Are you looking for the perfect winter getaway? Look no further than Palm Springs, California! With its stunning desert landscape and sunny skies, Palm Springs is the ideal winter escape. From what to pack, to where to stay and the top things to do, this blog post will cover everything you need to know about planning your winter getaway to Palm Springs. So, grab your suitcase and get ready to soak up some sunshine in this idyllic desert oasis.
Packing For Your Trip
When you’re planning a winter getaway to Palm Springs, packing is an essential part of the process. The desert temperatures can dip into the low 50s at night, so make sure to bring plenty of layers to keep you warm. In the daytime, temperatures will rise to the upper 70s, so don’t forget to bring lightweight clothing as well.
Here are some items you’ll want to make sure to pack for your winter getaway:
- Sweaters, hoodies, and jackets – As mentioned before, it can get cold in the evening, so it’s important to pack enough warm clothing. Make sure to choose sweaters and jackets that are comfortable and easy to layer with other pieces.
- Long pants and shorts – Bring along a variety of pants and shorts to suit whatever activities you have planned. Jeans are a good option for evenings spent strolling around downtown Palm Springs, while quick-dry hiking pants are great for day trips.
- Sun protection – Don’t forget about sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for your time in the desert sun. Even in winter, the rays are still strong, so make sure to protect yourself.
- Comfy shoes – Whether you plan on going hiking or just exploring the city, comfy shoes are a must. Make sure to bring a pair of sneakers and a few pairs of sandals or slides.
By packing wisely, you’ll be ready to explore all that Palm Springs has to offer.
Holiday Happenings in Greater Palm Springs for 2022
The weather outside is far from frightful, which means winter in Greater Palm Springs is oh-so-delightful. Here, stockings are stuffed with sunshine and palm trees decorated with twinkling lights. Be jolly and make merry at these festive events and experiences in Greater Palm Springs.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND DISPLAYS
MAGIC OF LIGHTS | EMPIRE POLO CLUB
When: November 18 to January 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Magic of Lights is a drive-through holiday lights experience sure to light up your holiday season. Experience Magic of Lights from the comfort and safety of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path of Greater Palm Springs’ new holiday tradition. This event features favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Learn more here.
TREE LIGHTING AT THE SHOPS ON EL PASEO | EL PASEO SHOPPING DISTRICT
When: November 18 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Kick off the holiday season by watching El Paseo light up with twinkling lights and be filled with festive fun! Watch the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony featuring carolers, a large tree, and jolly décor. It sets the perfect mood for holiday shopping and spending an evening out on the town, where you can find activities for kids, fun in different shops, and more. Plus, very special guests will be paying a visit! Don’t miss Santa and Mrs. Claus – it’s perfect timing for that holiday photo!
INDIAN WELLS GOLF RESORT TREE LIGHTING
When: November 18 at 5 p.m.
Bring the family to join in the holiday fun. Capture the magic of the evening with a tree lighting at Indian Wells Golf Resort. For more holiday events at this location, learn about Indian Wells Winterfest.
When: November 22 to December 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Celebrate the 30th year of WildLights at The Living Desert and watch as the zoo turns into a sparkling winter wonderland. Find millions of lights deck the palms throughout the grounds, from a herd of life-size, luminescent lanterns to the popular light tunnel – don’t forget the festive G-scale model train with more than 3,300 feet of decorated tracks. Take your family out for an evening filled with excitement, holiday cheer, and endless lights!
When: November 27 at 4 p.m.
Watch in awe at the annual tree lighting at La Quinta Resort & Club with live music starting at 4 p.m.Enjoy complimentary cocoa and cookies, while taking in the holiday spirit with merry carols.
When: November 26 at 5 p.m.
‘Tis the Season at “The Backyard” at The Westin Rancho Mirage. Experience the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony & Holiday Festivities!
When: November 26, December 3, 10, 17 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit this enchanted Gingerbread Lane – a winter wonderland with multiple trees, trimmed garland, twinkling lights, and a large tree next to a holiday cottage. They will also be offering gingerbread cookies, hot cider, cookie decorating, and ornament painting.
HISTORIC CASITA LIGHTING | LA QUINTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
When: December 1 at 5 p.m.
Enjoy some holiday cheer, Mariachis, and Manny the Movie Guy at the lighting of our historic casita.
CITY OF LA QUINTA TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY | CIVIC CENTER PARK
When: December 2 at 6 p.m.
Everyone is invited to begin the holiday festivities in La Quinta at the annual tree-lighting ceremony. Bring the family out to experience a winter wonderland for the evening! Admission is free for all.
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS PARADE | PALM SPRINGS
When: December 3 at 5:45 p.m.
For the past 27 years, the Festival of Lights Parade has been held in the heart of Palm Springs. The parade features tractors and floats covered in lights, marching bands and performance groups and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus – join in on the holiday cheer!
When: December 7
Bring the entire family to celebrate the ‘most wonderful time of the year!’ The annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony features a lit-up Hollywood-style movie set themed as Main Street at Santa’s North Pole. The family will love this, as you get to experience the North Pole, carolers, free movie showings and so much more, plus a special visit from the big man on the holidays, Santa Claus! Admission and parking are free.
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY | THE RITZ-CARLTON, RANCHO MIRAGE
When: December 8 at 5:30 p.m.
Celebrate the spirit of the season by partaking in our spectacular Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. While the lights, decorations, and stars have changed throughout the years, this elevated ceremony remains a quintessential Rancho Mirage experience.
2022 HOLIDAY PARADE OF LIGHTS AND FESTIVAL | DESERT HOT SPRINGS
When: December 10 at 5:45 p.m.
Join the City of Desert Hot Springs for its annual holiday celebration. Bring the entire family to celebrate the ‘most wonderful time of the year!’
GREATER PALM SPRINGS NEIGHBORHOODS
For a festive (and free) way to celebrate the holidays, pour yourself a thermos of hot cocoa, turn up the dial on the car radio and drive past all the beautifully lit homes in Greater Palm Springs while listening to your favorite carols. There’s just something magical about seeing all the palm trees strung with lights and colorful front doors made even merrier with wreaths and boughs of holly.
HOLIDAY EVENTS & SHOWS
WINTERFEST | INDIAN WELLS
When: November 18 – January 1, 2023
Discover the delight of the holidays with swaying palm trees and family fun. Sip hot coca, spin around the outdoor ice-rink and enjoy a unique golf experience. Click here for more information.
MERRY MOVIE NIGHTS | GARDENS AT EL PASEO
When: Every Saturday from November 26 to December 17, showtime at 5 p.m.
Get in the holiday mood while coming together with family and friends to enjoy a holiday movie at this outdoor cinema setup. Bring blankets and your favorite food, then sit down to relax under the evening sky. Tickets will be available on November 1, adults will be $7, and children under 16 will be $5.
When: December 3-4
More than 300 vendors will be featured plus a tamale eating contest, five stages of live entertainment, and wine and beer gardens. Attendees will be able to sample a wide variety of tamales, from traditional recipes to vegan and vegetarian options.
JINGLE BELL ROCK AT CDMOD | CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY MUSEUM OF THE DESERT
When: December 4
An outdoor holiday concert at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert. Enjoy photos with Santa Claus, cookie decorating, holiday crafts, and more!
SANTA PAWS 5K AND LIL’ ELF DASH | PALM SPRINGS
When: December 17 at 9 a.m.
Join this one-of-a-kind event and get active with your friends, family, and furry pals. Walk, run, stroll; however you decide to complete this 5K, you will be doing so in style – all participants will be given a 5-piece Santa suit to wear. For those 10 and under, participate in the Lil ‘Elf Dash and receive an elf shirt. Bring your dog and dress them for the occasion. Palm Springs Marathon Runners invite you out to show support and raise funds for the Guide Dogs of the Desert.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA | DESERT HOT SPRINGS
When: December 17 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Free digital photo with Santa! Walk through our Santa’s Desert Escape Light Display!
$10 includes 2 eggs, pancakes, potatoes, coffee/tea/lemonade.
SANTA CRAWL | DESERT HOT SPRINGS
When: December 4 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dress up as Santa or Mrs. Claus and do a “Santa Pub Crawl”, visiting each of the 5 bars set up around the two resort’s pools. (Miracle Springs Resort & Spa and Desert Hot Springs Spa hotel right next door!)
PHOTOS WITH SANTA | GARDENS ON EL PASEO
When: December 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Families are invited to have a meet and greet with Santa, where you can have your pictures taken. Pictures will be available with a $20 donation with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and you will receive (1) one 4×6 photo in a holiday frame. This event will feature lawn games and bubbles on the center lawn.
PAWS ‘N CLAUS | GARDENS ON EL PASEO
When: December 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Calling all furry friends and families to have their special moment with Santa–cats, and dogs only. All pets must be leashed or in a small carrier and have up-to-date vaccines. Pictures will be available with a $20 donation that benefits the Bianca Rae Foundation, giving a voice to the voiceless.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs are jingling all the way through the year! Mr. Rex (the iconic, green tyrannosaurus rex that stands 65 feet tall will don a Santa suit this year and flash his biggest smile for your family holiday card. Stroll through the outdoor dinosaur trail, decorated with colorful lights and garlands. Jump in Santa’s sleigh, pulled by none other than a velociraptor. Then top it all off with dinosaur-themed ice cream treats at the “Wafflesaurus Truck” (available on select days).