Top 10 Free Activities in Palm Desert

High culture or haute couture? Invigorating hike or interesting history? No matter how you choose to spend your day, you can leave your wallet at home – because these Palm Desert activities don’t cost a dime.

Fire Works

  1. Concerts in the Park.  Head to Civic Center Park for a family-friendly night of exciting live music. Held under the stars, this is the perfect place to hold a picnic or just snuggle under a blanket.
  2. Window Shopping.  Head down to El Paseo for a major dose of high fashion – after all, you don’t have to buy a thing to have a good time. Browse big-name designers, take a free spin on the Courtesy Cart and leave with your bank account intact.
  3. 4th of July Fireworks.  What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a warm night under the stars and an incredible pyrotechnics display? Head down to Civic Center Park with a blanket or chairs and enjoy an awe-inspiring display of fireworks.
  4. El Paseo Art Walk.  Enjoy high art for a low price – free, that is – at the El Paseo Art Walk, held on the first Friday of each month in the renowned El Paseo shopping district, all part of Palm Desert's First Weekend.
  5. Head out for a Hike.  The Palm Desert area offers dozens of established hiking trails ranging from the novice to the extreme – and many of them are in easy-to-reach no-fee zones. So lace up your shoes, grab a friend and work up an appetite!
  6. Palm Desert Historical Society.  Go back to the early days of this desert city at the Palm Desert Historical Society, where you can trace the town from a few humble homes in the 1930s to a vibrant resort destination today – all for free.
  7. Stand on the San Andreas Fault.  Visit the Coachella Valley Preserve for a chance to set foot on one of the most infamous earthquake centers in the world – the San Andreas Fault. Plus, this beautiful nature preserve is full of stunning palm groves and other scenic treats.
  8. Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.  Take a short trip south on Highway 74 for a visit to this scenic national monument – and don’t miss their engaging and educating visitor center.
  9. Public Parks.  Palm Desert is home to a great variety of public spaces, including Civic Center Park, Eric Johnson Memorial Gardens and many others. From playgrounds to skate parks, picnic areas to pickup games, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend a day in the sun.
  10. Public Art.  For a free look at Palm Desert’s expansive art scene, start with a docent-led public art tour, held on the second Saturday of each month through December, then switching to the first Saturday of the month in January, as part of First Weekend Palm Desert. See the events calendar for details on this month’s event.

For even more recommendations of things to do in Palm Desert, visit us at the Palm Desert Visitor Center.