3 Fun Holiday Fun Activities in Palm Springs

Looking for some festive fun during the holidays? Palm Springs and the surrounding communities are filled with colorful lights and fun parties to put you in a cheery mood. Here are 3 fun events and sights to see during the holidays and into 2017:

Sunrise in Indian Wells - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Sunrise in Indian Wells – Photo by Jill Weinlein

Miramonte’s Naughty and Nice Party

The boutique Miramonte Resort and Spa is hosting a Naughty or Nice Party on Dec. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. Bartenders at Vineyard Lounge will prepare exclusive Naughty or Nice cocktails, while Executive chef Paul Hancock mingles with guests while making Naughty + Nice Bites.

Chef Paul Hancock - Photo by Jill Weinlei
Chef Paul Hancock – Photo by Jill Weinlei

Share your sins with Santa and he will wipe the slate clean! Be sure to wear holiday attire for fun Photo Booth memory pictures. Each naughty guest will be entered to win a $50 bar credit, while nice guests can win a $50 The Well spa credit. Make a $25 donation to enter the party and proceeds will benefit the FIND Food Bank.

Sit by the fire on cool nights at Miramonte Resort - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Sit by the fire on cool nights at Miramonte Resort – Photo by Jill Weinlein

Stay overnight with holiday special rates. Nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains and dotted with fragrant olive, orange, lemon and cypress trees, the two-story hotel is spread out among 11 acres of land decorated with brilliant pinks and peach Bougainvillea flowers.

Miramonte is located in the heart of the Coachella Valley between La Quinta and Palm Springs. This popular desert town is now a global destination for locals and guests watching elite tennis players compete at the BNP Paribas Open in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. It’s also an ideal location to stay while attending all of the music festivals – Coachella, Stagecoach and Desert Trip.

Morning hike to start the day - Photo of writer.
Morning hike to start the day – Photo of writer.

One of my favorite activities was hiking with the General Manager Mark Jeffrey. He and his dog Derby (a friendly lab) led guests on a dirt path to a cross on top of a hill. While looking out at exquisite views of the Coachella Valley, another hiker shared with us that Frank Sinatra had this cross installed up on top of the hill as a tribute to his mother. It was a moderate 4.1 mile hike, ideal to get your 10,000 steps in for the day. Hikes are available based on Jeffrey and Derby’s availability.

Miramonte Resort & Spa – 45000 Indian Wells Lane Indian Wells, CA 92210 (760) 341-2200 – http://www.miramonteresort.com.

Holidays at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Listen to holiday music at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Mountain Station on Dec. 9, 10, 11, 16 with local high schools singing holiday carols at the Pines Cafe Stage. Take a ride to the other North Pole on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to visit Santa. There will be free candy canes and photo opportunities for the kids. During Dec. 17 to Jan. 1, 2017, the first tram up each day will be at 8:00 a.m., the last tram up will be at 8:00 p.m. and the last tram down will be at 9:45 p.m. Usually the top during this time of the year, has a beautiful blanket of snow.

The new tram cars rotate 360 degrees on a cable to the top on San Jacinto state park wilderness - Photo Jill Weinlein
The new tram cars rotate 360 degrees on a cable to the top on San Jacinto state park wilderness – Photo Jill Weinlein

On December 25 and Jan. 1, 2017, buy a Ride ‘n’ Dine tickets to ride the Tram and dine at Pines Café (a cafeteria-style restaurant). This ticket begins at 8 a.m. (rather than the usual 4:00 p.m.) Dinner service begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. Combination tickets are $36 for adults and $23.50 children (ages 3-12).

From Desert floor to snowy forest - Photo by Jill Weinlein
From desert floor to snowy forest – Photo by Jill Weinlein

Peaks Restaurant will begin serving their regular menu along with traditional holiday favorites at 11:00 a.m. on December 25, 2016 and January 1, 2017. Reservations are recommended and may be made by either calling 760-325-4537.

The most amazing holiday light and sound show in Palm Springs- Photo by Jill Weinlein
The most amazing holiday light and sound show in Palm Springs- Photo by Jill Weinlein

One of a kind Robo (Holiday) Lights 

There are some exceptional people living in Palm Springs, and artist Kenny Irwin Jr.’s is one of them. This talented man is passionate about putting together recycled materials into art. His gift started as young as 2 years old. Throughout the years, he has made and installed around his family home and yards, one of the most spectacular art and holiday light shows in Palm Springs. He flips the switch to inflate huge holiday decorations and almost one million lights of every color. His unique art and sci-fi creations feature gigantic metal robots, mini rollercoasters (not for humans), lookout towers, water features with huge rubber ducks, and an aviary filled with doves and pigeons. Irwin reminds me of a young Walt Disney with genius ideas about a new land for others to experience. I hope one day Irwin’s dream of creating his new park for others to come visit comes true. Donations are welcome at the front of the house in the Movie Colony section of the city.

Address: 1077 E Grannie Valmont, Palm Springs – Hours 4 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. now until January 3, 2017.

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