Labor Day Weekend Fun—First, Make Reservations!

Hamlet Inn Solvang guest roomIt’s almost September already and Solvang is filled with activities and festivities—especially for this upcoming Labor Day “long weekend.” You know you want to getaway and visit—do some shopping, wine tasting, check out the restaurants (including Bacon & Brine in their new location with expanded hyper-local menu), sample Danish delights at five authentic bakeries and just relax & renew!

And be sure to get tickets to see the amazing PCPA production of “In the Heights” (by the creator of “Hamilton”) now being performed under the stars at Solvang Festival Theater.

With 18 inns, hotels and resorts to choose from, there’s lodging options for every taste and budget here in “California’s Little Denmark.” Package deals simplify planning your getaway so check out this link to make it even easier on your wallet and make your hotel reservations now! http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/where-to-stay/deals/

Wheels ‘N Windmills Car Show is Saturday, 8/27

2016 Wheelsnwindmills logoVroom Vroom! Are you ready to see some of the finest classic vehicles in California? Put your current ride in drive and visit Solvang for the 12th annual Wheels N’ Windmills Car Show this Saturday (8/27/16) from 10am to 4pm. It’s free for you and your family & friends to come admire a mix of 300 classics (pre-1980) plus vendor booths, live entertainment and giveaways downtown along Copenhagen Drive. Take a stroll, chat up the owners (and of course, take time to shop & eat & wine & beer taste, too!) Registration fees support charities including the Buellton Senior Center, Old Yeller Ranch Rescue and the Progeria Foundation. Plus, there is a raffle for a GM Performance V8 crate engine & transmission with proceeds benefiting automotive training programs at Santa Ynez Valley Union, Lompoc and Santa Maria high schools. This is an amazing display of mechanical horse-power—that always gets this Detroit Motor City native gal revved up!

For more details on all the events happening in Solvang, visit www.solvangusa.com/events/

Danish Days is Only a Month Away!

13- Danish Days 2008-AebleskiverMakerGot an appetite for aebleskiver, those delish Danish pancake balls? Want to hear Danish music and do street dancing? Want to meet a Viking? Make sure you mark your calendar for Friday, 9/16/16 through Sunday, 9/18/16 for the FREE 80th annual Danish Days celebration. Sponsored by the charitable Solvang Danish Days Foundation, this amazing activity-filled weekend honors the founding of Solvang by Danish-Americans in 1911. (Hard to believe that was 105 years ago!)

Solvang, CaliforniaYou can enjoy three parades ((Friday night Torchlight; Saturday afternoon Main Parade featuring 2016 Grand Marshals Mike and Martha Nedegaard and Sunday’s Children’s Parade); two aebleskiver breakfasts followed by an aebleskiver eating contest (how many can you eat in 5 minutes?) In Solvang Park check out the Kids’ Korner featuring a huge LEGOS ® make-your-own craft tent. There are free concerts and live entertainment all around town. You can experience “living history” at the Elverhoj Museum. Come be a Dane for the weekend! Don’t miss any of these festivities! You can view all the details and start planning your stay by visiting www.solvangusa.com/events/danish-days/

Jazz & Beyond in the Garden

Mads-Tolling-red-back-suitIf you’d enjoy some live, Sunday afternoon entertainment this summer, make plans to attend the “Jazz & Beyond in the Garden” series of concerts at Solvang Festival Theater, located at 420 Second Street. You can relax under the oaks and listen to outstanding musicians while sipping locals vintages and refreshments. Wine, other beverages and fruit & cheese plates are available for purchase before the concert and during intermission.This Sunday’s concert (8/14/16) is already sold out with The Robert Hart Project. Robert is a genre-bending vocalist, saxophonist, pianist, flautist, bassist, composer, engineer and producer.On Sunday, 8/28/16, experience the stylings of internationally renowned violinist and composer, Mads Tolling, a two-time Grammy Award winner accompanied by keyboardist Colin Hogan.TEKAFinally, groove on smooth Bossa Nova and Brazilian Jazz to contemporary pop and lively samba with Téka and NewBossa on Sunday, September 18.

Buy tickets online for only $30 per person at www.solvangfestivaltheater.org/concerts.php or at the gate (opens at 2:30 p.m., and concerts begin at 3:00 p.m.) For complete details on more summer events in Solvang, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/events/

Jane Austen’s “Sense & Sensibility” on Stage

stacks-image-b407f35There’s something magical about live theater under the stars! PCPA (Pacific Conservatory Theatre) performances in Solvang Festival Theater are wonderful ways to spend summer evenings. So far this season, we’ve enjoyed The Glass Menagerie and Shrek The Musical. Starting this Saturday, August 5 through Sunday, August 21, 2016, savor Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. This period comedy shares the journey of two sisters—Elinor and Marianne Dashwood—attempting to find balance between rational and realistic romance (if that is even possible)! You can get your tickets at the Festival Theater box office located at 420 Second Street or online at www.pcpa.org

stacks-image-abcfe21Check out this deal—buy tickets online for the Sunday, August 7 performance and receive 50% off EACH adult ticket at online check-out by using AUGUST7. On Solvang Third Wednesday (August 17) Sense & Sensibility adult tickets are 25% off (and be sure to ask about seasonal senior, student, or child ticket pricing—do remember, kids under 5 are not admitted into the theater.) Solvang Festival Theater is within easy walking distance of hotels, restaurants, wine bars and local attractions. So attend and  discover how just the right mix of humor and romance can make for happy endings in Sense & Sensibility!

Summer Time = Ice Cream Time

ice cream conesWith this warm, sunny weather we’re having, if you’re like me and my family, thoughts turn to the classic summer treat—ice cream! I think you’ll agree that Solvang has more ice cream shops and restaurants per capita offering this cool delight than most any other town our size. Fortunately, with so many places to indulge here, I recommend you stroll around and do some taste testing, then let us know your favorites—are you more of a traditional vanilla or chocolate fan or a cookies & cream, mint or rainbow sherbet aficionado? And let’s not forget frozen yogurts and gelato, too! It’s all here within a few short blocks!

Yummy delights can be found at Solvang Trolley Ice Cream Parlor, Old Danish Food Farm, Kate’s Yogurt, Ingeborg’s Chocolates & Ice Cream Parlor and Café Dolce just to name a few. For more delicious details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/dining/

Solvang Visitors Center Is Pokémon GO Game “Poke Stop” Along with Dozens More

Pokemon GO at Solvang Visitors CenterHave you seen, heard or been playing “Pokémon GO”—the augmented-reality virtual game sweeping the nation? No surprise, locals and visitors of all ages are playing throughout Solvang—and there are more than 40 “Poke Stops” and four “Poke Gyms” in downtown Solvang—including one at the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive. I have to admit I’m not a Pokémon GO player yet I certainly remember the classic Nintendo video game and TV series in the 1990’s. In case you haven’t heard–the free Pokémon GO game app is downloaded to smartphones. Players walk around real places and find virtual Pokémon creatures by using the GPS and camera on the player’s smartphone. For example, the Solvang Visitors Center is a Pokémon GO game “Poke Stop” location that triggers the display of a digital creature on the player’s smartphone. Remember, the “creature” is only on the smartphone screen! Do enjoy playing Pokémon GO in Solvang, yet please play safely by watching where you walk, avoid trespassing on private property and enjoy discovering Little Denmark on foot! There’s so many attractions, shopping, dining and recreational activities to enjoy in real-time in Solvang, too!