For those looking to avoid the cold, but still looking to celebrate the festive holiday season, look no further than Greater Palm Springs. This desert oasis has an exciting lineup of holiday activities and new opening, making it the perfect spot for a winter vacation.
Indian Wells Winterfest returns from Dec. 1-Jan. 1 for a month-long holiday extravaganza that will include a tree lighting ceremony, roller skating, mini golf, and more.
Magic of Lights allows guests to drive through a winter wonderland of more than a mile of dazzling lights from Nov. 17-Dec. 31. Light designs feature everything from life sized dinosaurs and monster trucks to a holiday Barbie display.
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens hosts its annual WildLights experience on select nights from Nov. 22 - Dec. 30, bringing the animals and illuminations to life at night.
Old Town Artisan Studios will transform their three-acre art campus into Gingerbread Lane, complete with dazzling holiday displays and a 17-foot tree next to the signature Holiday Cottage. Guests can decorate gingerbread cookies and enjoy hot cider, paint clay ornaments, visit and take photos with Santa, and more.
On Dec. 2, guests can ride the iconic Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for sky high views of the desert. Once at the top, they can enjoy breakfast with Santa at the top of the mountain. Come wintertime, the top of the Tramway is one of the few places in the desert that can get snow, as it can be about 30 degrees colder up there!
At the Palm Springs Air Museum, guests can immerse in Snowtopia, featuring meet and greets with Santa, arts and crafts, toasty treats, and 40 tons of real snow to play in.
The Festival of Lights Parade takes place on Dec. 2, featuring over the top floats, marching bands, performance groups, appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, and so much more, bringing over 100,000 people to downtown Palm Springs annually.
On Dec. 9, the North Pole Village at SnowFest captures all the holiday spirit in one free event complete with twenty holiday-themed storefronts, holiday music, train rides, Santa and Mrs. Claus, tree lighting, food, and more.
Take a holiday boat ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort, where guests can hear Christmas stories and sing holiday songs as they float around the picturesque lake.
Visitors and locals alike can also join in on a variety of tree lightings beginning in November at Shops on El Paseo, Westin Rancho Mirage, La Quinta’s Civic Center Park, The River at Rancho Mirage, Acrisure Arena, and more.