We know what you’re thinking, but hear us out — many wineries offer onsite delis or full-service restaurants and picnic spots (with gorgeous scenery), perfect for a family outing. Others offer grape juice and activities for kids to enjoy while you decide whether or not the Pinot Noir trumps the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Consider one of these family friendly wine farms on your next family adventure. Cheers!
Written by Amanda Geronikos
Sterling Vineyards - Calistoga, Calif.
The kids won't be bored at Napa Valley"s Sterling Vineyards, considering the wine tour starts with a gondola ride. The Sterling Tram takes families to the winery, offering outstanding views along the way; it's also free for children under age 3. When you arrive, the kids will be treated to crayons, coloring books and grape juice.
In the Finger Lakes, Wagner Winery is a good choice for families. Located on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, the winery offers stellar views, plus the Ginny Lee Cafe, where you can enjoy burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizzas and other kid-approved favorites. While you sip on wine, the little ones can try the Blush Grape Juice.
If you're planning a trip to Washington, D.C., include a visit to nearby Potomac Point Winery. The winery welcomes visitors -- families included -- to bring their own food and enjoy a picnic. Parents can sample Cabernet Franc and Coyote Cave Red while kids play in the Little Buds Room. Afterward, families can explore the Coyote Wine Cave, which houses wine barrels and plays host to many events.
On Long Island, Martha Clara Vineyards features a petting zoo with small animals, plus the opportunity to see llamas, horses and goats. You"ll also enjoy live entertainment on most weekends, and themed events throughout the year. There's a small cafe onsite, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy a picnic.
At the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park, in Estes Park, Colorado, sits this little winery that specializes in delicious, dry red wines. It also specializes in kid-friendly fun, with a "No Whining Zone" that includes games, books, grape juice and other diversions for youngsters to enjoy. Food is also available to order. Don't be surprised to look out the window and see wild elk passing by!
V. Sattui is one of the largest family friendly wine farms in Napa Valley, and it offers a bustling deli and marketplace with fresh meats, cheeses, fruits, breads and pastries. Families can put a picnic basket together and enjoy lunch on the lovely grounds surrounding the winery; plenty of picnic tables are available. On Saturdays and Sundays, the winery hosts barbecues that include wood-fired pizza, ribs and more.
Owned by the same family who operates V. Sattui Winery and also located in Napa Valley, Castello di Amoroso resembles a castle and -- fun fact for families -- was seen in Disney's Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bedtime Stories," featuring Adam Sandler. Kids are given grape juice (for a small fee) and crayons to enjoy in Knight"s Hall, one of the winery"s tasting rooms.
Barrel Oak Winery welcomes your kids, your dog and your spouse! The family friendly wine farm offers wood-fired pizza, with plenty of picnic tables and beautiful views to enjoy while you eat. Juice boxes are available for kids, as are themed events that might include live music, scavenger hunts and arts and crafts. The winery also offers horseback riding (appointments required).
Larson Family Winery is the former site of Sonoma Rodeo, as well as the Embarcadero of Sonoma, a famous transportation hub. Today, it's a beautiful family friendly wine farm, complete with a small farm of animals and opportunities to play bocce ball or horseshoes with the kids. Dogs are welcome, too.
Did you know screenwriter and director Francis Ford Coppola is also a winemaker? His winery in California has two pools, making it the perfect family friendly wine farm. Fracis Ford Coppola Winery also has cabines (cabanas) by the pools, with a shower, towels, chaise lounge chairs and a deck of cards in each. Pool passes and cabines are available for an additional fee. The winery also offers bocce ball and board games (free of charge) and a nifty movie gallery that pays homage to Copolla's Hollywood days.