59 Things to Do in Greater Palm Springs in April
Coachella, Desert X, and Smokey Robinson top the list of events in the Coachella Valley this month.
Coachella Music and Arts Festival descends on the valley for two weekends in April.
PHOTO COURTESY VISIT GREATER PALM SPRINGS
COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL
April 14–16 & 21–23
Vivid art installations. Neon-hued outfits. The prismatic tower, “Spectra,” casting its glow over the Empire Polo Club. Now in its 24th year, the Coachella Music Valley Music and Arts Festival has always been colorful — but the team behind the event’s Queer+ program is bringing even more rainbows to the lauded music festival.
Launched in 2022, Queer+ offers a most-expenses-paid experience for an annual cohort of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) members of the LGBTQ+ community, selected from a pool of applicants from throughout Southern California. In addition to free VIP admission, the participants, called Q+ampers, have a special campsite for the weekend, plus the opportunity to connect with queer and BIPOC organizers and performers.
Over the course of the fest, Q+ampers meet in community-building circles to reflect upon their experiences. A collaborative mural project is in the works for 2023. “We’re living out loud and in color so people can see that authenticity, and they can recognize that there’s space for them to be authentic themselves,” Queer+ organizer PrincexXx Navi said in a video shared by the festival.
Beyond expanding festival access for its Q+ampers, the program offers a gathering space for all BIPOC LGBTQ+ attendees called HeadQ+uarters (you’ll know it by the rainbow banner). Visitors to the on-site tent can participate in archival art projects, meet other queer folks, and add a little glitter to their Coachella looks. “Here, I’m just free,” said Courage, a 2022 Queer+ participant. “And it’s amazing.”
April 1 / A surprise guest joins Marvyn’s Magic Theater producer Jeff Hobson at the venue for an evening of spectacular sleight-of-hand. Hobson counts a seven-year tenure with The Illusionists among his accomplishments.
EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY OF SCORPIONS
April 1 / This lecture at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center in Palm Desert traces scorpions’ 450-million-year journey from aquatic critters to the resilient desert dwellers we know today.
April 1 / Performer Chris Botti traded his senior year of high school for an early start at community college in Portland with evenings spent playing trumpet at nightclubs. The jazz maven’s efforts delivered — he’s now America’s bestselling instrumental artist. See him at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.
April 1 / The King of Queens star returns to his stand-up roots at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage. Now an Emmy winner, Kevin James cut his teeth at Long Island comedy clubs.
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
April 2 / La La Land’s notably innovative orchestra plays selections from Tchaikovsky and Sibelius at the McCallum Theatre.
April 2 / Enjoy a free, alfresco concert as part of Palm Desert Civic Center Park’s Sunday Sounds series. This month, guitarist Michael Gagliardi strums his way through a romantic, Spanish-inspired playlist.
April 2 / Known for his biographies on changemakers including Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs, historian Walter Isaacson lectures at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells.
PALM SPRINGS VINTAGE MARKET
April 2 / From perfectly worn-in band tees to mid-mod TV stands, a plethora of retro finds are yours to discover at this monthly market at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.
OPERA IN THE PARK
April 2 / Pack a picnic and head to Sunrise Park in Palm Springs for an afternoon of classic opera arias sung by six virtuoso artists at this free open-air concert.
April 5 / Comedy Central viewers placed Craig Shoemaker’s special among the network’s top shows of all time. The actor and stand-up star performs at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta.
BEE GEES GOLD
April 5 / “You Should Be Dancing” at the Downtown Palm Springs Park from the moment this Disco Kings cover band takes the stage for a free outdoor show.
PAINT NIGHT AT THE BREWERY
April 5 / Sip locally crafted ales, porters, and IPAs at La Quinta Brewing Co.’s Palm Desert taproom while creating a gallery-worthy painting.
DESERT ARC GOLF CLASSIC
April 6 / Tee up to help create employment opportunities for people with disabilities. This amateur tournament at Eagle Falls Golf Course in Indio includes a barbecue and shotgun scramble.
John Mayer plays the Acrisure Arena on April 6.
PHOTO COURTESY ACRISURE ARENA
April 6 / The soulful singer-songwriter makes a stop at Acrisure Arena in Thousand Palms for a one-man acoustical show, featuring old favorites and a variety of new jams.
April 6–8 / Take your seat at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta to witness the mind-blowing illusions that nabbed Naathan Phan the $10,000 prize on the Syfy reality showWizard Wars.
April 7 / In the YouTube series My Death Co., Jon Huck plays a recently deceased man bumbling his way through a new job as the Grim Reaper — but his stand-up show at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs promises to be nothing less than lively.
FIRST FRIDAY EL PASEO
April 7 / Activities along El Paseo in Palm Desert delight revelers of every stripe on the first Friday of each month. Aesthetes might explore the street’s galleries in a self-guided art walk, while gearheads enjoy the classic car show and melophiles jam to live music. This neighborhood block party is free!
Magician Michael Carbonaro will pull some of his famous tricks on April 7.
PHOTO COURTESY AGUA CALIENTE CASINO
April 7 / Usually, Michael Carbonaro’s fans are in on his tricks — they get to watch the magic happen to strangers on his hidden camera prank show, The Carbonaro Effect. Head to his performance at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage to be the one boggled by Carbonaro’s illusions.
GINA SCHOCK BOOK SIGNING
April 8 / Meet The Go-Go’s drummer Gina Schock at her photography exhibition and book signing at Rubine Red Gallery in Palm Springs.
TORTOISE TALK & WALK
April 8 / Take a 2-mile trek from the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center in Palm Desert in search of the illusive desert tortoise. Whether or not you spot a wild one, you’ll learn tortoise tidbits along the way.
Motown legend Smokey Robinson plays Agua Caliente Rancho Mirage on April 8.
PHOTO BY CRAIG HUNTER ROSS
April 8 / The former frontman of The Miracles and the mind behind some of The Temptations’ and Marvin Gaye’s top tracks appears at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage.
KIC FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT
April 8 / Proceeds from this amateur tournament and silent auction at Classic Club in Palm Desert help provide counseling and support for youth in Indio.
April 8 / Fresh off the 2022 release of her memoir, Who Do I Think I Am?,
comedian Anjelah Johnson-Reyes stops by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio for a stand-up show.
GUINNESS WORLD RECORD CAR PARADE
April 8 / Celebrate the 85th anniversary of Palm Springs with a motorcade featuring celebrity guests driving cars representing every year from 1938 (when the city was founded) to present day. The event will compete for a Guinness World Record.
April 11 / Tribute band Eaglemania transforms the McCallum into Hotel California with renditions of the Eagles’ greatest hits. You won’t want to leave!
April 13 / The guitarist takes audience members at La Quinta’s Old Town Artisan Studio on a musical journey through Spanish and Latin American tunes penned for the nylon string guitar.
April 13–15 / Masters of Illusion alum Levent shows off his knack for comedy magic at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta.
JIMMY DELLA VALLE
April 14 / You might recognize actor and comedian Jimmy Della Valle from guest spots on The Sopranos and Sex and the City. He cracks jokes at Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs.
April 14–16 / Now in its 25th year, this Irish dance extravaganza celebrates nature, human connection, and the history and mythology of the Emerald Isle. See it at the McCallum.
JO KOY & FRIENDS
April 14–16 / Jokester Jo Koy — who nabbed the Just for Laughs Festival’s prestigious Comedian of the Year Award in 2018 — appears with other comics at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage.
April 15 / Cantopop artist Vivian Chow once took a five-year hiatus from the entertainment industry, using her time to paint award-winning canvases. The multitalented artist sings her hits at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.
OPEN MIC NIGHT
April 17 / Singers, storytellers, comics, and composers can flex their skills — and grab food truck eats — at Old Town Artisan Studio’s monthly open-mic night in La Quinta.
April 19 / Prepare to be hypnotized — perhaps literally — by Ron Stubbs, who compels Marvyn’s Magic Theater guests with improvisational comedy and his astonishing power of suggestion.
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK
April 19 / Jane Fonda and Robert Redford star as newlyweds on an ill-fated double date in this 1967 romantic comedy, screening outdoors at the Downtown Palm Springs Park.
April 20–22 / Performer David Kovac juggles breathtaking magic tricks, comedic monologues, and, well, actual juggling onstage at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta.
OPEN CALL TALENT PROJECT
April 21–23 / Vote for your favorite local entertainer
in this annual talent competition at the McCallum Theatre featuring singers, dancers, and other performers of all ages.
BAMBOO & KZ TANDINGAN
April 22 / Bamboo Mañalac, known as the “Prince of Philippine Rock,” commands the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino stage along with The X Factor Philippines Season 1 winner KZ Tandingan.
April 23 / Hear the songs that make the whole world sing. The Coachella Valley Men’s Chorus serenades audiences at Palm Springs Cultural Center with a selection of Barry Manilow’s top tunes.
JOURNEY & TOTO
April 25 / “Africa” rockers Toto join Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Journey onstage at Acrisure Arena in Thousand Palms. Journey’s 1981 hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” is iTunes’ top-selling 20th-century track.
April 27–29 / Matt Marcy’s acumen for illusions has drawn audiences to more than 1,000 shows at the Magic Castle — and a few at Marvyn’s Magic Theater in La Quinta.
April 28 / The regional Mexican band Grupo Laberinto shares its dance-ready sound with showgoers at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
April 28–30 / Vivacious villains and divas with a dark side — from Eva Peron to The Little Mermaid’s Ursula — are the focus of this show at the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Annenberg Theater. Broadway star Sharon McKnight sings alongside the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus.
STAGECOACH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
April 28–30 / Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, and Chris Stapleton headline the world’s largest country-music fest at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Other lineup standouts include blues legends ZZ Top and Melissa Etheridge.
JOSHUA TREE 55
April 28 / This sixth annual cycling event starts and ends at Knott Sky Park in Twentynine Palms and takes cyclists on a 55-mile course that winds through Joshua Tree National Park and past natural wonders including Skull Rock and Keys View.
PARK HYUN BIN
April 29 / Fantasy Springs Resort Casino welcomes one of the most prominent performers of trot, a Korean music genre characterized by two-beat rhythms (like the foxtrot dance after which it was named).
Desert X sculptures like Matt Johnson's "Sleeping Figure" are on display until May 7.
PHOTO BY LANCE GERBER
Through May 7 / Check out the installation map online to explore this valleywide exhibition that features massive-scale, site-specific works by artists from around the world.
PHILLIP K. SMITH III
Through May 7 / Palm Desert resident Phillip K. Smith III fills four galleries at Palm Springs Art Museum with objects and installations inspired by the unique quality of light in the California desert.
Through July 2 / The Architecture and Design Center in Palm Springs brings attention to the subtle architectural genius of wood framing.
Through July 16 / In Palm Springs Art Museum show, Tajh Rust presents portraits of Black individuals from Brazil, Senegal, and New York, inviting viewers to wonder what emotions prompt the subjects’ expressions.
DESERT MOUNTAINS ART FAIRE
April 1 / Discover photos, paintings, pottery, and more at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center.
April 7–21 / Visitors to Coda Gallery will be inspired to hit the nearest pool after viewing Michael Steirnagle’s abstract impressionist paintings depicting swimmers, sunbathers, and partiers.
ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE
Through April 2 / Calling all Parrotheads! Hum along to your favorite Jimmy Buffet tunes at this musical at Desert TheatreWorks in Indio.
HAND TO GOD
Through April 9 / This dark comedy at the Coachella Valley Repertory in Cathedral Citycenters around an introverted teen boy and his possessed sock puppet.
COME FROM AWAY
April 4–9 / Based on a true story, this musical at the McCallum recalls the time a small town in Newfoundland unexpectedly hosted 7,000 stranded air travelers.
April 7–23 / Palm Springs’ Palm Canyon Theatre presents the musical version of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 1800s novel.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
April 14–16 / See the Bible-inspired musical, penned by Tom Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, in the park at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater.
April 14–16, 21–23 / Set at a comic convention, this production at Desert Ensemble Theatre in Palm Springs follows a cosplayer’s attempts to deliver a message to the star of his favorite show.
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
April 14–30 / As the title suggests, Murphy’s law is alive and well in Desert TheatreWorks’ rendition of the Tony-winning play. Expect collapsing floors, misplaced props, and a suspiciously lively corpse.
For even more things to do, visit our Calendar of Events.