Consider a rock climbing clinic at Joshua Tree National Park.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SHE MOVES MOUNTAINS
1. Behold the bighorn.
The smoke tree-lined trails at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert wind through the territory of the valley’s most iconic creatures: peninsular bighorn sheep. Lucky hikers will spot the heavyweight herbivores — the rams weigh more than 100 pounds — on one of three loops, which vary in difficulty and terrain. livingdesert.com
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY THE LIVING DESERT
2. Enjoy desert dining.
Pack a picnic basket, lace up your walking shoes, and strike out on the Cove Oasis Trail in La Quinta. Mostly flat and covered in gravel, the trail offers a family- and pup-friendly stroll to its namesake oasis, where you’ll find flourishing date palms and shaded tables perfect for an outdoor lunch. The full loop is a laidback 1.8 miles. playinlaquinta.com
3. Savor a stack of pancakes.
Raise a fork to National Flapjack Day on March 7. For a twist on the classic cakes, head to Sloan’s Restaurant in Indio and order the German pancake, a huge, paper-thin flapjack topped with lemon, butter, and powdered sugar. Traditionalist? Palm Desert standby Keedy’s Fountain & Grill has been slinging tasty short stacks since 1957. sloansrestaurant.com; keedysfountaingrill.com
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY KEEDY'S FOUNTAIN & GRILL
4. Host your own March Madness.
Take a break from bracket predictions to hit the courts alongside your own home team. Local green spaces like Bagdouma Park in Coachella and Freedom Park in Palm Desert have basketball hoops perfect for open-air play. myrecreationdistrict.com
Bruce Henson’s Black Bird, Yellow Background
Doug Brown’s Vons Loading Dock
5. Tour a digital art exhibit.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide racial justice movements, La Quinta Museum invited about 40 local artists and writers to share pieces exploring anxiety, pain, connection, and hope. Click through the gallery of comforting and galvanizing work on the Uncertain Times exhibition website and see artist statements and poem videos on the museum’s YouTube channel. uncertaintimeslqmuseum.art
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY LA QUINTA ART MUSEUM
Michele McNeilly’s Never Eat Spaghetti in the Living Room
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY PALM SPRINGS DANCE ACADEMY
6. Watch a digital dance festival.
The annual Palm Springs International Dance Festival waltzes onto the web this year, offering an exhibition of movement-inspired artworks across genres, including sculpture, photography, and film. Catch stunning choreographed routines and engage with the fest’s online installations March 11–14. nickersonrossidance.com
7. Stretch in the sunshine.
Bring your mat and your mask to the lawn in front of Saks Fifth Avenue at The Gardens on El Paseo in Palm Desert for gratis Pilates classes March 6 and 13 with movement expert Missoni Lanza, who hosts science-driven wellness podcast Movement Bottega. thegardensonelpaseo.com/events
PHOTOGRAPH BY DEJA'S VIEW PHOTOGRAPHY
The Gardens on El Paseo
8. Grab locally grown goodies.
Spend a weekend morning shopping for everything you need to whip up a healthy and delicious dinner — produce, organic meats, artisan breads, and more — at the Coachella Valley Certified Farmers Markets, where 85 percent of the products offered hail from within 100 miles of the valley. certifiedfarmersmarkets.org
9. Participate in Read Across America Day.
Celebrate literacy and an early love of reading during this national event March 2 by picking books from your local library to share with your little reader or tune into the Thousand Palms Library’s digital story time, available on its YouTube channel. rivlib.net
10. Go to a drive-in.
Catch a flick at one of several outdoor options, including this month’s drive-in theater experiences at the Palm Springs Cultural Center; Westfield Palm Desert; Palm Springs Air Museum; and Mary Pickford Theatre.
psculturalcenter.org; westfield.com/palmdesert; coachellavalleydrivein.com; dplaceentertainment.com
Visit the parking lot adjacent to the Palm Springs Cultural Center for drive-in movies.
11. Learn to make metal art.
From crafting a pocket-sized bottle opener to constructing a cozy firepit, the ways to utilize metalworking skills seems almost infinite. Learn the basics of welding at a hands-on class March 6 at Vanillaconcrete in Palm Springs. fb.com/originalconcrete
12. Rock out to Pearl Jam hits.
Borrowing their moniker from the grunge game-changers’ 1994 album, tribute band Vitalogy pay homage to Pearl Jam at an outdoor show March 20 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino with faves like “I Got Id.” fantasyspringsresort.com
PHOTOGRAPH BY VITALOGY
13. Go on a scavenger hunt.
Venture to Indian Canyon Drive for an afternoon odyssey that’s part scavenger hunt, part self-guided sightseeing tour of downtown Palm Springs. Puzzling Adventures’ mobile game guide prompts you to answer questions or solve challenges to reach the next step in your journey. puzzlingadventures.com
PHOTOGRAPH BY DANIELA STALLINGER
14. Enjoy Irish eats.
Fête Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17 with Emerald Isle–inspired bites from O’Caine’s Irish Pub in Rancho Mirage. Grab standbys like Shepard’s pie and corned beef, or spring for the Guinness-braised short ribs. ocainesirishpub.com
15. Up your golf game.
Unleash your inner Arnold Palmer with Desert Willow Golf Resorts’ daylong golf schools in Palm Desert. With short game lessons March 6 and 20 and a master class in mastering the full swing March 12, the resort’s PGA pros can meet any need to help you shave off strokes next time you’re on the course. desertwillow.com
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY DESERT WILLOW
16. Become a climber.
Even if you’ve only used a carabiner as a keychain, there’s a place for you in She Moves Mountains’ March 20 intro to rock climbing clinic in Joshua Tree National Park. The business empowers and instructs women interested in adventure sports to decrease the gender disparity in rock climbing and guiding. shemovesmountains.org
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SHE MOVES MOUNTAINS
17. Adopt a furry friend.
During the pandemic, make an appointment at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter to add a dog, cat, or other critter to your family. If you’re unable to welcome a new member to your household, there’s plenty of other ways to support the shelter, including volunteering, fostering, and donating. psanimalshelter.org
PHOTOGRAPH BY GETTY IMAGES
18. Turn your living room into a dance club.
Stock your at-home get-down playlist with tunes from talented local musicians, including psychedelic cumbia sensation Ocho Ojos, ska stars the California Celts, and the folksy group The Adobe Collective. ocho-ojos.bandcamp.com; californiacelts.com; theadobecollective.com
19. Experience the Cold War.
On March 5, Palm Springs Air Museum hosts a screening of the Cold War drama Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks as a determined attorney negotiating the freedom of captured U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers. After the movie, hear from Powers’ son about his father’s incredible true-life tale. palmspringsairmuseum.org
20. Become a beer connoisseur.
Know the difference between a lager and a porter? What about a brown versus a pale variety? Increase your ale acumen with an at-home tasting of suds from local breweries, including Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewery in Rancho Mirage (try the crisp Palm Springs IPA) and Thousand Palms’ Coachella Valley Brewing Co., which concocts the Belgian-style, honeyed Desert Swarm. babesbbqbrewery.com; cvbco.com
PHOTOGRAPH BY JAIME KOWAL