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Sunny Fields Park in Solvang is something right out of a Viking fairytale. It’s built of wood and decorated in the distinct shades of pale blue, green and muted red. Immediately after I posted Hans Christian Andersen Park and recommendations for a visiting to Solvang — I had a bunch of people ask me why we didn’t go to Sunny Fields. So on our next trip, we did!
Location: On our trips north, I like to get off the 101 freeway and drive the 154 over the San Marcos Pass. This route takes you past amazing views of Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands going up the Pass. Then you get to see Lake Cachuma off to your right as you enter the Santa Ynez Valley. Keep your eyes out for the left turn onto Highway 246/Mission Drive. You’ll go past wineries and take a right onto Alamo Pintado across from the Chumash reservation (before reaching the village of Solvang). You’ll see the park on your right past Creekside. MAP TO SUNNY FIELDS PARK IN SOLVANG [You can also hop off the 101 freeway in Buellton and drive east into Solvang from the opposite direction).
- Amazingly fun to sail the Viking ship and navigate all the little pathways leading through the interiors of this park. My son says: “It’s one of THE most amazing parks I’ve ever been to.” (And we’ve been to A LOT of parks!)
- I loved the mixing of local history with European, Viking, cowboy, and Native American decoration.
- There’s a tot lot area with little playhouses and a wagon for climbing. It also has spring ride-on animals. 3 baby swings and one accessible swing in the tot lot area.
- The older kid area has the Viking ship, towers, walkways, obstacle course, bridges, rings, and monkey bars. The big kid area has one tire swing, 2 bench swings, and one accessible swing.
- Plenty of seating for adults.
- Child-size picnic tables in some areas.
- Adult supervision is required in the tot lot.
- The playground is mostly fenced, but there are some escape routes.
- Children are not visible on many parts of the playground, you may find yourself running around a bit. (If you’re using it as a rest stop, that’s a good thing!)
- Solvang is great for a weekend getaway or a nice stop on a road trip along the 101. It’s about a 3 1/2 hour drive from central Orange County – so a bit too much for a day trip. If you stay in Santa Barbara, it’s only 45 minutes from there.
- FREE parking in the village and at the park
- Bark play surface at the playground
- Sheltered picnic tables and grills (click here for info on reserving)
- Drinking fountain and nice restrooms
- A sports field and baseball diamond adjacent to the playground
- Nice walking path around the field to stretch your legs