Time for Popcorn! Free Movies in the Park Start Friday, June 23

If your family is like mine, we think there is something pretty special about watching movies outdoors under the stars! You and your family can do just that again this summer right here! Free Movies in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) are happening starting this Friday, 6/23/17 with Secret Life of Pets. July 7 is Zootopia; July 21 is Moana; August 4 is Star Wars/Rogue One and August 18 is The Jungle Book. All shows are rated G or PG-13. The pre-show begins at 7:30 p.m. and the featured flick starts as soon as darkness allows. So, grab your blankets, low-back lawn chairs and settle in for a great evening! Popcorn and hot chocolate are available for sale for $1 each. For more details, just call the friendly folks at Solvang Parks & Recreation Department at 805-688-PLAY.

Free Concerts in the Park this Summer start June 14th!

You know that “summer” is right around the corner since the days are longer with a lot more sunshine which means more time for outdoor fun! Starting this Wednesday, 6/14/17 and EVERY Wednesday thru 8/16/17—you’ll want to be at Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) for FREE concerts from 5-8pm! The blues/rockers of the Mark Roberts Band will kick-off this year’s sounds. Plus there will be four free bonus concerts on Friday evenings 6/30, 7/14, 7/28 and 8/11, too! For the complete line-up of bands ranging from bluegrass to jazz to good ole rock & roll, check out http://solvang3rdwednesday.com/solvang-summer-concerts/

Remember, Solvang Third Wednesday events continue this summer featuring the Wine & Beer Walk (from 3-7pm), where you can enjoy 2 tastings at 5 places of your choice, for just $20 per person; plus, there an added restaurant deal: select Solvang restaurants feature a special 3-course Solvang 3rd Wednesday menu, for just $25++ per person. As a tie-in to the Solvang Farmers Market, the 3-course menus include ingredients sourced straight from the Market. Participating Solvang merchants offer 3rd Wednesday deals on merchandise. You should definitely consider spending the night with special Solvang Third Wednesday hotel discounts! Cheers to the official arrival of summer in Solvang!

Beauty and the Beast Opens PCPA Summer Season on June 15th

Have you discovered Solvang Festival Theater yet? This 700-seat outdoor venue in the half-round hosts marvelous live concerts, plays, musicals and comedies; and was built by community volunteers in only 58 days in summer 1974. For the 43rd summer in this magical setting, PCPA (Pacific Conservatory Theatre) professional performances are presented under the stars featuring acclaimed actors and stunning sets. Highlights of the 2017 PCPA summer season are Beauty and the Beast (June 15-July 2) a musical version based on the classic fairy tale; Lend Me A Tenor The Musical (July 6-23) a tale of mistaken identities and unexpected romance; Disney’s Newsies The Musical (July 27-August 20) is a Tony Award-winning Broadway show telling the true story of those who took on the most powerful names in New York; and concluding with Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night (August 24-September 10). Solvang Festival Theater is located at 420 Second Street within easy walking distance of hotels, restaurants and wine tasting rooms. You should definitely check out PCPA overnight packages as well as dinner specials available to really enjoy your experience. Here are all the details: http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/live-theater-nightlife/

Memorial Day Happenings

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is all most here.  First and foremost, on Monday, 5/29/17, at Noon in Solvang Park–join with officials, veterans, family and friends to commemorate all men and women who have died in military service for the USA. This ceremony is free, everyone is welcome to attend and will feature a performance by the Santa Ynez Wind Ensemble; speakers Rear Adm. Brian Brown, vice commander of the Joint Forces Component Command for Space at Vandenberg Air Force Base; Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans; and members of American Legion Post 160 and the Boy Scouts of America. A flyover of vintage military aircraft is also anticipated. A heartfelt thank you to all who have served esepcially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Throughout this Memorial holiday weekend, there’s certainly plenty of places and opportunities to celebrate with a  picnic! If your family is like mine, picnics in the park are a favorite. There are choices aplenty for perfect picnic settings around Solvang. First of all, did you know ALL Solvang parks are FREE and open to the public daily? Solvang Park & Gazebo right in the center of town on Mission Drive at First Street. For a more active group, check out Hans Christian Andersen Park at 775 Atterdag Road, with a skate park, play areas and tennis courts within easy walking distance of downtown. Then, there’s the super-fun, built by the community Sunny Fields Park on Alamo Pintado Road with a Danish-themed wooden play structure, swings, rope bridge, picnic area, ball field and three brand new beach volleyball courts. For more details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/outdoor-activities/

Wine Country Marathon & Mother’s Day, Oh My!

So much is happening around these parts here in the merry month of May! For the runner in you, it’s the 11th annual Wine Country Half Marathon crossing the finish line in Solvang on Saturday morning, 5/13/17. The race begins in Santa Ynez and the course winds through Los Olivos and Ballard Canyon before finishing on Copenhagen Drive followed by a celebratory wine festival in Solvang Park. (Registration is still open, so run fast & sign up!)

Sunday, 5/14/17 is Mother’s Day, so remember to remember Mom and celebrate her with some special treats. Here in Solvang, shopping for a gift for Mom (or the Mom-like) person in your life is made pretty simple by choices at 150+ shops, 20 wine tasting rooms and restaurants. (According to my mom, a gift certificate is often the best idea so she can get what she really wants!) Check out all the options here: or better yet, bring Mom for a visit to Solvang—creating lasting memories that you can share year-round!

Velkommen Rancheros Visitadores!

This Saturday (5/6/17), head into downtown Solvang around 3pm to welcome more than 700 members of the Rancheros Visitadores “visiting ranchers” for their free equestrian parade. You can greet them as they head north along Alisal Road then east on Mission Drive to Old Mission Santa Ines for a gathering and blessing by the padres. Watch these handsome horses, riders and carriages stride by—once again, they will be attired in pink shirts to support the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara at Sansum Clinic to raise money for local breast cancer patients.

Afterward, the Rancheros will canter/trot/gallop along the Santa Ynez River trail for their week-long trek and encampment nearby. This long-time private men’s membership club is gathering here for the 87th time to celebrate horsemanship, western heritage and ranching traditions. For all the happenings around town anytime, be sure to visit http://www.solvangusa.com/events/

Solvang 3rd Wednesday—More Deals to “Walk. Shop. Wine & Dine!”

You definitely need to mark the 3rd Wednesday of each month on your calendar, since great deals abound here in Solvang—and starting tomorrow (4/19/17)—there’s even more to enjoy! Check out this new restaurant deal–for only $25.00++ per person at Mad & Vin at The Landsby and Succulent Café –you can savor three-course tasting menus including ingredients sourced straight from the Solvang Farmers Market that day. To kick off this new restaurant experience, when you purchase Wine & Beer Walk tickets for the April 19th event at www.solvang-wine-walk.eventbrite.com you’ll be entered to win a free dinner for two at either Succulent Café or Mad & Vin at The Landsby – including a bottle of wine from either Wandering Dog Wine Bar or Lucas & Lewellen. (Prize package may be redeemed on any Solvang 3rd Wednesday).

Of course, all your favorite Solvang 3rd Wednesday offers continue with plenty of deals at local merchants; free admission to the Wildling Museum; the weekly Solvang Village Farmers Market and the best way to add some cheer, the popular Wine & Beer Walk. Plus, experience 3rd Wednesday savings at some of Solvang’s best hotels. For more details on all the happenings, visit www.solvang3rdwednesday.com