Palm Springs Holiday Events
Credit: Family Entertainment Live

7 Holiday Events in Greater Palm Springs for Some Winter Fun

These Activities Are Sure to Make Your Season Merry and Bright

With Thanksgiving behind us and the holiday season officially in full swing, it’s the perfect time to ask the question, “Where should I spend the holidays?” Don’t underestimate Christmas in Greater Palm Springs—this desert oasis knows how to go all out during the winter months. Whether you’re looking for an elegant Christmas or New Year’s Eve feast, a festive tree lighting or a winter wonderland (drive-through style!), we’ve gathered the best and brightest of Greater Palm Springs’ holiday events this giving season. 

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Indian Wells Winterfest

Dates: Dec. 2, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024

Snow and sunshine collide at the second annual Winterfest in Indian Wells! Ring in the holiday season in this luxurious city with rotating theme nights, an ice bar and roller skating underneath starry desert skies and breezy palms. For a “chill” evening, rent one of their private snowglobes and rewatch all the holiday classic films for a warm and toasty Tuesday night special. The festivities don’t end there! It wouldn’t be a classic Indian Wells Winterfest without their Shots in the Night event. Tee off at this glow-in-the-dark golf course that includes a Topracer Driving Range and laser putting.

Location: Indian Wells 


Palm Springs Holidays

Dates: Nov. 24, 2023 to Jan. 6, 2024

Palm Springs Holiday Events
Credit: Visit Palm Springs – Palm Springs Holidays

Make the holidays merry and mod in Palm Springs, where a festive series of events brighten up the winter season. From the VillageFest Holiday Market on Palm Canyon Drive to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, the city is erupting with holiday cheer. After crossing off holiday shopping at VillageFest, find your perfect Christmas decor at the wreath auction. Treat yourself to one of Mrs. Claus’ cookies at the Holiday Market or sit down to watch the Christmas classic, “Elf the Musical.” Don’t forget to grab some free jingle bells on your way out!

Location: Palm Springs


WildLights at The Living Desert Zoo

Dates: Nov. 22 to Dec. 30 (select nights)

Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens / Tara Howard

Embark on a nighttime safari at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens—holiday edition! Cacti, desert willows and acacia will come to life in a sparkling veil of twinkling lights throughout the park grounds. The festival is returning with timeless favorites and reimagined light displays, including its 30-foot-tall Christmas tree, light tunnel and holiday carousel. Wander through a dazzling maze of synchronized light shows while keeping an eye out for glimpses of wildlife with their lighted animal displays. Treat yourself to their s’mores station or a steaming cup of cocoa as you wander the desert landscape of this holiday experience.

Location: Palm Desert


Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade

Date: Dec. 2

Jingle all the way to Palm Canyon Drive this winter season for a festival of lights you won’t want to miss! Stretching from Ramon Road to Tachevah Drive, a parade of holiday floats will make its way down the palm-lined street. Holiday favorites, like the abominable snowman and Jack Skellington, are just a few characters who might make a special appearance in this year’s show. Marching bands and Christmas carolers coalesce on the streets of downtown Palm Springs, filling the air with the sweet serenades of the season. With a thermos of steaming cocoa to warm your hands, sit back and enjoy this much-loved holiday tradition.

Location: Palm Springs


Magic of Lights at Empire Polo Club

Dates: Nov. 17 to Dec. 31

Palm Springs Holiday Events
Credit: Family Entertainment Live

The Empire Polo Club is going all out for the holidays this year! Over two million Christmas lights set the stage for a night in this drive-through holiday village, marked by photos with Santa, letter-writing stations, synchronized Christmas light shows and more! Their Magic of Lights drive-through guides visitors through a cozy montage of holiday-themed displays, from Winter Wonderland and Reindeer Road to 12 Days of Christmas. Set the tone for the evening with their collection of festive selfie filters to share the magic with friends and family.

Location: Indio



Dates: Dec. 19-23

Blast off into a winter wonderland at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Greater Palm Springs won’t see much snow outside the blizzard of fun in this holiday pop-up. With over 60 tons of snow, it’s the perfect place for a snowball fight or making snow angels. Warm up with some cozy treats at their s’mores or hot cocoa stations before settling in for a late-night viewing of holiday classics, including “The Polar Express” and “Elf.” Watch your favorite Christmas characters come to life for a meet and greet, including Santa himself!

Location: Palm Springs


Holiday Dining

Dates: Dec. 24-31

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without indulging in a feast of classic heartwarming dishes. Fortunately, Greater Palm Springs has no shortage of fine-dining venues specializing in seasonal fare that’s just as warm and cozy as a home-cooked feast. Vicky’s of Santa Fe has put together a traditional Christmas Eve menu with three courses of favorites, including slow-roasted prime rib and beef Wellington. Christmas dinner and New Year’s Eve call for a little something extra, so make a reservation at the Colony Palms Hotel to dig into dishes like truffled vegetable potstickers, lobster spring rolls and almond panna cotta, or grab a table at Morgan’s in the Desert on New Year’s Eve for a curated menu of lobster bisque, Colorado rack of lamb, seafood fusilli and more. For a full list of holiday dining options in Greater Palm Springs, click here!

Location: Throughout Greater Palm Springs


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