Storm Large at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert

Things to Do This Week in the Desert, Dec. 5–11

From live music to festive holiday shows, we've got 41 event suggestions to fill up your itinerary this week. Now the only thing left for you to do is figure out how to narrow it down.

Emily Chavous Foster Attractions, Current Digital

Storm Large at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert

Storm Large performs Dec. 9 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.

Fabulous Bingo + Trivia: Dec. 5

Mondays aren't so bad when you spend them at the Ace. Join drag queen Bella da Ball for a laugh-out-loud evening at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. The night kicks off with bingo at the hotel's King's Highway diner and wraps up with trivia in the Amigo Room bar.

Tuesday Night Rock Show: Dec. 6

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio launches a brand-new rock show series, with live music every Tuesday night at Lit, the newly renovated bar and lounge. Don’t miss the inaugural night, featuring local band HWY 111, who will cover favorites from Van Halen and Metallica to Sublime.

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914: Dec. 6

This musical at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert draws on snippets of real-life diary entries, documents, and letters to capture the World War I Christmas when Allied and German forces put fighting on hold to celebrate together.

Fun Home: Dec. 6–18

Coachella Valley Repertory puts on Lisa Kron’s theatrical adaptation of an autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. The Tony winner is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist.

Cathedral City Tree Lighting Ceremony: Dec. 7

Celebrate the most wonderful time of year at Civic Center Plaza from 5 to 7 p.m. as Mayor Ernesto Guttierez illuminates the city tree. The event includes a performance by the Cathedral City High School choir and the unveiling of North Pole Village, a strip of holiday-inspired backdrops for the perfect seasonal selfie.

Nature Walk at Blixseth Park: Dec. 7

This half-mile, docent-led stroll welcomes walkers (and their pups) to learn about the native flora and fauna of the desert at Blixseth Park in Rancho Mirage.

Mixed Feelings: Dec. 8

Palm Springs Art Museum hosts back-to-back evening lectures on a pair of topics: “2nd Wave Feminist Art” and “The Origins of Life” with speakers Mara Gladstone, deputy director and head of programs at Desert X, and Timothy Lyons, distinguished professor of biogeochemistry in the department of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Riverside.

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Dec. 8–11

In its first post-pandemic performance, Joshua Tree Philharmonic presents classic and contemporary music selections for the whole family at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center in Joshua Tree.

Palm Springs Portrait Project

Jackie Thomas and Dee Ann McCoy owners of ThomBoy Properties, pose for the Portrait Project in their backyard in Palm Springs.

PS Portrait Project Opening Reception: Dec. 8

Husband-and-wife photography team Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony set out to capture the essence of Palm Springs through a series of vibrant portraits. View the exhibition on its opening night at Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert as you mingle with the photographers and some of their glam subjects. 

Paul McDonald Li’l Big Band: Dec. 8

Vocalists Jay Jackson and Hope Diamond join Paul McDonald’s 10-piece band at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs for soulful songs with holiday spirit.

Thunder From Down Under: Dec. 9

Say g’day to Australia’s hottest hunks. This male revue’s chiseled charmers delight audience members at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage with interactive dance routines.

The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal: Dec. 9

Pink Martini vocalist Storm Large nearly quit music in 2002, but she picked up the mic again at the urging of friends in Portland. See the feisty cabaret artist at the McCallum Theatre. 

Young Einstein: Dec. 9

This all-vinyl DJ set at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs finds influence in Young Einstein’s love of funk, hip hop, and soul.

Do Not Remove Label: Dec. 9–11

Desert Ensemble Theatre in Palm Springs presents the world premiere of Jerome Elliot Moskowitz’s holiday play, which centers around mother and son Tammy and Tommy as they face an ill-timed visit from the FBI during Hanukkah.

Official Latino Film and Arts Festival: Dec. 9–11

This three-day festival, now in its eight year, is the first to focus primarily on U.S. Latinx filmmakers. Over 100 films showcasing more than 200 Latinx actors will be shown at the Annenberg Theater at Palm Springs Art Museum. (The majority of films will be presented in English.) The weekend also features a closing reception and will culminate with an awards ceremony in the theater.

White Christmas: Dec. 9–23

A song-and-dance duo follow a pair of singing sisters to snowy Vermont in this romantic musical version of the 1954 classic film. Hum along at Desert TheatreWorks in Indio.

CluedUpp: Alice in Wonderland: Dec. 10

Chase curious clues across a topsy-turvy version of Indio in this virtual game inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Grab a few of your favorite people to play, navigating the city with a smart phone app.

Cheap Trick: Dec. 10

The fervor that rock band Cheap Trick caused in Japan in 1978 has been compared to Beatlemania. The “I Want You to Want Me” singers perform at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.

Home for the Holidays: Dec. 10

Head to the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater at Rancho Mirage Community Park for the city’s kickoff event of the holiday season, an open-air production featuring talented local entertainers and musicians from Desert Theatricals.

Light Up for Love Community Candlelight Vigil: Dec. 10

Local nonprofit Ronnie’s House for Hope stands by its mission to provide free grief support for community members with this evening of remembrance at Palm Desert Civic Center Park.

Margaritaville Run: Dec. 10

Sprint or stroll toward the finish line in this charity 5K at Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs, where you’ll find Jimmy Buffet–themed swag and a post-run concert.

Second Saturdays: Dec. 10

This free concert series in downtown Indio happens in a safe, fenced-in “outdoor living room” off Smurr Street, Miles Avenue, and Indio Boulevard. Enjoy family activities, local food and craft beer vendors, and two featured bands: Tom Kenny & The Hi Seas and Salton City Surf Club. Bring your own lawn chairs.

See Santa at The River: Dec. 10

Old St. Nick and his elves will touch down at The River at Rancho Mirage from 3 to 6 p.m. for an afternoon photo-op, a raffle supporting Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City, and a DJ.

Yoga With a Ranger: Dec. 10

A Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument ranger leads a beginner-friendly flow filled with tree- and animal-inspired poses at the visitor center.

Stars: A Galaxy of Song: Dec. 10–11

Modern Men: Coachella Valley Men’s Chorus brings a musical repertoire inspired by the stars to Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs. Expect numbers from such composers as Morton Lauridsen, Carol Bayer Sager, David Dickau.

The TEN Tenors: Dec. 10–11

Australian classical-crossover supergroup The TEN Tenors returns to the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert for a holiday show with fun twists on favorites like “Feliz Navidad” and “Winter Wonderland,” all sung in gorgeous 10-part harmonies.

White Christmas: Dec. 10–22

Local actors at Desert TheaterWorks in Indio present the musical stage adaptation of the beloved 1954 holiday film. White Christmas is a family-friendly holiday show bursting with cheerful dancing, treasured tunes and a generous helping of yuletide cheer.


Ben Steele: Through Dec. 9

Everyday objects meld with the fantastical worlds of films like The Wizard of Oz in Ben Steele’s exhibition at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert. 

José Sarria Pop-Up Museum: Through Dec. 14

Palm Springs’ Welwood Murray Memorial Library celebrates the 100th birthday of the late drag queen and activist José Sarria with documentary screenings and an exhibition.

David Dornan: Through Dec. 16

Stop by Coda Gallery in Palm Desert to browse David Dornan’s photorealistic paintings of flowers, oilcans, and other subjects, which take on new depth under his observant eye. 

Gonzo Mundane: Through Dec. 18

Check out Matt Wesson’s knack for capturing the strangeness and charm of life in photos in his exhibition at Compound Yucca Valley.

Palm Springs Getaway: Through Dec. 18

It’s always sunny in Palm Springs! Local actors portray beloved icons and celebrities from the city’s history in this high-energy musical at Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs. 

Holiday Squares Pop-Up Store: Through Dec. 23

Shop for every art lover on your list at the Artists Center at The Galen in Palm Desert, where the Artists Council vends 8-inch canvases, ceramics, and other gifts.

Beyond Van Gogh Palm Springs
Beyond Van Gogh: Through Dec. 27

Step inside 300 famous Van Gogh artworks at this immersive exhibition at the Empire Polo Club in Indio that projects the artist’s paintings on the walls and floor. It was so popular, event producers extended the exhibition by a month.

WildLights: Through Dec. 30

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert twinkles by night with holiday light displays. Grab a hot chocolate and snap a photo with Santa.

Boxo10x10: Through Dec. 31

High Desert arts initiative BoxoPROJECTS celebrates its residency program’s 10th year with an exhibition of 10 artists’ work.

Outburst Projects: Through Jan. 29

Five artists draw upon their cultural histories to create evocative pieces, from woven artwork to cyborg-like sculpted monsters, as part of this residency program at Palm Springs Art Museum.

Petra Cortright: Through Mar. 26

The Santa Barbara–born artist known for self-portrait videos composes “paintings” with internet imagery in this exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum.

Light + Change: Through May 21

Palm Desert resident Phillip K. Smith III fills four galleries at Palm Springs Art Museum with installations inspired by the desert’s unique quality of light.

A Place at the Table: Through June 4

View the formal table settings that the Annenbergs set out to entertain presidents and royals at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage.

American Framing: Through July 2

The Architecture and Design Center in Palm Springs brings attention to the subtle architectural genius of wood framing through models, photos, furniture, and a full-scale structure.

• READ NEXT: Plan your schedule with our curated calendar of December 2022 events.