2018 brings an assortment of world-class events to the Inland Empire. So, for you westsiders, head east for the very best in food, fun, and festivals including the chance to hot air balloon over SoCal, world-class music in the desert, county fair fun, and so much more.
March 23-25, 2018

(Credit: Tiffany L Clark)

Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival
Agua Caliente Casino
32-250 Bob Hope Dr.
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Top Chef celebs and beloved culinary greats Gail Simmons, Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, and Valerie Gordon are among the headlining personalities at this year’s Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival. The three-day event features a posh, multi-course luncheon supporting the James Beard Foundation as well as two full days of live cooking demos, cookbook signings, and unlimited food and wine tastings.
April 8, 2018

(Credit: Inland Empire Walk for Kids)

Inland Empire Walk for Kids
Fontana Park
15556 Summit Ave.
Fontana, CA 92336
For a feel-good event with heart, IE residents should mark their calendars for April’s 9th annual Inland Empire Walk for Kids fundraiser that helps to raise funds for the Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House, a “home away from home” for critically ill children and their families. 100% of the funds raised directly benefit families in the community. The Walk aims to raise $250K this year from the event which includes a Kids’ Zone, Walker’s Village, and Main Stage with live entertainment and giveaways.
April 13-15, 20-22, 2018

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Coachella)

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Empire Polo Club
81-800 Avenue 51
Indio, CA 92201
Southern California’s premiere music festival returns to the Coachella Valley for two weekends this year with headlining music onstage from The Weekend, Beyonce, and Eminem. Festival passes include access to dozens of artists, the sculpture gardens, and epic food and drinks.
April 27-29, 2018

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Stagecoach)

Stagecoach Festival
Empire Polo Club
81-800 Avenue 51
Indio, CA 92201
Stagecoach Festival, an outdoor country music festival for all ages, takes place this April at Empire Polo Club in Indio. The 2018 three-day festival is headlined by Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, and Florida Georgia Line. Kids 10 and under are free.
May 5-6, 2018

(Credit: Britt Dietz)

Planes of Fame Air Show
Planes of Fame Air Museum
14998 Cal Aero Dr.
Chino, CA 91710
The Planes of Fame Air Museum will present the Planes of Fame Air Show featuring over 40 historic aircraft, including P-47 Thunderbolts, P-38 Lightnings, and P-51 Mustangs. Specialty performers include the A-10 Thunderbolt and Heritage Flight, the world’s fastest piston engine aircraft (P-51 Mustang Voodoo), Korean & Vietnam Flight Displays, Sanders Sea Fury Aerobatics, and many more. A special Veteran panel discussion as well as a Kids Zone, static displays, and food & vendors round out the event.
May 17-20, 2018

(credit: kesterhu/Shuterstock)

Joshua Tree Music Festival
Joshua Tree Lake Campground
2601 Sunfair Road
Joshua Tree, CA 92252
The 16th annual spring Joshua Tree Music Festival is a four-day family-friendly music and art festival in the desert. Offerings include numerous live musical acts, yoga, guided meditation, visual arts, kidsville, and camping. Special ticket prices for kids, including free tickets for those 10 and under, help to make it a family-friendly event.
May 19-28, 2018

(credit: Brian R./yelp)

San Bernardino County Fair
14800 7th St.
Victorville CA 92395
The annual San Bernardino County Fair takes place at the San Bernardino County Fair & Event Center in Victorville, CA, in the High Desert. With carnival rides, live concerts and entertainment, food vendors, animals, and exhibits, the county fair is the place to go for old-fashioned family fun.
May 31 – June 3, 2018

(credit: Susan Colby/shutterstock)

Beaumont Cherry Festival
Steward Park
650 E. 9th St.
Beaumont, CA
Beaumont’s annual cherry festival celebrates its 100th year over Memorial Day Weekend this spring. Family-friendly activities celebrate the cherry harvest with a cherry-themed parade, games, rides, live music and entertainment, vendors, and lots of cherry-themed food and beverages.
June – August

(Credit: Bruce Herwig)

Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival
Redlands Bowl
25 Grant St.
Redlands, CA 92373
America’s longest continuously running summer music festival (without admission charge) will again take to the stage at the outdoor Redlands Bowl amphitheater this summer season. Performances take place every Tuesday and Friday throughout the season and include a variety of musical performances, as well as “Beauty and the Beast” the musical.
June 1-3, 2018

(Credit: Visit Temecula Valley)

Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival
Lake Skinner Regional Park
37701 Warren Rd.
Winchester, CA 92596
Celebrating its 35th year of high-flying fun, the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is a must-visit event for Inland Empire residents and visitors. Early morning hot air balloon flights, evening balloon glows, a food court, craft beer and wine tastings, a shopping boutique, and a kids faire rounds out the 3-day event.
June 1-4, 2018

(credit: Contact In The Desert)

Contact in the Desert
44-400 Indian Wells Ln.
Indian Wells, CA 92210
The largest UFO conference in the world returns to Indian Wells this June with a surge of interest and participation thanks to recently disclosed Pentagon information on a UFO program. The 6th annual event will take place at a new location with the return all-star expert panels and speakers, film screenings, special events, and potential sightings.
June 8-10, 15-17, 2018
Lavender (Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

Lavender Festival
Highland Springs Ranch & Inn
10600 Highland Springs Ave.
Cherry Valley, CA 92223
The stunning site of the late spring lavender harvest is on display at Highland Springs Ranch & Inn’s annual Lavender Festival. The 14th annual event features horse-drawn carriages through the massive lavender farm, lavender demonstrations and tastings, and other family-friendly events.
June 15-16, 2018

(credit: Michaelangelo Ilagan)

L.A. Roadsters Show
Pomona Fairplex
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
Take the dads in your life to the Pomona Fairplex this Father’s Day weekend for the 54th annual L.A. Roadsters Show, a massive display of hundreds of pre-1936 vehicles.
August 31 – September 23, 2018

(credit: LA County Fair)

Los Angeles County Fair
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
This LA County annual tradition actually takes place in the Inland Empire in Pomona. As August ends, head east to the Los Angeles County Fair at the Pomona Fairplex, boasting live entertainment, carnival rides and games, hands-on and educational exhibits, farm showcases, marketplaces, and plenty of fair food worth a sampling.
September 15-16, 2018

(credit: shutterstock)

Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition
Oasis of Mara Visitor Center
74485 National Park Dr.
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
Held at five venues throughout the Oasis of Mara Visitor Center in Joshua Tree National Park, the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition features a juried art exhibition, art market, artist booths, art classes, lectures, live music, and nature walks.
October 2018

(Credit: Big Bear Visitors Bureau)

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest
The Convention Center of Big Bear Lake
42900 Big Bear Blvd.
Big Bear, CA
Big Bear’s annual Oktoberfest returns for its 45th year. Visitors won’t want to miss the German food, imported German brews, Bavarian bands, traditional dances, competitions, and fun, including the annual Queen Stein Carrying Contest.
November 3-4, 2018

(Credit:Trent Bell)

SBD Fest
190 Victoria Avenue,
San Bernardino, CA 92408
Don’t miss the 4th annual SBD Fest Air Show, a 2-day, family-friendly event at the San Bernardino International Airport. With high-flying aerobatics, including headliners like the Patriots Jet Team and US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, vendors, an assortment of planes and displays to climb in, hot rods and classic cars, and much more, there is something for every airplane, jet, and stunt fan.
November 23-January 5, 2019

(credit: CBS)

Riverside Festival of Lights
3649 Mission Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
Kick off the holiday season with one of Southern California’s most visited Christmas and Holiday events at the Riverside Festival of Lights. Located throughout downtown Riverside, with a base at the historic Mission Inn, the event includes an impressive collection of holiday lights and decorations, live entertainment, ice skating and attractions, holiday treats and food vendors, and visits with Santa Claus himself.
Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.