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By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, much of America will have had their first dusting, if not their first dumping of snow. Not so in Palm Springs! We’re just getting used to the cooler mornings, our warmer afternoons are full of sun and followed by sultry evenings, and you might need a little body heat (or a nice jacuzzi) to stay warm.

This year for Thanksgiving, instead of the inevitable familial bickering, why not enjoy four days in Palm Springs with a group of friends at one of our small resorts, and leave the clashes, the dishes, and cooking behind you?

Here are some boutique hotel options, and read on for where to eat on your special respite of thanks … and fun. I mean, you are in Palm Springs. We’re not Disneyland fun, we’re cool fun. That’s why we always wear sunglasses. (Don’t forget to bring yours so you can be cool too. They also help with our very bright sun.)

Once you’ve got your peeps, your sunglasses, and your hotel sorted, it’s time to figure out who’s gonna be cooking for you this year. All of the below come with at least one starter and a dessert. 

Thanksgiving meals in Palm Springs

Tropicale — Known for its very popular happy hour and buzzy outdoor patio, their entree is herb-roasted Mary’s Farm organic turkey, along with sausage, apple, and sage stuffing, whipped potatoes and turkey gravy, buttered Brussels sprouts, and cranberry apple chutney. You also get a soup or salad option, and three different desserts from which to choose. Featured wines: Rombauer Vineyard Chardonnay and Sokol Blosser Estate Pinot Noir. $84 per person.

Lulu — For those who don’t have a great relationship with turkey, Lulu is a wonderful choice. They have 10 choices of entrees with only three featuring turkey, and there’s a veggie option too. Plus, the atmosphere is pretty groovy. $59.99 per person.

Grand Central — There be turkey and fixins’ here! There also be four non-turkey options, including salmon and steak. For the vegetarians: pumpkin ravioli. Located in La Plaza at Palm Canyon, it’s a very big room so your chances of nabbing a spot are good. $79.99 per person.

Eight4Nine — Spend Thanksgiving at the former Palm Springs Post Office, now home to Eight4Nine. Willie Rhine is one of our favorite local restaurateurs, and Eight4Nine is his most popular restaurant. The four-course meal includes fig ricotta toast, a list of options for your starter and your main (including the very popular turkey dinner), and dessert. All for $76 per person.

Freddie’s Kitchen — Located in The Cole Hotel, this would be a great choice for staying and for Thanksgiving dinner. The French restaurant is serving the classic slow-roasted turkey, but they also have barramundi and grilled seasonal vegetables Wellington. For a starter, choose from soup, salad, or escargot, and the finale has three options for dessert. You don’t even need to leave the hotel. $72 per person, $25 corkage fee.

Melvyn’s — It’s another 2-fer here. Stay at the historic Ingleside Inn and dine in the glory of Melvyn’s. After dinner enjoy a martini at the bar and/or take a stroll around the grounds. Choose between four starters, four mains (including apple cider brined turkey breast), and two desserts. Sides will cost you $14 each on top of the $115 per person cost. It’s pretty Rat Pack-y, and if that’s the vibe you’re going for, it can’t be beat. Plus, you never know who you’ll see in the lounge.

So•Pa — One more 2-fer. Stay at L’Horizon and you’ll not only be treated to an incredibly swanky stay, but also a meal at So•Pa. Their offering is strictly of the turkey variety with all the fixins’ and then some. $95 per person.

Spencer’s — Located in the Class 1 historic Tennis Club on Baristo Road, smack up against the mountains, it’s one of the fancier places to dine in Palm Springs. They have a gorgeous patio they call the Bougainvillea Room where you can eat al fresco. Three starters to choose from, six entrees, and two desserts. $79 per person.

Zin American Bistro — In the heart of downtown, right on Palm Canyon Drive, is local restaurateur Mindy Reed’s Zin. This Thanksgiving there are five options as starters, five as mains (including turkey), and four dessert choices. $69.99 with a 22% gratuity.

Mr. Lyon’s — Probably the most popular steakhouse in town, and always a treat to the palate, this restaurant is located on the south side of town and features a speakeasy called Seymour’s. It’s a terrific dining experience, and for Thanksgiving they are offering four choices of starters, four choices of main (including turkey), and three dessert choices. $95 per person.

Pomme Frite — Zero turkey to be had in this French bistro, but what would you expect? It’s not a French holiday. But if you’re a fan of French bistro food, this just might be your jam. Five choices of starters, entrees and desserts, all very Français. $64.95 per person. 

Trio — Trio took a bit of a hit during the pandemic, but it’s coming back strong with a refresh of the interior and the menu. This Thanksgiving they have a family-style first course, three offerings for mains, three sets of sides served family style, and two desserts from which to choose. If none of those three mains suit you, there’s an a la carte menu featuring 10 extra items. $59 per person.

Palm Springs does Thanksgiving poolside

Thanksgiving experiences

The Purple Room is offering a dining and jazz experience with the Pam Phillips Trio. If you haven’t heard Pam on keys, you haven’t lived. Four choices for starters, five choices for mains (including turkey breast), and three choices for dessert. $79 per person. This club is dressed in an homage to the Rat Pack era, and although it’s not as old as Melvyn’s, it gives it a run for its money on the Rat Pack front.

Finally, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will operate a special holiday schedule Thursday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 26. The first tram up each day is at 8 a.m. with the final tram at 8 p.m. The last tram down is at 9:30 p.m.

Thanksgiving Day Ride ‘n’ Dine tickets include tram admission and your meal at Pines Café, served from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Their fancy restaurant, Peaks, is also serving a special Thanksgiving pre-fixe menu. Reservations begin at 11 a.m. Tram tickets are not included. The regular menu is also available. 

So why not hit all the right notes this Thanksgiving with a very special holiday away from home? Spend the four-day holiday in Palm Springs where the weather’s perfect, the food is fantastic, the small hotels are gorgeous, and the vibe is Barry White — laid-back and a little suggestive. We can’t help it; the sun makes us frisky. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

April is packed with goings on, and with all the rain (now called a hydrologic event on my weather app) we had in March that means color — aka March showers bring April wildflowers!

No superbloom, they say, but the mountains have been celebrating St. Paddy’s Day the entire month of March by turning green! I have lived here for nine years and this is only the second time this has happened. The last time was 2019 and that year we were lousy with wildflowers. We also flooded, but that’s so 2019. Those rains that brought the superbloom came in February. This year they came in March so April should be bursting with color. And pollen. But they have pills for that ish.

Let’s get started on the rest, shall we?

The main events

April 1: Palm Springs Cruisin Association Car Show

April 1: AmDocs Festival at Palm Springs Cultural Center

April 1: Palm Springs International Dance Festival Nickerson Rossi Dance Studio

April 1 – May 7: Desert X. That link describes and shows photos. This link gives you options for a map and an app. (Learn more about a few of the art installations here on our blog.)

April 1: Desert Mountains Art Show. It is art in the mountains, what more can I tell you?

April 2: Palm Springs Vintage Market. Great market for vintage everything. You’d think they’d have run out of clothes by now, but not so much.

April 14-17: Coachella (Weekend 1). Waitlisted. Listen, if you don’t know what Coachella is, you’re never going to go. But here is my favorite YouTube clip from Coachella.

April 21-24: Coachella Weekend 2. Tickets still available at the time I am writing this.

April 23: South Palm Canyon Art Collective Sunday Soirée, 1500 South Palm Canyon. Work on display from five resident artists and several guest artists. The soirée is free.

April 28-30: Stagecoach. The country version of Coachella. Less drugs, more booze.

Saturdays and Sundays: College of the Desert Street Fair. If you’re down valley for Desert X or a music festival you have to stop here. It’s huge. I accidentally drove past it one weekend and was blown away by the size of it. I just made a plan to go.

This year’s Coachella lineup.

Repeat contenders

Hockey games and big name performers at Acrisure. April has Reba McIntyre and John Mayer. Concerts are pricey, but the hockey games are affordable.

Dinner and a show

Ticketed 

Oscar’s

Purple Room 

PS Underground 

PS Air Bar

Come On Up at the Palm Springs Cultural Center (Mildred’s small menu)

Come on up to Come On Up!

Reservations

Melvyn’s – Piano man.

Yaas Queen

Mondays: Bella da Ball, Palm Springs’ 6’4” Drag Mother at King’s Highway for Bingo, followed by Trivia in the Amigo Room.

Drag me to brunch

Great drag roundup article here

Roly China Fusion

Oscar’s

Chill Bar

PS Air – Mile High Boozy Brunch 

Reforma (Saturdays) Different date, different show. And in You Need To Calm Down news, the last one was a Taylor Swift drag brunch.

Nightclubs

Reforma (nightlife and dinner)

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge

Hunters

Pretty Faces

Cascade Lounge — Mixed entertainment, all A+, and home of Jazzville.

Sammy G’s Upstairs Bar — Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, The Evaro Brothers. Great pop dance music you can sing along to while dancing.

Theater

Dezart PerformsThe Garbologists

CVRepHand to God

Desert Ensemble TheaterFuture Thinking

Desert TheatricalsJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Musicals Under the Stars). Act fast and you can snag a dinner seat too.

An iconic Palm Springs windmill farm. Photo: Nadine Conger

Just for fun

Windmill Tour — You’re driving, someone else is talking, but they aren’t in your car. How do they do that? 

Desert Tasty Tours — Eat your way through Palm Springs history on a walking food tour.

Red Jeep Tours – San Andreas Fault, Jeep-y stuff 

Celebrity Tours

Cannabis Express Tours – April is National Cannabis Awareness Month. Get yourself educated on everything cannabis. It’s fun and educational too. 

PS Historical Society Walking & Biking Tours — There are 14 to choose from.

MOGO Silent Disco — Their tagline? “Shut up and dance.”

Pro VR — Virtual reality gaming, including escape rooms.

Escape Room — Actual escape rooms.

Movies in the Park — Old-timey movies under the stars.

Hiking: Indian Canyons is closed April 1-8; Tahquitz still open. Here’s a great article from Visit Palm Springs on where to go. Keep in mind numbers 1 and 6 are part of Indian Canyons.

That’s it for me this month. As always, please shop and stay local. And that includes cannabis because it’s National Cannabis Awareness Month. I might have said that already. I’m hungry… 

See you next time!

“I used to jog, but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.” — David Lee Roth

Buckle up, the party is still going in Palm Springs this March with the Red Dress/Dress Red Party (sold out), the BNP Paribas Open, film festivals, free concerts, art festivals, and tiki time. And that’s just for starters.

The weather is outstanding, so you’ll likely be out, but not standing (I’m groaning with you). The Tahquitz Canyon waterfall is flowing, but if you’re gonna do the hike, go early. It was already kinda crowded when I went at 8 a.m., and by the time we left they weren’t letting anyone up or in the lot to park. As gorgeous as Tahquitz Canyon is, if that happens to you, Indian Canyons has more trails, so it won’t be as crowded. It is also stunning. I think there is at least one trail with a waterfall, and there are snakes, rattlers in particular, so don’t hike with the headphones on. Keep the channels to your ears open. 

Let’s get to the things, then we’ll chat about a few other things.

What’s happening in Palm Springs this March

March 2: Wine tasting at Bouschet — Great little shop in south downtown, just past Ramon where Indian and Palm Canyons do the Beatles thing and come together. They also serve food, and PS Air Bar is just a ramp up to the second floor. 

March 3: Vintage Market — The first Sunday of every month from October through May. Vendors from all over come to sell their mid-mod wares. There’s a small fee to get in, but there are also food options and sometimes entertainment.

March 5: Movies in the ParkGoonies, at Downtown Park next to Marilyn. Free!

March 6: Rock the Park — ABBA tribute band, at Downtown Park next to Marilyn. Free!

March 7: Billy Dee Williams meet and greet opportunity and book signing at Palm Springs Cultural Center. Williams’ memoir, What Have We Here?, was published in February. The book will be available to purchase during the event. VIP attendees will receive a copy and be the only ones able to get their books signed. Meet and greet at 6 p.m., main event at 7:30 p.m.

March 9 and 10: Palm Springs Art Festival at Frances Stevens Park on Alejo, Indian Canyon, and Palm Canyon. We’ve got really good artists, check it out after breakfast.

March 21-25: Sean Penn will open AmDocs at Palm Springs Cultural Center. It’s the place to be for all the documentaries and animated films, in the best cinema for hundreds of miles. 

March 21-23: Just a heads up — the Spring Cue Convention, a teachers convention, is in town. Last time this happened everything was packed, so make reservations for restaurants when you book your hotel stay at one of our small hotels. There are a lot of conventions in March, but this one is BIG.

March 27: Family Fun Fest at Palm Springs Power Baseball Stadium. Games, activities, and lots of information and giveaways.  9 a.m. to noon, outside, at the Palm Springs Stadium. 

March 31: Alohana at Palm Springs Cultural Center

Palm Springs Air Museum — March 1, 20, 27: Explore cutting-edge aviation at the exclusive Darkstar Rising Experience. Step into the realm of the iconic aircraft, straight from the minds of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works.

Ongoing entertainment venues

V Wine Lounge: Live entertainment and karaoke Wednesdays.

Purple Room: Weekday happy hour and local music, weekends are ticketed events.

PS Underground: Themed dinner shows with some of Palm Springs’ finest entertainers. Lots of laughs, great food, great music, new friends.

PS Air Bar: It’s in an airplane! Okay, not really, but it feels like it. Kitschy and fun, it’s a must.

Mixed bag of tricks

The Revolution Stage Company: Everything from Avenue Q, new musicals, new plays, and cabaret. This is Palm Springs’ hottest new theatrical adventure.

Palm Springs Cultural Center:

Broadway Best of the West — Big names in the big theatre.

Movies — Screwball comedies and more.

Live entertainment — Music upstairs, two theaters: The Bent (back in April) and Desert Ensemble Theatre.

Oscar’s: Jack Donahue on March 21

Drag brunches

Oscar’s Bitchiest Brunch

Reforma — Beyonce, Britney Spears/Kesha, and Lady Gaga Drag Shows on Saturdays

PS Air Bar — Broadway Boozy Brunch served in a mock airplane. Emcee Tod Macofsky

March Madness 

If you’re into sports, there are a few places to watch the games: 

Hair of the Dog

360 Sports Palm Springs located in the Agua Caliente Casino

Fireside Lounge

Smokin’ Burgers

Shamrock’s Irish Pub

Looking out for the lesbians

Palm Springs has been a real dust bowl when it comes to lesbian events. This month we’ve got two! (Although not dedicated events, Monday and Tuesday nights at V Wine Lounge have a large, fun lesbian crowd.)

March 7: Lez Out Comedy at The Revolution Stage Company. Comedian Mina Hartong brings her comedic talents to the RSC with host Max Mitchell and featured comedian Amanda Michelle.

March 17: Sunday Ladies T-Dance at Low Desert from 3 to 7 p.m.

Tours

Desert Tasty Tours — A 3-hour tour, six spots, art walk, and Palm Springs history from fun, friendly and informed guides.

Palm Springs Historical Society — Walking tours, biking Tours, private tours (car).

Legends and Icons of Palm Springs Bus Tour — This is through Five Star Adventures. Their website is a mess, so I sent you to TripAdvisor. You’re welcome.

Jeep Tour — Get in a Jeep and tour the San Andreas Fault lines. In their words: “Experience the twisted and tortured landscape of an active earthquake fault system as your guide describes the geology of the area and you explore the bones of the earth. Don’t forget your camera — the photo opportunities are endless.”

There’s also Village Fest (a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, flowers, jewelry, snacks and sweets) every Thursday. We shut down Palm Canyon from Amado to Baristo so you can walk our streets free of those pesky cars from 6 to 10 p.m. Plenty of street vendors, buskers, and all the shops and restaurants are open, too. If you’re a fan of museums and art, the Palm Springs Art Museum is free from 5 to 8 p.m. Don’t forget to pay homage to Marilyn, and check out The Muse Cafe in the museum for a bite to eat. 

News alerts

The Pantry at Holiday House launched brunch service on its sunny patio with a South of France flair. Executive Chef Shawn Applin has created a sweet and savory menu and it pairs perfectly with a special selection of rosé wines and Champagnes. Highlights include the photogenic and delicious Shellfish Plateau for sharing, Dutch baby pancakes, fried chicken and waffle, ricotta-stuffed French toast, and much more.

Served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

It’s BNP Paribas Open time March 3-17, so if you’re preparing to step out down valley, plan for extra time. 

Coachella is in April followed by Stagecoach.

When you come visit (and you will), please stay, shop, and eat local. (That means local food — please do not eat the locals. You’ll find us a little dry.) Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels has over 70 choices of excellent hotels and resorts, each a different experience with a variety of price points. Check them out here.

See you next month! 

While the rest of the world is just experiencing spring, Palm Springs is well into it. The mountains are as green as they were in 2019, which means there’s likely a super bloom coming. The weather is in the high 50s at night and can go into the 80s during the day. It’s really swell right now.

Of course, April is a big month musically in the Coachella Valley, and there’s a little bit in here about the big events, but there’s still plenty to do and see in Palm Springs proper.

Along the way sipping, dining, and divining, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the flowers. The bougainvilleas are shameless, so the cacti said hold our beer, we’ve got this. It is one of the most colorful springs a desert could ever hope for!

Events of note

April 12-14: Coachella Week One

April 19-21: Week Two — lineup by artist here

April 13-14 and 20-21: Goldenvoice presents The Palm Springs Surf Club — I’m not quite sure what’s going on here, trying to find out if it’s permanently open or if it’s just for Coachella, but hey — take advantage of this. The place looks gorgeous. They have their own playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

April 26-28: Stagecoach — Looking for a place to stay? Check here.

Alphabet Mafia touchstone events

April 4: Where my gays at? Kathy Griffin at The McCallum

April 5: The Desert Legends Golf Tournament — This women’s tournament at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort is hosted by Envy Records and Promotions to benefit the LGBTQ Center of the Desert. Your $150 covers 18 holes, a scramble with shotgun start, green fee, golf cart, breakfast burrito, and award ceremony lunch. Non-pros welcome.

There will also be games: the 5-Iron Only Hole, Longest Drive, and Closest To The Pin. Sign up as an individual, twosome, threesome, or foursome, just enter the name of your partners when you sign up. Luncheon honors Caroline Haines, founder and creator of the Lina Shore Golf Tournament, with the annual Desert Legend Award. 

April 6: It’s not Sunday with Brenda, but Saturday with Fortune Feimster at The Show

April 12: Patti Lupone at The McCallum — I do not need to say more.

Dezart Presents Mr. Parker: Consistently producing top-notch work, this company presents a story about a 54-year-old man who finds himself suddenly single and unable to adjust to a world that has moved on without him. After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up with a 28-year-old bartender/Uber driver. These two very different people begin a tentative relationship, and what starts out as a one-night stand becomes a journey of self-discovery for a man trying to let go of the past and move forward.

The Bent presents The Lincoln Debate: An original piece of work that premiered to sold out audiences last spring, this play explores whether or not Abraham Lincoln’s very close friendship with another man was more than that. 

Where to stay gay in Palm Springs — just for the boys, ladies.

Everything else

Village Fest: Every Thursday, walk through the heart of downtown Palm Springs for a leisurely stroll with buskers and vendors galore, something for everyone. Come early and visit the Palm Springs Art Museum, free on Thursdays.

Canopy Lounge: Enjoy fine wine, a meticulously curated bites menu, and entertainment. Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., New Orleans Nouveau brings the heat, playing the latest sounds of New Orleans and West Coast jazz.

Purple Room: Check out their ticketed weekend entertainment and try to nab a ticket to The Judy Show. Weekdays are great entertainment too, Tuesday-Thursday.

Palm Springs Cultural Center: Early evening happy hour drinks, yummy snacks (the fries!), and entertainment at the VIP Lounge upstairs. Different night, different entertainer. Great way to kick off your evening before heading to dinner. 

PS Underground: Many shows to choose from, but Light comes back for one show. Sells out quick, so book in advance.

The Revolution: Special events, cabaret shows, $10 piano shows and sing-a-longs, extravaganzas, boy band shows, and comedy. There’s something going on almost every day. 

V Wine Bar: Nightly entertainment in a space that’s a throwback to the 1960s. Great wine, adult-er beverages, and a few tasty mocktails. Did I mention the food? It’s a great menu, and delicious to boot!

PS Air: Whether it’s an in-flight movie or a full-on Broadway brunch, you’ll have a great time in this intimate airplane. Located in Bouschet Wines, same mall as Revivals, Revolution, and Palm Greens Cafe. Boarding is usually around five or six, check the website.

Reforma: It’s a nightclub and a restaurant with creative drag brunches. It’s actually in a class one historic building — that entire part of Palm Canyon to Ramon is from that era, but Reforma is the only one where you dine and dance…except for maybe…

Impala, right next to Reforma. Food and fun. 

Theatre

Desert Ensemble Theatre presents Sherlock Holmes Confidential: Original work produced by a terrific little theatre company that consistently does interesting work at Palm Springs Cultural Center.

The Revolution Stage Company presents The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee: This company recently did such a bang up job with Avenue Q even the extension sold out. I saw it twice. Spelling Bee is under the same direction, so expect great things.

Tours 

Palm Springs Historical Society: Three different types of tours, over 30 actual tours.

The Best of the Best Tours: I think this might be a new company. I’ve never heard of them before, but their tours look like a lot of fun. 

Celebrity Tours: Private tours to around 10 celebrity-studded Palm Springs neighborhoods

The Legends and Icons Tour: One of the tours provided by Five Star Celebrity Tours. Don’t go to their website (it’s a mess and it’s not secure), but the link I provided looks good.

Covered Wagon Adventure: Just what it sounds like. Solid five-star reviews.

Red Jeep Tour: For adventurers that love the great outdoors. Trips to the San Andreas Fault with other amenities.

Desert Tasty Tours: The only food tour in town, and it’s a good one! Three hours walking and tasting, negating the need for dinner. Along the way, learn some history of Palm Springs, visit Marilyn (and other great art installations), enjoy a few adult drinks and eat a lot of delicious food. There’s a date shake, too!

I’m going to leave you now, but not without sharing something that a wise man once said. The fact that the wise man is actually a “wiseacre” named Jim Carrey is irrelevant. 

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”

See you beautiful people around town.