If you think Solvang, a.k.a. “The Danish Capital of America,” is already Christmassy most of the year, then just wait until you see it during the Julefest. The 2023 Solvang Christmas celebration is a month-long winter escape where the quaint hamlet is filled with twinkling lights, traditional ornaments, seasonal treats, and other holiday delights.
Julefest has been in full swing since the end of November and you can still enjoy the Christmas festivities through January 6, 2024. It’s worth planning a trip ASAP so you can take full advantage of the Solvang Christmas light tours, light and music shows, Nisser adventure, and more.
Even though many of Julefest’s special events have already passed, you’ll want to save the date for the Solvang Christmas Tree Burn on Jan. 5, 2024 (weather permitting). The Santa Barbara County Fire Department supervises this massive tree burning and safety demonstration at the start of the new year as an official end to Julefest. The event will include plenty of delicious refreshments and live entertainment to keep the merriment going.
At Solvang Julefest, visitors will enjoy a number of delightful activities and spectacles in an alluring Scandinavian setting. Saturday, Dec. 23 is your last chance to hop on the Solvang Trolley for an entertaining Christmas light tour, or snag a spot on the coveted Candlelight tours led by costumed guides. Santa’s Village will also be kicking through Dec. 23 so you can get some last pictures with the big man himself.
Don’t stress if you can’t make it to Julefest before Christmas, because some activities will last a little while longer. Get in touch with Solvang’s paranormal side on The Haunt’s Solvang Christmas Ghost Tour through Dec. 31, or visit on a Wednesday to check out the weekly farmers market.
Head to Solvang Park for a synchronized light and music show every day at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm. The 10-minute show alternates between two different variations and is an essential stop on your visit.
Finally, Julefest is hosting the family-friendly Nisser Adventure daily through Jan. 6. Join a city-wide hunt for Solvang’s mischievous Nisser (Danish for “gnome”), who have hidden themselves throughout the downtown area. Once you’ve found them, head to the Visitor Center for a special prize to take home.
After all this merriness and you may find yourself a little peckish, and you’ll be drawn to the array of cheeses, cured meats, and pastries throughout Solvang. You’ll basically eat your way through the town, stopping at the most iconic places like Cailloux Cheese Shop, Bit O Denmark, Crawford Family Wines, and Olsen’s Bakery for bites and sips all through the new year.
After a day of Danish holiday cheer, most will agree that you can’t do much better than a Solvang Christmas. So grab your loved ones, have fun, and glædelig Julfest!
Written by Ashlyn Davis and Jamie Ferrell