Solvang Sparkles During Julefest, a Merry, Month-Plus Lark

The windmill-y wonderland will be the place for pictures with Santa, pretty lights, and, of course, all of those perfect pastries.


What to Know

  • Nov. 26 through Jan. 6, 2023; check the schedule before going to confirm specific events and offerings
  • The tree-lighting ceremony will take place on Dec. 2
  • Candlelight tours will glow on select evenings, starting Nov. 26

CHRISTMAS IS A DATE, a marvelous moment, a sweet celebration, a time together, and a million other merry things. But is it a year-long feeling, the sort of emotion we tap into come April or August? For many people and places, yuletide-style shimmer isn't so accessible when the December page isn't showing on the calendar. And yet? There are a few festive locations that always have a touch of Christmassy magic every day of the year, thanks to the architecture, cuisine, community, and welcoming spirit of the community. Solvang is one of those holiday-ready hamlets, a cheery spot lined with windmills, and brimming with pastries, all year long. So when December does actually arrive, the wine country town truly goes the December-y distance, adding a host of effervescent occasions to its come-one-come-all line-up.


JULEFEST... is the name for this annual Christmas-tacular. It's a happening that's so big December can't quite contain it all, meaning it will begin, with shimmer and sweetness, on Saturday, Nov. 26. That's when the Nightly Light & Music Show begins in Solvang Park, but there are more bonbons to behold as the twelfth month arrives and Julefest hits its celebratory stride. Look for weekend photos with Santa, the adorable Nisse Adventure (swing by the Solvang Visitor Center for info on locating the not-too-easy-to-find gnome), and the tree-lighting on Dec. 2. Candlelight tours, Danish dancers, a Nativity spectacular, and a Makers Market brimming with handmade goods will flower, like so many poinsettias, throughout the month. If you've got a specific event in mind, do check the schedule before alighting in the charming village. As for the famous Solvang Tree Burn? That's set for the first Friday in 2023, Jan. 6.

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