Make Plans to Play Around the Desert This May
On the hunt for fun and excitement this month? We have assembled some of our favorite things to do around the desert in the month of May. From free concerts and films to arts and cultural festivals, there’s a ton to explore and enjoy!
Palm Desert Concerts in the Park
Thursdays Starting May 5
Palm Desert Concerts in the Park returns for another year of excellent musical performances at Palm Desert Civic Center Park, one of the Southern California desert’s best open air venues. Taking place each Thursday evening in May starting at 6:30pm, this free concert series is open to the public and held on the terraced lawn of the Civic Center Park Amphitheater. With performances by acts playing a variety of genres, including classic rock, country, 80’s hits, and more, there is a little something for all musical tastes.
The season kicks off on Thursday, May 5th, with SantanaWay picking and strumming cuts from Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Santana. Known as the ultimate Santana tribute band, this show will be epic. Thursday, May 12th, will feature 80s hits performed with the high energy act Flashback Heart Attack. The Kelly Rae Band brings an ear-pleasing country sound on Thursday, May 19th. The season wraps up on Thursday, May 26th, with headbanging classics jammed by Legends of Classic Rock.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or a chair to fully enjoy a night of live music under the stars. In addition to the music, food trucks will be on the scene, offering up a variety of delicious dishes. For those who prefer, picnics are welcome and encouraged as well.
For more information, visit the Palm Desert Concerts in the Park page on the City of Palm Desert website.
Films in the Gardens at Sunnylands
Fridays Starting May 6
Films in the Gardens, taking place on the iconic Great Lawn at Sunnylands and presented in partnership with the Palm Springs International Film Festival, returns for another spectacular year of film screenings. Pack a picnic, bring the family, and enjoy a Friday night under the stars with a classic movie, starting Friday, May 6th, with the whimsical world of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The series continues Friday, May 13th, with the huge 90s blockbuster Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The series concludes on Friday, May 20th, with the wild hit Jumanji, featuring Robin Williams.
For more information on the Films in the Gardens series, check out the Palm Springs International Film Society website.
The 18th Annual Lavender Festival
May 6 – July 31
The 18th Annual Lavender Festival at Highland Springs Ranch, the largest organic lavender farm in Southern California, welcomes the lavender harvest in Cherry Valley each year. Open to the public each spring, this annual event showcases and celebrates all things lavender at historic 123 Farm. The celebration has been extended this year and runs from Friday, May 6th, through Sunday, July 31st. You can visit the farm Friday through Sunday through the month of May, then each day except Tuesdays starting May 30th.
Visitors to this magical experience may stroll meandering pathways through lush lavender fields, enjoy a formal farm tour on a horse-drawn carriage, and other exceptional sights. Delight in delectable dishes with lavender-infused ingredients and shop the wares at the organic marketplace, featuring lavender essential oils, infused balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and lavender-stuffed animals.
The 18th Annual Lavender Festival is a treasured event that has grown in popularity since it started in 2004, and is a must-attend affair for anyone looking to spend a weekend doing something unique and immersive. For more information on the festival, check out the website.
Oasis Music Festival
The inaugural Oasis Music Festival takes to several stages across the Coachella Valley May 11th – 15th, ushering in a new era for the desert’s music scene. After being moved from January to May due to the public health crisis, the festival is ready to kick off. Enjoy broad soundscape of styles and genres will be represented across this 5-day experience, which sets out to celebrate the storied connection between the desert and the musical artistry it inspires. Bennion Deville Homes is proud to be a Platinum Record Sponsor of this event.
From GRAMMY and Emmy Award-winning acts, to rising musical talents spanning genres that include jazz, blues, alternative rock, hip hop, Latin, country, and more, there is an artist guaranteed to please your musical palate. Venues for the festival range from local hotels and theatres to restaurants and supper clubs, setting the perfect backdrops and mood to match the musical experience.
Modernism Week – May
Palm Springs Modernism Week makes a special spring appearance with Modernism Week May, celebrating the Mid-Century Modern movement across Palm Springs. This 4-day mini celebration of all things Modern in the mecca of “MCM” delivers many of the signature events enthusiasts have come to love, including home tours, cocktail parties, dining opportunities, and more.
The Greater Palm Springs Area is home to one of the largest concentrations of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the world and is the perfect setting for Modernism Week each year. With the legacies of legendary names standing strong throughout the Coachella Valley, including Wexler, Neutra, Frey, Schindler, and more, Palm Springs has an abundance of highly-coveted Mid-Century Modern homes and structures. Modernism Week embraces the form and celebrates its unique characteristics and is a local event everyone should check out.
For more information on Modernism Week – May, including a schedule of events and to purchase tickets, check out the event’s website.
Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival
The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival returns to the silver screen, celebrating one of the Hollywood Golden Era’s most popular genres, Film Noir. Experience a shady world of colorful characters in black and white at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs May 11th through the 15th. This unique festival celebrates the Film Noir genre by screening an eclectic mix of classic Film Noir “B” movies.
Founded in 2000 by Arthur Lyons, a renowned mystery and thriller novelist who also served on the Palm Springs City Council, the Film Noir Festival is a fun way to enjoy a timeless era of cinema. For more information, including to see a schedule or to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s website.
20th Annual Joshua Tree Music Festival
The 20th Annual Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival comes back to the high desert for another year of unforgettable live music and immersive experiences. Taking place May 12th through the 15th, this spectacular event draws a diverse audience to match a truly eclectic musical lineup, with nearly all genres represented by talented acts. In addition to the spring festival, the music returns just a couple of days later for Steve Poltz’s Bahootenzie Folk Festival and Music School (May 17th to the 21st), as well as in October, with this year’s dates announced for October 6th through the 9th.
The festival’s aim to is to revel in music’s ability to bond humanity and create an intimate connection between patrons and performers. Beyond the beats and grooves, Joshua Tree Music Festival includes additional activities and workshops such as yoga and movement, visual arts, music, and myth. Billed as a family-friendly affair, there is a robust offering of activities for kids, as well.
Located in one of Southern California’s most scenic destinations, the 20th Annual Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival is an exceptional opportunity to discover new artists and make new memories in a truly one-of-a-kind three-day, four-night experience. For more information, including the festival lineup, tickets, and hotel accommodations, visit the festival website.
Memorial Day Flower Drop
The Memorial Day Flower Drop soars over Palm Springs on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30th). The Flower Drop at the Palm Springs Air Museum is one of the most spectacular ways to spend the Memorial Day holiday. In addition to the drop of 3,000 red and white carnations at 1pm, there are flight exhibitions and planned activities all day long.
We hope you have a chance to participate in this exceptional event and remember those who gave their lives for our country in what is a unique and moving tribute. For more information on the Memorial Day Flower Drop, visit the Palm Springs Air Museum website.
Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon Festival
The Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon Festival uplifts your weekend, running June 3rd through the 5th. This impressive event takes flight at Lake Skinner Recreation Area and offers you the chance to ascend to dramatic heights and soak in gorgeous views of the surrounding foothills.
If you prefer fun at a lower altitude, take part from the ground and savor the sight of vibrant hot air balloons populating the sky. Other attractions include wine tasting from some of Temecula’s finest wineries, wine and food pairing sessions, as well as an international food court, microbrew tasting, and much more.
In addition to all of the savory sights and tastes, live music spices up the fun. Enjoy performances from artists playing a variety of tunes and styles, including country star Hunter Hayes Friday night, Bret Michaels belting out hits Saturday night, and other fun musical acts playing all day Sunday.
For more information on the Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon Festival, including tickets, the entertainment schedule, information on hot air balloons, and more, be sure to visit the website.
Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week
Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week returns to please your palate for a good cause, kicking off Friday, June 3rd, and concluding on Sunday, June 12th. Participating restaurants throughout the Coachella Valley will offer a special lunch and dinner menu, giving you an opportunity to find new favorites and rediscover your favorite local haunts. Simply show up at a participating restaurant and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the special menu.
This delightful treat is just an appetizer for the main course to come, with the Summer Eats Pass arriving later in the month of June (starting June 13th) and running until September 5th. This pass will provide savings on local restaurants and will also feature weekly drawings for prizes. More details on this to come.
For the full list of participating restaurants and FAQs, be sure to visit out the Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week website.