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Experience the Magical Christmas Celebration 'Julefest' in Solvang!

Solvang, California, is known for its Danish-style architecture and is the perfect destination for a festive Christmas celebration. Every year, the town of Solvang throws Julefest, a magical Christmas event that locals and visitors alike look forward to. From the moment you enter the town, you’ll be immersed in a whimsical winter wonderland. On the main street, you’ll find a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions that are decorated for the holiday season. Along with the beautiful decorations, you’ll also find carolers singing, photos with Santa, and holiday performances. If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the holiday season, Julefest in Solvang is the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit!

What to Expect at Julefest

Julefest is a fantastic holiday celebration that occurs every year in November and December in Solvang. On the main street of Solvang, you’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants decorated for the Christmas season. You’ll also find carolers singing, horse-drawn carriages, and holiday performances throughout the street. Julefest also includes outdoor markets, where you can purchase holiday decorations, handmade crafts, and traditional Scandinavian items. There are also Christmas tree lighting, dancers, and much more.

Entertainment During Julefest

You’ll find an array of entertainment options during Julefest. During the daytime, you can attend one of the lively holiday events at Solvang. Julefest is happening this year at the village of Solvang beginning November 26, 2022, and running through January 6, 2023. Here is the full schedule of events for this year:

Nightly Light & Music Show

Solvang Park

1630 Mission Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

November 26th-January 6th

A 10-minute light show on the hour every hour from 5- 9 pm. This features an automated light show with traditional music.

Photos with Santa

Solvang Park

1630 Mission Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

Saturdays from 12 pm -4 pm

Sundays from 11 am -3 pm.

Meet Santa on Saturdays from 12-4 pm, and Sundays from 11 am-3 pm. The last day to meet Santa is Saturday, December 18th. Photos with Santa are free of charge. Don't forget your cameras or smartphone!

Candlelight Tours

Solvang Visitor Center

1637-1639 Copenhagen Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

Saturday, November 26th from 5-6:30 pm Saturday, December 3rd from 5-6:30 pm Friday, December 9th from 5-6:30 pm Friday, December 16th from 5-6:30 pm Saturday, December 17th from 5-6:30 pm Friday, December 23rd from 5-6:30 pm

Take part in an evening candlelight walking tour and experience the sights, sounds, and even some tastes of Christmas in Solvang. Tickets sell out fast.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Solvang Park

1630 Mission Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

December 2nd from 5 - 6:30 pm

This is not part of the everyday light show! Watch as the City of Solvang’s tree is lit up for the Holidays. There will be dancers and music performances.

Julefest Parade

Solvang Park

1630 Mission Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

December 3rd from 11am - 12:30pm

Watch as downtown Solvang transforms into the Julefest parade with floats, cars, horses, dancers, and more! There will be an award ceremony for participants of the parade at 1 pm.

Santa Ynez Valley Jazz Band

December 5th from 4–5 pm December 9th from 4–6 pm December 10th from 11 am–1 pm December 12th from 4–5 pm December 16th from 4–5 pm December 17th from 11 am–1 pm

Watch the roaming entertainment on select days throughout the village.

Central Coast Harmony Chorus

December 3rd from 6–8:30 pm December 9th from 6–8:30 pm December 16th from 6–8:30 pm December 23rd from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm December 27th from 3:30 pm-5:30 pm

Watch the roaming entertainment on select days throughout the village.

Artisanal Light Marketplace

Solvang Park

1630 Mission Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

December 7th from 6-8 pm

Shop from local artists while enjoying a musical performance on December 7th from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Solvang Nativity Spectacular

Solvang Theaterfest

420 2nd St, Solvang, CA 93463

December 10th

5 pm & 7 pm

There will be two performances celebrating Solvang traditions. The first performance starts at 5 pm and the next starts at 7 pm. Early entrance tickets are available here.

Christmas Lights & Sights

Solvang - Veterans Memorial Hall

1745 Mission Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

December 14th

6 pm & 7:30 pm

Enjoy a Christmas light tour through the San Ynez Valley. Tours meet at the Veterans Memorial Hall in the Vets Hall parking lot. See the festive decorations while enjoying Christmas music and hot chocolate! Tickets must be purchased in advance, please click here.

Danish Dancers

Jensen Square

446 Alisal Rd.

Solvang, CA 93463

December 10th

1 pm - 3 pm

Enjoy Danish Dancers at Jensen Square on December 10th from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Makers Market

Elverhøj Museum of History & Art

1624 Elverhoy Way

Solvang, CA 93463

December 10th & 17th

11 am - 5 pm

Meet the artisans and crafters while shopping for a variety of work made locally and sustainably.

Solvang Tree Burn

Mission Parking lot

1760 Mission Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

January 6th

5 pm -7 pm

Take your Christmas tree to the Mission Parking lot for a Tree Burn ceremony.

Where to Stay for Julefest

There are many hotels to choose from in Solvang, including the Wine Valley Hotel. The Wine Valley Hotel has a variety of fantastic rooms and suites to choose from, along with amenities like a spa, pool, and restaurant. This hotel is the perfect place to stay during Julefest!

Another hotel to consider is the Solvang Inn and Cottages. Solvang Inn and Cottages is located near the heart of Solvang and in an area with great shopping. This hotel also has a variety of fantastic rooms and suites to choose from, including a pool and free breakfast with your stay.

Kronborg Inn is another family-friendly hotel to consider. With 39 spacious, nicely decorated air-conditioned rooms around a sunny courtyard with a pool and spa with massage and facial. Kronborg Inn is on the Strip and near the beach. Wildling Museum and Solvang Festival Theater are cultural highlights, and some of the area's attractions include OstrichLand USA and Apple Lane Solvang. Global Gardens and SAARLOOSons are also worth visiting.

Mirabelle Inn and Restaurant is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Solvang. The hotel is comprised of 13 newly remodeled luxurious rooms offering five-star amenities. Enjoy the town like a local and take walking tours of the owner’s organic vineyard, Coquelicot Estate, and complimentary tasting room passes.

Shopping Experiences at Julefest

If you love to shop for unique gifts, you’ll want to visit the shops in Solvang during Julefest. In addition to the shops along the main street, you’ll also find more shops in Downtown Solvang. Here, you can find shops full of Scandinavian antiques, handmade soaps, and other unique items. Solvang is the perfect place to get amazing gifts for your friends and family!

Solvang is home to many fantastic shops, such as Scandia. Scandia has been a part of Solvang since 1912, and has a wide selection of handmade Scandinavian items, including ceramics, jewelry, and textiles. If you’re looking for handmade soaps and candles, you’ll want to visit The Mole Hole. The Mole Hole is located at 1656 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463 and has a variety of soaps, candles, and even toys. For a full list of shops in Solvang click here.

Restaurants to Visit During Julefest

If you’re hungry after visiting the shops and attractions in Solvang, you have a wide variety of restaurant options. You’ll find many casual restaurants in Solvang great for family dining. You’ll also find plenty of food trucks, serving everything from hot dogs to tacos, at Julefest. If you’re looking for a place to grab some drinks, you can visit one of the many bars. There are also many wineries in the area, where you can sample delicious wine and enjoy a beautiful view. Don't forget to stop by a danish bakery while you are at Solvang! To find a full list of restaurants in Solvang, click here, and for danish bakeries, click here.

Here are some local favorites to get your tour started:

  • Birkholm's Bakery & Cafe

  • Danish Mill Bakery

  • Mortensen's Bakery

  • Old Danish Food Farm/Fudge Kitchen

  • Olsen's Danish Village Bakery

  • Solvang Bakery

Other Attractions

There are lots of fun things to do in the nearby areas, no matter what time of year you visit Solvang! Take family photos in the Giant Red Clog or play at Sunny Fields Park castle. The HCA Skate Park offers a healthy activity for kids. You can take a Surrey bicycle out for a spin as a group or go on a trolley tour. For a taste of nature, visit Ostrichland & Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch.

If you’re looking for other attractions at Solvang, you can visit the mission at the Mission Santa Inés. Find ongoing events like 3rd Wednesday Specials, Weekly Wednesday Farmer’s Markets, and the nearby Chumash Casino Resort offering 24/7 gaming.

You can also visit the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden, which is about 15 minutes drive from Solvang. Santa Barbara Zoo and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum are also activities that are a short drive to Solvang.

Helpful Tips

Whether you’re visiting Solvang for the first time or you’re a regular, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to visit Solvang during the weekend, as some shops and attractions are closed during the week.

  • If you want to visit the wineries, you’ll want to visit them on Saturdays, as some are closed on Sundays.

  • You can find ATMs at Rabobank, Copenhagen Liquor, Solvang Market on Mission Drive, and Red Viking Restaurant on Copenhagen Drive.

  • Some restaurants open as early as 6 am and most bakeries open at 7 am.

  • Parking is FREE throughout the village and in parking lots on Alisal Road, Copenhagen, and Mission Drives.

  • The visitor center is located at 1639 Copenhagen Drive and it is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. You may also call 805-688-6144 to speak with a local expert.


Disclaimer: This article contains some affiliate links.

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