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You’re a smart cookie — you’ve decided to spend the December holidays in Palm Springs at one of our famous boutique hotels and resorts! Clever you, because we’re bringing all the cheer to the yard. Go here to book your hotel stay, read on for your itinerary…

Holiday events

Dec. 1 Jingle Mingle Tree lighting at Downtown Park

Dec. 1: Charles Dickens Writes a Christmas Carol at Revolution Stage Company — Based on a short note in Dickens’ own journal, this adaptation puts Dickens himself centerstage as the characters in the story argue, debate, and cajole him into writing his most famous work.

Dec. 2: Festival of Lights Parade — Bella da Ball, a Palm Springs community sweetheart, social ambassador, and hostess with the mostest, and John Taylor, radio personality at KGAY 106.5, will be parade announcers from Granvia Valmonte.

Dec. 3: Santa at Marilyn 

A Christmas tree made of lights above Palm Springs, California

The view from the top after taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Photo courtesy of Visit Palm Springs

Dec. 3, 6, 8, and 10: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway — Take the tram to the top of the mountain and enjoy some holiday music with local chorales.

Wild Lights at The Living Desert in Palm Desert

Magic of Lights at the Empire Polo Club

Don’t forget about Village Fest every Thursday. Shop street vendors, try new food (many current P.S. hot spots got their start at Village Fest), and enjoy a cocktail and some great music on every corner. Pro tip: Bring a jacket and wear good shoes. Maybe take an Uber or stay in one of the downtown boutique hotels and walk. Parking is free but hard to find.

Dec. 13: Drew Sebastian and Ethylina Cannes: Cozy Little Christmas Variety Show at Reforma

Dec. 19-23: Snowtopia at the Palm Springs Air Museum — For the little ones: Santa Claus and a playground of 40 tons of real snow, craft making, hot chocolate, s’mores and more. 6 to 9 p.m. Kids 3 and under get in free.

Dec. 20: Deserted Films presents Holiday Oddities II, a unique look at the past through the eyes of home videos and specially curated content. It’s a blast reliving the past.

Stage, theater, film, and concerts

Dec. 6: Kenny Cetera’s Chicago Experience at the Downtown Park. Concert admission is free.

Dec. 6: For Cabaret6: Desert Stars #5, Rose Mallett presents Songs of Sarah, a Sarah Vaughan Tribute at Revolution Stage Company. Nationally known entertainer and local gem in her final local performance of this show set to go on tour.

An ad showing images of Ella Fitzgerald and Keisha D on a purple background

Keisha D will sing Ella Fitzgerald at the final Cabaret 6: Desert Stars show. Courtesy photo

Dec. 13: The final Cabaret6: Desert Stars show is Keisha D Sings Ella Fitzgerald at Revolution Stage Company. She’s a local treasure with big pipes and her own spot on our Walk of Stars.

PS Cultural Center — Formerly Camelot Theaters, the Center is a bastion of entertainment with movies, live theater and music, and special events. It’s off the strip and a favorite of locals. Full bar.

The Bent

Desert Ensemble Theatre

VIP Lounge

Sand, Stars & Guitars

Jazzville — At Cascade Lounge in Agua Caliente Casino

Sunday’s Jazz Jam at Melvyn’s — At Ingleside Estate (née Inn) on Sundays they’ve got the best jazz vocalists in the Valley sitting in with an all-star band. Very Palm Springs.

A list of the different tribute bands playing at Rock the Park in Palm Springs, California

You won’t want to miss any of the free Rock the Park concerts happening over the next several months. Courtesy photo

Dinner clubs

Here’s where you’ll find dinner and a show, each with its own unique spin on the concept.

The Purple Room 

PS Underground

Oscar’s 

PS Air Bar

Entertainment

V Wine Lounge — They’ve got a deliciously unique menu and live entertainment in a mid-mod atmosphere. 

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill — There’s music in the restaurant, but there’s a party up the stairs in the lounge.

Drag Bingo with Palm Springs icon Bella da Ball, Mondays at 7 p.m. at Kings Highway. Trivia follows in the Amigo Room at 9 p.m. Make a reservation — it’s a hot ticket.

New in town

Canopy Wine Lounge — Quite possibly the newest spot in town, Canopy Wine Lounge opened its doors in late November.

Play Lounge and Cafe — Breakfast, lunch, coffee, cocktails, and old school games that don’t require an Xbox, including a pool table. 

Christmas Eve and the big day dinner

Christmas Eve at Copley’s — Enjoy a delicious three-course dinner, with options including Scottish salmon, sesame ahi tuna, and charred prime filet. View all of the offerings here.

Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner at Lulu California Bistro — Christmas dinner plans this year are made easy at Lulu California Bistro. Reserve your spot for a delicious Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner and make your choice between multiple courses.

If you’re looking for the traditional Chinese restaurant food for Christmas Day, I’m afraid I’ve failed you. At this time, I have no recommendations. 

I couldn’t find much for you on New Year’s Eve, since it’s still a bit early for a sleepy little town, but here’s a quick rundown of what’s planned as of now. 

That’s it for me for December! Wishing you the happiest of holidays and I hope you come spend them in the happiest little town in America (fight me!). We’re the nation’s record holder for merry and gay. There’s no such thing, but if there were, we’d win by a landslide!

Ho, ho, ho, ya’ll!

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!