By Denise Ortuno Neil
It’s The Palm Springs Locals favorite time of year! Halloween brings the desert cooler weather, pumpkins, costumes and all kinds of thrills and chills! It’s the holiday when everyone can cut loose, dress up in a costume and be a kid again, or at least act like one. The Coachella Valley is bursting with all kinds of ways to celebrate this spectacularly spooky time of year. So get ready to get your scare on, and have some Halloween fun in the Coachella Valley!
Idyllwild Haunted Hotel/Ghost Town- Admittedly, Idyllwild is not in the Coachella Valley per say, but it is a beautiful and well regarded fun mountain get-away from the desert floor (only 35 minutes or so). The adorable mountain village boasts Halloween themed fun through the month of October, that has been procuring screams for well over a decade. The Ghost Town is located by town hall, where a temporary structure is erected by a multitude of volunteers who bring their talents to the project that benefits local youth in Idyllwild, “It really brings the community together”, says event rep, Nathan Dejarnette.
The Haunted Hotel and Ghost Town produces chilling fun for guests as they meander through different themed rooms such as the Doll Room and Spider Suite, among other creepy living nightmares. The ghostly fun runs from 7pm to 10pm every Friday and Saturday night through October and of course on Halloween. Tickets are $8 per person for a single entrance and $10 for all of you hard core freaks who want to enter more than once. For more information and tickets visit www.idyllwildghosttown.org.
Escape Room Palm Springs- For a unique, interactive experience, Escape Room Palm Springs is the place to be. This year round attraction is the only one of its kind in the Coachella Valley, bringing thrills and chills, while highlighting survival and competitive instincts.
Opened since February 2016, Escape Room Palm Springs is the creation of computer and game savvy, Mark and Dominique Fruchtman. The concept is to bring a group of people together in a themed room, give them clues to decipher a puzzle, so they can escape the room in an allotted amount of time. Twisted fun! There are four different rooms, the Saw Room (inspired by the horror film, for adult ages 18 and up), the Dark Shadows Room ( help a vampire back to his coffin before dawn), the Mystery Room ( Da Vinci Code meets the Twilight Zone) and the Titanic Room ( find the key before the ship sinks). The rooms are described as walking onto a movie set.
As a special for Halloween for the month of October, the Saw Room is modified into a "Scary Saw Room" where something or someone may be lurking in what is usually an actor/staff free zone. Extra twisted!
Escape Room Palm Springs is opened Tuesday through Friday nights from 6pm to 9:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 9:30. Tickets are $30 per person. It is great for families, friends, couples, and even business groups. The attraction ups the ante in Coachella Valley amusement for not only Halloween, but all year round.
For more information and tickets visit www.EscapePS.com or call 760-779-8888 for private parties.
Big Horse Carriages Haunted Carriage Rides- Give yourself up to the Halloween spirit with a tour of downtown Palm Springs in a horse drawn carriage. Clippety-clopp your way into haunted tales of Palm Springs with your ghostly guide. Tours run from 8-10pm every weekend through October. Reservations are suggested as space is limited to the living……muah, ah, ah. For more information call 760-660-8860 or visit www.bighorsecarriageco.com
Halloween Carnival & Pumpkin Patch- Light hearted spooky Halloween carnival fun for the whole family awaits you at this community event. Enjoy free trick or treating, carnival rides, games, haunted house, hay maze, beer garden and much more! The event takes place at the Westfield Shopping Mall in Palm Desert on October 14-16 and 20-23. The carnival opens at 5pm on Fridays and 11am on Saturday and Sunday, a minimal entrance fee is required. For more information visit www.facebook.com/HalloweenCarnivalandPumpkinPatch .
Elvira’s Congo Room Halloween Party- Hang out with the original “Mistress of the Dark” at the hip and historic Congo Room inside the Caliente Tropics Resort in Palm Springs on Wednesday, October 26th from 6pm-9pm! Wear your best Elvira costume and compete in the costume contest! DJ entertainment and drink specials plus photo opts with the “Mistress” will make this a great Halloween celebration. Tickets are $10. For more information call 760-322-7353.
Village Fest Halloween- The weekly Palm Springs Village Fest gets a bit ghoulish on Thursday, October 27th from 6pm to 10pm in downtown Palm Springs. Bring the kiddies down for trick or treating with vendors, face painting, crafts and so much more including a Haunted Bus provided by Sunline Transit. Get there early before the candy runs out! Entrance to the Village Fest is Free! For more information visit www.villagefest.org .
Boo!Seum- Dress up in a costume and have goofy fun, at the not-so-spooky kid friendly Halloween event at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert in Rancho Mirage on Saturday, October 29th from 1pm to 4pm. Kids can sticker treat (a candy alternative), play games, do a scavenger hunt, participate in a costume parade and do science experiments in the Haunted Lab! Great interactive fun for kids! Admission is $9.95 per person. Pumpkin Carving is available for an additional $10 (registration required for the pumpkin carving only). For more information visit www.cdmod.org .
2016 Halloween Harvest Festival- Do some safe-o-treating at this family friendly event in Palm Springs at the Pavilion Parking area at Sunrise Park on Saturday, October 29th from 6pm to 10pm. Enjoy live DJ music, carnival booths, games, refreshments and more! Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and up, and $3 for kids 4 to 12. Game tickets are .25 each or 5 for $1. For more information call 760-323-8272.
BB’s Halloweekend Bash-It is the deserts biggest Halloween bash hands down! The event takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Palm Springs. Get ready for a party with 3 dance floors, a pool area, 6 huge rooms of entertainment, DJ’s and live bands. And as if one night of scantily clad costumed men and women wasn’t enough, BB has extended the festivities of hot Halloween Hedonism to 2 nights…Friday, October 28th AND Saturday, October 29st….from 8:30pm to 2am both nights. For tickets and more information visit www.partywithBB.com
Halloween on Arenas- Halloween comes alive at this annual celebration on Arenas Road in downtown Palm Springs on Saturday, October 29th from 6pm to 10pm! Revel in live entertainment with performers, Kristine W., Keisha D., Marina Mac and many more. Enter to win up to $1000 in cash and prizes at their costume contest. A $5 donation is suggested for the event and VIP tickets are available for $60 which include a hosted bar featuring Kettle One vodka, microbrew tastings and a gift bag. The event benefits the Desert Aids Project, Greater Palm Springs Pride, LGBT Community of the Desert and the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. For more information and VIP tickets visit www.halloweenpalmsprings.com .
Terror Fest- The Date Shed in Indio presents Terror Fest on Saturday, October 29th from 8pm to 2am! The event takes guests to the brink of terror with 5 stages of music, live art and visuals, The Path of Terror and the Haunted Spirits Garden! Food trucks will deliver gruesome goodies. Tickets are $15/$20. Visit www.dateshedmusic.com for pre-sale tickets and more information.
Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade- Now you might be asking, what is Halloween-ish about golf carts? Well, usually nothing, unless you’re talking about scary drivers…Ha! But this year’s theme put the parade in the running as it will be, “Golf Carts, Ghosts & Glitter”. The 52nd Annual Golf Cart Parade rolls down swanky El Paseo in Palm Desert on Sunday, October 30th. It is a yearly craved event by locals and visitors alike. Watch decorated golf carts sponsored by local businesses and organizations blaze by at a snail’s pace, while enjoying vendors, Kids Zone and the beauty of El Paseo. The event is Free to enter, and the vendor’s booths open at 9am with the parade starting at 12pm. For more information visit www.golfcartparade.com .
Living Deserts Howl-o-Ween- Have a Halloween adventure with your family at the wondrous Living Desert Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Palm Desert on Sunday, October 30th from 10am to 2pm & on Monday, October 31st from 6pm to 8:30pm. Dress in your favorite costume! Kids 12 and under will receive a trick or treat bag to stroll down the trail to collect candy from the many treat stations. Fun includes, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin decorating, face painting, a monster maze, live entertainment and animal encounters with Living Desert Zookeepers. Tickets are $10 per person, members are Free. For more information visit www.livingdesert.org.
There you have it, a variety of ways to enjoy the Halloween season in the Coachella Valley. Choose one, or choose them all, there is something for everyone!! But whatever you do, have an awesomely spookalicious time and get more treats than tricks. Boo!!