Hosting Procedures

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Take this information with you to the House of Denmark so you have it handy. We also try to keep an updated copy at the Cottage.

We welcome questions about your hosting ahead of time. Please call or email Oda.

Opening Hours

The City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department requires that the Cottages be open a minimum of five (5) hours between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

You can open anytime between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. (noon) and then be open for 5 hours.  So if you open at 11 a.m., you could close the cottage at 4 p.m. If you open at 11:30 a.m., you could close at 4:30 p.m. and so on. Noon is the latest opening time.  The 5-hour shift starts as soon as you open the doors to the lawn area/public. You can still complete your preparations after the doors to the lawn area are open. Do not be surprised if an HPR officer or City official checks on the Cottage shortly after opening; this is routine.  They can also assist if there is a problem.

Keys & Locks

We will give you a code for the key/lock box ahead of time in a separate email or text.  

Lock box – The lock box is the black box attached to the front door.  Pull the cover off by squeezing the two small tabs on each side of the box and then pull on the lid towards you. It has numbers like a phone and two other buttons, one to “clear” and one to open the box after the code has been entered. Enter the code and open box.

There are two keys in the box.  One key is for the door and padlock on the back door. The other key is for opening the french doors to the main lawn area and patio areas from the inside of the cottage.  

Front door:

  • First remove the padlock and slide the bolt to the right.
  • Second unlock the door.  The front door has a small “trick” to open. The lock is “backwards” so the key needs to be turned to the left (counterclockwise) to unlock. When turning the key make sure it goes fully  to the left, and hold in that position while pushing the door open.
  • Third, when the door is open, return the padlock to the door in a closed position and return the keys to the lock box (reverse procedure).  This prevents you from accidentally being locked out of the house since the front door can only be opened from the outside with a key in the door (no handle).

On Arrival (before opening)

Interior lights:  Just inside the back door to the left.

Cabinet lights:  On electrical cords to cabinets.

Track lights:  Over the back corner display area: Near the ceiling.

Kitchen and bathroom lights: Above and to the right of the kitchen sink.

Water: Turn water on with the yellow lever to the left of the toilet (vertical is on).

French Doors: Open the French doors to the lawn area. There are hooks to secure the doors so they don’t blow closed. Opening the French doors to the patio is optional, depending on weather etc.

Flags: Place the Danish flag in the flag bracket mounted to the left as you exit the doors to the lawn area. Place the two small standing flagpoles out front on either side.

Benches: Place the long red benches on either side of the walkway outside.

Tip Jar: Put the donation container out, but do not require people to donate, as this is prohibited by our agreement with the City of San Diego.

Coffee: Make coffee ready using the automatic drip coffee maker. The instructions for preparing the coffee are listed on a sign above the coffee maker.  Start off making a full pot (12-14 cups) of regular coffee. Whether to make more in the beginning is at your discretion. Several thermos coffee dispensers are available on and under the counter in the kitchen or in the tall cabinet. The tin of coffee is usually located on the counter or you can find it in the low cabinets within the kitchen (sink) area.   You can also make decaffeinated coffee.

Lemonade:  This is optional. Depending on the weather, you may want to make just a pitcher of lemonade or a larger amount using the lemonade dispenser. The lemonade powder can be found in the low cabinets within the kitchen (sink) area. Lemonade is popular among kids. Adults also appreciate it during warm days.  It would be a good idea to bring a bag of ice to cool down the lemonade.

Treats: There is no requirement to bring something from home but the public always appreciates the personal touch.  Due to recent Health Department requirements, everything that we serve (cake, cookies, etc.) needs to be covered (use plastic bags available on the counter).  The servings need only be small bite size and they can be served on paper plates or napkins as long as they are covered. Having whole trays available acts as an invitation to freeloading types to go overboard, loading their plates (and sometimes pockets and bags). Feel free to use Danish Butter Cookies provided by the House of Denmark if you run out of treats. Look in the lower cabinets if none are on the counter top.


Cleaning: Please leave the cottage, and especially the kitchen, in a clean and proper condition (how you would like to find it when you arrive). You will find a vacuum cleaner for the floor, as well as a ‘Swiffer’ type mop behind the front door (behind curtain). Dispose of trash in the cans or dumpsters outside and replace the bags in the trash cans.  Make sure you remember to remove used coffee filters from the coffee makers.

Water: Turn off water by turning the yellow lever next to the toilet (horizontal is off).

Lights: Turn off all lights.

Curtains: Make sure all curtains are drawn.

Donations: Donations should be submitted to the Treasurer or another board member, by cash or check, in person or by mail or use the PayPal link at the top of this page.  There are pre-addressed, stamped envelopes available on the counter for this purpose.

Remember to bring in benches and flags.

Compensation: Hosts and hostesses may compensate themselves for the cost of refreshments from the donations received. However, most members donate all proceeds to the Cottage Treasury.

Supplies: If any supplies are running low, please contact Charlotte Carroll so that we can restock.

Before Locking Up: Ensure all windows and French doors are closed and locked and locking pins securely in place.

Lock the front door:  Remember to turn the key to the right to lock it. Be sure to hear the click. Slide the bolt in place and replace the padlock.

Replace the key in the key-safe on the door:  Put in the code to unlock, place the keys inside and close.


We can only keep this wonderful place to meet, share and showcase our culture if we keep it open every Saturday and Sunday, and we can only do so with your help.


If this is your first time hosting, you’re welcome to contact the board and if possible someone will share your first hosting with you.

Above all, Have Fun!

Enjoy your day at the cottage. It’s quite fun playing “ambassador” and sharing our culture.