A Trip Through an Alien Robot Santaland in Palm Springs
If you’ve grown up celebrating Christmas, you know that a favorite holiday tradition is driving through decorated neighborhoods to look at the Christmas lights. Well, hold on to your Santa hats! You’ve never seen a light display, let alone an alien Robot Christmas-y fantasy land, like Robolights in Palm Springs.
Giant robots on the corner of a large property was my first beguiling glimpse of the art of Kenny Irwin, Jr. The property is in the Movie Colony Estates neighborhood, home to famous mid-century modern homes like the Frank Sinatra Twin Palms estate right around the corner.
4 acres filled with huge installations created from found objects, Robolights comes to life in the holiday season with animated carousels, music and 11.7 MILLION lights.
Kenny Irwin’s art is created from just about everything – found or donated vehicles, metal, plastic and electronic items – like CRT monitors that create heads for reindeer and feet for huge robot horses.
Don’t expect all sweet bunnies, candy canes and Christmas carols though. Many of the artist’s creations are bizarre and some more than a little ghoulish clown-creepy. Think Twilight Zone meets American Horror Story.
Recurring themes are guns-and-Santas, creepy clowns (but clowns were always creepy, weren’t they?), and skulls. You just can’t stop looking. And there’s a LOT to look at as you wander through the paths around the house, over a bridge through a holiday lit arbor tunnel, by a pond filled with inflatable swans, past animated carousels, and in and out of all types of fantastic pieces, crazy skull theme rooms, and gigantic robot structures. Even if some of the themes aren’t your style, you can’t help but admire the brilliant creations and the energy and artistry it took to populate this mad alien Santa fantasy land.
A walk through Robolights is fascinating, fun, and the most unusual Christmas Eve I’ve ever spent. Worth the trip to Palm Springs just to see it!
Check the Robolights Facebook Page for opening hours, typically open only during the holiday season the end of November through first week of January. Donations at the door.
Have you ever seen anything like Robolights?