What's great about the desert? Well, compared to December rain in the New York area, pretty much everything. Particularly from the skateboarding perspective, plus we all need more palm trees in our lives.
NY/NJ to Palm Springs, California usually runs $400ish due to the golf crowd hammering the route. This saves almost exactly half off that price.
Availability is far out / generally toward the end of 2017.
I personally don't love planning that far in advance, now might be a great time to book a cheap trip to someplace you should absolutely see if you haven't (Joshua Tree) and with tons of great mountain roads to slay since you will clearly need to do that while you are out there too.
Downhill / Longboard
The desert hills outside of Palm Springs have some seriously hidden gems. Grab some friends and get at it. Here's a great one from Valhalla Longboards:
Lots of good street stuff. Desert banks and ditches abound, here's some clips from the guys at Ezekiel:
Not to mention the standard California alotment of killer cement parks. I feel like we can't even get one of those things to stay open in northern NJ for more than a few years.