Solvang has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most “Christmassy Towns in America,” and it’s not difficult to understand why.
The Danish village comes alive with sparkling Christmas lights, an enchanting parade, and unique shopping opportunities each holiday season. Every time you turn a corner, you’ll feel as if the magic of a Northern European Christmas has been brought to you in Southern California.
If you’re looking for a new way to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones, here is your ultimate guide to Christmas in Solvang and events that will make this year’s celebration one for the books.
Always remember to double-check dates, opening times, and weather conditions before traveling.
Top Things to do in Solvang During Christmas
- Dates: Late November to early January
Solvang Julefest is one of the town’s most beloved holiday traditions. The month-long celebration is filled to the brim with family fun, sweet treats, exciting events, and plenty of Christmas cheer.
Mark your calendar with these must-see activities. They’ll quickly become the highlights of your holiday season.
- Dates: Select days November-December
Experience Solvang and its rich Danish culture on this merry and bright adventure that has quickly become one of the most beloved things to do in Solvang at Christmas!
At the start of your tour, you’ll receive an LED candle to light your way up and down the village streets. A costumed guide will accompany you on your journey, and along the way, introduce you to Solvang’s history and Danish holiday traditions upheld by the town.
You can also look forward to complimentary hot chocolate, Christmas carols, and a meet-and-greet with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Spots are limited to ensure a more personalized and intimate experience for everyone, check the dates here.
Solvang Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Dates: Early December
This exciting occasion is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. The official lighting of Solvang’s Christmas tree takes place in Solvang Park. The ceremony brings a wealth of festivities including live entertainment, dancing ballerinas, and caroling.
- Dates: Early December
The Julefest Parade is one of the season’s most anticipated events. Add more ‘hygge’ to your Christmas by grabbing a spot on Mission Drive or Copenhagen Drive to marvel at the spectacle of colorful floats, marching bands, horses, and more.
If you want to participate, get ready beforehand, check the map to the Julefest Parade route.
Solvang Santa’s Village
- Dates: Every Saturday until Christmas day
Did your little ones make the Nice List this year? Let them tell old St. Nick what they’d like for Christmas at Santa’s Village in Solvang Park. Photos are free to all and the perfect way to commemorate your family’s holiday trip to Solvang.
The village is open every Saturday leading up to Christmas. Don’t miss a visit to one of the most entertaining Solvang Christmas activities for the whole family.
- Dates: Late November to Early January
Solvang’s mischievous band of gnomes has challenged you to find them with a scavenger hunt for the whole family.
Each year, the Solvang Nisse are hidden throughout the village. It’s up to you to discover their hideouts by decoding clues on the Nisse Adventure website. Once you’ve found them all, you’ll earn a special prize for outsmarting them.
More Winter Activities for Your Christmas in Solvang
Solvang Julefest’s festivities are just the beginning of all the amazing ways to have a holly jolly Christmas in the Santa Ynez Valley. Here are even more things to do that you can enjoy during this special time of year.
Christmas Shopping in the Village
You won’t find your typical mall in the Danish Capital of America. The village is home to over 150 shops and boutiques, each offering unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list.
From authentic European clogs to antique collectibles, you’ll find something to delight your loved ones on Christmas morning. Or, treat yourself to something new!
The Jule Hus is an all-year-round Solvang Christmas shop and a must if you’re in town for the holidays. Be sure to check out their glass-blown ornaments, nutcrackers, and an assortment of hand-crafted gifts.
Fall in love with Solvang Christmas Lights
Snowfall may not be a common occurrence in Southern California, but the abundance of Christmas lights in Solvang will make a stroll through the village feel like you’re lost in a winter wonderland.
Thousands of lights illuminate the Dutch village and hundreds of small Christmas trees are decorated outside of local businesses. Some of the best spots to see the lights are Copenhagen Drive, Alisal Road, and Solvang Park.
Solvang Bakery Gingerbread Houses
Solvang Bakery has been the town’s premier Danish bakery since 1981. They offer a wide variety of Danish and American desserts, but they are most famous for their incredible gingerbread houses.
Each holiday season, the aromas of sugar and spice pour from the bakery’s windows as they prepare custom gingerbread houses by the dozens. These special treats usually sell out well in advance. In any case, we highly recommend you to to stop in and catch a glimpse of one.
Besides, Solvang Bakery also offers Gingerbread House Decorating Kits for those who want to bring home a sweet new tradition. Each kit comes with two containers of icing, assorted candy, and faux pine trees.
Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas
You’re invited to nearby Los Olivos for an Olde Fashioned Christmas!
Holiday lights, roasted walnuts, hot cocoa, and an abundance of Christmas shopping bring people from all over the Santa Ynez Valley to this friendly town on the first Saturday in December.
Los Olivos is only 11 minutes outside of Solvang, so you won’t have to travel far to take part in the fun.
Buellton Winter Fest
On the first Sunday in December, the neighboring town of Buellton ushers in the season with an annual Winter Fest.
Breakfast with Santa kickstarts the event followed by a neighborhood parade. You’ll want to stick around for the afternoon’s Holiday Village opening. It features 20 tons of ‘snow,’ vendors, and live music performances. At the end of the day, enjoy the lighting of Buellton’s Christmas tree.
There you have it, a bunch of stunning things to do in Solvang at Christmas time. Are we seeing you there?
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2 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide To Christmas In Solvang CA”
Is the Solvang Christmas expierence dog friendly?
To some degree, yes it is. Check with the businesses you want to visit though, as some might not allow dogs inside.