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 deck the palm trees with twinkling lights. And even though we’re all celebrating the season a little differently this year, that doesn’t mean we can’t still fill our hearts with joy and holiday cheer. Be jolly and make merry at these festive events and experiences in Greater Palm Springs.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND DISPLAYS

Light Up El Paseo

El Paseo is kicking off their holiday festivities with Light Up El Paseo on December 4. The shopping district will be decked out in bright lights and jolly décor, setting the perfect mood for shopping, al fresco dining and checking off all the gifts on your list. 

Palm Springs Neighborhoods

For a festive (and free) way to celebrate the holidays, pour yourself a thermos of hot cocoa, turn up the dial on the car radio and drive past all the beautifully lit midcentury modern homes in Palm Springs while listening to your favorite carols. There’s just something magical about seeing all the palm trees strung with lights and colorful front doors made even merrier with wreaths and boughs of holly. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage Holiday Display

Take a stroll through The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage and enjoy their charming and festive holiday window display. The whimsical display, crafted by their pastry team, is inspired by the iconic New York City window displays and features the beauty of this luxurious resort. Now through January 4, 2021 you can view this merry masterpiece.

HOLIDAY EVENTS & FUN FESTIVITIES

City of La Quinta Holiday Celebration

Join the City of La Quinta to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year! Stop by the Civic Center Park on December 4 for a magical tree lighting ceremony, a socially distant Santa selfie, giveaways and more.

Santa's Miracle on the Tarmac: Palm Springs Air Museum

This socially distanced Drive Through event features aircraft, holiday cheer and of course, Santa Claus! Enjoy the experience from your car December 18 through December 23, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Advanced ticket reservations are required, please visit their site for more information. 

FESTIVE PHOTO-OPS

Gardens on El Paseo

On December 5, the Gardens on El Paseo invites families to take a socially distanced photo with Santa in the shopping center’s common area, with 100% of proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert. Then, Santa makes his way back to the Gardens on December 12 for Paws ’N Claus, a fun photo-op for your furry, four-legged best friend that benefits the Bianca Rae Foundation. A pre-paid photo package reservation of $15 is required for both events—and you can’t leave without snapping a selfie inside the giant, illuminated ornament! 

Cabazon Dinosaurs

For the first time ever, the Cabazon Dinosaurs are jingling all the way through the year! Mr. Rex (the iconic, green tyrannosaurus rex that stands 65 feet tall and has appeared in such cult classics as Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure) will don a Santa suit this year and flash his biggest smile for your family holiday card. Stroll through the outdoor dinosaur trail, decorated with colorful lights and garland. Jump in Santa’s sleigh, pulled by none other than a velociraptor. Then top it all off with dinosaur-themed ice cream treats at the “Wafflesaurus Truck” (available on select days).

Photos with Santa

Visit Westfield Mall in Palm Desert and grab a photo with the one and only Santa Claus! Cherry Hill Photos is giving little ones the opportunity to keep this amazing tradition alive, in a safe and fun environment. Photo sessions are available from November 27 to December 24. Make your reservation today and capture unforgettable memories this holiday season.

SEASONAL SHOPPING

Alohana Holiday Tiki Marketplace

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright, Greater Palm Springs day. Add a little island inspo to your holiday shopping this year at Alohana, a celebration of all things Tiki taking place Sunday, November 29 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The outdoor marketplace will feature boxed lunches, Tiki cocktails, music and unique wares for sale and is a great way to support local artists.

Old Town Artisan Studios

Though Gingerbread Lane won’t be taking place this year at Old Town Artisan Studios in La Quinta, this local nonprofit will be selling gingerbread ornament kits for families to paint at home. Each kit includes four ceramic gingerbread people, four colors of acrylic paint and four brushes—plus ribbon for hanging the final masterpiece on the tree! And it’s all for a good cause, with proceeds helping to supply art kits to children throughout Greater Palm Springs.