Kay Kudukis Paints Palm Springs Red

Glorious September in Palm Springs, often offering the perfect balance between sun worshipers and those preferring a more sun-kissed look. With the lower temps and evenings cooling down substantially, the nights are delightfully dreamy. Leisurely strolls down Palm Canyon are back in style, and dining al fresco is de rigueur.

VillageFest courtesy of VillageFest

With the evenings cooling off, the VillageFest is definitely heating up! Our Thursday night street fair/party partially closes Palm Canyon Drive to traffic. Vendors are usually scattered from Amado to Baristo. Palm Canyon Drive is filled with buskers; pop-up restaurants and stores; and artisans of every ilk. Palm Springs is home to a ton of incredibly talented artists and crafters. Downtown businesses remain open, so it’s scads of fun. Even though it’s outdoors, it’s a large event and masks are required. More about that at the end.

And now, onto some most excellent adventures. Some big, some small– you can have it all in Palm Springs:

Dinah Weekend

This is for all the Sappho Sisters who have been waiting for their turn to throw a party. And this is a great one. I will talk more about it in my article All Gay, All Day. It has been my observation that lesbians are underserved in Palm Springs. Although everywhere is all-inclusive, gay bars mean mostly for men. I’ll tell you more about it in the next blog. But

If you’d like to skip my next article, you can go straight (“Never!” said every lesbian) to their website here.

Desert Rose Theater Upcoming Shows and Venue

Theater

Desert Rose Playhouse is just off its massively successful run of The Great American Trailer Park Musical (TGATPM). I saw it, and I laughed uncontrollably throughout the whole show. Those who hadn’t stopped at a dispensary prior laughed just as hard. The Rocky Horror Show will be up on stage until September 12th. Trust me when I say that this LGBTQ+ friendly theater company is full of surprises (the leads of TGATPM were in drag) so I’m looking forward to meeting their Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Latin Nights at The Cascade Lounge courtesy of Cascade Lounge

Entertainment

Jazzville is back at The Cascade Lounge. If you wear the name jazzbo proudly (as you should) this is where you want to be on Thursdays. Book in advance. Their shows sell out pretty quickly and start at 7:00 PM.

Sunday nights get steamy at Cascade with Nacho Bustillos and Quinto Menguante’s Latin Nights. Their music ranges from salsa, cumbia, banda, bachata, reggaeton to pop. Dancing shoes are highly encouraged.

Melvyn’s Sunday Jams at the famous Ingleside Inn begin at 3pm on Sundays and go until the musicians get tired, aka dinner time. Led by Mikael Healey, it’s a lineup of the best of the best players in PS and beyond. It’s a $30 cover, it’s in Melyvn’s Casablanca Lounge, and – oh no! It’s only running through 9/26! Once again, calling all jazzbos. Also, it’s a pretty fun experience. You get to do a little bit of dress up, and drink martinis just like in the Rat Pack days.

Oscars has some special shows coming up, including evenings with Linsday Wagner and Sandra Bernardt – not together, that would be a bit “too too” even for Palm Springs. Heads would explode from nostalgia overload if the Bionic Woman and Madonna’s ex-bestie shared a stage.

Me and some of my favorite Queens

Drag Shows

Toucans – OM Stars, far too many shows to list. Check the website, prepare to stay out late, and prepare to dance your “katushies” off.

Roly China Fusion Sadly, the Drag Brunch ends on 9/5 (as of this typing). HOWEVER they have a great party planned for Pride, so give it a look-see. More in my next blog.

Bitchies Brunch at Oscars – Like you need me to tell you anything at all about this event.

PS Air Saturday Night Flight – Naughty stewardess, drinks, while you “fly” the friendly skies. Special experience.

The Judy Show starring Michael Holmes at The Purple Room

Dinner Shows

Guys– The Purple Room is back! That means The Judy Show is back! I may have just peed a little. Upcoming guests are Jane Monheit, and Lee Squared: Liberace and Ms. Peggy Lee Coming Out (of covid). Keep checking the website for updated acts, and if you’ve never been, go to The Judy Show. If you’re like me and gained the COVID ten-ish, you’ll laugh a few pounds off.

There are some returning shows and some new forms of musical and culinary insanity from the wildly creative minds of Michael Fietsam and David Horgen of PS Underground. They, too, keep adding shows, and sell-out fast, so you’ve gotta be fast on the click.

Fun and Games

Monday nights Wilma and Frieda’s turns into Ethyl’s Place and Atomic Bingo! Doors open 5:30pm, Bingo! Starts at 6:30pm.

420 Bank and Dispensary Lounge has some events coming up, so check out their events. They also have a sort of “Palm Springs’ Got Talent” show with a recording contract at Melrose Recording Studio here in PS. Hosted by Derek Jordan Gregg, you can email JayBirdBookings@yahoo.com for more info and to sign up. Every Thursday, 5:30pm-8:00pm.

Summer Sing Along is still happening at the PS Cultural Center.

Don’t forget about The PS Tramway. Super fun ride to the top of the mountain with plenty of trails to hike. Speaking of hiking, don’t forget to check out our great preserves at Indian Canyons. Tons of trails and they’re all absolutely GORGEOUS. Take water, and wear hiking shoes and socks. We got rattlers.

Scavenger hunts. I know. You were not expecting that. But what fun! It’s a bit more of a group activity, so if you don’t work and play well with others, earbuds by the pool! There are two here in Palm Springs, Viator and Let’s Roam. They are a fun addition to a walking tour, so you get to stroll through history and Palm Springs landmarks while playing a game.

In October, there’s one to support our fantastic, no-kill, Palm Springs Animal Shelter. Here’s the info on the Scavenger Hunt. If you can’t play, a small donation goes a long way. I was going to put a team together, but I only have one friend–and they’re mad at me.

Comedy

Oscars is bringing Last Laugh Comedy to the last Wednesday of every month. Comedian and host Max Mitchell is bringing his funniest friends to entertain us. I’m a comedy ho, so – see ya there.

Upping their Friday game, Cascade Lounge has Cascade Comedy. Presented by Comedy Madness, each show is 90 minutes and features a roster of comedians with past appearances on Tonight Show, Conan, Netflix, America’s Got Talent, Comedy Central, Showtime and more.

One-Off Event

Dîner en Blanc – COMING IN OCTOBER

You really need to do some planning for this one. Everything except your skin color needs to be white. Your outfit, your table and chairs (which you bring) – and your picnic basket (which you also bring…with food in it). You will not know where you will be dining until you get there, but you will be eating your own food – so no allergy issues there. You can learn all about it on their website (which I believe might also be white) where you can also sign up,

Now that our lights are back on, we’re doing our best to keep them that way. The City of Palm Springs requires that all of the clubs require proof of vaccination, so you can either whip out your card, or show them your QR code from the State of California. And, at the time of this writing, masks are required indoors, so when you put on your shoes and your shirt, stick a mask in your pocket. And then–you know what? I’m not your mom, and you’re a responsible adult, right? You know what to do.

Viva Palm Springs!

BelleVue Oasis pool

With its tropical courtyard and mature palms, BelleVue Oasis is a hidden paradise in Palm Springs.

A mid-century modern property dating back to the 1950s, BelleVue Oasis officially opened for business in September 2019. Formerly Escape Resort, it is no longer a men’s clothing-optional hotel.

Located in Tahquitz River Estates, the 13-room, 21-and-over hotel has undergone some renovations and updates, including to the bathrooms. It has a retro yet modern feel, with pops of orange and turquoise standing out against the clean white walls and linens. The rooms come with kitchens or kitchenettes, plus furnished patios that let guests enjoy the sunshine.

The lush grounds are what inspired the hotel’s new name, with senior hotel manager Charles Zalepeski saying once you walk onto the property, “it’s kind of shocking, you don’t expect it to be as beautiful and as big as it is. The pool is beautiful, and the mountain views are ridiculous.”

The San Jacinto Mountains are visible across the grounds, but are most spectacular when spotted from the spacious and sparkling pool and invigorating jacuzzi. There are loungers and umbrellas surrounding the pool, offering shade during the day. Once guests are ready to explore the town, they won’t have to go far — places like the Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium and Palm Springs Art Museum are just a short walk or drive away.

Oh my goodness, October’s weather was exceptional, and it’s just going to be better in November. Unlike the majority of the United States, November in Palm Springs brings bright, bright, bright sunshiny days. Everyone is riding bicycles and walking because it’s just too gorgeous to be inside a car. The nights are cooler, but can also get a tad chilly, so make sure to pack a light jacket or sweater just in case. I don’t want you to catch cold — we’ve had enough catching things!

Of course, Pride is this month. The parade is on November 7, but there are tons of activities the week leading up to it. Really hope you booked earlier in the year, but if not there may still be some openings at our boutique hotels and resorts, so scurry on over to Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels to see what’s still available. Good luck!

And now, in no particular order, November’s events and happenings:

Courtesy of Hunters

Hunters is taking their entertainment, literally, to the sky. Airotic Soirée is a brand-new sensual burlesque-style circus cabaret combining the best of burlesque, cirque-style entertainment, and astounding acrobatics. Shows are scheduled every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. through the end of the year. It’s gonna be so hot you can leave your sweater at home.

The Best Shows in Town

Purple Room — Sunday is The Judy Show! Squee!

Melvyn’s at Ingleside Inn   Sunday Jams are back. $10. Make a reservation…it’s a hot ticket.

PS Underground — Rouge, Ami Kumar, Dirty Bingo, Cavern, and Bacon are the shows and dinners scheduled for November. A big congratulations to owners Michael and Dave who, after 25 years together, tied the knot. Mazel!

Oscar’s — Great Pride lineup: Bruce Vilanch and Poppy Champlin, Priscilla Presley, and more.

Toucans Tiki Lounge — Everything is dragtastic!

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs has Jazzville, Latin nights, and comedy all month.

Keep your eye on Copa Nightclub. I hear Lipstick may be returning this month, along with Jason Weber in his 5:30 to 7:30 show Thursdays, replacing Mod Squad (which had replaced Jason Weber!). We’re hoping Mod Squad finds a new home…it’s a great show!

November 19 to 21: SoCal 356 Club’s Palm To Pines road trip for those with the need to…never mind, it’s a leisurely trip, no speed necessary.

Courtesy of Palm Springs Air Museum

For those with a need to speed, purchase a ticket for a warbird experience at Palm Springs Air Museum, where you get to ride in the warbird of your choice! Follow it up with the F-117 Stealth Fighter Experience in late November. This is your chance to see an F-117 Stealth Fighter #-833 up close and personal at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Each day will feature a 90-minute speaker engagement to enlighten the crowd on the historic aircraft. Purchase your tickets in advance from their website as space is limited. Note: these fighters are not usually on display.

Theater

November 4 to 21: Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Desert Rose Playhouse. I’ve got my tickets!

Tuesdays at 7 p.m.: Electricity at Oscar’s – I’ve see this two-man play, and it’s very good.

November 7 at Chill Bar: Jennifer Holiday — the original Dreamgirl. 

For car lovers: The 25th annual McCormick’s Palm Springs Exotic Car Auction on November 20, 21, and 22 will feature over 500 classic, exotic, sporty and high-end cars. Admission is free all day Friday; Saturday and Sunday are pay days.

Palm Springs Cultural Center

November 18: Get dressed in your best circus costume and head over to the Greatest Showman interactive event. Join us for cocktails at 6 p.m., with the DJ spinning the hits at 7 p.m. (We will DANCE!) Theater doors open at 7:30 p.m., with the singalong starting at 8 p.m.

November 19: Martinis and Moxie, a musical salute to Sinatra with special guests…some of whom had first-hand experience with the Chairman himself.

Photo credit: Lani Garfield

Pride

Above photo by Palm Springs resident Lani Garfield

Learn more about Palm Springs’ rich gay history, and the origins of Pride, here.

Have questions about this year’s big event? The official website has all the answers.

Some stand out events include:

November 5: Coming Out Celebration – A Night of a Hundred Stars

November 6: Skater Girlz Jam presented by Lesbo Expo. Cool event featuring women skateboarders with some great talent. 5 to 7 p.m. at PS Skate Park.

Third Eye Blind, Jody Watley, and A Flock of Seagulls are among the performers who will hit the stage at Pride — this great article from Palm Springs Life has the details.

All indoor venues require a vaccination card or a recent negative COVID-19 test, so be prepared and be safe. A mask is like a condom — it helps contain the spread of disease. And because life is a bit weird in a mask, it may help prevent pregnancy, too.

See ya in December!

The Aloha Hotel is a woman-owned property in the Tahquitz River Estates

The Aloha Hotel embraces its vintage vibes. Built in 1947, this Tahquitz River Estates property has 11 poolside rooms containing original furniture and decor (don’t worry — the mattresses are new!).

The Aloha Hotel is a woman-owned property in the Tahquitz River Estates

A visit to the Aloha Hotel is a step back in time.

“People like the nostalgia of the 1950s, and we own it,” the hotel’s owner, Mona, said

Built in 1947, the property was purchased in 1971 by Mona’s mother, who previously owned the Four Trees Restaurant in Hollywood. She came to Palm Springs because it helped with her asthma, and ran the hotel for 40 years before Mona took over.

“I am so blessed to meet so many wonderful travelers,” she said. “The foreigners love it, and most feel like it’s home.”

The 11-room Aloha Hotel is the first property in the Tahquitz River Estates, and while the poolside suites are all restored with new beds, they contain the original 1950s furniture and decor. Several movies, music videos, and magazine spreads have been shot at the kitschy hotel, and when upgrades are available, especially mid-week, Mona gives them to guests, free of charge.

At one time, the hotel was called the Palo Verde Inn — the building once had a big “P” on it, and Mona found a vintage key and embroidered blanket with the name — but it was renamed the Aloha Hotel in order to be the first hotel in the phone book.

“Aloha means ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye,’ and everyone comes back, even 30 years later,” Mona said. “So, there are no goodbyes. Aloha, and mahalo!”

The Villa Royale has long been a desert hideaway, and now, it’s more stunning than ever.

The 38-room property, built in 1947, reopened in the fall of 2018 with a fresh, modern look. Co-owner and co-designer John Janulis told the Desert Sun the property is “a true Palm Springs time capsule. We did our best to not disturb the overall feel and charm.”

There are bold patterns, bright colors, and beautiful tile work made possible by artisan pieces from Spain, Mexico, and Portugal. The 21-and-over property has three pools, all with mountain views, and is pet-friendly. The intimate Del Rey offers up libations and small plates featuring Spanish and Mediterranean flavors. Led by Chef Louis Martinez, the Del Rey has a beautiful 12-seat oak and marble bar, as well as booths and an outdoor patio with firepit.

The Villa Royale is home to more than 50 original pieces of artwork, commissioned exclusively for the hotel. Prior to the property’s reopening, artists Sara Radovanovich, Lou Kregal, and Juan Casas lived at the Villa Royale while creating their oil paintings of everything from pop culture icons to desert scenes.

The art’s not just inside. Muralist and tattoo artist Sagent Staygold spray painted the “Welcome to Your Paradise” piece that guests see when they arrive, and Radovanovich made the geometric “El Viaje” mural that stands guard poolside.

The Orbit In embraces its mid-century modern roots, wowing guests with its retro furnishings, lively pool area, and — of course — those irresistible Orbitinis, served every night during happy hour.

During their second stay at the Orbit In, husband and wife Kevin Miller and Jinny Park had the place all to themselves, and as they sat outside, looking up at the sky, they started talking about their dream of selling everything in order to buy and run the hotel.

Orbit In owners, Kevin Miller and Jinny Park

“Right then, a huge shooting star went across, and we made a wish,” Kevin said. “Three years later, we bought it. We are guests who ended up buying the hotel, and we try to run it from a guest perspective.”

The Orbit In is a mid-century modern hotel built in 1957, purchased by Kevin and Jinny in October 2007. Guests spend their days gathering around the Boomerang Bar, beating the heat in the pool and under the misters, enjoying Orbitinis during happy hour, and taking advantage of cruisers they can take around the neighborhood.

“It kind of feels like a hotel, but it also feels like you’re coming to someone’s house,” Kevin said. “It splits the difference there. We see a lot of repeat guests, and that’s just terrific.”

Although he is always improving the hotel, Kevin listens to his guests who like the retro vibe and want things to stay exactly the way they are.

“They always say, ‘Don’t change anything,'” he said. “They love it the way it is. They really like the staff. Everyone is personable and knows them by name, and they feel at home here.”

Can you take a dark-brown cement bench and turn it into art while still maintaining its function for resting or people-watching? The answer in Palm Springs is an unequivocal, yes.

Mainstreet Palm Springs’ Downtown and Uptown Business Association have upgraded the benches throughout the entire area thanks to a grant by the Palm Springs Art Commission. Local artists, representing  the culture and diversity of  the valley, were each paid a stipend for giving a new look and life to 70 benches, including 8 at the Palm Springs International Airport.

Initially, local artist Tysen Knight was commissioned to paint ten benches to test the concept. And they were a big hit. Functional and eye-catching, the colorful benches became the focus of many visitors’ photos. With the success of the first phase, phase two was approved.

Each bench looks like this before it receives its new life. As you can see, the artists have a blank canvas to design and apply their art.

A before shot of the plain brown benches have been transformed by local artists.

A before shot of the plain brown benches have been transformed by local artists.

Here are examples of the benches created by our local artists from our culturally diverse community.

Abe Alvarez Tostado

Abe Alvarez Tostado colorful bench in Palm Springs evokes community heart and unity.

A resident of Yucca Valley. In his younger years, he was interested in comics. Then with his Mom, who was an artist, he started going to art galleries. His artistic talents were encouraged by friends that surrounded him at Long Beach, California. He has painted murals in San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Palm Springs for over 30 years. 

Susan Gresto

Artist Susan Gresto’s bench in iconic Palm Springs hues of oranges and blues features free-spirited winged humans greeting one another.

A resident of Palm Springs. It brings her great joy to mentor students, support community art programs. Her work has been exhibited and sold at the Palm Springs Art Museum Store, University of California Riverside, the Community Gallery at Palm Desert City Hall, Indio Senior Center, and CREATE Center for the Arts Palm Desert.  

Tim J Leary

Tim Leary created a bold geometric and linear bench design.

A resident of Indio.  His work as a visual merchandiser spanned 28 years and three states: Florida, Connecticut, and California. After moving to San Francisco, he completed his formal education, studying spirituality and art, and art therapy. He has a studio in the Backstreet Art District in Palm Springs.

Jessica Frederic

A bright lime-green bench with palm fronds and yellow and black birds came to life by artist Jessyca Frederick.

A resident of La Quinta. After years of searching, she now uses her creativity and problem-solving skills to create art. With encouragement from friends and artists, this bench is her first piece of public art.

Paul Kole

Paul Kole created a word-art bench with a bright white background and multi-colored letters that remind visitors of the joys found in Palm Springs.

He resides in Orange County, Palm Springs, Arizona, and International resort stay-cations. His abstract work on wood and other materials are in the United States and international collections. He has a working studio in Palm Desert, California.

Stroll up and down Canyon Drive to see these creative benches. They most certainly will bring a smile to your face. Oh, if you need to stop and rest, be our guest, and remember, we have great people-watching in Palm Springs.

We’re in the Orange! We got off to a great start in April with a toe-in-the-water, scaled-down, sold-out Modernism Week, and in May you can wade into Palm Springs well above your knees.

Mornings bring bright-blue, sunny skies, a back-drop for our majestic mountains, with crisp to perfection temperatures. When the sun drops behind the mountains, millions of stars light up the night and you’ll be falling into the cool, cool, cool of the evening when it’s time to hit the town.

So, let’s jump right into all of the wonderful and crazy fun options available to make this one of the most memorable times in your life.

Quick note: *means I have been here and it was fabulous!

Ongoing Events

Fridays and Saturdays: Illusions Drag Queen Show, Pete’s Hideaway – Located just behind Pete’s Hideaway in Wendy’s Hideout. But make sure to have cocktails and a nosh at Pete’s, too. The bar they’ve branded as “the Cheers of Palm Springs” has a new chef!

Saturdays: Saturday Night Flight at PS Air Bar “Boarding time” is 5:00 p.m. Located inside Bouschet is the kitschy PS Air that gives you Mad Men on a plane feels. The three-hour “flight” is described as “​Great Music, Fine Food, Classy Cocktails, First Class Service, Naughty Stewardess”

Naughty Stewardess at PS Air

*V Wine Lounge – all dressed up in 1960s kitsch, this terrific, large wine bar offers unusual wines for you to try. They also have a rental space for private parties. There’s a huge patio, too, as well as live music Monday and Saturday evenings.

Saturdays: Not Your Grandma’s Bingo at Chill Bar from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. The name says it all.

*Sundays: Palm Springs Drag Brunch, Roly China Fusion. Located on the North End of Palm Springs. It’s dim sum and it’s delicious. They accommodate vegans, too. And the show is outstanding. Rosemary Galore and her queens work hard for the money!

Me and the drag queens at Roly

Oscar’s: Home of the Sunday “T” dance, the most raucous dance party in PS (which is on hiatus because…pandemic), also has some fun shows:

5/1 Sherry Vine, 5/1/2021 5:30-9:00 p.m.

5/6 Open mic event with former American Idol vocal coach, Michael Orland every 4th Thursday @ 5:00pm.

5/28 & 29 Tiffany Takes Over 7:00 p.m. “Sharing her ‘rocktails, favorite food, and doing an acoustic set.”

Sundays: 11:00 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Bitchiest Brunch that is, as they put it, “Serving Attitude”

Check out Wang’s in the Desert for the Ladies: Hunk-O-Mania Friday’s & Saturdays. Ticketed event starts at 10:00 p.m.

*PS Underground – outstanding, themed dinner shows with some of the best talent PS has to offer. Their unique take on entertainment and their gourmet food is more than worth the price of the ticket. Multiple events during May.

Being “Atmosphere” behind the scenes at PS Underground’s A Night at The Chi Chi

 

*Wednesdays thru Sunday: Melvyn’s Ingleside Inn’s Casablanca Lounge is back! From 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. the iconic lounge is where all the celebrities go to sing with resident maestro Mikael Healey. You gotta play dress up, but how fun is that! For rezzies: 760-325-2323

*Sundays: Jazz fans should definitely carve out 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Palm Canyon Roadhouse. Band leader and solid jazz player Mikale Karr leads the pro jazz jam featuring the best of the best at this unlikely R&R venue.

*5/2 Vintage Market 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month. It’s a great walk-about, surrounded by all things vintage.

One-Time and Pop-Up Events

5/14: Green Dragon Dispensary – 353 S. Palm Canyon, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

All born out of the pandemic, up-and-comers PerfectPint760, SmokeyLips BBQ, and The Best Cookie PS have teamed up with Green Dragon to offer a cure for the inevitable munchies. Grab some deliciousness after you shop, and take it home for later.

Perfect Pint760, BBQ Lips & Best Cookie in PS @ Green Dragon Dispensary courtesy of Perfect Pint760

 

Also if you go to any of our hotels or enjoy our recommendations, please be sure to tag us with your photos on IG, or @palmspringspreferredsmallhotel (yeah, it’s a lot to type, but we appreciate it!)  #PSPSH

You woke up in Palm Springs — what a great way to start the day! You may be wondering, what kind of things are there to do other than shop, eat, and soak up the rays poolside at my wonderful boutique resort? 

Tons, people, tons! And these are all outdoors so you can enjoy the spectacular weather. Here are some suggestions, ranked in order of how much energy you’re willing to part with.

I’ve got about an eighth of a tank

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
This could belong in every category depending on what you choose — the red pill or … nah, no pills involved, except perhaps Dramamine; the gondola can sway a titch. For the ‘not too active,’ shop in the gift store, ride the gondola up, have lunch, check out the views, ride the gondola back. For the very active, get a list of the trails and stick around. If you do some planning before you go, you can hike just about anywhere. But that’s for a very aggressive day, which I hear some people like. You need a full tank and a generator for those.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

Downtown Park
By the Palm Springs Art Museum. Peep the Marilyn statue, the babies, the car, and snap some very cool photo ops. Highly Instagram worthy.

Sunnylands
Bird walks and outdoor films. Truly gorgeous grounds.

Palm Springs POWER baseball
Not a lotto game, but our baseball team. Games start in June. Wear a hat.

Living Desert
It’s a beautiful zoo — the animals are well cared for, and you can feed the giraffes. FYI: They’re not walking around willy-nilly and you feed them a leaf in passing, during supervised feeding times. Sorry if I crushed any dreams.

The Living Desert. Photo credit: Visit Palm Springs

Red Jeep Desert Tours
Take a ride in a Jeep and go see things. They’ve got plenty of options.

Path of the Bighorn (self-tour of bighorn sheep sculptures)
Scattered all over the Coachella Valley are 33 bighorn sheep sculptures. The Peninsular desert bighorn is an endangered species, and the Path of the Bighorn gives visitors the opportunity to appreciate incredible art and the beauty of the animal. I haven’t seen an IG story about them yet, so someone get on that.

A bighorn sheep in the wilds of Palm Springs. Photo credit: Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels

Hot Air Balloon Rides in Indio
Is it romantic, is it thrilling, or will it scare the birthmark off of you? You decide. But the Coachella Valley is spectacular from the sky.

Skywatcher star tours
State-of-the-art telescopes give you views of the cosmos, while “experienced guides weave together the myths and legends behind each constellation,” Skywatcher’s website states. These tours combine “breathtaking views and awe-inspiring astronomy with the heroes, lovers, and tragic figures from cultures around the world.” Also, they’re pretty.

The Dinosaurs Exhibit
Artist Ricardo Breceda’s public art installation Jurassic World consists of 11 life-sized dinosaurs, complete with name tags (one’s name is Steve, he’s a T-Rex. Okay, that’s just what I call him). This one is courtesy of Museum of Ancient Wonders and Cathedral City. Brecada also has sculptures in Borrego Springs.

I’ve got at least a half a tank

Boomers
Fun for all ages: Go-karts, three mini-golf courses, batting cages, bumper boats, arcade games, and a rock wall. I went here for my birthday one year and I’m an overgrown adult.

Bucket of balls
At Indian Canyons Golf Course. They’re like $8, and after you’re done, you can have a cocktail at the full bar and eat a tasty lunch in the clubhouse. And the grounds are stunning.

Palm Springs Historical Society walking and biking tours
So many to choose from! Put on some comfy shoes, pick your decade, and giddy-up.

Full tank and four-wheel drive

Smoke Tree Stables
Probably should have saved the giddy-up for this sentence. Instead, I’ll tell you that there are three ride options, but one is on hold. Prices per person are $80-$200, depending on your choice. Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays.

If you’re enjoying riding one of the bikes provided by your hotel and want to go exploring, then check out the City of Palm Springs bicycle routes map.

Guests at Talavera Palm Springs can use these bikes to tool around town. Photo credit: Talavera Palm Springs

Bring your balls

In bold are the sporty things you can do at our local parks.

DeMuth Park
4200 E Mesquite Ave., in Demuth Community Center
Colorful playground, four lit tennis courts, baseball fields, and a youth center.

Ruth Hardy Park
700 Tamarisk Rd.
This 22-acre park features tennis, basketball and sand volleyball courts, plus picnic tables and grills.

Sunrise Park
480 S Sunrise Way
Basketball court, baseball field, picnic tables, grills, drinking fountains, restroom facilities, and play structures, including water-squirting turtles. Also here: Library Center, Swim Center, Palm Springs Stadium, and Palm Springs Skate Park.

Baristo Park
296 S Calle Encilia
Local two-acre park with play equipment, a basketball court, picnic tables, and grills.

You’re not my mom. No, I’m not, but I care. So wear sunscreen, always have water on hand, and drink it (rinse, repeat). Also, throw a few snacks in the backpack. No one likes a hangry hiker. Especially not the (ridiculously handsome) EMTs who have to rescue your sorry tush because you didn’t hydrate.

If you think about it, tag us in your photos. We love seeing your adventures, and with your permission and photo credit, we’d love to share them here if that’s cool with you. 

Speaking of cool, no — you are.

Without a doubt, Christmas in Palm Springs is bright and gay in a variety of ways. And variety is the spice of life, non?

The mornings yield a crisp temp of the low 40s, while the days are sunny and warm, in the 70s — light sweater weather. The spirit and spirits flow freely here, and if you’re not into the boozy side, there are a bunch of fun, family-oriented things to do. There are also some events that are not — family oriented, that is. Read on for all of the naughty and nice awaiting you in Palm Springs’ bright, open, and welcoming arms.

Courtesy of Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs Air Museum Events

Santa Fly-In and Winter Light Show
Dec. 18-22, 6 p.m.

Each evening Santa Claus will arrive at the Air Museum in his helicopter to greet all the good little girls and boys who have come to see him. In addition to sitting for photographs and having a special gift for each child, Santa will open the museum to reveal a Christmas light spectacular for children young and old to enjoy. Details on cost per car or person TBD. 

Men Of The Desert Fashion Show & Luncheon
Dec. 5, 11 a.m.

Now in its 12th year, the Men of the Desert Fashion Show and Luncheon brings together dudes, dogs, and designer duds at the Palm Springs Air Museum. This fashionable event is held in conjunction with Animal Samaritans.

Desert Air
Dec. 10-11

Desert Air, a 21+ event that requires ID and vaccination card, debuts a dance weekend getaway under the desert sky – hosting two intimate days of world class underground dance music amongst the historic aircrafts of the Palm Springs Air Museum. No parking is available at the venue – a shuttle pass is highly encouraged for the best and easiest way to get to and from the Air Museum.

The Air Museum still has their warbird rides, too.

Miscellaneous Fun

Desert Tasty Tours
Available for most of December — check out their calendar for dates

This three hour, $85 walking tour of downtown Palm Springs features food tastings along the way. As Desert Tasty Tours puts it, “Eating your way through the tour is just one of the tasty ingredients — add a dash of history, a cup of culture, and a dollop of famous resident name dropping, and you get a delicious day of fun!” Open to guests 13 and older.

Drink, Dance, and Dine
Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, 4 p.m.

Enjoy professional and educational performances and community dance lessons, plus hang out with the dancers at Persimmon Bistro & Wine Bar and under the sky in the gorgeous Meyerman Sculpture Garden. Presented by Nickerson-Rossi Dance.

Greentank and Friendly Farms Hall of Flowers (Cannabis Event)
Dec. 8, 5 to 9 p.m.

Eat, drink and vape your way through three specially crafted pairings that will take your tastebuds on a journey into the future of cannabis consumption. This event at Flannery Exchange features special flower sponsor guests Ball Family Farms and Humboldt’s Finest and special guest chef Jonathan Leiva from Oakland. This is a NO SMOKING event. All activations provided will be vapor only.

The Palm Springs Art Museum offers complimentary museum admission from 5 to 7 p.m. during Free Thursdays — be sure to make a reservation online ahead of time

Tours

Red Jeep Tours

Palm Springs Tram

Windmilll Tours

Dinner Theater/Shows (food is involved, okay?)

Oscar’s presents Gunhild Carling
Dec. 3 and 4

This was a HUGE hit last time around.

Purple Room
Dec. 3 and 4
The Skivvies — Say It Ain’t Snow
This troupe of entertainers dazzle with their alt-cabaret, new burlesque show.

Dec. 5,12, and 19
Judy’s Old Fashioned Christmas
Dinner starts at 5 p.m., followed by the show at 7.

Dec. 17 and 18
Diane Schuur

Courtesy of PS Underground

PS Underground

There’s so much going on — first we have Spy on Dec. 4, followed by Gospel Brunch on Dec. 5; Holiday Havoc (the elves have taken over!) on Dec. 11; Sounds of the Season on Dec. 12; Sparkle (international holiday traditions) on Dec. 17; and Rouge (1920s Speakeasy) on Dec. 30.

Theater/Movies

Palm Springs Cultural Center

Classic musical movies on the big screen again. 

Dec. 4: Victor/Victoria

Dec. 18: Best Little Whorehouse In Texas

Dec. 25: White Christmas

Palm Canyon Theater 

The Sound of Music

Dec. 3, 10, 11, 17, 18 at 8 p.m.

Dec. 5, 12, 19 at 2 p.m.

Dec. 9, 16 at 7 p.m.

Holiday Sparkle Christmas pageant

Dec. 15

Desert Rose Playhouse

Christmas With The Crawfords
Dec. 9, 16, 23 at 7 p.m.
Dec. 10, 11 17, 18, 24 at 8 p.m.
Dec 12, 19, 26 at 2 p.m.

We find Ms. (Joan) Crawford prepping for her infamous 1940s Christmas Eve radio broadcast, with Christina and Christopher in tow. The show is a 90-minute parade of famous movie stars dropping by unannounced to sing, dance, and generally toss each other around. You know the gang: Hedda Hopper, Ann Miller, Baby Jane Hudson, Judy Garland, Gloria Swanson, Ethel Merman, Carmen Miranda, Mae West. and even the Andrew Sisters.

Brian Justin Crum Holiday in the Desert
Dec. 3 and 4
Brian Justin Crum is an American singer and actor from San Diego. In 2016, he came to national attention competing on the 11th season of America’s Got Talent, taking fourth place.

The Nutcracker, presented by CK Dance Company
Dec. 21 and 22
CK Dance, Palm Springs’ award-winning dance company, returns to the beautiful Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum for its 25th Anniversary performances of the quintessential holiday ballet The Nutcracker.

Music

Jazzville Wednesdays — see calendar for information on shows

Oscar’s — lots of fun recurring events

Martinis and Moxie – A Desert Society Social
Dec. 12 at 6 p.m.
Celebrating the music and life of Frank Sinatra.

Purple Room

You don’t have to have dinner to listen to some great music during the week, but the food’s pretty fab and they have a great happy hour.

Mondays: Charles Herrera and Keisha D’ perform timeless classics that inspire the soul.

Tuesdays: Rose Mallett, jazz legend, sings the music of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Duke Ellington, and more.

Wednesdays: Michael Holmes and Darci Daniels swing to the music of the Rat Pack era.

Thursdays: Sharon Sills, Sass, Sex and Song. One of the desert’s most popular performers.

Drag and Nekked Men

A May Zing Sundays at Chill

Andy Santiago presents a drag brunch with no compromises. RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s Honey Davenport hosts Drag Race‘s Mariah Paris Balenciaga. Featuring Jazmyn Simone and Lauren Banall.

PS Drag Brunch
Roly China Fusion presents the only Sunday Dim Sum drag brunch in Palm Springs. Multiple dates, with tickets starting at $15.

Savage Men Male Revue
Dec. 3 at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $20.

Hunk-O-Mania Male Revue Strippers Show or is it Illusions? If you figure it out, let me know…
Dec. at 9 p.m. Pete’s Hideaway. Tickets start at $30.

AirOtic Soirée: An open air burlesque cirque style cabaret
Hunters Palm Springs. Tickets start at $48.

New Years Eve, Rock & Roll Bash at the World Famous Palm Canyon Roadhouse
Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $20.

Cheers in the new year at the Light It Up New Year’s Eve Block Party at Agua Caliente Palm Springs’ Cascade Lounge. Dance the night away while DJ Lady Kate takes the stage starting at 8 p.m. From food trucks to fireworks and all in between, bring the family out for a great evening!

I’m sure there are more NYE events, but getting that info seems to require selling my first-born cat, and I am not sure which one it is…

Also, coming up on Jan. 6 is the Palm Springs International Film Festival, so book your rooms and get your tickets now.

As always, stay safe, wear your mask, and carry your vaccination card or recent negative test with you at all times. You can still have fun following these rules — I’ve had some wildly fun times since they let me out of my house.

When it comes to 2022, here are some wise words from the grand dame of words, Dorothy Parker: Let the past die, my child, and go gaily on from its unmarked grave. 

Happy everything, everyone!