?We’re having a heatwave. A tropical heatwave. The temperature’s rising, it isn’t surprising, we’re having a heatwave.?— Irving Berlin
Factoring in heat and humidity, Palm Springs is like…everywhere else in the world right now: hot and muggy. But we’re still Palm Springs — relaxed and groovy, a respite from traffic congestion, smog, and overworked, underpaid, crabby people. The sky remains blue, the stars continue to show off in the night sky, and as long as there is A/C (and there is) and a pool (so many pools), it remains paradise.
Splash House. Photo by Jose Negrete, courtesy of Visit Palm Springs
Many of the small boutique hotels are having specials, which is great because this month, for two weekends, Palm Springs hosts Splash House (August 12-14 and August 19-21), the DJ equivalent of the Coachella Music Festival minus the dust, grime, and the conundrum of how to get to the venue without sitting in traffic for hours and hours. And then there’s the parking. Oy!
As the name Splash House indicates, the parties are held mostly in and around the pool, but at night, after parties are held at Palm Springs Air Museum — a very cool venue. You should check it out during the daytime, too. There’s lots of flying memorabilia, including old planes, and you can actually book a joy ride on a warbird.
You’ll still want to ride share to these events in case you’d like to partake in alcohol or cannabis, because safety first. Plus, no parking hassles. (Check out this article for info on Palm Springs’ cannabis stores.)
Splash House is held at three large resorts, but you don’t have to stay in them. In fact, I would suggest that you enjoy the best of two worlds — a boutique hotel for quiet times and tranquil moments, and a big-ass party at the large resorts during the day.
So, check out the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotel specials here, and find your bliss for a little less wear-and-tear on the bank account. Because the boutique hotels have fewer rooms than the big boys, you’re not just a random face or room number. Many people develop lifelong friendships with hoteliers and other guests, and they meet up year after year.
The tram on its way to cooler temperatures. Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
If you’re skipping the big pool parties, and opting just for the night events, there’s still plenty to do (keep reading). Everything is inside (please don’t hike) with the exception of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which is both inside and outside. And it is 30 to 40 degrees cooler at the top. Definitely worth the price of the ticket.
Splash House also isn’t the only music you’ll find this month. There’s Turn My Music Up Fest August 5, 6, and 7. Again, I’d encourage you to look at your options for small boutique hotels, not only because they each have their own personality, but because most are locally owned and operated, so you’re contributing to the welfare of the city itself.
Here’s all the rest of the action:
Thursdays: Street Fair and free admission to Palm Springs Art Museum, 5 to 7 p.m. The Art Museum has a bunch of programs, too, including a free Sunday on August 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Check the link above for movies and more events.
Marilyn at the Downtown Park. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs
August 17: Movies in the Park — Across from the Art Museum and next to Marilyn. This month they’re showing Some Like It Hot. It’s free and starts just after sundown (around 8 p.m.).
PS Underground — Expect the unexpected at this terrific dinner “theater.” Food and entertainment are exceptional and both are wildly creative. Dates and prices on the website. Some upcoming offerings include:
Gospel — Sunday brunch
Liquid Grooves — whatever that sounds like to you. Just know it will be scads of fun.
Ovation — Sunday brunch
Sound of Music singalong
PS Cultural Center
August 9 and 23: CV Philharmonic Society Chamber Series
August 25: Bad Movie Bashing — In honor of National Bee Month: The Bees (1978). Described as “a giant creature feature of minuscule proportions that sees the late, great John Saxon fighting against a deadly swarm of killer bees that have invaded the United States, all in the name of honey and vengeance!”
August 5: MasterPiece Mash Up by artist and filmmaker Tyson Knight, featuring an exhibition of his art and his documentary about the homeless. Knight is a fascinating artist who has done many murals here in Palm Springs, and is an all-around cool dude.
Weekly live music: Sundays — Keisha D; Mondays — Mon Petit Salon (look into it); Tuesdays: Leanna + Jazz Collective; Saturdays: Farmers’ Market.
The Cultural Center is also home to Camelot Theaters, which plays new releases, indie films, and LGTQ+ films. In August, their series Palm Springs Unwinds focuses on Wes Anderson:
August 6: Rushmore
August 13: The Royal Tenenbaums
August 20: Moonrise Kingdom
August 27: The Grand Budapest Hotel
DJ Mod Girl — One of the best local DJs around. She’s so much fun, and ramps up the party by her presence alone — this girl gets down, people. You’ll be up and dancing in a nano.
The Alibi is back! They’re adding dates and seeking out cool indie bands for their calendar, so keep checking. So far:
August 4: Thursday Throwdown — no info available at this time, check link above.
August 7: Rostam with Sam Buck — Rostam is a founding member of Vampire Weekend. This concert will run from 8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Swear to Cher that’s what it says on the website.
August 15: The Soul Rebels
August 18: Syence (pronounced Science)
New place alert! Pretty Faces Nightclub at Hotel Zoso. Open Thursday through (and including) Saturday, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Heist Escape Room. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs
Palm Springs Escape Room — If you haven’t been to an escape room, this is a great time to try it. I went here for my birthday a few years ago and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. If you’re a fan of puzzles, or get your adrenalines from beating the clock, this is for you. BTW, it’s privately owned, not part of any other escape room, so it’s another way to support local businesses.
420 Bank and Lounge has old-timey games like Operation (which is a riot when you’re stoned) as well as a life-size chess set, pinball, and billiards. You can also purchase cannabis and consume it in the lounge. There are some very fun and Instagram-worthy shots to be had here. You’ll need to check their calendar, as they often have bands and comedians onstage. These lounges are popping up all over the valley, and are the cannabis equivalent to a bar.
Oscar’s. Courtesy of Visit Palm Springs
August 4: Eve Holmes puts on a great show featuring standards, jazz, Latin, dance, country, and Broadway.
August 5: Gennine Francis performing R&B, pop, soul, jazz, standards, and more.
August 11 and 25: Hotwyre provides danceable rock.
August 24 and 31: Mark and Tony Show — no cover, live taping of the TV show every Wednesday.
Saturdays: Bitchiest Brunch, Mimosa Men, and Oscar’s Cabaret
Cascade Lounge (inside Agua Caliente Casino in downtown Palm Springs)
Mondays: Mimosas, Martinis & Music with Don Wardell
Wednesdays: Desert Blues Revival
Fridays: Caliente Comedy
Sundays: Latin Nights
On Arenas Road:
Hunter’s is open daily, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
August 4: National IPA Day
August 16: National Rum Day
August 18: National Pinot Noir Day
August 28: National Red Wine Day
Where’s the love for an old vine Zinfandel?
Streetbar — the oldest gay bar in Palm Springs (that’s years open, not the required age of patrons). There’s karaoke, a smoking patio, extended Happy Hour, daily top shelf specials. Streetbar is a desert tradition since 1991.
August 6: Dirty Disco Takeover with Matt Consola
August 6: Varsity – Boy’s Night Out
Small businesses suffered during the pandemic, and I’m sorry to report Dead or Alive, one of my favorite little beer and wine spots, as well as Desert Rose Playhouse, one of my favorite theaters, have closed. Dead or Alive is permanently deceased, but we’re holding out hope someone will resurrect Desert Rose. It was the only LGBTQ+ theater in the Coachella Valley.
So please stay and shop local, hydrate more than you think is necessary and then drink some more, wear sunscreen, and don’t be surprised if someone says hello to you on the street. That would be a local. We’re friendly like that.
I’ll be back in September — hope you will, too!