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“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ”Let’s party!'” — Robin Williams

Welp, it’s time for Coachella again, and what a beast of a party it’s going to be this year with Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Swedish House Mafia, and Kanye (billed as Ye) headlining. There’s already a titch of craz-ye in the air.

Per their website, the lineup also includes Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, 21 Savage, Danny Elfman, Doja Cat, Run the Jewels, Jamie xx, Carly Rae Jepsen, Vince Staples, Japanese Breakfast, Baby Keem, Caribou (and Daphni), City Girls, Denzel Curry, Caroline Polachek, 100 gecs, DJ Koze, Turnstile, Rina Sawayama, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, the Avalanches, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Arooj Aftab, Orville Peck, Nilüfer Yanya, Disclosure, Brockhampton, PUP, the Blessed Madonna, Peggy Gou, Spiritualized, Amber Mark, Slowthai, Fatboy Slim, Mako Kream, Idles, J.I.D, girl in red, Duck Sauce, BadBadNotGood, Amyl and the Sniffers, and many more.

That’s more people than my high school graduating class.

The festival runs two weekends: April 15-17 and April 22-24. If you have tickets, have tons of fun, wear sunscreen, check out how to get there, and here’s a list of their services.

If you don’t have tickets, and you have the sads, you can watch the festival from the comfort of one of our resorts with a cocktail, inside your air conditioned room, or by the pool at the Coachella page on YouTube.

Right after Coachella, it’s Stagecoach starting April 30. So wash, rinse, repeat. But don’t do that with your hair. That’s just a ploy so you’ll use more product, unless you went to a music festival — then definitely wash, rinse, repeat.

That’s what a lot of folks are pumped about for April, but for those of you who eschew everything that comes with being in a huge crowd, yet love a good party (raises hand), read on…

Free things to do (and some food, too)

April 3: Opera in the Park will be held at Sunrise Park in Palm Springs. The free concert will feature accomplished opera professionals accompanied by a professional orchestra. Event attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a day of beloved opera arias.

April 6: Rock The Park, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Kenny Metcalf performs Elton John: The Early Years.

April 28: Dining Out For Life — Check the website for a list of participating restaurants. It’s a lot.

Thursdays Free at Palm Springs Art Museum

Thursdays Village Fest just ask your host, or follow the crowd.

Ticketed events

April 1: Rouge Ballroom Bash by Nickerson Rossi Dance. Salon Rouge returns to the International DanceFestival.  A praised sold-out program that this year will feature this award-winning dance team and ballroom instructors, Beverly Durand and Curtis Collins. Learn basic social dancing, hit the dance floor to strut your moves, and be ready to move. Oh, and the drinks are on them!

Through April 29: Glow In The Park at The Living Desert, a spring lantern festival. This is The Living Desert’s brand new and larger-than-life illuminated experience. This extraordinary nighttime event will feature intricate, immersive, and truly awe-inspiring animal and naturescape lantern creations representing wild places from around the globe. Get ready to see The Living Desert in a whole new light.

PS Historical Society has a bunch of walking tours and biking tours (rental bikes) that look fantastic. Listed by days, the website has offerings like Golden Era Hollywood Homes, the Rat Pack Playground, the Heart of the City, and more.

MOGO Silent Disco: I still wanna go to this. Curated music in your ears, dancing down the street with a non-intrusive tour guide. Come on! How much fun!

Live theater

Desert Ensemble Theater: Great little company at the Cultural Center.

Palm Canyon Theater: Spamalot playing in April.

Dezart Performs: Last chance to see one of their terrific productions of the 2021/2022 season.

Desert Rose Playhouse: Check out Palm Springs The Musical: Born to Sparkle.

Music and comedy

Fridays – Caliente Comedy: Not the all-star comedians, but funny, funny people.

Thursdays – Jazzville: What a show! If you like jazz and you’re here on a Thursday, get yourself a ticket.

Purple Room: Rat Pack vibes, dinner and entertainment. Amazing local performers Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays and Saturdays are ticketed events with well-known entertainers, and on Sundays, check out my beloved The Judy Show.

PS Underground: Musical madness from two creative geniuses. Dinners and brunches like you’ve never experienced before. They also have an Easter Gospel Brunch (adults only).

Oscar’s: So very gay, so very fun. That’s not the name of an act, just a description of Oscar’s.

PS Cultural Center: Not just movies, farmers markets, and the vintage anymore. On April 17, check out Alohana, a tiki day celebration. And there’s Martinis and Moxie on April 13.

Drag brunches 

Oscar’s Bitchiest Brunch Show

Disco Boozy Brunch

Roly China Fusion

If you haven’t yet, take a ride up the mountain on the tram and hike our gorgeous trails before it gets too hot.

If that’s not enough excitement for you, head even higher into the skies with a warbird ride at the Palm Springs Air Museum, available every weekend.

May is the Oasis Music Festival; I’ll tell you more about that next time.

Until then, stay safe, shop and stay local, and if you go to any of the clubs or theaters, tell them Kay from Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels sent you. No one can pronounce my last name, Kudukis, but it’s often hilarious when people try. But that’s just me. You won’t get a laugh, or any discounts, but they won’t kick you out — I don’t think. Hmmm. Do me a favor, give it a try and let me know? Thanks, you’re the best!

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.

A little tequila, a little dance, a little party in your pants. — Kay Kudukis

It’s Cinco de Mayo again, happens every damn year — and we’re very happy about that. Before we get into where to go and what to do, let’s clarify a few misconceptions about the day.

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. That date is actually September 16 (someone needs to get on that right away, we always need another reason to drink tequila).

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of one, count ’em, one battle. And that battle was the Battle of Puebla. The players in the battle: 6,000 French troops vs. 2,000 ragtag, poorly supplied but determined Mexicans. The battle raged from daybreak to early evening, and when the smoke cleared, the French had lost nearly 500 soldiers, while fewer than 100 Mexicans lost their lives. Viva la Puebla!

In 1863, the first Cinco de Mayo celebrations began in southern border states like California, and always ready for a reason to break out the tequila, in the United States it’s been a jammin’ party ever since. That bolded part is important because the only people in Mexico that celebrate the day are the Pueblans. No banks are closed, the mail still comes, no parades, and no parties.  

But thankfully we’re hedonists, and our own worst enemy (have you ever experienced a tequila hangover? Death seems preferable at the time). Here’s a list of all of the local spots for great Mexican food and getting your tequila on in moderation:

El Mirasol — there are two locations in Palm Springs (one at the Los Arboles Hotel), try the jalapeño margarita and the stuffed pepper 

Dinner is served at El Mirasol. Photo by Kim Munkres

Azucar — fancy, downtown, with a rooftop bar (at La Serena Villas)

Las Casuelas Terraza — expect a Mariachi Band, and much more

Las Cazuelas Original — the food is terrific

Felipe’s — great food and margaritas, family owned

JJ’s Mexican Oasis — family owned and delicious Cadillac margaritas

Loco Charlie’s — off of Sunrise near the Albertsons, it’s a “joint” but the food is fabulous (and the drinks are, too)

Tac/Quila — upscale Mexican seafood, and the design is super

La Bonita’s — haven’t been, but I hear it’s good

Maracas — great people watching

El Patio — run by Felipe’s

The poolside view of Azucar. Photo courtesy of La Serena Villas

La Perlita — way off the beaten path, but it’s got some great food and drinks

El Taco Asado — authentic Mexican food and full bar

Blue Coyote Bar and Grill — right downtown

Rio Azul — on Indian Canyon, and I hear it’s terrific

El Patron — best for people watching

Sancho’s — breakfast and lunch, brand spankin’ new

El Mirasol at night. Photo by Kim Munkres

And here are the only two places, right now, that are having full-blown, advertised Cinco de Mayo celebrations:

Cinco De Mayo at Hunters Nightclub

Margo Rey and an All-Star Latin Jazz Band at Jazzville (Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs)

If you don’t drink, you can alway eat, and all of the above have terrific food. Those who celebrate events with cannabis should jump on the Cannabus for one of their Express Tours. Dispensaries now have beverages for consumption, as well as powders to put in your soda water (never ever put it in an unsuspecting person’s drink or meal, or you might end up in jail like these ladies did. Rude!). Make sure to read the dosage labels, like I didn’t — I ended up riding a light beam into the deepest recesses of my mind. It was fun, but not for everyone.

As always, consume everything responsibly, and grabs some Beano before you go! 

May The Force Be With You — Star Wars

There’s a lot to do in the merry, merry month of May, so I’ll shut up so we can get on our merry, merry way:

Special Days

Mother’s Day — May 8

Melvyn’s — Special menu for Mom

Le Vallauris — Brunch in a gorgeous setting

849 — Beautiful space, good food

Labor Pains — A musical Mother’s Day brunch, at PS Underground

Courtesy of PS Underground

Lulu — Another special menu for a special lady

Farm — Take Mom to the south of France in Palm Springs. Downside: no reservations

L’Atelier Cafe — The cutest little cafe serving delicious quiche, pastries, coffee, champagne, and more

Modernism Week, May Jewelry Event — “You’ll love this Mother’s Day weekend spectacular of jewelry and fiber art! The variety of color, texture, and design from our featured artists is truly dazzling.” The first glimpse is Friday, May 6th, from 5 to 7 p.m. at 550 N. Palm Canyon Dr. (refreshments served). The showcase is also open Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Memorial Day

Clothing-optional pool party at Tuscany Manor

Annual Memorial Day Air Fair and Flower Drop, May 30. The Palm Springs Air Museum says: “This is a very special day … our brief memorial service is dedicated to all of our fallen comrades, who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. In their honor, we highlight the service with a fly-by and flower drop of over 3,000 red and white carnations from a B-25 Mitchell bomber. This most impressive ceremony is our way of saluting our fallen comrades. Visitors are welcome to pick up a flower to take home.” Admission from $17.50 to $19.50.

Special Events

Modernism Week — May. A very paired down Modernism event, but their offerings look pretty amazing. It’s the first time they’ve done this, so check it out, and act quick. The parties always sell out fast.

May 4: Rock The Park, featuring a Tina Turner Tribute. Downtown Park Palm Springs.

May 11 – 15: Oasis Music Festival. There are many locations for this event, with many different musical artists. Too many to list here. Check it. They’re going to try to do it every year.

Courtesy of Oasis Music Festival

May 29: AsiaSF Palm Springs/The Sonoran Ceremony Pool Party. Music by DJ Edward Frame and DJ Ryan Kenney. Hosted by Epiphany Mattel. Special performance by the Ladies of AsiaSF. Noon to 7 p.m.

May 29: UNITY. Music by DJ Twisted Dee. Special performance by Gia Banks of Haus of Tischi. 10 p.m. to LATE.

The above two events are sponsored by LYMI (Love You Mean It) Productions. AsiaSF is located in an event space known as The Sonoran. You guys, it’s gorgeous. I went to the opening of AsiaSF and the party was poolside. There were fire pits, seating, and built-in food stations, and even with more than 100 of us in the space, it still wasn’t crowded. And the mountains are right there. It’s especially stunning at twilight.

May 20 and 21: Rare Books. More than 40 antiquarian booksellers from across the country will share their love of books, fine prints, maps, ephemera, photography, and more. $25. Hotel ZOSO.

The Annenberg Theater at Palm Springs Art Museum: Check out their calendar for some great jazz and dance.

Plunge 2: Leather Order of the Desert at Canyon Club, clothing optional men’s resort.

Clubs/Nightclubs/Dinner Theater

The Alibi  This will get you to their ticketed and free shows. This link is for shows not listed on their calendar.

Courtesy of The Alibi

PS Underground — Just as cool as it sounds.

The Purple Room — Rat Pack vibe and interior design, with a new whiskey bar. Live entertainment Tuesday through Sunday. The year the ticketed events seem to be a broader spectrum of players. They’re all excellent, and of course, say it with me: The Judy Show is my favorite show in town.

Oscar’s — Well-known inclusive club with LGBTQ+ entertainers and allies. They’re really stepping up their entertainment with some incredible international acts.

Toucan’s Tiki Lounge and Cabaret — Hosts the longest running drag show in Palm Springs, and much much more.

PS Air — It’s a speakeasy inside a wine shop that looks like the interior of an airplane. The entertainment is fun, and the food is good!

Theater

Into The Woods at Palm Canyon Theater

Mid-Century Moderns The Musical at Desert Rose Playhouse

Recurring Events

Palm Springs Historical Society Tours So many tours! I want to do them all. Except the ones on a bike. (I don’t do bikes.)

Palm Springs Cultural Center

Vintage Market – May 1 ONLY. (First Sunday of every month)

For a list of all of their events and tickets, go here. There’s a lot of great music and shows to see.

Of Special Note: Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival 

Sun-Dazed Drag Brunch poolside at The Sonoran, presented by AsiaSF and Heklina. Sundays.

Illusions Drag Show Brunch and Illusions Drag Show Dinner at Pete’s Hideaway

Cascade Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino

Latin Nights on Sundays

Mimosas, Martinis & Music hosted by Don Wardell on Mondays

Desert Blues Revival on Wednesdays

Jazzville on Thursdays

Caliente Comedy on Fridays

Thursdays, free admission at Palm Springs Art Museum (from 5 to 7 p.m.) and Village Fest (6 to 10 p.m.)

MOGO Silent Disco Tour — Fridays and Saturdays, put on your headphones and dance down the streets of Palm Springs listening to specially curated songs as you tour some of our more famous spots.

Palm Springs Air Museum

Kitties! Opening in June, Frisky Business (at Gene Autry and E. Palm Canyon) is where you can go to snuggle a kitty for an hour and help the owner’s rescue efforts. They’re partnered with the Palm Springs Animal Shelter and will offer services (TBA), merchandise, and events in a fun, unique, relaxed environment for both cats and people.

Masks are off, sunscreen is on, and see you in June!