Hans Christian Andersen Free Birthday Party on April 2nd

Solvang, CaliforniaAre you a fan of fairy tales? April 2nd  is the birth date of Hans Christian Andersen, one of the world’s most famous Danes and father of the modern fairytale—including  favorites such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Princess & The Pea and The Ugly Duckling.  Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805 and lived until August 4, 1875 — and would have been 210 years old this Thursday!

thumb_hans-christian-andersenYou’re invited to attend a birthday party in his honor at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum with complimentary kransekage (Danish marzipan cake) from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Thursday, 4/2/15. The Museum is located at 1680 Mission Drive in the cozy second floor above The Book Loft and Solvang Coffee Company. Year-round, you can discover so much more about this fascinating author. This free museum is 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. And just a block away, don’t miss the bronze statue of Andersen in Solvang Park. For more details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/listings/index.cfm?action=display&listingID=412&menuID=207&hit=1

Spring Break = Family Fun Time!

Solvang, CaliforniaBelieve me, there’s plenty of room to run, jump, play and experience family fun in Solvang year-round, yet especially this time of year with spring vacations in full bloom.  So don’t miss the wildflowers in the adjacent Los Padres National Forest. All public parks around town have free admission and are open daily sunrise to sunset. Solvang’s Hans Christian Andersen Park is a woodsy green space with picnic areas, tennis courts, a playground and free Skate Park for boarders. The whimsical wooden playground and ball field at Sunny Fields Park is a personal family favorite. For a two-horse powered tour that kids of all ages can enjoy, hop aboard the Solvang Trolley–an historic wooden streetcar pulled by a pair of impressive draft horses. If you’re feeling really adventurous, how about the two-wheel Segway of Solvang tour?

ostrich-land-ostrichesVisit nearby OstrichLand USA to see & feed the largest &fastest birds in the world. Discover Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch offering free viewing of 34-inch-and-under equines.Visit local farm stands to fuel all your family’s adventure with fresh produce daily or at the Solvang Farmers Market every Wednesday afternoon! For more ideas, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/family-fun/

Get Your Palate Primed for Taste of Solvang This Week!

taste-of-solvang-ca bannerYou know you want it—to taste the incredible variety of food, wines, beers and desserts all within an easy strolling radius! It’s the 23rd annual Taste of Solvang starting tomorrow, Wednesday, 3/18/15 through Sunday, 3/22/15. The first event begins tomorrow at 2:30pm with a free Chef Walk through the weekly Farmers Market with Chef David Cecchini from Cecco Ristorante and Chef Budi Kazali from The Ballard Inn & Restaurant. Sign up here

2013 Taste of Solvang Pro Winner Dessert-Ingeborgs Dark-Light TrufflesTickets are evaporating fast for all events including Sips & Sweets (decadent desserts, beverages and live music) on Friday, 3/20/15 from 7-9pm and the Grand Tasting (aka Walking Smorgaasbord) on Saturday, 3/21/15 from 11am-4pm offering 40 taste stops of local food & beverages.

Solvang, CaliforniaThen, there’s the super popular Wine & Beer Tasting Walk (held on Saturday evening AND Sunday afternoon) at 18 different emporiums. New this year is Saturday night’s Larner Winemaker Dinner featuring a four-course gourmet menu created by Bacon & Brine’s Chef Pink held at the magical Greenhouse Café.

You need to make your plans now to come stay and feast! Here’s where to reserve your tickets and get all the delicious details: www.solvangusa.com/tos

Wheel Fun!

Solvang, CaliforniaWhether you’re astride a beach cruiser, skinny-tire road cycle or a rugged mountain bike, riding your bike year-round is totally fun here! Bring your own wheels or rent a set from local shops; or how about a 4-wheel surrey cycle for the whole family? Savor year-round warm sun, quiet country roads, spectacular scenery and challenging climbs. Many pro bicycling teams train on our local roads and mountain passes. Plus, plenty of amateur bike riding camps and bike vacation tours headquarter here, too.

Solvang Century 2015 logoSome of the largest amateur rides (think 3,000 cyclists) in the nation visit us every year including the Solvang Century, Metric and Half-Century (100/63/50 miles) happening this Saturday, 3/14/15), a benefit for SCOR CARDIAC CYCLISTS CLUB. Did you know that Solvang proudly hosted the Individual Time Trial Stage of the professional cyclists’ Amgen Tour of California in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011?  For some two-wheel route ideas, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/cycling/   Ride on!


FREE Museum Day is this Saturday, March 7th!

2015 SYV Free Museum DayAre you and your family looking for something for fun and for free this weekend? Check out “Santa Ynez Valley Free Museum Day” this Saturday, March 7. You can experience Wildling Museum, 1511 Mission Drive, Solvang. The Wildling connects people with the wonder of America’s wilderness through great art, nature-related classes, special events and rotating exhibits throughout the year including free craft activities for kids. This Saturday, enjoy a special free screening of the movie “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” at 3pm.

Elverhoj ExteriorImmerse yourself in Danish living history from the Vikings to contemporary at Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, 1624 Elverhoy Way,Solvang.  Located in a historic handcrafted Danish-style structure, the Elverhøj showcases Solvang’s rich history and the Danish-American pioneer spirit of the town’s founders. Fond of fairytales?

thumb_hans-christian-andersenDon’t miss the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, 1680 Mission Drive, Solvang. Andersen  is considered the “father of the modern fairy tale” including such faves as “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “The Princess and the Pea.” This museum is filled to the rafters with copies of Andersen’s books, sketches, silhouettes and memorabilia; housed in a second story garret above The Book Loft.

OldMissionSantaInes-Solvang-creditSYVVA-DaveRetzFounded in 1804 and now on the National Register of Historic Places, the 19th in the chain of 21 Missions throughout California, Old Mission Santa Ines Museum, 1760 Mission Drive, Solvang; proudly posses a collection of paintings, statuary, vestments, manuscripts, and artifacts used in and around the area throughout its history.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Carriage House, 3596 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez; traces Santa Ynez Valley history from the early Chumash Indians through its 20th-century ranching days. The Carriage House boasts the largest collection of American made horse-drawn carriages the Western USA. Educational presentations, tours, changing exhibits and community events celebrate local history. Can you visit them all? Here’s a map to help you explore!