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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Napa/Sonoma Wineries with Kids

Wine tasting is really an adult "sport" and wineries usually aren't set up with kid activities. If you have the children along what spots will be the least boring for the tykes?

Napa Valley
  • Castello di Amorosa is a replica medieval Italian castle (entry fee)
  • Sterling features a gondola ride up to the winery (entry fee)
  • V. Sattui has a deli and is a good spot for a picnic

Sonoma County
  • Benziger has beautiful grounds, vineyard tram tours, and a playground
  • Cline is in a park-like setting and has a California Missions Museum
  • Francis Ford Coppola has movie memorabilia, a restaurant and a swimming pool

Many wineries have bocce ball courts
You can always let the kids throw bocce balls 
at each other while mom and dad drink   :)
Image from

In any winery the children are likely to be bored while you're at the tasting bar. You are expected to keep you kids in control, safe, and not let them disturb other visitors. This means your concentration will be split between the wine and the kids. If you can't do this then maybe one parent should be with the children while the other tastes.

Family Unfriendly Wineries

Are there wineries that don't want kids? Well, yes, though most won't turn you away. If you're making an appointment to visit then ask.  Some of the more high-end places like Opus One aren't really designed for children.

Alcohol-free things to do

These will appeal to the kids and adults. The redwoods park is free, the rest require an entrance fee.
  • Armstrong Redwoods near Guerneville
  • Charles Schultz Museum, from the creator of Peanuts, in Santa Rosa
  • Old Faithful Geyser near Calistoga
  • Petrified Forest between Santa Rosa and Calistoga
  • Safari West between Santa Rosa and Calistoga