Palm Springs during Christmas is a warm winter paradise and a white wonderland, depending on where you look. Families spending the holidays here have easy access to the Valley floor’s naturally snow-free sidewalks and relatively mild December temperatures, as well as the traditionally frostier activities that can be found in the higher altitudes of the surrounding mountains.
When everyone’s feeling nostalgic for a white Christmas, here’s what to do and where to go:
Sledding and snowshoeing at The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. When there’s snow on the mountain, the Tram’s Adventure Center is open for business! Located at the top of the Tram, the Adventure Center rents snowshoes for $18 per day. Be sure to bring your own plastic sled or about $20 to purchase one. Equipment is rented on a first-come, first-served basis to adults 18 years and older. Check the Tram website’s weekly planner for snow forecasts and hours. The Tram is located at 1 Tramway Road in Palm Springs, and is easily reached from downtown.
Ice skating at Desert Ice Castle. They say trying something new and laughing together are great bonding experiences. This indoor, man-made rink is a setting for both. Freestyle skate with the kids, teach them a few moves, or learn together as a family. Open every day of the year, there are public skating sessions seven days a week, with extra sessions during public holidays including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Group classes are offered for kids aged 3 years and up. Check their website for hours. No need to bring your own skates, either. Rentals are $9 for 2 hours. Desert Ice Castle is at 68600 Perez Road in Cathedral City - approx. 6 miles from downtown Palm Springs.
In addition to sledding, snowshoeing, and ice skating, Santa is part of Christmas magic. Here are several places to catch him around town:
- Palm Springs Villagefest: Thursday, December 19th. (This outdoor festival takes place downtown on Palm Canyon Drive from 6pm to 10pm. Check their website for details.)
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: Saturday, December 21st, from 11am to 3pm.