Explore the Desert This October
Fall is officially here! In addition to the seasonal goodies that come with the changing of the season, the weather is cooler and popular events across the desert return. Read on for some of our favorite things to do across the Coachella Valley.
Palm Desert Concerts in the Park
Thursdays in October
Gather your friends and family, pack a picnic, and grab your blanket for Palm Desert Concerts in the Park. This semi-annual evening attraction takes to the Civic Center stage each Thursday in October from 6-7:30pm, featuring a new performance every week. Practically every genre is represented in the fall installment, including pop, soul, rock, and more. This free event is the best way to welcome the start of cooler weather and enjoy the fresh air of a perfect desert night under the stars.
Here is the lineup of acts:
October 6 – We Belong, a tribute to Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo
October 13 – Blue Breeze Band, jamming Motown, R&B, soul, funk, and dance hits
October 20 – The Dreamboats, playing vintage rock n’ roll tunes
October 27 – Pop Rebels Band, rocking out to R&B, rock, and party music
Check out the city of Palm Desert’s website for more information.
Joshua Tree Fall Music Festival
October 6th – 9th
The Joshua Tree Music Festival returns this month, drawing a diverse crowd to the high desert. The eclectic audience reflects what is an always distinct lineup of musical artists, where practically every genre is represented by a talented act. This year’s fall installment runs from October 6th through the 9th and is sure to deliver an unforgettable experience for all in attendance. A more traditional JTMF experience is in store, with a greater capacity and live music starting all day from 10am, onward.
A long-standing high desert tradition, The Joshua Tree Music Festival’s aim to is to create a deep connection between performers and patrons by embracing music’s ability to bond humanity. Extending beyond the grooves and beats, the Joshua Tree Music Festival includes activities and workshops such as yoga and movement, music, visual arts, and myth. Promoted as a family-friendly event, there is a robust offering of activities for kids, too.
Joshua Tree is one of Southern California’s most scenic destinations and the music festival is an exceptional opportunity to discover new artists in a refreshing landscape while making inspiring memories in a truly one-of-a-kind four-day experience. For more information, including the festival lineup, tickets, hotel accommodations, and health and safety guidelines, visit the festival website.
Paint El Paseo Pink
Help raise funds for Desert Cancer Foundation and burn some calories in the process by participating in the 16th annual Paint El Paseo Pink walk. Join thousands of walkers on Saturday, October 8th, for a morning of celebration, remembrance, and support of those fighting breast cancer.
Registration is $35 per person and includes a commemorative pink t-shirt. The event kicks off at 7:30am, with the walk starting at 8am sharp. Money raised supports residents who need financial assistance with cancer care and treatment.
For more information on Paint El Paseo Pink and Desert Cancer Foundation, check out the foundation’s website.
Modernism Week Fall Preview
Modernism Week Fall Preview returns to Palm Springs for a taste of what’s to come at Modernism Week in February. This year’s preview will be October 13th through the 16th and offers plenty of spectacular sights and opportunities to enjoy Modernism, including the iconic double-decker bus and walking tours, parties, programs, and other awesome celebrations. Explore local architectural examples of this world-famous movement, including celebrity homes, neighborhood tours, and more.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Challenge
Push yourself by participating in the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Challenge, charging up the tram road on Saturday, October 22nd. Trek from 700 feet above sea level, climbing over 1800 feet into the mountains along the Tram Road and finishing at the Valley Station. The full course stretches across 3.7 miles (a 6k) with plenty of elevation gain to up the difficulty.
Participants may run or walk, whatever your fitness level allows. Regardless of how you choose to conquer the Tramway Challenge, the views are stunning and the reward for the accomplishment is even sweeter! Tickets to the race start at $30 and include a race t-shirt, finisher medal, post-race food and drink, and more.
For the full details on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Challenge, check out the event website.
Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade
Take part in one of the Coachella Valley’s most electric annual traditions – the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade. Bring your friends and family and take up your position along famed El Paseo on Sunday, October 30th, to catch a glimpse of golf carts decked out in this year’s theme, “Masquerade.” Recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and legendary quarterback and head coach Tom Flores, and his wife Barbara, will be the parade’s Grand Marshals. The parade rolls down El Paseo starting at noon.
This event is free and open to the public so be sure to get there early. Make a day out of it and grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s incredible restaurants before you check out the parade.
For more details, visit the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
Through November 5th
The Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest celebrates in grand fashion weekly through November 5th at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. Events are held both indoors and outside, with limited capacity each day. This Oktoberfest celebration is known for capturing the essence of the original Oktoberfest, with traditional music, events, food, and the finest Bavarian beers imported from Munich. For the first time since 2019, a band directly from Germany will perform, along with incredible German-American bands to keep the festival spirits lively.
For more information on Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest, including details on tickets and entertainment, check out the event website.
Beyond Van Gogh
Through November 27
Experience the ethereal works of unparalleled artist Vincent Van Gogh like never before with Beyond Van Gogh, an immersive art experience. This imaginative wonderland spreads out across a 30,000 square-foot canvas you travel through, with the magical landscape created by projectors displaying 300 Van Gogh works composed of 4 trillion content pixels. The whole experience takes about an hour and is open at The Forum at Empire Polo Club Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 10am – 8pm, and Friday and Saturday from 10am – 9pm. Last available entries are one hour prior to close.
Certified Farmers’ Markets
Weekly Across the Desert
Fall ushers in more than cooler weather for the desert. It also marks the return of our valley’s beloved famer’s markets, taking place throughout the week in different cities. Purchase fresh produce, a variety of locally sourced goods, and enjoy the perfect weather in these open-air markets. In addition to the usual goodies, vendors with a variety of items for sale are on-hand, including clothing, flowers, handmade gifts, and more.
Below are the details on each market by city, running west to east:
The Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ market is held outdoors on Saturdays from 8am-12:30pm October through May, in the Camelot Theatres parking lot (2300 E. Baristo Road), beginning on Saturday, October 1st.
The Rancho Mirage farmers’ market is open on Fridays at Rancho Mirage Community Park (71560 San Jacinto Drive) from 8am to 2pm, beginning on Friday, October 7th.
The Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market now takes place Sundays, October through April, from 8am-1pm, at 72559 Highway 111 outside the Chamber of Commerce, starting on Sunday, October 2nd.
The Street Fair at College of the Desert, is held every Saturday, and Sunday from 8am-1pm at College of the Desert.
The Indian Wells farmers’ market has a new home this year and will now be held at Southwest Church (44-175 Washington Street) on Thursdays from 8am-2pm starting October 6th.
The La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market is held October through April in Old Town La Quinta (78100 Main Street off of Calle Tampico) on Sundays from 8am-1pm, starting Sunday, October 9th.
The Indio Super Sunday Certified Farmers’ Market is held October through May from 9am – 2pm at 45235 Towne Street. The market opens October 9th.
We hope that you can get out and support local businesses this season with these exceptional markets.
Palm Springs VillageFest
Palm Springs Village Fest takes over downtown Palm Springs each Thursday evening from 7pm to 10pm. Stretching from Indian Canyon Drive to Belardo Road, Palm Springs VillageFest delivers the quintessential Palm Springs experience in a vibrant atmosphere. It is also the perfect way to enjoy the desert’s exceptional evening weather.
This street festival features a variety of vendors, from artists and artisans showcasing their talents and wares, to culinary curators serving up tasty treats. There is also a variety of live entertainers on practically every street corner, setting the tone for an electric experience.
For the full list of vendors and additional information on Palm Springs Village Fest, check out the website.
Palm Springs Art Museum
Free Every Thursday Night, 5pm – 7pm
Before you enjoy an evening at Palm Springs VillageFest, head to the Palm Springs Art Museum for complimentary admission each Thursday from 5-7pm. Participate in the monthly self-guided activity to learn more about the museum’s collection and so much more. This interactive activity even presents an opportunity to go viral with a feature on the museum’s Instagram account.
If you prefer to visit the Palm Springs Art Museum another time, this exceptional attraction is open Thursday from 10am – 7pm and Friday through Sunday from 10am – 5pm. You will be treated to a collection of over 12,000 objects that are rooted in modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design. The museum is a crown jewel of the Palm Springs community and is a must-see experience for residents and visitors alike.
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