Your guide to Christmas Tree lightings in the Greater Palm Springs area

A Christmas tree lit during the holidays at the Palm Springs Tram
The Tramway all decked out for the holidays (PS Aerial Tramway)

It’s the Holiday Season and that means plenty of Christmas activities and events in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley.  As the desert has so many individual cities, that also means quite a few tree lighting ceremonies.  Here are the details on them.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

When: Sunday, December 1 | 5:30 PM
Where: The Mountain Station at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
What: Hank Plante will serve as 2019’s celebrity tree lighter at the event which also will include music from the Palm Springs High School Madrigals & String Quartet.  The event will take place at the Tramway’s Mountain Station.


When: Wednesday, December 4 | 5:30 pm
Where: Outside City Hall
What: Enjoy free food, holiday train rides and a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Then, the festive spirit continues on Friday, December 6 at 6 pm with the annual parade! You can also enjoy music, carnival rides and an ice slide at Veterans Park.


When: Thursday, December 5, 2018 | 5 pm
Where: Indio City Hall, 100 Civic Center Mall, Indio
What: The free event will include the lighting of Indio’s “Holiday Tree,” an approximately 35-foot Afghan Pine dedicated 12 years ago, festooned with twinkling gold and white. In addition, there will be carolers from Indio schools and community performances, including a preview of Desert Theatrework’s upcoming production of “Mary Poppins” from the Indio Performing Art Center.

Children will have the opportunity to take a photo with Santa after the tree lighting ceremony, and enjoy holiday treats including candy canes and hot cocoa.

Rancho Mirage

When: Thursday, December 5 | 5 – 7 pm
Where: Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage
What: The tree lighting will also include a “Bazaar” this year which will have pastries and holiday-inspired treats for sale.

Palm Springs

When: Friday, December 6 | 5:15 PM
Where: 555 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
What: Mary Hart will join Santa Claus for the city’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting. The event, at Frances Stevens Park, will include holiday caroling and free hot cocoa and cookies.  You can then come back to Palm Springs the following day for the Festival of Lights parade.

La Quinta

When: Friday, December 6 | 6 pm – pm
Where: La Quinta Civic Center Campus, 78495 Calle Tampico, La Quinta
What: The Tree Lighting Ceremony will include live performances, crafts, cookies, hot cocoa, pictures with Santa, and complimentary rides around Civic Center Park on a holiday train. This event is free, all ages are welcome, and #doyouevenlaquintabro?

Desert Hot Springs

When: December 14 | 5:45 pm – 10 pm
Where: 65950 Pierson Boulevard, Desert Hot Springs
What: DHS will host their Parade of Lights and Holiday Festival on December 14, with a parade starting at Palm Dr. & Mission Lakes Blvd. and ending at Palm Dr. & 2nd St. The fest will start at the conclusion of the parade at Palm Drive & Pierson Blvd and will include free carnival rides, pics with Santa, coffee & cocoa, face painting, cotton candy, and live music.

Cathedral City

When: December 14 | 11 am – 7 pm
Where: In Front of City Hall
What: The all-day event will include holiday music and carolers, Santa Claus, a holiday tree lighting ceremony, and a 10,000 Candy Cane Drop for kids.  There will also be a “Snow Bubble Play for Kids,” children’s bike giveaways, a free movie at the Mary Pickford Theatre, free ice skating passes to Desert Ice Castle, and a silent auction featuring “Charlie Brown Christmas Trees” decorated by local celebrities benefitting the Cathedral City Senior Center.

Enjoy the Christmas Tree Lighting Festivities.  Happy Holidays!