Palm Springs Holiday Happenings

Events for 2018

Posted By: Thursday, November 29, 2018

26th annual Festival of Lights – December 1

26th annual Festival of Lights returns to Palm Springs Saturday, December 1. The parade will start on Palm Canyon Drive at 5:45 p.m.  The Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade has become a signature holiday event and an important part of the magic that makes our destination like no place else. When the twinkling floats, magnificent marching bands, enormous Macy’s-style holiday balloons — and of course Santa and his reindeer make their way down Palm Canyon Drive, it’s wonderful to see children, families and people of all ages experiencing true holiday joy.

Lorna Luft, daughter of "Wizard of Oz" actress Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli's half sister, will be the celebrity grand marshal.  NBC Palm Springs anchor Gino LaMont will be one of two community grand marshals. Iconic architect Hugh Kaptur will be the other community grand marshal who first visited Palm Springs in 1956.

Kaptur is known for his architectural contributions to Palm Springs and adding to our famous mid-century modern style.

Festival of Lights


Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Annual Holiday Tree Lighting – December 2

Kick of the holiday season 8,516 feet high in the air. This year, HGTV’s “Desert Flippers” hosts, Eric and Lindsey Bennett, will serve as the celebrity tree lighters for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 2 at the Tram’s Mountain Station with a holiday performance by the Palm Springs High School Madrigals & String Quartet. Then the Bennett’s light the Tram’s landmark 45-foot tree comprised of 4,000 LED lights, which can be seen throughout the Coachella Valley.

Also kicking off this weekend on Friday November 30, a decades-long tradition resumes when the holiday choir season commences. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 14, a different middle or high school choir performs holiday favorites at the Tramway’s Mountain Station. Show times are 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and are complimentary with regular Tram admission.

Palm Springs Tram Tree Lighting


Judy's Old Fashioned Christmas at the Purple Room – Sundays in December 

1900 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264 | Dinner at 5 pm, Show at 7 pm.

The spirit of Judy Garland is alive and well and in Palm Springs at the famed Purple Room Restaurant & Stage Sunday at 6:00 in December. This blend of hysterical comedy and outstanding music explode into an evening of nonstop belly laughs, glamour and high camp, as celebrated entertainer Michael Holmes parodies Judy Garland, who in her 1964 television variety show, played host to some of the greatest female icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood. With a killer wardrobe and razor-sharp wit, Holmes plays and nails them all, singing your favorite songs and thrilling the audience with charm, zingers and stories.


Santa Fly-In and Winter Fun Land - December 8 - 9 

745 N. Gene Autry Trail, in Palm Springs; free with museum admission; 760-778-6262


This is a fun annual family event thrown by the Palm Springs Air Museum that features a very special guest—Santa Claus. Santa will meet with children and pose for photographs in a specialty created Winter Fun Land, including snow he’ll bring with him from the North Pole. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9, 



Sounds of the Season Concert – December 12.

 Palm Canyon Theatre, 538 N Palm Canyon Drive | 760.323.5123  |  7:00 pm

Join many of your favorite Palm Canyon Theatre performers for an evening of holiday entertainment.

Christmas Paws

Santa Paws 5K – December 22

Temple Isaiah,  332 W Alejo Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262  | 9:00 am

SANTA PAWS 5K benefiting Guide Dogs of the Desert Saturday, December 22, 2018 Santa Paws 5K is a dog-loving fun run/walk benefitting the Guide Dogs of the Desert. Each participant receives a 5-piece Santa suit that can be worn during the event and is then yours for keeps! This includes a jacket, pants, belt, hat and beard. All participants run, walk or stroll the 5K (3.1mile) route. Strollers and doggies are welcome! There will also be a 200 meter Elf Dash for children 10 and under. Entry for the kids' event is $10 and includes an elf hat, event button and Ben and Jerry's ice cream certificate for all participants. Registration is limited to 1,000 participants.

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