Wineries and kids actually do go well together if you go to the right wineries, know what to expect and what to bring. Here are some tips to make your next winery get-away with kids a success!
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Tip 1: Know which wineries to go to
Check out websites of the wineries you want to go to and find out if they have these things:
- Outdoor space
- Picnic tables/outdoor seating
- Live music
- Activities like driving range (Fults Family Vineyards), bocce ball (La Nebbia Winery) or corn hole (Retzlaff Vineyards).
The outdoor space is a necessity (see tip 4), and others are nice to have. For example, if they don’t have a picnic table, maybe you want to bring a blanket or lawn chairs (if they allow it). If they don’t have music or entertainment, you will definitely want to bring something for the kids to do.
If you aren’t sure based on their website, it’s always a good idea to call ahead of time to see if they are family friendly. You don’t want to go there and encounter a stiff non-family friendly wine educator or crowd giving you the eye right after you finally unloaded your kids and their stuff.
Tip 2: Taste the wine outside or buy a bottle and bring it outside
We’ve tried standing there inside the wineries to do tastings. We end up having to take turns chasing Henry around while we chug down the tasting we have and *kind of* enjoy it. We found that when we get to a winery, it’s best to see if they offer tastings outside and they bring the wine to you. Or, most of the time, we just let them know we want to buy a bottle to bring outside
We found that when we get to a winery, it’s best to see if they offer tastings outside where they bring the wine to you. Or, most of the time, we just let them know we want to buy a bottle to bring outside, and they are usually more than happy to let us taste the bottles we are considering purchasing. This way, we can just go outside, let all the other adults taste their wine in peace, and we can drink our wine in “peace” (as much as that is possible with kids) outside. Win win.
Tip 3: Bring activities and snacks
We usually bring activities to restaurants, and the same goes for wineries. If they have a large enough outdoor space, you can bring a little ball or some other lawn activity. We always have random toys we get from the $1 section of Target or Daiso. These little surprise fun toys usually buy us at least 10-15 min of wine sipping time. Even if we go through 4 of these bad boys (=about 40min-60 min of wine sipping time), it won’t cost us more than $4, a fraction of the cost of the wine we are drinking. Totally worth it.
I’m sure we all know the importance of this. Hangry kids are not fun, especially at wineries where you want to have a “relaxing” (haha) time. They will without a doubt also want something of their own to put in their mouths when they see that we are drinking something. So don’t go to a winery without their beverage of choice and some snacks to tame the hungry monster.
Tip 4: Don’t go on a rainy day
There are too many reasons for this.
- Most wineries do not have a big enough space inside for kids to run around.
- Wineries have so many cool merchandises that they want to touch, drop, and throw around inside.
- Kids would want to go outside while you try to taste wine, and you will have to hear some version of “can we go outside” a billion times.
- It will be crowded inside with tall people standing around drinking adult grape juice (in your kid’s minds) and that’s a recipe for a stir crazy kid.
- You all will be wet and most likely cold while you chase your kid around that is running into other people, merchandise and screaming “can we go outside”.
Need any other reasons? 🙂 Just not worth it. Buy a bottle of wine from a nearby store, open it at your home, and save drinking at a winery for another sunny day.
Tip 5: Go on a limo, wine bus, train or horse-carriage if you can
Hiring a limo or going on a wine bus/train/horse-drawn carriage ride will make it an extra fun activity for kids in between wineries and it takes the stress out of you to drive around everywhere. Plus, it’s so fancy pulling up to wineries in a limo or a horse-drawn carriage – it’s part of the experience!
If you would like any suggestions or help to find a limo or tour that are kids friendly, contact us! We would love to help you.