Solvang, Danish for sunny fields, is a quaint little Danish village filled with European charm, windmills, and craft local brews, delicious local wine and decadent pastries. Settled in 1911 by Danish immigrants, Solvang remains a little piece of Denmark in Central California. With so many places to shop, drink and eat, it is best to make a weekend out of the visit, but it also makes for a fun little pit-stop on your way up (or down) California’s coast. We usually break up road trips with a visit to Solvang on our way to Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo. It is really fun little town that the whole family will joy! Today, I’ll be showing you what to do in Solvang with kids. Check it out!
Money Saving Tip
There are always package offers for the local hotels, which combine accommodations with local area attractions. This is great way to save if you are planning to stay the evening. Another great way to save is to make it a day trip and just pop in for a meal or snack.
Where to Stay in Solvang
There are plenty of hotels to choose from, but if you are visiting Solvang with kids I say, stay in a hotel that feels Danish and is walking distance from the village center. Park, relax, drink some wine (or lots of wine) then just walk back to your room. That’s how I like to roll, anyway. Plus, when traveling with kids, the less you have to get them in and out of the car the better.
$100 or less a night= $
$100-$200 a night = $$
$200 or more= $$$
Hadsten House Inn $$:
Beautifully decorated and luxurious. It is romantic for couples, but also great for families since kids dine free. Plus, there are some great package deals.
Hamlet Inn $-$$:
Most the time the rates are very affordable and there are always packages offered. The décor is very mod-Danish.
King Frederik Inn $:
Not the fanciest, but conveniently located and the most affordable. Family travel usually is synonymous with budget travel, so this stay is a great choice.
Hotel Corque $$:
Not quite walking distance, but new and luxurious.
Places to Eat in Solvang
Don’t worry about food if you are visiting Solvang with kids, but there are many dining options. However, when visiting a little Danish village, I recommend eating Danish cuisine. Part of traveling with kids is giving them new experiences. See more about getting your kids to enjoy global cuisine, HERE.
Heidelberg Inn Restaurant and Beergarden:
I love this place, because the patio has a nice view of Solvang and it is pretty reasonable. Oh, and there is yummy cold beer! I recommend the sausage plate with sauerkraut, washed down with a pitcher of locally brewed Hoppy Poppy IPA.
Again, love the outdoor seating and the menu has a huge selection of Danish options. UPDATE: This establishment unfortunately has closed 🙁
Hadsten House Bistro:
More of an upscale dining experience, but worth it if you really want some great food in a gorgeous atmosphere.
Sweets: There are tons of bakeries and tons of treats to try while visiting Solvang with kids little sugar heaven. The options are endless, but honestly just get the Aebleskiver. These Danish delights are round little balls of dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with raspberry jam.
Where to Grab a Drink
Solvang is located in the heart of wine country, so tasting options are plentiful. We rolled up into Dascomb Cellars (strollers and all) to taste some local wines. They were super friendly and not snobby about us rolling in with our crazy crew, so don’t think you can’t get your wine on while traveling with kids. The décor was warm and cozy, set up for the holidays.
We set the babies up with iPads and settled in for our adult tasting! For $12 we were able to try seven wines paired with complementing cheeses, which is a great deal. Even better, with the purchase of a bottle of wine you get a tasting for free. We really loved the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Sangiovese and bought a couple bottles to take home.
At the Heidelberg Beergarden we really enjoyed the local Hoppy Poppy IPA.
Fun Things to do in Solvang with Kids
We love to walk around and enjoy the scenery. It’s not every day we get to see darling Danish architecture and windmills here in California. I’m sure you and your family will find ample photo opportunities! Check out some of ours.
There are tons of cute shops to explore in Solvang. We hit up Solvang Toyland first, so the kids could pick a new treat to entertain them during lunch. Nothing expensive, we let them pick from the $1 section. My kids of course picked the finger zombies. Then we peeked in some gift shops to pick out the perfect souvenir. I love all the fun steins.
Art and Museums:
You have check out the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. It has a whole collection of his work, including travel journals and plays, artwork and a number of awesome displays.
Nearby is the Hans Christian Andersen Park, Sunny Field Park and Solvang Park, which offer a great opportunity to let the little ones burn off some energy.
A trolley ride or Honen ride, that is pulled horses, is relaxing and informative way to see the town, maybe start with this activity and you’ll have a better idea of what interests you and your family.
Festivals and Events:
There is always something going on is Solvang, so be sure to check their calendar for upcoming events!
That’s A Wrap:
If you’re a local, this is an affordable and convenient way to feel like you are in Europe. For some visitors, maybe it is a taste of home. Whether you are a California native or just visiting, Solvang has something for everyone to enjoy. It is all about relaxing, perusing the shops before stopping to taste some wine or sweet Danish treats. Slowdown, take in the beautiful surroundings and be a Dane for a day. If you are ever in California don’t miss visiting Solvang with kids!
Have you ever been to Solvang?
Do have a similar village where you live?