Top Things to Check Out Across the Coachella Valley in May
Check out these May events across the desert.
Enjoy a variety of cool events around the Coachella Valley this month.

Marvelous Desert Events to Enjoy in May!

May is another month filled with beautiful desert weather. And what better way to take full advantage of warm days and cool nights than with our region’s assortment of unique events. Below are a few of our favorite things to check out this month.

Palm Desert Concerts in the Park

Head to Palm Desert Civic Center Park Thursdays in October for Palm Desert Concerts in the Park
Palm Desert Concerts in the Park returns for another season of exciting musical entertainment, Thursdays at the Civic Center Park stage.

Thursdays Starting May 4

Palm Desert Concerts in the Park is back with more excellent musical performances at Palm Desert Civic Center Park, one of the Southern California desert’s top open air venues. Taking place each Thursday evening in May starting at 7pm, 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 there is something that will appeal to all musical tastes.

The season kicks off on Thursday, May 4th, when Upstream, a popular Caribbean music group takes to the stage to play reggae and calypso-infused tunes. On May 11th, enjoy the pop hits of Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo as performed in tribute by We Belong. The following Thursday, May 18th, groove to top-40 hits and jazz standards when AMFM hits the stage. Wrapping up the season will be Yachty by Nature, playing yacht rock tunes from the late 70s and early 80s.

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 culinary creations. 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

The Films on the Great Lawn opens up iconic Sunnylands select Fridays in May, screening Disney/Pixar classics.
Check out the Films on the Great Lawn series at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage on select Fridays in May.

Fridays Starting May 5

Films in the Gardens returns to the iconic Great Lawn at Sunnylands for another fun of free film screenings. Presented in partnership with the Palm Springs International Film Festival, this season’s lineup boasts culinary-themed flicks. Pack your picnic items accordingly!

Enjoy a Friday night under the stars with a classic movie, starting Friday, May 5th, when Big Night plays on the silver screen, following the tale of two brothers as they try to save their restaurant. The following Friday, May 12th, enjoy The Hundred-Foot Journey and its story of rivalry, loss, romance, and redemption. The series concludes on Friday, May 19th, with East Side Sushi, about a single mother who works toward her dream of becoming a sushi chef to provide a better life for her family.

For more information on the Films in the Gardens series, check out this entry on the Discover Palm Desert website.

The 19th Annual Lavender Festival

Visit the Lavender Fields at Highland Springs Ranch to enjoy the unique sights, smells, and sounds of its annual festival, celebrating the blooms.
Blooming Lavender fields at Highland Springs Ranch are a sign that summer is in full swing.

May 5 – July 23

The 19th Annual Lavender Festival at Highland Springs Ranch, the largest organic lavender farm in Southern California, welcomes the lavender harvest in Cherry Valley each year. This annual event showcases and celebrates all things lavender at historic 123 Farm. The celebration has been extended again this year and runs from Friday, May 5th, through Sunday, July 23rd. There are new hours this year, taking advantage of the gorgeous late spring and early summer climate. You can visit the farm from 5-10pm each evening, with plenty of entertainment and fun taking place throughout the night.

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 Lavender Festival is a treasured regional event that has grown in popularity since it started in 2004, and is a must-see for anyone looking to spend a weekend doing something unique and immersive. For more information on the festival, check out the website.

Desert X 2023

Check out Desert X installations, scattered across the Coachella Valley.
Desert X brings thought-provoking, sometimes surreal, immersive art to the Coachella Valley.

Through May 7

Desert X 2023 spotlights a new set of creative visionaries to use the Coachella Valley and the surrounding desert landscapes as their canvas through May 7th. Attendees have the opportunity to explore landmarks dotted throughout the desert, designed to inspire imagination and intrigue while provoking thought about current issues. This year’s show is once again curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield with Co-Curator Diana Campbell. Creative installations highlight a theme that explores water and its impact on our survival, economics, politics, and the climate crisis.

Desert X 2023 is free to the public, presenting the perfect opportunity to do something different and engaging while expanding your understanding and perspective of our local area. As a bonus, the perfect late winter and early spring desert climate will cast the experience in a wash of perfectly warm temperatures and bright, sunny days.

For more information on Desert X 2023, including the lineup of artists and a recap of previous installments by year, check out the Desert X website.

Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival

Celebrate the grimy worlds Film Noir in black and white at the Arthur Lyons Film Festival
The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival brings mystery, intrigue, and romance to the silver screen as it celebrates one of Hollywood’s most notorious genres.

May 11-14

The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival returns to the silver screen to celebrate Film Noir, one of the Hollywood Golden Era’s most popular genres. Experience colorful characters navigating shady worlds in black and white at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs May 11th through the 14th. 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.

21st Annual Joshua Tree Music Festival

Experience the magic of the high desert at the Joshua Tree Music Festival.
The Joshua Tree Music Festival returns to offer an incredible community experience built around our shared bond of music, art, and the human experience.

May 18-21

The 21st Annual Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival returns to the high desert for more unforgettable live music and immersive experiences. Taking place May 18th through the 21st, this unique annual 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 continues in October with this year’s dates announced for October 5th through the 8th.

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 Joshua Tree Spring Music Festival is an amazing opportunity to discover new artists and make 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.

Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon Festival

Enjoy balloon flights, music, food, adult beverages, and more, at the Temecula Valley Wine and Balloon Festival, taking place at Lake Skinner Recreation Area.
Find a new perspective at the Temecula Valley Wine and Balloon Festival, taking place at Lake Skinner Recreation Area.

May 19-21

The Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon Festival takes your weekend to new, exciting heights. Running May 19th through the 21st, this impressive event soars over Lake Skinner Recreation Area, offering the chance to soak in gorgeous views of the surrounding foothills from the basket of a balloon.

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 an evening balloon glow, wine tasting from some of Temecula’s finest wineries, wine and food pairing sessions, as well as an international food court, microbrew tasting, arts and crafts, and a kids faire.

In addition to the savory sights and tastes, live music adds to the fun. Enjoy performances from artists playing a variety of tunes and styles, including rockers Night Ranger and REO Speedwagon Friday, country star Brad Paisley and Sara Evans Saturday, and The English Beat and Scotty McCreery 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.

Memorial Day Flower Drop

Check out the Memorial Day Flower Drop for an incredible experience remembering those who gave their lives for our country.
The Memorial Day Flower Drop is a unique way to honor Memorial Day in Palm Springs.

May 29

The Memorial Day Flower Drop soars over Palm Springs on Memorial Day (Monday, May 29th). The Flower Drop at the Palm Springs Air Museum is one of the most incredible and moving ways to spend the Memorial Day holiday. In addition to the drop of over 3,000 red and white carnations, there are flight exhibitions and planned activities all day long.

We hope you have a chance to participate in this tremendous 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.

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week

Palm Springs Restaurant Week features delicious deals at some of the best eateries around the Coachella Valley.
Check out Palm Springs Restaurant Week deals, offering fixed price menus that allow you to experience old favorites and new finds for less.

June 2-11

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week returns to please your palate with cool deals heading into the summer heat. Running Friday, June 2nd, through Sunday, June 11th, participating restaurants throughout the Coachella Valley will offer a special lunch and dinner menu along with other deals and specials, giving you an opportunity to find new favorites and rediscover local haunts at a discounted rate. Simply show up at a participating restaurant and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the special menu.

For the full list of participating restaurants and FAQs, be sure to visit out the Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week website.

Acrisure Arena Events

Check out what's happening at Acrisure Arena, from professional hockey to live music and more.
Enjoy a variety of exciting entertainment options at Acrisure Arena, from fast-paced professional hockey to touring musical acts and more.

Dates Throughout the month

Acrisure Arena, a state-of-the-art entertainment facility and home to the Coachella Valley Firebirds of the American Hockey League (AHL), offers another month with star-laden events. Each month, the arena draws massive crowds for blockbuster entertainment. There is something for everyone, from concerts and shows featuring internationally acclaimed artists and talents to the fast-paced thrills of professional ice hockey.

This month, the arena will host performances by Rauw Alejandro: Saturno World Tour 2023 on May 2nd, Caifanes May 20th, Stars on Ice May 26th, and Shania Twain on May 31st. In addition to these concerts, the Coachella Valley Firebirds will continue their Calder Cup Playoff run. We are Fired Up for this team! Next month, the arena will welcome Lizzo, Banda MS, and the Pucks in Paradise adult hockey tournament.

For the full host of events, as well as to purchase tickets, check out the Acrisure Arena website.

Palm Springs VillageFest

Check out Palm Springs VillageFest every Thursday evening along North Palm Canyon Drive.
Palm Springs VillageFest is a unique desert experience, with a variety of vendors, food option, live entertainment, and more.

Thursday Nights

Experience the best of the desert at Palm Springs VillageFest, taking place in downtown Palm Springs every Thursday from 6pm to 10pm. This delightful event is an incredible way to enjoy a world-famous desert evening. Stretching from Indian Canyon Drive to Belardo Road, Palm Springs VillageFest delivers a vibrant, community-oriented atmosphere with a variety of vendors, from artists and artisans to diverse and delicious food offerings, as well as live entertainment and a unique vibe for all in attendance to enjoy.

For the full list of vendors and additional information on Palm Springs VillageFest, check out the event’s website.

Palm Springs Vintage Market

There is a treasure trove of fun items to check out and purchase at the Palm Springs Vintage Market, from furniture and decor to clothing and housewares.
From fun clothing, vinyl records, and retro collectables to furniture and housewares, the Palm Springs VIntage Market has it all.

First Sunday of each month

One of the highlights of the desert’s peak season is the Palm Springs Vintage Market, held the first Sunday of each month running October through May each year in the parking lot of the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs. This popular event boasts an impressive assortment of vintage treasures, including clothing, décor, housewares, furniture, and more.

Admission for the Palm Springs Vintage Market is $5 per person, money well-spent. You are almost guaranteed an incredible time between the unique and nostalgia-inducing items for sale, the retro and vintage cars and trailers that are known to park nearby, and of course experiencing a perfect Coachella Valley Sunday outdoors. If you happen to stumble upon that vintage gem to complete your desert-inspired fashion statement or that ties your place together, then that’s even better.

For more information on the Palm Springs Vintage Market, including a gallery of monthly posters used to promote the market, be sure to check out the event’s website.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.