“I never worry about being driven to drink; I just worry about being driven home.” — W. C. Fields
It’s party season everywhere, but no one parties quite like Palm Springs. The “Say Gay” city is the best of all worlds: gay, straight or bent, it doesn’t matter. As long as you like life with a lot of seasoning, we encourage you to come on out. (Pun intended or not? You decide.)
If you have never been to Palm Springs, you have no idea what you’re missing. When I lived in L.A. and friends wanted to come here for a weekend, it was always a hard pass for me. I was a thirsty person to begin with, why on Earth would I go to the desert? Well, as it turns out, they not only have water here, but I moved here eight years ago and have never been happier. I love living in Palm Springs. And I’ve lived in some cool cities.
Palm Springs is especially fabulous during season (November through April) and that includes the holidays. If you’ve come to party, we’re ready for you. If you’ve come for a relaxing vacation or getaway, get ready for a shift in attitude and blood pressure.
We’ve got everything the big cities have without the traffic so you can zen at your own pace. But please don’t stare at the snow-capped mountains and daydream during stop lights. That’s annoying, and what the spa is for.
So, check into one of our Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, and check out everything there is to do in Palm Springs this month. Zero regrets live here.
One and done
Dec. 2: Palm Springs Christmas Tree Lighting at Frances Stevens Park, on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo Road. From 4:30 to 6:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. for the tree lighting. The free festivities will include free hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy along with caroling, children’s crafts, and a visit from Santa. Fun fact: the 22-foot-tall holiday tree is decorated with energy-efficient lights.
Dec. 7: Rock The Park, Ronstadt Revival: Tribute to a Legend. Enjoy an evening featuring the music of Linda Ronstadt. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Free event. (This park is located right next to the Marilyn statue.)
Dec. 20: Palm Springs Cultural Center’s Holiday Oddities a unique look at Christmases past in Palm Springs and other areas, featuring short home movies from the 1960s and era-specific ephemera.
Ongoing December events
Dec. 2-11: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway — Holiday Choir
Dec. 2 – 18: Palm Canyon Theatre, Palm Springs Getaway: A Musical Romp (with holiday songs)
Dec. 9 – 11: 8th Annual Official Latino Film and Arts Festival at the Palm Springs Art Museum
MOGO Silent Disco — Dance down Palm Canyon to the curated music in your earphones. You won’t look weird, you’ll have friends with you. Use code “pspsh10” at checkout for a 10 percent discount for our readers!
Desert Tasty Tours — A fun walking tour with some history, some drinks, and some food; it’s a great mid-day adventure. To get $5 off when purchasing your tickets, use our promo code: “PSPHotel.” If your tour guide’s name is Kay, that’s me. Say hello!
Palm Springs Historical Society Walking and Biking Tours — So many tours, so little time. I want to go on all of them!
Around the town
Every Thursday: VillageFest and a freebie night at the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Palm Springs Cultural Center — There is a lot going on here: live entertainment on the second floor Monday through Thursday, live theater, blockbuster and indie films, a philharmonic series, and film festivals.
Purple Room — A nightclub like no other in Palm Springs. A throwback to the Rat Pack days, there are even Rat Pack quotes on the walls! Food’s good, entertainment good, and Michael Holmes is reprising his Judy Show with Judy’s Old Fashioned Christmas. In my book, a visit to Palm Springs without seeing The Judy Show is not complete.
Oscar’s — Recurring events like the T-Dance, Bitchiest Brunch, Mimosa Men, and Oscar’s Cabaret. Also check out their special events; if it’s happening, an absolute must-see is Mid-Century Moderns, a jukebox musical from Mark Christopher who wrote the movie 54. I have seen it, and it is great fun.
PS Underground — Holiday Havoc, Holiday Jazz, and Ho are just a few of the unique dinner shows produced by Michael Fietsam with meals prepared by Chef Dave.
Jazzville — Every Thursday, enjoy a night of jazz like nowhere else in the Coachella Valley.
Melvyn’s Jam — Every Sunday. This is a very popular event, so come early. Always the best of the best musicians in the Valley. From standards to jazz to pop, you’ll hear it all. Plus, their martinis!
Sammy G’s — Great place to dance every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the upstairs bar. Nice atmosphere in the restaurant, and the food is good.
P.S. Air — Upstairs from Bouschet (fine wine and spirits, also delicious food), this fun little bar is all dressed up like an airplane, complete with kitschy movies and a drink serving “stewardess.” Also performances by some of the best local entertainment.
New Year’s Eve
Drag Me Into 2023 at Oscar’s.
Dec. 4, 11 and 14: The Dirty Show
Dec. 31: DILF — Men’s jock/gear party, Palm Springs Convention Center. “Dudes, Daddies, Discreet, Dunno…DILF is for ALL MEN! Get geared up, strapped up, and ready.”
That’s all I’ve got for this month, except to leave you with a small gift. Don’t worry that you didn’t get me anything — it’s OK, it’s not much, just something you might want to carry with you into the new year:
“I believe that the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” — Viola Davis
Namaste, and happy whatever floats your boat.