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PGA WEST’S new ownership is busy restoring ‘The Western Home of Golf in America’

Photo by Evan Schiller

Martin Kaufmann November 8, 2021 10:55 am ET 

From the moment we first glimpsed PGA WEST at the “Skins Game” 35 years ago, we all knew that we had witnessed something transformative. Viewers couldn’t help but marvel at how land so rugged and unforgiving could be transformed into something so beautiful and seductive, ultimately luring an untold number of golfers from around the world to California’s Coachella Valley over the past 35 years.

PGA WEST quickly earned a moniker – “The Western Home of Golf in America” – that reflected the fact that all of the major professional tours and the NCAA regularly visited, allowing the game’s best players to test themselves against some of the stiffest designs of Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, and Greg Norman. It also became a bucket-list destination for avid golfers and an attractive landing spot for couples looking to enjoy the good life in the desert.

Last year Century Golf Partners, an established operator of high-end clubs and resorts, teamed with Hankuk Industry, which owns courses in the U.S. and Japan, to acquire PGA WEST and The Citrus Club, including the Mountain and Dunes golf courses. That set off a whirlwind of activity, with the new ownership pouring resources into course improvements on all nine PGA WEST courses. The goal of this long-term project is three-fold: provide tournament conditions daily; bring more big tournaments to the property; re-establish PGA WEST as a must-visit destination with courses that are fixtures on top-100 lists.

“We want to secure our position in the top five of U.S. club resorts in the U.S.,” said Ben Dobbs, PGA WEST’s Executive Director. “We have the architects, the properties and the location to achieve this. Having iconic golf courses and great architects were just the beginning. Now we must be innovative, relevant and provide exceptional experiences.”

That attitude is reflected in the recently completed work on the Greg Norman Course, which opened in 1999. Greens were restored to their original sizes, and the TifDwarf Bermuda grass was replaced with TifEagle, which eventually will be installed at each course, creating optimal year-round conditions. In addition, more than 100 bunkers were rebuilt, the expansive native areas were restored, and turf was added to enhance playability on the brutal target-golf layout.

PGA WEST has also made a major commitment to deep-tine aerification equipment, ensuring healthier turf conditions. Each course is being aerified twice annually.

“Ultimately, we’ll have firmer greens and the ability to mow them lower,” said Chris May, Director of Agronomy, who will guide the eventual restoration of all nine courses. “We want tournament conditions on all of these courses before and after overseeding. The benefit of doing all of this work is they get in really good shape in the summer as well.”

The work on the Norman Course follows the restoration last year to the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course – which pairs with PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium when the PGA TOUR visits each January to play The American Express – and work this year on the Arnold Palmer Private Course.

The latter, with its finishing holes sculpted along the rugged Santa Rosa Mountains, produced some of the most memorable moments of the PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing, including David Duval’s closing eagle in 1999 to shoot 59 and win the tournament. The course has never been in better shape. May’s team installed TifEagle putting surfaces over new greens irrigation, restored all greenside bunkers to original specifications, and replaced all of the bunker sand.

Brandon Johnson, the long-time senior architect for Arnold Palmer Design, returned to La Quinta to revitalize the picturesque finishing holes along the All-American Canal. Johnson put in new bunkering on Nos. 14 and 16 to create more differentiation between those approaches and added a knob on the back of the par-5 14th that presents a new risk-reward scenario for players trying to reach in two. “It definitely has a par-5 green now,” May said.

Johnson restored the other greens to their original contours, recapturing Palmer’s original vision.

“He tied together the whole course with one type of look,” May said.

PGA WEST’s executive team will face interesting choices on the Pete Dye Stadium Course, unquestionably one of Dye’s masterpieces. May guarantees “a restoration, not a renovation,” including recapturing the original green shapes and sizes.

“Every idea that Pete had is on this golf course,” May said. “It’s remarkably untouched – partly because it’s always been so busy that they weren’t able to do the work. We want to bring it back to what it once was.”

While May’s team is busy on the course upgrades, Dobbs also is overseeing enhancements to the five clubhouses and amenities. Those amenities include a recently opened $10 million Sports Club.

“Our owners have committed to owning us for generations, so that helps our team make long-term decisions,” Dobbs said. “I’m super-excited to be able to share everything that we are doing with golfers from around the world.”

Janet Frost

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have to say this was the best experience. I sold my mom’s condo in California after her death!! My brother met Kayla and advised me to go with her ! My brother passed away in July ! Kayla Cunard went above and beyond!!!! She was amazing! She was so understanding that I had lost both my mom and brother in less than a year! Both died of natural causes !! I can’t thank her or her team enough!! I live in Indiana and needed to sell mom’s home in California!!! I recommend her and the entire staff!!!! Thank you all so much!! It was emotional for me to sell mom’s home but they all helped me !!! I would give them not 5 stars but 10 stars if I could!!! The best realtors ever!!!

Susan Lamparter

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Sheri Dettman and her team handled the sale of my condo and the purchase of a new home and I couldn't have been more pleased with both transactions. Based on the marketing research Sheri provided, the list price and timing was right on the money! First offer accepted closing escrow was a breeze with the guidance and oversight from Sheri. Now on to the new home! I was placed in the extremely capable hands of Betsy Justice. Let me start by saying Betsy is the consummate professional. Not only is Betsy at the top of her game in real estate, she brings a wealth of knowledge in construction which allows her to identify potential problems or benefits in any home we walked thru. Our journey to find the perfect home was long and arduous but Betsy never gave in or gave up. Her determination and tenacity lead me to my dream home I'm grateful beyond words. Thank you to Sheri, Betsy and all the people behind the scenes that this a stellar real estate company!"

Susan Lamparter

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Sheri Dettman and her team handled the sale of my condo and the purchase of a new home and I couldn't have been more pleased with both transactions. Based on the marketing research Sheri provided, the list price and timing was right on the money! First offer accepted closing escrow was a breeze with the guidance and oversight from Sheri. Now on to the new home! I was placed in the extremely capable hands of Betsy Justice. Let me start by saying Betsy is the consummate professional. Not only is Betsy at the top of her game in real estate, she brings a wealth of knowledge in construction which allows her to identify potential problems or benefits in any home we walked thru. Our journey to find the perfect home was long and arduous but Betsy never gave in or gave up. Her determination and tenacity lead me to my dream home I'm grateful beyond words. Thank you to Sheri, Betsy and all the people behind the scenes that this a stellar real estate company!"

Michael Yang, CA

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We were very happy with the service that Lisa provided. She was professional, knowledgeable, and strategic. She invested time to learn our wants and needs in order to research and present options that fit our lifestyle. The entire Sheri Dettman team was terrific and supportive. The process was smooth, highlighted by communications that were timely and seamless. Lisa was able to leverage her experience to appropriately guide us and she shared insights on the market conditions that were invaluable to us as we successfully completed our transaction. We would highly recommend Lisa and the entire team. They are A+ and every client will feel they are in very good, professional hands.

Howard Wiens, Canada

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Working with Kayla Cunard has been a great pleasure. She was instrumental in finding the right home for us in the Coachella Valley, and she was continuing eager to do whatever she could to make the purchase process as seamless as possible.

Mackenzie Austin

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Sheri and her team are nothing short of a dream! They made everything so easy when I had to sell my father's home in La Quinta. I had to manage the sale from out-of-state, but it was a breeze with Sheri and her team on the ground to sort everything out. I'm so grateful to her and her team and I would recommend them to anyone!!

10 Things to Know About Acrisure Arena

Before you head out to enjoy an event at this new venue, here are tips and insights into what your fan experience will be like.

The main entrance on the east side of the building will focus on creating an indoor-outdoor feel and will feature an outdoor food court.
RENDERINGS COURTESY ACRISURE ARENA

Since construction began in June 2021, you’ve likely driven by Acrisure Arena and viewed the immense structure rising from ground level on the north side of Interstate 10, just off the Cook Street exit. Or maybe you’ve seen the renderings that depict people milling in and out of the multipurpose venue.

It wasn't that long ago that the arena was planned to be developed in downtown Palm Springs as part of a partnership with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. However, when issues like parking and squeezing the arena next to a residential area became problematic, the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation stepped in and offered a parcel of land by Interstate 10.

In less than three weeks, fans will gain their first real look inside Acrisure Arena when comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock entertain in the round (Dec. 14), followed by The Doobie Brothers (Dec. 15), Grupo Firme (Dec. 16), and then the Coachella Valley Firebirds’ first official home hockey game (Dec. 18).

AcrisureArenaAerial

This aerial rendering shows 3,000 parking spaces including 500 for VIP.
John Bolton, senior vice president of entertainment and general manager of the arena, has decades of experience around venues like Acrisure Arena. In fact, he’s helping the parent company, Oak View Group, develop the grand opening and entertainment plans for eight new arena projects. He’s seen Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert go from an architect’s concept to reality, and he likes what he sees.

“Some of the interior spaces are even better than I thought,” Bolton says. “Being in the bowl [the main seating area], you really understand how wonderful this is going to be from an artist’s perspective and a fan perspective. Just knowing that you’re going to be so close to the action, so close to the artist when they’re playing based on that basically one lower bowl design, I think is really, really incredible.

“I’m really impressed with all of the work on the exterior of the building and how it fits in with the landscape around the facility as well, and the beautiful mountains that are there. I think it fits well from that perspective and also from a color perspective, and I think our friends at the Berger Foundation have done a really amazing job in all the parking lots and the landscaping that's coming on board as it relates to that part of the facility as well.”

In his conversation with Palm Springs Life, Bolton addresses many of the facets of the fan experience, and why there is as much attention being paid to what goes on outside the arena as there is inside. Here are 10 things to know about Acrisure Arena.

coachellavalleyfirebirds

Hockey drove this arena to Greater Palm Springs where the Coachella Valley Firebirds will play home games through mid-April.
PARKING

There will be 500 VIP parking spots on the west end of the arena and 2,500 spaces around the south and east ends. If needed, there are 1,000 additional spaces available at nearby Xavier Prep High School with shuttle service to the arena. Kiosks at the arena will allow you to pay after you park, so you won't be held up by an attendant asking for payment.

Using Patriot One’s SmartGateway, fans will walk through screening areas that detect concealed guns, knives, and other related threat objects, giving customers a green arrow to proceed through or a red warning to staff that shows where the detected threat object is located on the customer. “We think this frictionless, smart walk-through system makes it really easy for people to enter,” Bolton says.

TICKETING

All tickets are digital and sent to your cell phone. You won't need a printout, a screenshot, or any other method to get in. The barcode is scanned on your mobile ticket to gain access to the event.

JUST FOR THE HOLIDAYS

You’ll likely see the 54-foot Christmas tree from the freeway that sits by the main entrance.

acrisurearenafood
FOOD

Before you even step into the arena, there will be food court area by the main entrance that will include five restaurants. The specific restaurants will be named this week, Bolton says. “Obviously we’re taking advantage of the weather and extending our indoor-outdoor [offerings],” he adds.

SEATING

Acrisure Arena's capacity is 11,000, with roughly 10,000 seats for hockey games. Twenty VIP suites surround the lower bowl seating area. “It’s pretty clear to me that there's not a bad seat in the house,” Bolton says. “You’re entering at ground level and then going down to your seat.”

One seating area to consider: The very back row of seats is separated by a counter, where the attendee can plant a drink. The seating is similar to a bar seat, but it allows for more space between you and the person next to you when compared to regular arena seating.

ACOUSTICS

Following the Dec. 14 opening night stand-up show, The Doobie Brothers will be the first band to play in the arena on Dec. 15, followed by Grupo Firme on Dec. 16 and Maroon 5 on Dec. 31. Acoustic technology has changed dramatically over the years, and Acrisure Arena is taking full advantage of that. Workers installed 10,000 square feet of acoustic lapendary panels, Bolton says.

“The fact that we don’t have a very high elevated upper bowl, where sound bounces off and then comes back down, will create a much better sound overall for our events. The goal is to make sure the sound system is really awesome. That plays a part into people’s enjoyment.”

AcrisureArenaChairmansClub

Chairman’s Club 29
LED SCREENS

At the west end of the arena, a giant screen will broadcast the action during hockey games and also be utilized during musical and other live performances. In addition, a wraparound ribbon screen will surround the bowl seating, and many of the concession areas will have TVs to keep track of the action.

CHAIRMAN’S CLUB 29

There is a special room located in the arena’s lower level where Chairman’s Club members can hang out, complete with comfy lounge furniture, bar and food offerings, and plenty of TVs to view the event.

ARENA WITH A VIEW

Check out the north and south bars. They are open-space areas that overlook the arena, offering dramatic views during hockey games. (Though they might not be as good during concerts, since the bars are parallel to the stage.)

COMMUNITY SKATING RINK

A community Iceplex is poised to debut in late December, offering the public a chance to enjoy the same rink that the Coachella Valley Firebirds will use for practice. Daily public skating opportunities range from open skating sessions to adult/junior hockey leagues and theme nights.

“I think people haven't totally grasped that 360-day operation that’s under the same roof,” Bolton says. “As we grow and we all go through that first six months, I think that’ll be one of the most pleasant, interesting things that people probably haven't quite realized yet.”

acrisurearenaconcert

And in case you were wondering, there are three Zambonis on property to keep the ice skate-ready.

Six months from now, it’s safe to say many of these areas will be tweaked and adjusted as more shows are held at the arena.

“We’ll be constantly looking at that and making sure that everyone has a good experience," Bolton says. "If there are things that we can change to make better, or things that we haven’t recognized or been able to predict, we have the ability to go in and make those tweaks and changes to continue to improve the operations and really build upon our opening here in a couple weeks."

• READ NEXT: The Doobie Brothers Bring 50th Tour to Acrisure Arena.

The 9 Best Hotels in Palm Springs

The dreamy properties that tell the story of Palm Springs are the same ones you'll want to hole up in for days.

Palm Springs has been through a multitude of incarnations over the last century—from Old Hollywood hangout, to spring break headquarters, to struggling tourist town, to one of California’s most beloved and unique resort cities. That last one is a title it proudly holds today, after reinventing itself as a glamorous desert getaway. To get here, it rode the wave of mid-century modernism's rebirth to become internationally renowned for its architecture, art and design, one-of-a-kind vintage shops, endless outdoor activities, and the hot spots A-listers descend upon during the juggernaut that is the Coachella music festival.

The best Palm Springs hotels are as wide-ranging as the area's visitors; whether you're seeking a tranquil boutique hotel, sprawling resort, or retro design motel with a shiny facelift, it’s as easy to find the perfect place to stay as it is to spend all day sitting by a sparkling pool, in dreamy desert weather with nothing but mountain views for miles. Here's where to find them.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

La Serena Villas

$$$

If you’ve done the midcentury thing before, opt for this Spanish hacienda-style property with just 18 private bungalows, a quiet pool, breezy restaurant, and flowing margaritas. The adults-only property draws mainly couples (of all ages) looking for R&R, along with locals who hit poolside restaurant Azucar and rooftop bar Sugar High for evening cocktails under the stars. Bungalows are decidedly design-forward, with a mix of Spanish, Moroccan, and boho styles, and feel even larger than they are thanks to vaulted ceilings with exposed beams. Every room category comes with its own private courtyard patio equipped with a fire pit, bench seating, and clawfoot tub for soaking under the sky and many also come with front porches boasting bamboo swings. Inside you’ll find Frette linens and towels, L’Occitane bath products, and Keurig coffee makers.

Kimpton The Rowan Palm Springs Hotel

$$ | HOT LIST 2018 READERS' CHOICE AWARDS 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

A full-service hotel smack in the center of town, the tallest building (at seven stories) in Palm Springs is also the only hotel in the entire Coachella Valley with a rooftop pool. Thanks to its height, rooftop pool, and plenty of passing foot traffic, The Rowan has more of a real-deal city vibe than most of the resort-feeling properties in town, drawing a crowd that varies in age and demographic, but often skews heavy on business travelers here for onsite meetings and conferences, as well as travelers with pets in tow. It feels modern while still honoring the city’s midcentury roots and desert location, with rooms featuring light-wood floors, hairpin-legged nightstands, leather desk chairs, cool blue accent rugs, framed topographical maps, and the especially novel tiled walls serving as headboards. Bathrooms feel fresh with large, glass-enclosed showers accented by glossy subway tiles. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, and many have balconies—with corner rooms offering wraparound options. Once you step out of the lobby, you’re mere yards from the city’s bustling main drag and within walking distance of most of Palm Springs’ highlights—shopping, dining and live music, hiking, museums, and many new public art installations. Those looking for a more private, off-the-beaten-path location will likely want to head elsewhere.

Things to Do This Week in the Desert, Dec. 5–11

Storm Large performs Dec. 9 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY MCCALLUM THEATRE

FABULOUS BINGO + TRIVIA: DEC. 5

Mondays aren't so bad when you spend them at the Ace. Join drag queen Bella da Ball for a laugh-out-loud evening at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. The night kicks off with bingo at the hotel's King's Highway diner and wraps up with trivia in the Amigo Room bar.

TUESDAY NIGHT ROCK SHOW: DEC. 6

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio launches a brand-new rock show series, with live music every Tuesday night at Lit, the newly renovated bar and lounge. Don’t miss the inaugural night, featuring local band HWY 111, who will cover favorites from Van Halen and Metallica to Sublime.

ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914: DEC. 6

This musical at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert draws on snippets of real-life diary entries, documents, and letters to capture the World War I Christmas when Allied and German forces put fighting on hold to celebrate together.

FUN HOME: DEC. 6–18

Coachella Valley Repertory puts on Lisa Kron’s theatrical adaptation of an autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. The Tony winner is the first Broadway musical with a lesbian protagonist.

CATHEDRAL CITY TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY: DEC. 7

Celebrate the most wonderful time of year at Civic Center Plaza from 5 to 7 p.m. as Mayor Ernesto Guttierez illuminates the city tree. The event includes a performance by the Cathedral City High School choir and the unveiling of North Pole Village, a strip of holiday-inspired backdrops for the perfect seasonal selfie.

NATURE WALK AT BLIXSETH PARK: DEC. 7

This half-mile, docent-led stroll welcomes walkers (and their pups) to learn about the native flora and fauna of the desert at Blixseth Park in Rancho Mirage.

MIXED FEELINGS: DEC. 8

Palm Springs Art Museum hosts back-to-back evening lectures on a pair of topics: “2nd Wave Feminist Art” and “The Origins of Life” with speakers Mara Gladstone, deputy director and head of programs at Desert X, and Timothy Lyons, distinguished professor of biogeochemistry in the department of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Riverside.

GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST: DEC. 8–11

In its first post-pandemic performance, Joshua Tree Philharmonic presents classic and contemporary music selections for the whole family at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center in Joshua Tree.

Palm Springs Portrait Project

Jackie Thomas and Dee Ann McCoy owners of ThomBoy Properties, pose for the Portrait Project in their backyard in Palm Springs.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ANTHONY-MASTERSON

PS PORTRAIT PROJECT OPENING RECEPTION: DEC. 8

Husband-and-wife photography team Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony set out to capture the essence of Palm Springs through a series of vibrant portraits. View the exhibition on its opening night at Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert as you mingle with the photographers and some of their glam subjects. 

PAUL MCDONALD LI’L BIG BAND: DEC. 8

Vocalists Jay Jackson and Hope Diamond join Paul McDonald’s 10-piece band at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs for soulful songs with holiday spirit.

THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER: DEC. 9

Say g’day to Australia’s hottest hunks. This male revue’s chiseled charmers delight audience members at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage with interactive dance routines.

THE STORM LARGE HOLIDAY ORDEAL: DEC. 9

Pink Martini vocalist Storm Large nearly quit music in 2002, but she picked up the mic again at the urging of friends in Portland. See the feisty cabaret artist at the McCallum Theatre. 

YOUNG EINSTEIN: DEC. 9

This all-vinyl DJ set at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs finds influence in Young Einstein’s love of funk, hip hop, and soul.

DO NOT REMOVE LABEL: DEC. 9–11

Desert Ensemble Theatre in Palm Springs presents the world premiere of Jerome Elliot Moskowitz’s holiday play, which centers around mother and son Tammy and Tommy as they face an ill-timed visit from the FBI during Hanukkah.

OFFICIAL LATINO FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL: DEC. 9–11

This three-day festival, now in its eight year, is the first to focus primarily on U.S. Latinx filmmakers. Over 100 films showcasing more than 200 Latinx actors will be shown at the Annenberg Theater at Palm Springs Art Museum. (The majority of films will be presented in English.) The weekend also features a closing reception and will culminate with an awards ceremony in the theater.

WHITE CHRISTMAS: DEC. 9–23

A song-and-dance duo follow a pair of singing sisters to snowy Vermont in this romantic musical version of the 1954 classic film. Hum along at Desert TheatreWorks in Indio.

CLUEDUPP: ALICE IN WONDERLAND: DEC. 10

Chase curious clues across a topsy-turvy version of Indio in this virtual game inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Grab a few of your favorite people to play, navigating the city with a smart phone app.

CHEAP TRICK: DEC. 10

The fervor that rock band Cheap Trick caused in Japan in 1978 has been compared to Beatlemania. The “I Want You to Want Me” singers perform at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: DEC. 10

Head to the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater at Rancho Mirage Community Park for the city’s kickoff event of the holiday season, an open-air production featuring talented local entertainers and musicians from Desert Theatricals.

LIGHT UP FOR LOVE COMMUNITY CANDLELIGHT VIGIL: DEC. 10

Local nonprofit Ronnie’s House for Hope stands by its mission to provide free grief support for community members with this evening of remembrance at Palm Desert Civic Center Park.

MARGARITAVILLE RUN: DEC. 10

Sprint or stroll toward the finish line in this charity 5K at Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs, where you’ll find Jimmy Buffet–themed swag and a post-run concert.

SECOND SATURDAYS: DEC. 10

This free concert series in downtown Indio happens in a safe, fenced-in “outdoor living room” off Smurr Street, Miles Avenue, and Indio Boulevard. Enjoy family activities, local food and craft beer vendors, and two featured bands: Tom Kenny & The Hi Seas and Salton City Surf Club. Bring your own lawn chairs.

SEE SANTA AT THE RIVER: DEC. 10

Old St. Nick and his elves will touch down at The River at Rancho Mirage from 3 to 6 p.m. for an afternoon photo-op, a raffle supporting Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City, and a DJ.

YOGA WITH A RANGER: DEC. 10

A Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument ranger leads a beginner-friendly flow filled with tree- and animal-inspired poses at the visitor center.

STARS: A GALAXY OF SONG: DEC. 10–11

Modern Men: Coachella Valley Men’s Chorus brings a musical repertoire inspired by the stars to Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs. Expect numbers from such composers as Morton Lauridsen, Carol Bayer Sager, David Dickau.

THE TEN TENORS: DEC. 10–11

Australian classical-crossover supergroup The TEN Tenors returns to the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert for a holiday show with fun twists on favorites like “Feliz Navidad” and “Winter Wonderland,” all sung in gorgeous 10-part harmonies.

WHITE CHRISTMAS: DEC. 10–22

Local actors at Desert TheaterWorks in Indio present the musical stage adaptation of the beloved 1954 holiday film. White Christmas is a family-friendly holiday show bursting with cheerful dancing, treasured tunes and a generous helping of yuletide cheer.

 


HAPPENING ALL WEEK

 

BEN STEELE: THROUGH DEC. 9

Everyday objects meld with the fantastical worlds of films like The Wizard of Oz in Ben Steele’s exhibition at Coda Gallery in Palm Desert. 

JOSÉ SARRIA POP-UP MUSEUM: THROUGH DEC. 14

Palm Springs’ Welwood Murray Memorial Library celebrates the 100th birthday of the late drag queen and activist José Sarria with documentary screenings and an exhibition.

DAVID DORNAN: THROUGH DEC. 16

Stop by Coda Gallery in Palm Desert to browse David Dornan’s photorealistic paintings of flowers, oilcans, and other subjects, which take on new depth under his observant eye. 

GONZO MUNDANE: THROUGH DEC. 18

Check out Matt Wesson’s knack for capturing the strangeness and charm of life in photos in his exhibition at Compound Yucca Valley.

PALM SPRINGS GETAWAY: THROUGH DEC. 18

It’s always sunny in Palm Springs! Local actors portray beloved icons and celebrities from the city’s history in this high-energy musical at Palm Canyon Theatre in Palm Springs. 

HOLIDAY SQUARES POP-UP STORE: THROUGH DEC. 23

Shop for every art lover on your list at the Artists Center at The Galen in Palm Desert, where the Artists Councilvends 8-inch canvases, ceramics, and other gifts.

Beyond Van Gogh Palm Springs

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY BEYOND VAN GOGH
BEYOND VAN GOGH: THROUGH DEC. 27

Step inside 300 famous Van Gogh artworks at this immersive exhibition at the Empire Polo Club in Indio that projects the artist’s paintings on the walls and floor. It was so popular, event producers extended the exhibition by a month.

WILDLIGHTS: THROUGH DEC. 30

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardensin Palm Desert twinkles by night with holiday light displays. Grab a hot chocolate and snap a photo with Santa.

BOXO10X10: THROUGH DEC. 31

High Desert arts initiative BoxoPROJECTS celebrates its residency program’s 10th year with an exhibition of 10 artists’ work.

OUTBURST PROJECTS: THROUGH JAN. 29

Five artists draw upon their cultural histories to create evocative pieces, from woven artwork to cyborg-like sculpted monsters, as part of this residency program at Palm Springs Art Museum.

PETRA CORTRIGHT: THROUGH MAR. 26

The Santa Barbara–born artist known for self-portrait videos composes “paintings” with internet imagery in this exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum.

LIGHT + CHANGE: THROUGH MAY 21

Palm Desert resident Phillip K. Smith III fills four galleries at Palm Springs Art Museum with installations inspired by the desert’s unique quality of light.

A PLACE AT THE TABLE: THROUGH JUNE 4

View the formal table settings that the Annenbergs set out to entertain presidents and royals at Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Rancho Mirage.

AMERICAN FRAMING: THROUGH JULY 2

The Architecture and Design Center in Palm Springs brings attention to the subtle architectural genius of wood framing through models, photos, furniture, and a full-scale structure.

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