Behind the Pink Wall Sunnylands

It’s easy to take for granted all that is Sunnylands Center & Gardens, the former Rancho Mirage winter estate of the late Leonore and Walter Annenberg, which they bequeathed to the public upon their deaths. Of course, the gargantuan grounds have recently seen the likes of dignitaries such as President Barack Obama, who may use Sunnylands for official functions. But let’s not forget there’s a plethora of regular and special activities for Palm Springs Valley visitors and locals alike within the expansive four rosy walls that contain the impressive domain—especially when season rolls around.

To start, plein air painting and guided bird walks resume in November. In addition, a variety of exciting art workshops are being offered. On November 14, professional photographer Gary Faye will coach participants on the ins and outs of outdoor photography.

For those interested in yoga, expert instructor Kristin Olson of Urban Yoga in Palm Springs convenes free, one-hour classes Fridays at noon through April. Tai chi is on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.

Also beginning this month, families are invited to enjoy Toys on the Great Lawn every Sunday. From 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., there will be free games and other amusements—including Frisbees, jump ropes, ring toss, and large foam blocks—for the benefit of children of all ages. Families can bring picnic lunches, or plan on dining at the café.

In the gift shop, a new line of Chopstick Art home goods is on display and available for purchase. “The recycled chopsticks, which are sanitized and colored using natural plant dyes, are configured to fold out into striking display baskets,” reads an item in the monthly newsletter for friends of Sunnylands. “They come in natural, tan, and dark, and sell for $22 (small) and $28 (large).”

Last but not least, Sunnylands tours for Modernism Week (February 11-21, 2016) went on sale online on November 1 at

Finally, for those who may not be aware, Sunnylands celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, and there’ll be more in store for all of us as we express thanks for the many gifts the Annenbergs bestowed upon their fellow citizens. For more information on all things Sunnylands, please visit Oh, and please don’t forget that the popular attraction is closed for Thanksgiving Day, but reopens for the holiday weekend.

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