yum food fest

53 Things to Do in October

Your stomach will thank you for attending the Yum Food Fest & Night Market, which transforms The Shops at Palm Desert into a culinary wonderland.

Amelia Rodriguez Attractions, Current Guide

yum food fest

After an unexpectedly large turnout for the inaugural festival, event organizers plan to expand offerings this year.

Yum Food Fest & Night Market: Oct. 15

As you’re chowing down on scratch-made eats, you might be surprised to learn that the Coachella Valley’s largest food festival started with film buffs in mind, rather than foodies. Our stomachs are certainly grateful for this event’s transition to spotlight street food. Yum Food Fest & Night Market transforms The Shops at Palm Desert into a culinary wonderland, complemented by live music and a market featuring local craftspeople.


“At the beginning of COVID, we produced a drive-in movie at [The Shops],” explains Yum Food Fest & Night Market organizer Justin Finn. “We invited small businesses, food trucks, and pop-ups to sell their products to our guests during the showings.” Finn and his team realized the popularity of the food trucks and artisans, so they shifted their focus.

Yum Food Fest & Night Market started in 2021. They expected 2,500 to 3,000 people would attend to check out the 22 food vendors and 20-or-so makers.

“We had 7,000 people show up for the first one,” Finn recalls. He anticipates a larger turnout for Yum Food Fest & Night Market 2022, so organizing efforts have focused on hand-picking a larger pool of vendors, from Louisiana-style sandwich seller Richie’s Hot Chicken to plant-based food truck Holy Mother Vegan.

Those eager to get their hands on bites from buzz-worthy trucks like Cousins Maine Lobster without gnarly wait times should show up early, before the evening dinner rush.


The buddy system helps, too: Send a pal to queue up for Salvadoran snacks while you order Spam musubi, then share your scores.

After you eat, stick around to shop vintage finds and organic sweets from local small businesses and jam to hometown bands. “What we’re really trying to do is give back to the community,” Finn shares. “The valley is so culturally rich, and we want to help locals [profit from] their talents.” yumfoodfest.com

Cedric the Entertainer: Oct. 1

Cedric Kyles lives up to his stage name with a thoroughly entertaining performance at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. The Hollywood Walk of Famer worked as a substitute teacher before landing his breakout role as Cedric Jackie Robinson in The Steve Harvey Show. fantasyspringsresort.com


Silversun Pickups

Silversun Pickups: Oct. 1

Alt-rock outfit Silversun Pickups takes the stage at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage. Rock Band and Guitar Hero phenoms will recognize their tune “Lazy Eye” from the games. aguacalientecasinos.com

Happy Tails Dog Adventure: Oct. 5

Man’s best friend can make some new pals of his own at this pup-centric, 3-mile trek at Whitewater Preserve. Bring a bagged lunch (plus treats for Fido) to enjoy a post-hike picnic with other pet parents. desertmountains.org

Left Coast Lesbian Literary Conference: Oct. 5–9

Writers, editors, publishers, and fans gather at the Skylark Hotel for master classes, panels, and readings highlighting the sweetest, sauciest, and most swoon-inducing of today’s lesbian fiction. lclcpalmsprings.com

Gunhild Carling: Oct. 6–7

Swedish multi-instrumentalist Gunhild Carling flexes the trombone skills she honed as a child touring Europe with her family’s band. See the jazz maven at Oscar’s Palm Springs. oscarspalmsprings.com

Joshua Tree Music Festival: Oct. 6–9

From Coachella Valley favorites Giselle Woo & The Night Owls to Niger-born tende group Les Filles Illighadad, the lineup at this family-friendly fest at Joshua Tree Lake Campground reminds revelers of our global interconnection. joshuatreemusic

Singing With the Desert Stars: Oct. 7

Modeled after ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, this charity competition at Desert Ensemble Theatre presents local personalities attempting to out-sing one another with coaching from professional crooners. detctheatre.org


Barry Bostwick

Rocky Horror Picture Show: Oct. 7

Actor Barry Bostwick, who played wide-eyed Brad Majors in the cult-favorite 1975 film, hosts this 47th anniversary showing (complete with shadow cast) at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage. aguacalientecasinos.com

Edward J. Larson: Oct. 7

U.S. history buffs, head to the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory to hear Pepperdine law professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward J. Larson discuss his new dual biography, Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership. rmwritersfest.org

Heat Trifecta: Oct. 7–9

Tough team players who find escape rooms a little too tame will love this race, in which athletes must work with an assigned group to complete heart-pumping challenges at Flamingo Heights Park in Yucca Valley. race.spartan.com

Led Zeppelin Evening: Oct. 8

Legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham, has upheld his father’s musical legacy for four decades. Hear their hits at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. fantasyspringsresort.com

Tom Jones: Oct. 8

What’s new, pussycat? For legendary baritone Tom Jones, it’s his 2021 studio album, Surrounded by Time (released when Jones was 80!). Hear the new tracks, plus old favorites like “Delilah” and “It’s Not Unusual,” at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage. aguacalientecasinos.com

Yoga With 
a Ranger: Oct. 8 & 15

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

Kate Quinn: Oct. 11

Kate Quinn’s novel The Diamond Eye draws inspiration from the tale of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Ukrainian student who became history’s deadliest woman sniper. Hear Quinn’s take on the story at the Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory. rmwritersfest.org

Lewis Black: Oct. 13

Comedy Central alum Lewis Black heads to Palm Desert, entertaining McCallum Theatre showgoers with enraged rants skewering American culture and politics. mccallumtheatre.com


Cul-de-Sac A-Go-Go is back at Modernism Week October. From the moment you enter Canyon View Estates, you're transported back to the late 1960s.

Modernism Week October: Oct. 13–16

A precursor to Modernism Week in February, this fall iteration brings more than 50 tours, talks, and soirées to the Coachella Valley. Stop by the Fall Show at the Palm Springs Convention Center Oct. 14–16 to shop furniture and art and bring home a piece of the midcentury magic. 

Chris Tucker: Oct. 14

The funnyman you loved in Rush Hour and Friday hits The Showroom stage at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella. spotlight29.com

Elvis & Me: Oct. 14

Priscilla Presley stars in this production detailing her life as it intertwined with the King of Rock and Roll. See it at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage. aguacalientecasinos.com

Kenny Loggins: Oct. 15

Loggins first built his career touring college campuses with longtime collaborator Jim Messina in 1972. The “Footloose” singer drops by Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage for an evening of chart-toppers. aguacalientecasinos.com

Prince Royce: Oct. 15

This Latin Grammy nominee collabs with some of the music industry’s top stars, including Snoop Dogg, Shakira, and Jennifer Lopez. Hear “Déja Vu” and other hits at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. fantasyspringsresort.com

Chili Cook-Off & Car Show: Oct. 20

The only thing spicier than the hot rods lined up at Palm Springs Air Museum for this annual car show? Museum volunteers’ top-secret chili recipes. Your ticket to this Halloween-themed event includes a chance to see the museum’s permanent and rotating plane exhibits, too. palmspringsair

Kirk Wallace Johnson: Oct. 20

Kirk Wallace Johnson conducted dozens of interviews to pen The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast, an engrossing investigative account of racial conflict among fishermen on the Texas Gulf Coast in the 1970s. Hear about it at the Rancho Mirage Library. rmwritersfest.org

Adam Lambert: Oct. 22

American Idol alum and Grammy nominee Adam Lambert’s spectacularly spooky “The Witch Hunt” tour touches down at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage. aguacalientecasinos.com

Alpha Win Triathalon: Oct. 22

Bike, backstroke, and bound your way to the finish in this race at the Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area in La Quinta. Choose from four distances, depending on your level, from the Alpha Sprint for triathlon newbies to the intense Alpha Full for seasoned endurance athletes. alpha.win

Concert for Autism: Oct. 22

Marking its 15th year, this special concert raises funds for the Desert Autism Foundation. Held at Tack Room Tavern in Indio, the event features activities for kids, a silent auction, and raffles, in addition to live music. concertforautism.com

Pancho Barraza: Oct. 22

After moving to Mazatlán, the singer-songwriter carved his place within the Regional Mexican music style. Catch him in Coachella at Spotlight 29 Casino. spotlight29.com

Anniversary Hike: Oct. 24

The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument manager leads this 5-mile ramble on the Pacific Crest Trail in celebration of the monument’s 22nd year. Keep an eye out for the elusive Peninsular bighorn sheep. desertmountains.org


Melissa Rivers

Melissa Rivers: Oct. 25

Actress and television host Melissa Rivers reflects upon her mother, Joan’s habit of embellishing stories for comedic effect in her 2022 memoir Lies My Mother Told Me: Tall Tales From a Short Woman. Chat with her at the Rancho Mirage Library. rmwritersfest.org

Janet Skelslein Charles: Oct. 27

Author Janet Skelslein Charles stops by the Rancho Mirage Library to talk about The Paris Library, a fictional account of the real-life librarians who defended the American Library in Paris during World War II. rmwritersfest.org

Amy Odell: Oct. 28

Fans of 2009 documentary The September Issue will enjoy this book chat at the Rancho Mirage Library, where fashion and culture journalist Amy Odell discusses Anna: The Biography, an insider look at Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s rise to prominence. rmwritersfest.org



Candlebox: Oct. 28

The Seattle-based rockers known for ’90s hits like “Far Behind” and “You” present songs from their seventh studio album, Wolves, at Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella. spotlight29.com

Desert Dressage: Oct. 28–30

Desert International Horse Park in Thermal hosts this dressage competition for riders of all levels, from budding equestrians on ponies to grand prix hopefuls. deserthorsepark.com

Bat Walk 
Night Adventure: Oct. 29

Learn about the desert’s most misunderstood flyer on this 2-mile guided night hike on the Cove Oasis Trail in La Quinta. Kiddos can craft a bat-inspired superhero costume for the chance to win a prize. friendsofthedesert

Chaka Khan: Oct. 29

“Tell Me Something Good,” you say? The Queen of Funk returns to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, showing off the star power that landed her a top-20 spot on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.” fantasyspringsresort.com

Leanne Morgan: Oct. 29

Leanne Morgan discovered her comedy talents while selling jewelry — she’d entertain potential customers with side-splitting stories about motherhood. The born-and-bred Southerner shows off her knack for relatable hilarity at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon. morongocasinoresort.com

Halloween Spooktacular: Oct. 30

Do the monster mash over to Cathedral City’s Town Square Park for a graveyard smash featuring music, games, trick-or-treating, and costume contests (several little ghosties will go home with a new bike!). discovercathedralcity.com

Billy Ocean: Oct. 30

R&B icon Leslie Sebastian Charles (better known as Billy Ocean) borrowed his stage moniker from Oceans 11 — 
not the film but a soccer team in his Trinidad and Tobago hometown. See the “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” singer at Cabazon’s Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. morongocasinoresort.com

Golf Cart Parade: Oct. 30

Join more than 15,000 attendees in watching an armada of dolled-up golf carts roll down El Paseo in Palm Desert. Four-time Super Bowl winner Tom Flores leads the masquerade-themed affair as grand marshal. pdacc.org

The Miracle Worker: Through Oct. 9

This William Gibson–penned play about Helen Keller and the governess who taught her to sign scored four Tony Awards in 1960. See the moving tale at Desert TheatreWorks in Indio. dtworks.org

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder: Oct. 17–30

Head to Desert TheatreWorks in Indio for Broadway’s funniest musical about a serial killer: Formerly destitute Monty discovers he’s ninth in line to an earldom and sets out to eliminate the higher-up heirs. 

Titanic the Musical: Through Oct. 16

five-time Tony Award winner about the ill-fated Titanic has no connection to the James Cameron movie, though both came out in 1997. The tragic story unfolds at Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs. palmcanyontheatre.net

Choir Boy: Oct. 28–Nov. 6

Moonlight writer Tarrell Alvin McCraney composed this critically acclaimed play, in which a gay student’s ascension to choir leader sets a traditional prep school for young Black men abuzz. See it at Pearl McManus Theatre in Palm Springs. dezartperforms.org

Nunsensations!: Oct. 28–Nov. 13

Actors at Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs portray feather-clad, Vegas-bound, cabaret-singing nuns in this hilarious musical. palmcanyontheatre.net

art exhibitions
Hot Times, Cool Art: Through Oct. 16

The Artists Council presents 80 artworks by its members at the Artists Center at The Galen in Palm Desert. 

Improvisations, Reconstructions, 
and Relative 
Actions: a Decade: Through Oct. 27

This exhibition by artist James Jared Taylor at the Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio spans a 10-year period and a range of media, including wood, acrylic painting, and fabricated steel. 

Beyond Van Gogh: Through Nov. 27

Step foot inside 300 famous Van Gogh works at this immersive exhibition projecting and enlarging the artist’s paintings on the walls and the floor. vangoghpalmsprings.com

Outburst Project: Through Jan. 29

Four artists draw upon their cultural and familial histories to create pieces from woven artwork to cyborg-like sculpted monsters. psmuseum.org

Sapphire Cinnamon Viper Fairy: Through March 26

Santa Barbara–born artist Petra Cortright composes landscapes and portraits using internet imagery in this exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum. psmuseum.org

First Wednesday 
Art Walk: Oct. 5

Explore studios in Palm Springs’ Backstreet Art District during this art walk to see a variety of works and styles. backstreetartdistrict.com

Back Lawn Reception: Oct. 7

Desert Art Center in Palm Springs celebrates its 73rd year and unveils two new exhibitions with work from more than 100 artists. Examine glass sculptures and abstract canvases while mingling with other art lovers at the alfresco reception. desertartcenter.org

Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours: Oct. 8–9, 15–16, 22–23

Travel along Highway 62 and drop in on dozens of High Desert artists. Shop for an original piece and watch local masters at work in their studios. hwy62arttours.org

Community!: Oct. 20-Nov. 20

An opening reception 
Oct. 21 kicks off this juried show and sale at Palm Desert’s Artists Center at The Galen.