A Very Merry Modernist Holiday


Modernists everywhere flock to fabulous, sunshine filled Palm Springs during the Holiday Season.  And if you haven’t yet, you should!  Here are some share worthy suggestions on where to find those last minute gifts, amazing dining options, and awesome places to visit to soak up the Coachella Valley Holiday Spirit!

Hot Holiday Shopping Spots:


photo credit: visitcalifornia.com

VillageFest:  Consistently voted the best event in the area and held every Thursday night from October through September 6-10 pm, Palm Canyon Drive in Downtown Palm Springs features more than 200 booths to browse and street entertainment on every block.  Find unique handcrafted items, gorgeous artwork, and an array of food for sale. Tip: Look for shops with the BOLT sign displayed in their windows (Businesses Open Late Thursday) for even more shopping and restaurant options!  And the Palm Springs Art Museum offers free admission every Thursday evening as well.

Uptown Design District:  The Uptown Design District is home to the largest concentration of shops in the area specializing in mid-century and modern fashion, artwork, furniture, and household items. Tip: Look for the expanded Trina Turk flagship boutique, Just Modern, and Modern Way for some amazing Modern and MCM finds.

College of the Desert Street Fair: Open every Saturday and Sunday year round, this popular event has been held for over 30 years and is a wonderful open air (shaded) shopping experience.  The Street Fair offers more than 300 merchants, artists, a farmer`s market, live entertainment, gourmet food and much more.  It’s located at the Northwest corner of The College of the Desert in Palm Desert. Tip: Live entertainment is offered every weekend and there are a variety of food merchants offering up delicious cuisine!  Take a break from shopping to sit and dine to live music!

Popular Holiday Restaurant Dining Options:

LuLu California Bistro:  Located in downtown Palm Springs, Lulu is a popular Palm Springs dining destination serving up delicious California cuisine in a casual yet modern setting.  Tip: On Christmas day, Lulu will offer a scrumptious 4 course holiday meal priced at $45 from 1-9 pm.

Trio: Located in Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District in a historic mid-century building, Trio combines traditional Midwest comfort food with a California contemporary edge.  Enjoy the atmosphere of this vibrant restaurant with an amazing art collection.  Tip: Trio offers an amazing $45 3 course price fixe menu on Christmas day.

Wally’s Desert Turtle: Touted as the most highly awarded restaurant in the desert, Wally’s Desert Turtle, established in 1978, serves contemporary California cuisine by classically trained executive chef, Pascal Lallemand.  Tip:  Enjoy a gourmet 3 course Christmas day menu for $82.


Must See Holiday Events:


RoboLights:  Since 2008, Artist Kenny Irwin Jr., has set up a “massive, whimsical futuristic winter wonderland” of lights and sculpture, combining Santa Claus with robots, on his 4 acre property in the movie colony area of Palm Springs.  The city of Palm Springs most recently tried to shut down this display but the city was denied by court order. Tip: The display is free, but $5 is a suggested donation. Be prepared for crowds nightly until the event ends on January 1st.

Wildlights at The Living Desert: The desert’s favorite holiday tradition returns with over a million twinkling lights at Wildlights at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert. Discover the new herd of life-size, luminescent animal lanterns, have a snow-ball fight in the new holiday Whoville, and explore the newly added pathways decorated in holiday lights. And, all of the event’s favorite activities return including the tunnel of lights, visits with Santa, live entertainment, arts and crafts, carousel rides, and more! Tip: Purchase tickets online to save time!


Palm Springs Aerial Tramway:  Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is home to the world’s largest rotating tram car and travels over 2 1/2 miles over Chino Canyon up to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Once you reach the Mountain Station, you can enjoy two restaurants, observation decks, natural history museum, two documentary theaters, gift shop and over 50 miles of hiking trails. Snow is almost always a welcome treat when you arrive during the Winter season.  During the Holidays, check out the tree lighting ceremony where Santa lights the Tramway’s landmark 45-foot tree made up of 4,000 LED lights, which can be seen throughout the Coachella Valley.  Santa Claus also makes an appearance with free candy canes and photo opportunities, and local choirs perform holiday music programs throughout the month of December.  Tip: Per the Aerial Tramway’s website: “On December 25, 2016 and January 1, 2017, Ride ‘n’ Dine tickets-which include Tram admission and dinner at Pines Café (a cafeteria-style restaurant)-will be available for purchase beginning at 8:00 a.m. (rather than the usual 4:00 p.m.) Dinner service begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. Combination tickets are $36 for adults and $23.50 children (ages 3-12).  Peaks Restaurant will begin serving their regular menu along with traditional holiday favorites at 11:00 a.m. on December 25, 2016 and January 1, 2017. Reservations are recommended and may be made by either calling 760-325-4537 or via Open Table.”

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