“Father of the Fairytale” Museum

Solvang, CaliforniaHave you seen the bronze statue of writer Hans Christian Andersen in Solvang Park and wondered . . . what’s the story? (Pun intended!) He’s considered one of the world’s most famous Danes and father of the modern fairytale. Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805, and lived until August 4, 1875, and authored some of the most popular fairytales in the world including The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Princess & The Pea and The Ugly Duckling. Just a block away at 1680 Mission Drive in the cozy second floor above The Book Loft, you can discover so much more about this fascinating author at the Hans Christian Andersen Museumthumb_hans-christian-andersen—filled to the rafters with originals and copies of Andersen’s books, sketches, paper cutouts, silhouettes and collages  that kids of all ages can enjoy. Admission is free and open to the public every day from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Be sure to mark your calendar for April 2, 2014—International Children’s Book Day and Andersen’s 209th birthday–always celebrated with a party at the Museum. For details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/hcandersen

Forks Aloft! It’s Restaurant Week–Savor Dining Sensations for $20.14

forks moreNow through Saturday, January 25, 2014, you can savor three-course menus for only $20.14 per person (excluding tax, tip and beverages) at popular local establishments. Sponsored by Visit The Santa Ynez Valley, here in Solvang, consider these taste temptations: Fresco Valley Café (Organic Babe Farms Spring Mix Salad, Black Tiger Shrimp Relleno and Maple Coconut Pecan Tart); or Hadsten House Inn Bistro (Pan Seared Diver Scallop; Bacon-wrapped Filet Medallion and Chocolate Lava Cake); Mirabelle Inn & Restaurant (Crab Cake, Chicken Breast filled with Sundried Tomato, Basil, & Mozzarella and Chocolate Mousse Cake); Root 246 (Farmers’ Market Green Salad or Pork Terrine; “Pastrami” Short Ribs or Smoke Stack Burger and Tres Leches Cake or Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee). The Solvang Brewing Company offers triple choices for each course including options such as SBC Ale Infused Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Citrus Ale Salmon With Pesto Israeli Couscous and an Odin Stout Ale Double Chocolate Brownie; or how about Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie (Choice of Soup or Caesar Salad, BBQ Grilled Prawn & Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin and Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes with Mexican Hot Chocolate Dipping Sauce). Naturally, with menus this delicious, reservations are highly recommended and specific dining hours may apply. For all the details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/includes/events/?action=displayDetail&eventid=6803

New 2014 Visitors Guide Debuts This Week: Here’s How to Get Yours!

Solvang, CA.  © 2007You love being in the know—and I know you’d like to be one of the first to see the brand new official 2014 Solvang & The Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Guide— a 56-page full-color FREE magazine encompassing the communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang, of course! The 2014 Visitors Guide is filled with beautiful color photos featuring architecture, lush vineyards and historic sites as well as a “Resource” section that features attractions, farm stands, unique wedding & event venues, dining and lodging.  A popular fold-out 2-page map returns in this edition and includes hotels, points of interest and wine & beer tasting rooms open to the public. There is also a revised downtown Solvang map featuring key attractions in the village. As your proud Visitors Guide editor, I’m happy to share that we’ve added a new section featuring shopping opportunities. And with this spectacular weather we’re experiencing this week (sunny & highs in the 70s) this guide will surely inspire some warm-weather retail therapy in downtown Solvang. Reserve your FREE copy by mail by calling 1-800-468-6765 or get your copy in person starting Friday, January 17th, at the Solvang Visitor Center located at 1639 Copenhagen Dr. (Open 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily) or even easier, order or view online your new 2014 Visitors Guide at www.SolvangUSA.com

Feeling Hot Hot Hot! Christmas Tree Burn is Friday, January 10, 2014

2013 Solvang Xmas Tree Burn-Crowds+Flames

“Keep up this spirit — Come on let’s do it — Feeling hot hot hot!” Like the lyrics from that classic tune, if you and your family want to experience a “hot” event, then be sure to attend the FREE annual Solvang Christmas Tree Burn in the fields at Old Mission Santa Ines, 1760 Mission Drive in downtown Solvang from 5:00-7:00 p.m. this Friday, January 10, 2014. This popular annual event is supervised by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department as one of the largest fire safety demonstrations and community gatherings on California’s Central Coast; and coordinated by the Solvang Parks & Recreation Department. There will be free, live entertainment by the T-Bone Ramblers Band as well as refreshments for purchase. All area residents are invited to bring their tree (stands & ornaments must be removed) to the burn pile between now and Noon on January 10, 2014. Join together to see this powerful spectacle ignite the New Year and herald the end of Solvang’s annual Julefest Celebration. For more details, call Solvang Parks & Rec at 805-688-PLAY or visit http://www.solvangusa.com/includes/events/index.cfm?action=displayDetail&eventid=6662

2013 Solvang Xmas Tree Burn-How it begins-trees being dropped off 2013 Solvang Xmas Tree Burn-Supervised+Ignited by Firefigthers 2013 Solvang Xmas Tree Burn-Crowd Silhoueted by Flames