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!

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/

Cheers to the Vintners Spring Weekend!

You can’t miss the “bud break” and “leafy shoots” happening in the vineyards surrounding us here in Solvang— so you know what that means! It’s time for the 35th annual Vintners Spring Weekend. This year, a full 4-day celebration of our local wines is April 20-23, 2017 with a special emphasis on new releases! Sponsored by the non-profit Santa Barbara Vintners organization, there are so many exciting events and activities on offer— you’ll definitely want to come stay, sip and swirl around Solvang for awhile! Don’t miss “The Grand Tasting” Festival event on Saturday, 4/22/17 featuring over 100 wineries and winemakers, more than thirty food purveyors and chefs; and live music at River View Park in nearby Buellton.

Saturday evening , check out the Big Bottle Bash at K’Syrah, Solvang’s new special event venue, featuring large format wines brought by guests and winery representatives paired with a delicious family style dinner. All weekend long there are vineyard tours, winemaker dinners, barrel tastings and special open houses throughout the area. So, you need to make hotel reservations now and get your tickets in advance. Click here for all the details!

Spring Has Sprung~Time for Family Fun!

It’s official, Spring has sprung here! Of course, year-round, there’s plenty of room to run, jump, play and experience family fun in Solvang, yet especially this time since it’s “spring break,” vacations are in full bloom. Do be sure to enjoy the wildflowers practically everywhere you look!  One of my favorite places for viewing nature’s colorful flora is off Figueroa Mountain Road in the nearby Los Padres National Forest.  Remember, all Solvang 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—and just dedicated this week, you can play volleyball on brand new courts called “Sunny Beach.” Did you know that 2008 Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Todd Rogers hails from Solvang? (see photo at left)

 

For some two-horse powered fun 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.  For more ideas, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/family-fun/

Say I Do in “Little Denmark”

happy-valentines-day-everyone-vectorSince today (2/14/17) is Valentine’s Day, your thoughts can turn to love and marriage if you’re like me! Admit it, at some point, you (or someone you know) has dreamed of jetting off to Europe and tying the knot. Yet flying to Europe to get married can be time and cost prohibitive. Yet it doesn’t have to be if you “get hitched” here in Solvang, California’s Little Denmark. Combining amazing Scandinavian architecture, incredibly scenic venues, and mild year-round weather with friendly, professional services is the recipe for any memorable special event.

From just you two or 200 or so, I think you’ll “fall in love” with choice of 18 exceptional hotels plus even more places with banquet/meetings rooms and outdoor areas. Consider some of these options: the gardens at the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, the Wildling Museum art-filled rooms; Solvang Festival Theater (private reception area under the oaks), Solvang Park (with its charming gazebo), Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall (so versatile, great hardwood floors for dancing) or Hans Christian Andersen Park (delightful shady picnic groves easily reserved) or historic churches including Old Mission Santa Ines and Bethania Lutheran (pictured at left). Solvang_BethaniaChurch

The staff at the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau is happy to offer recommendations and referrals. Just call 1-800-468-6765 and make your wedding dreams reality in Little Denmark! 

 

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/

Free Concerts in the Park Every Wednesday This Summer!

IMG_0349Tenley Fohl Photography_S3W-Solvang Park Gazebo Crowd Wide AngleYou know you love hearing live music, especially outdoors in the summertime—and especially when it’s FREE! Make plans now to spend each Wednesday now thru 8/17/16 from 5:00-8:00  enjoying free concerts in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) with these fun musicians!

•July 6, Livewire (Rock)
• July 13, Rock Cats Rock (Rockabilly/Rock)
• July 20, Burning James and the Funky Flames (Funk/Soul); plus Solvang Third Wednesday with even more fun & specials around town.
• July 27, Grass Mountain (Folk/Bluegrass)
• August 3, T-Bone Ramblers (Classic Rock)
• August 10, Soul Cats (60’s Rock/Soul/Pop & Big Band)
• August 17, The Mother Corn Shuckers (Bluegrass/Americana/Country) –plus Solvang Third Wednesday with even more fun & specials around town.

 Sponsored by Solvang Third Wednesday and Waste Management, you can pick up picnic ingredients at the adjacent weekly Solvang Farmers Market, or purchase bites at the likes of Big Joe’s Brats and Ranch Guys Catering , or nearby Cecco Ristorante and Cafe Dolce. So bring your blankets, lawn chairs and beverages and say cheers to summer time fun!