Our guide to family-friendly fall fun in Palm Desert

Regular visitors to Palm Desert have long recognized that October is one of the best times to visit the valley. Days are balmy and evenings are mild. Area attractions, which may have shortened their hours over the summer, have returned to their full, regular schedules. And for those folks who enjoy special events and entertainment, the line-up in October makes it the ideal time to pack up the kids and partake in some good old-fashioned family fun.

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. La Gran Fiesta on October 12 celebrates Hispanic culture with games, live music and dancing. Then, 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 on the morning of Saturday, October 26 as well as the evening of October 31. Participants are encouraged to come in costume and bring a reusable treat bag.

The McCallum Theatre season gets underway in October, as the first of the season’s acts take to the stage. The kids will love the Eighth Annual Family Fun Day on October 12, featuring the story of Rumpelstiltskin told in a way you may not have seen on stage before—the Panto. A 200-year-old British tradition, pantos are a type of participatory theater with lots of humor and songs that are fun for all ages. The performance itself is at 3pm, followed by food and fun activities.

Also at the McCallum Theater from October 24-27, College of the Desert Performing Arts presents The Addams Family – a family-friendly musical theater performance that embraces the wackiness in every family. Can the Addams Family pull off a dinner for Wednesday Addams’ new “normal” boyfriend and his parents? Come and see how if turns out in this funny production with full Broadway staging and orchestration.

If you’re up for pint size floats and full-size fun, don’t miss the annual Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade on October 27. Marching bands complement the host of floats built on top of golf carts. This year’s theme of “Let the Good Time Roll” promises to captivate parade-goers lining El Paseo. Come early for the pancake breakfast, check out the golf cart show and vendor area, and unleash then the children on the Kids’ Play Zone before the 1pm step off for the parade.

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 once they return to their regular 7am-2pm schedule on October 5. 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, open for the season on October 1. 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? We look forward to welcoming you and your family to Palm Desert in October.

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73510 Fred Waring Drive
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