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 13 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, a monster maze, pumpkin bowling and more. This not-so-spooky zoo adventure will be held on the morning of Saturday, October 27 as well as the evening of October 31. Participants are encouraged to come in costume and bring a reusable treat bag.

The renowned McCallum Theatre is humming in October, as the first of the season’s acts take to the stage. The kids will love the Seventh Annual Family Fun Day featuring Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure on October 21. The creators of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live will take your family on an all new adventure – this time to the bottom of the ocean. Using actors, technology, puppets, science and imagination Erth creates an amazing visual experience that connects young audiences to the real science of paleontology. Jump in and explore unknown ocean depths where prehistoric marine reptiles lived eons ago – and maybe live still today!

If you’re up for pint size floats and full-size fun, don’t miss the annual Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade on October 28. Marching bands complement the host of floats built on top of golf carts. This year’s theme of “Saluting our Super Heroes” 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 12 noon step-off of 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 7. 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. You can read more about hiking and biking in Palm Desert here.

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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Palm Desert Visitor Services
73510 Fred Waring Drive
(Inside the North Wing of Palm Desert City Hall)

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm
Closed Weekends and Major Holidays

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760-568-1441       800-873-2428