Our guide to family-friendly fall fun in Palm Desert

October has finally arrived, and Palm Desert visitors can once again look forward to the best time of the year. Days are cooler and evenings are pleasant. Areas and attractions have returned to their full schedules after the sunny summer season ended. The October season line-up is sure to make it the ideal time and place to pack up the kids and partake in some good old-fashioned family fun.

Foodies rejoice! The Yum Food-Fest is here to quench all food palates through their wide selection of food festivities. The Yum Food-Fest delivers an appetizing food selection through their food trucks, food pop-ups, and tasty sweets. With live music from your favorite DJs, bands, and entertainers, be sure to let your children adventure on at kids’ zones. Stop on by to The Shops at Palm Desert on October 15, from 2pm-10pm to enjoy this open-air night market experience

For family fall fun, head to the Gather at the Gardens on El Paseo on October 29 from 2pm-6pm. With live entertainment from Lisa Lynn and the Broken Hallelujahs, the Gardens gets spookish with costume contests for adults and children. The Gardens captures children’s excitement though the never-ending slides, arts and crafts, and inflatable fun for toddlers and older kids alike. Fall into season to encounter fun, food, contests, and activities for all ages.

Save the date for a spectacular showing at the annual Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade on Sunday, October 30. Marching bands performing melodic tunes complement the host of floats built on top of golf carts. This year’s theme of “Masquerade Parade” promises to captivate parade-goers lining El Paseo. Come early for delicious food, check out the golf cart show and vendor areas, and unleash the children on the Kids’ Play Zone for Halloween fun. Don’t forget to experience the Palm Springs Air Museum planes soaring through the sky at 12pm, kicking off the parade.

The Living Desert is always a popular destination for kids of all ages, and their programming in October gives you plenty of reasons to visit. The Living Desert gets into the spirit with Howl-O-Ween, featuring trick-or-treat stations for kids, arts and crafts, animal encounters and entertainment. This not-so-spooky zoo adventure will be held Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30 from 9am-3pm. Participants are encouraged to come in costume and bring a reusable treat bag.

With the enticement of live music and frozen lemonade, you’ll probably be able to get the kids up early to take in the College of the Desert’s Street Fair. Held every Saturday and Sunday, the College of the Desert Alumni Association’s Street Fair is packed with vendors and shoppers alike from 8am-2pm. Whether you’re looking for toys or T-shirts, we promise you it’s at the Street Fair. Free admission makes this browsing experience the best deal in town.

And as long as you have the kids up early, that’s also the perfect time to explore the great outdoors. Two of our favorite hiking trails, Carrizo Canyon and Dead Indian Canyon are now open. These unique trails traverse through deep, dramatic canyons on the southern edge of town into bighorn sheep habitat areas. If you want to maximize your chances of spotting one of our endangered bighorns, hitting the trail at dawn or dusk offer the best opportunities. Tell the kids to keep their eyes and ears open for the movement of sheep on rocky ledges high up on the canyon walls.

So how’s that for an awesome array of events? For even more fun, family-friendly suggestions, visit our Event Calendar. We look forward to welcoming you and your family to Palm Desert in October.

Updated October 2022