Greater Palm Springs Pride

42 Things to Do in November 2021

Greater Palm Springs Pride returns at full strength, desert theater is in full swing, and SilverRock Resort hosts a fall festival in La Quinta.

Amelia Rodriguez Arts & Entertainment, Attractions, Current Guide

Greater Palm Springs Pride

The Greater Palm Springs Pride parade will cap a week of activities including a 5K race, laser art installation, and live entertainment.
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVE PARRIS

Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon & Food Truck Fiesta: Nov. 19-21

The vivid spectrum of hot air balloons drifting above the Coachella Valley as part of the Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival began with a cowboy and a single balloon. That’s all it took to lift Steve and Cindy Wilkinson into the sport of ballooning after moving to the Coachella Valley more than 40 years ago.

“We’d seen this cowboy that had a balloon in the area,” Cindy recalls. When Steve was laid off and a gig on the cowpoke’s balloon crew came up, Steve took the job and ended up trading his aid for piloting lessons. A few years later, the couple bought their first two-passenger balloon, started Fantasy Balloon Flights, and began offering romantic flights over the desert.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY COLBY TARSITANO

The Wilkinsons collaborated with Cathedral City officials to hold the first balloon fest in 2015. Today, about 30 balloons launch from golf course at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa during the event, which also includes live music, food trucks, free cookies and ice cream, an art fair, and activities for kids. Attendees can also purchase tickets to a pancake breakfast and eat aboard the balloons, many of which are in the shape of animals, hearts, and more.

The most illuminating part of the festival occurs after dark Saturday during the “balloon glow,” when the festival’s DJ counts down and each pilot ignites their burner, lighting up the grounded balloons at once. “[They] glow like giant, colorful light bulbs,” Cindy says, “and you can see all the happy faces.”

Greater Palm Springs Pride: Nov. 1-7

Founded in 1986 as a talent showcase called “Sizzle,” Greater Palm Springs Pride is now a multi-day extravaganza in downtown Palm Springs. Join the festivities, which include a parade, 5K race, art exhibition, live entertainment, and more.

Levent: Nov. 4–6 & 11–13

As a teenager, magician Levent honed his sleight-of-hand skills in New York and went on to become an expert in vaudeville and magic history. He brings his signature tricks to Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta.

Cathedral City Art Night: Nov. 5

Wanna be the next Agnes Pelton? The transcendental desert painter famously called Cathedral City home. At this citywide celebration, the destination invites visitors to meet local artists, explore galleries, experience art installations, and create one-of-a-kind crafts. cathedralcity.gov

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MORONGO CASINO
Gypsy Kings bring their high-energy sound to Morongo.

Gipsy Kings: Nov. 5

In the 1970s, cousins Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo, along with other family members, began making high-energy, Spanish-influenced music out of southern France. Hear the songs that introduced the globe to pop flamenco at Morongo Casino in Cabazon.

Creation of the Joshua Tree Landscape: Nov. 5–6

Explore the geologic forces that shaped Joshua Tree National Park in this field class offered by the Desert Institute. Cerritos College professor Tor Lacy gives a Zoom lecture about rocks, tectonics, and more before leading participants on an educational hike the following day. joshuatree.org

Dia de Los Muertos Block Party: Nov. 6

Organized by arts nonprofit Raices Cultura, this Day of the Dead celebration in downtown Coachella includes a traditional blessing and procession along with art installations and exhibits, entertainment, and food. A 5K event is part of the festivities.

MakerCraft: Nov. 6

Is your home missing some fall spirit? Grab a free wreath frame and craft a custom piece of décor with felt, leaves, and acorns at the La Quinta Library’s Create Station.

War: Nov. 6

Despite their moniker, funk rock band War aims to foster brotherhood and harmony. Drawing on the diverse sounds of their hometown of Los Angeles, the group wrote beloved tunes like George Lopez theme song “Low Rider.” See their 50th anniversary performance at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO
Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Daryl Hall & John Oates: Nov. 6

Hall & Oates make dreams come true with a live performance at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. The pop rock pair began penning songs together in the late 1960s after meeting as students at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The Ripper: Nov. 6

This citywide scavenger hunt pits teams against one another to solve clues and catch a serial killer in Indio. Prizes abound, including awards for best sleuth-inspired costumes and top pet detective.

Gold Rush Hoedown: Nov. 6

Ride on down to this boot-scootin’ fundraiser at Indian Wells Golf Resort, featuring live country music, games, and family-style, cowboy-inspired eats. Proceeds benefit Family YMCA of the Desert.

Old Dominion: Nov. 12

After years penning country tunes for other artists (including Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton), the five members of Old Dominion came together in Nashville to write their own hits. They play crowd favorites like “Break Up With Him” at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY LA QUINTA ART CELEBRATION
La Quinta Art Celebration: Nov. 12

At the La Quinta Civic Center Park, 200 artists showcase paintings, sculptures, photographs, fiber crafts, jewelry, and more. Fuel up for a day of searching for a masterpiece with eats from local restaurants and sips from the champagne bar. laquintaartcelebration.org

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PURPLE ROOM PALM SPRINGS
Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway

Anne Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway: Nov. 12–13

Best known for recording the theme song to The Nanny, these singing sisters have also lent their voices to Disney characters and TV jingles. Their “Sibling Revelry” act at the Purple Room in Palm Springs features Broadway hits and selections from the Great American Songbook.

Darci Lynne: Nov. 13

America’s Got Talent–winning ventriloquist and singer Darci Lynne takes the stage at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, accompanied by puppet pals like bespectacled mouse Oscar and pink-haired bunny Petunia. spotlight29.com

VIMY Awards & WineLover’s Auction: Nov. 13

Oenophile philanthropists support Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine by bidding on wines, travel packages, and more. The event, held at Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, also features entertainment and a three-course meal — with vino, of course.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PALM SPRINGS CULTURAL CENTER
David Sedaris

David Sedaris: Nov. 13

Bestselling author David Sedaris got his big break when NPR host Ira Glass heard him reading his diary at a Chicago club in the early 1990s. Proof that everything comes full circle: Sedaris reads from A Carnival of Snackeries, the second volume of his published diaries, at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.

Community Olive Picking: Nov. 14

Say “olive you” to this fun family activity at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn in Cherry Valley (a half hour from Palm Springs). Harvest olives the old-fashioned way — by hand — and receive free tickets or drink vouchers for the farm’s Christmas Nights event.

Chef’s Auction: Nov. 18

Winning bidders at this fundraising auction earn a private dinner for eight, prepared by a top-tier local chef. Want to sample the goods before throwing in your lot? The chefs offer appetizers during the event at Indian Wells Country Club.

Desert Arc Golf Classic: Nov. 18

Hit the green for a good cause. This shotgun scramble at Eagle Falls Golf Course benefits Desert Arc’s programs for people with disabilities and includes a barbecue lunch and buffet dinner.

John Shryock & Mari Lynn: Nov. 18–20 & 25–27

Masters of Illusion alums John Shryock and Mari Lynn spellbind audiences at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta. Shryock once abracadabra’d for President George W. Bush at his inaugural ball.

McCormick’s Classic Car Auction: Nov. 19–21

Head to the Palm Springs Convention Center to place your bid on a plethora of exotic, classic, and luxury cars, including a sleek 1972 Dodge Demon with powerful 340 engine.

Blaze Your Own Trail to Self-Love: Tell Your Inner Critic to Take a Hike: Nov. 19–21

The best way to get negative self-talk to hit the road? Hit it yourself. Hiking My Feelings author Sydney Williams guides this mindfulness retreat in the Joshua Tree National Park.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TOUCANS TIKI LOUNGE
Anne Steele

Anne Steele: Nov. 20

New York-born singer Anne Steele puts a fresh spin on her favorite tunes from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and beyond at Toucans Tiki Lounge in Palm Springs.

Don Felder: Nov. 20

Instead of the Hotel California, head to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, where former Eagles guitarist Don Felder serenades audience members with his famous Gibson guitars.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ABOUT FAMILIES INC.
Enjoy family activities on Nov. 21 at SilverRock Resort in La Quinta.

Fall Family Festival: Nov. 21

Celebrate the season of pumpkins, cozy sweaters, and apple cider at this free festival at SilverRock Resort in La Quinta. Little ones will have the chance to make crafts and pet critters.

Thanksgiving Day Virtual 5K: Nov. 25

This traditional Thanksgiving Day race down El Paseo in Palm Desert has gone virtual for 2021. Register and create your own 5K run or walk to support services for the unhoused from Martha’s Village & Kitchen.

Blue Suede Christmas: Nov. 26

Scot Bruce first took up impersonating Elvis to avoid being a starving musician. Eventually, he found himself portraying the King in documentary and commercial appearances and shows across the nation, including this holiday special at the Purple Room in Palm Springs.

Café Tacvba: Nov. 26

This Latin rock band borrowed its moniker from Mexico City coffee shop Café de Tacuba, a major player in the Pachuco scene that influenced the band’s aesthetic. Hear the group’s songs — which also nod to alt rock stars like The Cure and The Clash — at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage.

The Grinch: Nov. 27

Bring your cheer to The Gardens on El Paseo for the first of four family holiday movie nights. Be sure to bundle up the little ones and bring blankets to this outdoor showing of The Grinch.

art exhibitions
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY YOSHIHIRO MAKINO
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Storm of Hope: Law & Disorder: Through Feb. 6

On view at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Robert Longo’s massive, hyperrealistic charcoal drawings serve as a thought-provoking portrait of our contemporary moment.

The Modern Chair: Through April 3

The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center traces the history of chair design through the 20th and 21st centuries. Visitors can see more than 50 spectacular chairs by designers such as Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Frank Gehry.

Helen Frankenthaler Late Works, 1990–2003: Through Feb. 27

Known for a technique dubbed “soak-stain,” in which she used thinned oil paint to create watercolor-like pieces, Helen Frankenthaler is among the most important artists of the post-World War II era. See 30 pieces from her later years at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

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Theater
"Shrek the Musical": Oct. 22–Nov. 7

Based on the critically acclaimed 2001 animated movie, this flipped fairytale follows a grumpy ogre’s attempts to rescue a princess with a secret. Actors at the Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs portray the unlikely pair and their wisecracking donkey pal.

"Hedwig and the Angry Inch": Nov. 4–21

Desert Rose Playhouse in Palm Springs presents John Cameron Mitchell’s musical about a genderqueer German rock star with a soundtrack inspired by David Bowie, John Lennon, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop.

"Murder at the Howard Johnson’s": Nov. 5–21

A woman, her husband, and her dentist lover conspire to murder one another in at a Howard Johnson’s hotel. See who survives the Desert Theatreworks play at the Indio Performing Arts Center. dtworks.org

"Bakersfield Mist": Nov. 9–21

This two-actor play at the Coachella Valley Repertory in Cathedral City explores the clash between a New York art expert and an unemployed bartender certain she’s thrifted a Jackson Pollock.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL HAYASHI
"This Side of Crazy": Nov. 18–21

Playwright Del Shores penned this family comedy about an aging singer’s attempts to reunite her estranged daughters for a show on Gospel Network Television. Watch the story unfold at the Palm Canyon Theatre.