $15 entry fee will benefit the Family YMCA of the Desert

Holiday Harmonies

Sing and dance along to your holiday favorites in Greater Palm Springs. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will be hosting their annual Sound of the Holidays choir performance series every weekend through December 13. Purchase an admission ticket to the tramway, grab a bite and watch local high school choirs sing holiday classics at the Pines Café Stage.  

Michael Holmes' Purple Room will be featuring holiday shows accompanied by fine dining. Watch Levi Kreis in his 5th annual Home for the Holidays show on December 6, and a tribute to Elvis's early years featuring Scot Bruce performing his Blue Suede Christmas show on December 28. 

Visitors can also catch a holiday concert at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert this season.  See The Beach Boys perform their classics during their Holiday, Harmonies & Hits show on December 1. This iconic American band is now led by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston as their legacy continues. 

Rock out this holiday season with Brian Setzer Orchestra's Christmas Rocks Tour performance on December 20. Watch three-time Grammy-Award winning artist Brian Setzer in action, joined by a 19-piece orchestra for a holiday concert experience like no other. 

Discover Charming Boutique Hotels During Walk of the Inns

inn walk palm springs

The hidden charms of Palm Springs’ boutique hotels are in full display during this annual event. Dozens of intimate properties open their doors to the public, revealing midcentury-inspired décor, stunning architecture and the spectacular history behind these iconic hotels. Owners and hosts greet you at every property along your self-guided tour, so grab a map at the Palm Springs Art Museum and get ready to discover the enchanting allure of these small inns. 

Santa Paws is Coming to Town

on the run santa paws web

Dog-lovers, this is the 5K for you— Join in on this fun run benefiting Guide Dogs of the Desert on December 21Participants of this 5K get a 5 piece Santa costume to wear during the run to spread holiday cheer. Bring the whole family and let the little ones participate in the 200 meter Elf Dash, where the admission cost includes an elf hat and a gift certificate to Ben & Jerry's

Not feeling up for the challenge? Sign up as a 'Scrooge' to show your support for this wonderful cause. Get in the spirit this holiday season by attending this feel-good 5K!

The holiday fun continues in Greater Palm Springs— Take a look at these additional holiday events and happenings. 'Tis the season to chill in the oasis!