Fascinating Fauna!

So you’re driving east into Solvang on Highway 246, you glance over and see a rather surprising sight–dozens of ostriches grazing in a field! You’ll definitely want to pull over and visit OstrichLand USA, where a highlight is getting to feed the resident emus and ostriches. Did you know ostriches are the largest & fastest birds in the world and can weigh up to 350 pounds and live up to 75 years? If you think this place looks familiar, you may have seen it featured in the Oscar-winning movie Sideways as well as The Simpsons TV show and most recently, The Great Food Truck Race in 2016. Then, a bit further along Highway 246 is Flag Is Up Farms, home of Monty Roberts, the “Man Who Listens to Horses,” where you’re welcome to see the equine facilities and trainers in action. And for some FREE, total cute moments, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m., you can visit Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch over on Alamo Pintado Road, a fascinating breeding facility for 34-inch-and-under horses! Guaranteed family fun for kids of all ages. For more details and ideas, check out http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/family-fun/ 

Julefest Wine & Beer Walk Is This Weekend—Plus Nativity Pageant, Free Visits with Santa & So Much More

Merlot wine glassesGet yourself and your friends in the holiday spirit (so to speak) with Julefest Wine & Beer Walk this weekend! It’s cheer-fully happening this year on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. You can stroll about downtown and sip local wines and beers from more than 16 tasting rooms. Tickets are only $45 per person for the 2-day passport including a souvenir wine glass (you must be 21 years+ naturally for this adult activity). It’s an incredible value! Tickets are going fast, so purchase yourJulefest Wine & Beer Walk tickets online now!

SolvangNativityPageant-HolyFamilySceneJulefest (pronounced Yule-fest and means Christmas Festival in Danish) has so many activities including the Nativity Pageant (Saturday, 12/10/16, at 5pm and 7pm at Solvang Festival Theater–free admission for live show with choir); free visits with Santa in Solvang Park,  plus Shop, Mingle & Jingle retail therapy at over 150 independent boutiques, shops and stores. For more info, please call 805-688-6144; stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or visit www.SolvangUSA.com/julefest

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Clothing & Shoes=Fall Fashionable Retail Therapy

Solvang, CA.  © 2007Autumn officially arrives on Thursday, 9/22/16, yet our weather has been rather summer-like and still traditionally temperate—cool mornings and evenings and warm, sunny skies during the day. I’ve been known to tell friends it’s time to dress like an onion—peel off layers during the day and put them back on in the evening! Some say spring is the time for closet cleaning, however now is a great time to update your wardrobe and make room for the latest “fall” fashions!  (Guys, this applies to you, too, enough of the old t-shirts!) With more than 150 independent boutiques to choose from—from Incredibly chic yet affordable women’s, men’s and kids clothing, fine leather goods and accessories, shoes, boots and clogs will keep you strolling around town looking for items you hadn’t even known you need! Get some retail therapy at totally one-of-a-kind clothing shops—just to mention a few such as Atterdag Kids, Elna’s Dress Shop, First Street Leather, Parts Unknown, Solvang Shoe Store, Treats Clothing Boutique, True Addiction Women’s Apparel or The Sock Loft.  Check out all your fashionable opportunities at http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/shopping/

See Shrek The Musical Here thru July 31st

Shrek logoYou and your family simply must make plans now to see Shrek The Musical here in all its joy at the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater. Performed by acclaimed actors of PCPA (Pacific Conservatory Theatre), all the beloved characters you know from the Oscar-winning movie are brought to life on stage in this Tony Award-winning adventure: the reluctant hero Shrek, the Donkey, Fiona, a short tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude, and more fairy tale misfits–be ready to cheer and be transformed! Performances are Tuesday-Sunday now thru July 31. Tickets are available online at www.pcpa.org or at the Theater box office located at 420 Second Street. On July 20 (Solvang Third Wednesday) adult tickets are 25% off (and be sure to ask about seasonal senior, student, or child pricing—yet remember, kids under 5 are not admitted into the theater.) Solvang Festival Theater is within easy walking distance of hotels, restaurants and local attractions. As Shrek would say, “For your information, there’s a lot more to ogres than people think.”

Fabulous Fauna

ostrich-land-ostrichesSo you’re driving east into Solvang on Highway 246, you glance over and see a rather surprising sight–dozens of ostriches grazing in a field! You’ll definitely want to pull over and visit OstrichLand USA, where a highlight is getting to feed the resident emus and ostriches. Did you know ostriches are the largest & fastest birds in the world and can weigh up to 350 pounds and live up to 75 years? If you think this place looks familiar, you may have seen it featured in the Oscar-winning movie Sideways and The Simpsons TV show. Then, a bit further along Highway 246 is Flag Is Up Farms, home of Monty Roberts, the “Man Who Listens to Horses,” where you’re welcome to see the equine facilities and trainers in action. And for some FREE, total cute moments, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m., you can visit Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch over on Alamo Pintado Road, a fascinating breeding facility for 34-inch-and-under horses! Guaranteed family fun for kids of all ages. Check out  http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/family-fun/ 

Free Hans Christian Andersen 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 211 years old this year! You’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. this Saturday, 4/2/16.

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 Andersen in Solvang Park. For more details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/directory/hans-christian-andersen-museum/

It’s Spring Break—Time for Family Fun!

LupineBush+PoppiesSpring has sprung here! You know that year-round, there’s plenty of room to run, jump, play and experience family fun in Solvang, yet especially this time of year–with spring break vacations in full bloom along with the wildflowers practically everywhere you look! One of my favorite places for viewing nature’s colorful wildflowers is off Figueroa Mountain Road in the nearby Los Padres National Forest. Remember, 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 one of our personal family favorites.

ostrich-land-ostrichesFor a two-horse powered tour that kids of all ages can enjoy, hop aboard the Solvang Trolley–a 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? Visit 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 from 10am-3pm Monday-Saturday.

SolvangFarmersMarket 7-09Visit local farm stands to fuel all your family’s adventure with fresh produce daily or stroll through the Solvang Farmers Market every Wednesday afternoon from 2-6pm! For more ideas, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/family-fun/