Things to do in Palm Springs in May

The festival season is behind us and the snow birds are headed north. But hey, that doesn’t mean Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley has gone into summer hibernation. The temps still are under 120 – which is nice – and there are plenty of concerts, fests, and events happening in May.

Films on the Great Lawn | Starts May 3

Sunnylands’ popular Films on the Great Lawn series resumes in May with a trio of animated classics from Pixar. Admission to the outdoor movies, presented in partnership with the Palm Springs International Film Festival, is free.  Here’s the schedule:

  • May 3: A Bug’s Life
  • May 10: Monster’s Inc.
  •  May 17: Ratatouille

All movies start at 8 pm at Sunnylands Center & Gardens.  You’re invited to  bring lawn chairs, blankets, and small picnics – but don’t bring booze or your pets

Get more info here.

Kentucky Derby – May 4

360 Sports Bar at Agua Caliente Casino

Yes, we are aware that the Run for the Roses is not taking place in the Coachella Valley – but, we do have a list of the spots where you can watch while placing a bet or enjoying a mint julep or two here.

Cinco de Mayo – May 5

There are plenty of things going on this year for Cinco de Mayo in the Coachella Valley. We have a list of them over here and, if you are planning on enjoying a margarita or two, plan on taking an Uber or Lyft.

Suavecito Sundays | Starts May 5

The city of Coachella will have free concerts at Veterans Memorial Park each Sunday in May starting at 6 pm – with the first scheduled for May 5.  You can also enjoy car shows, lawn games, a bounce house, art exhibits and more.

Here is the complete lineup of performers:

  • May 5: Orquesta Bonko (Salsa & Cumbia)
  • May 12: Mariachi Nueveo San Diego (Mariachi)
  • May 19: Nacho Bustillos (Ranchera & Cumbia)
  • May 26: Bohemio (Cumbia, Tex-Mex, & Rock en Español

Get more info here.

Shen Yun | May 9 – 11

The performance of music and dance takes you on a journey through 5,000 years of authentic Chinese culture – with four total shows over three days at the McCacllum Theatre in Palm Desert.

Get more info here.

Mother’s Day | May 12

You should tell your mom you love her everyday, but on this day you also should take her out for a nice brunch. We have a list of the best breakfast spots in the Coachella Valley to help you pick a good spot for her.

Joshua Tree Music Festival | May 16 – 19

Joshua Tree Music Festival (Facebook)

The Hi-Desert fest includes headliners Dynohunter, Vintage Trouble, and Oliver Koletzki – with artists performing on two stages.  There’s also food, large-scale art installations, yoga sessions, healing workshops, and even some activities for kids. You can head out for the day or camp out for the entire weekend.

Get more info here.

Willie Nelson – May 18

The Red Headed Stranger performs an 8 pm concert at the Show at Agua Caliente.  Update: This show has sold out.

Get more info here.

Morongo Taco Festival – May 18

Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Cabazon is home to the fest which will feature, you guessed it, tacos! The event will run from 11 am to 6 pm. Getting into the festival costs $10 per person, after that, every taco is just two bucks. In addition to the food, the event will feature ​Lucha Libre wrestling, live music, and a competition for the best taco at the fest.

Get more info here.

Hollywood Vampires | May 18

Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, and (I am totally serious about this) Johnny Depp take their band into Indio to perform at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.  Tickets start at $50.

Get more info here.

Lavender Festival | Starts May 23

Lavender Festival

The 15th annual festival in Cherry Valley runs May 23 – June 30.  In addition to the lavender field photo opps and tours, there’s also food, live music, and shopping.

Get more info here.

Matisyahu | May 24

Rhythm, Wine, and Brews

Pappy + Harriet’s in Pioneertown is always a cool place to see a show and Matisyahu always puts on a good one.  Tickets are $40 for the 8 pm show.

Get more info here.

Maxwell – May 24

The “sexy ambassador of soul” heads into Fantasy Springs Casino to kick off Memorial Day Weekend with a Friday night, 8 pm show. Tickers run $59 to $99.

Get more info here.

Joan Jett & Elle King | May 26

It’s a Sunday night – but, it’s Memorial Day Weekend, so feel free to rock out to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts with special guest Elle King – who will perform an 8 pm show at Fantasy Springs.  Getting in starts at $49.

Get more info here.

Memorial Day Flower Drop | May 27

Memorial Day Flower Drop Palm Springs
(Palm Springs Air Museum)

The Palm Springs Air Museum will host their annual Memorial Day services to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country as well as their loved ones. Events include a fly-by and flower drop of over 3,000 red and white carnations from B-25 Mitchell bomber, live music, flight exhibitions, a beer garden, and food booths – including the In-N-Out Burger truck.

Get more info here.

George Lopez | May 31

The actor and comedian will bring his “Wall World Tour” to the Special Events Center at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio – with tickets running $59 to $99.

Get more info here.

Rodney Carrington | May 31

The country comic heads to the Show at Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage.  Getting in to the 8 pm show starts at $35.

Get more info here.

Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week | Starts May 31

The annual event is running for less days this year and has more than 100 area restaurants offering “special values” for lunch and dinner.  But really, as locals, isn’t every week Palm Springs Restaurant Week?

Get more info here.

Have a great May in Palm Springs!