California ‘Family-Friendly’ Wineries
Exploring the vineyards is one of the ways kids enjoy California wine country.
Exploring the vineyards is one of the ways kids enjoy California wine country.
Many moms and dads visit California wine country for much-needed “grown-up” time in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, but did you know that that dozens of the state’s wineries offer special family-friendly activities and accommodations for kids? While the adults sample the latest vintages, children can have their own brand of fun tasting grape juice, romping in play areas, visiting with farm animals and playing outdoor games.
Before embarking on a fun family outing in California’s wine country, it’s a good idea to call ahead or check the winery website to make sure minors are welcome. (Some don’t allow guests under age 21 due to liability concerns or preference.) Once kids get the green light, they’ll be able to join you at the winery, and can often participate in tours.
Here’s a sampling of family-friendly wineries throughout California:
ACORN Winery/ Alegría Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County
Legos, crayons and cornhole keep kids entertained while parents taste. Children may also explore the vineyards adjacent to the tasting room, join parents on a guided vineyard walk and taste grapes during harvest.
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County
Kids can join in winery and cave tours with their parents, visit the vineyards, enjoy the picnic area and meet the winery dogs. While the adults taste wine, children can do a winery seek-and-find puzzle.
Alpha Omega, St. Helena, Napa County
The winery presents kids with crayons and the coloring book Exploring the Napa Valley with Traveler Teddies, a kid-friendly guide to the Napa Valley.
Ancient Peaks Winery, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo County
Zipline above the vines at the winery’s Santa Margarita Ranch (kids weighing 30-100 pounds can fly tandem with an adult). After zooming through the adventure course, families can have lunch (with wine for the adults) at the Ancient Peaks café.
Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves, Healdsburg, Sonoma County
Book the Vineyard Tour and ride a vintage Pinzgauer truck to the top of Lily Hill, where parents sample wine and kids can watch hawks soar overhead. Families may also picnic on the lawn and tour the wine caves.
Brassfield Estate Winery, Clearlake Oaks, Lake County
The winery invites families to play bocce ball and cornhole, and relax in Brassfield’s picnic area.
Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma, Sonoma County
Tours led by period actors include wine caves and the Historic Wine Museum, which features an entertaining multimedia show. There’s also a picnic area and hedge maze.
Captain Vineyards, Moraga, Contra Costa County
Families can book a farm stay, have a picnic or tour the vineyard and winery. During harvest, kids are invited to help crush grapes.
Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa County
Tour a massive replica of an Italian castle, complete with a dungeon, then meet the estate peacocks and farm animals. Kids can sample grape juice and enjoy their own play area.
Chasewater Winery & Olive Mill, Kelseyville, Lake County
At this pup-friendly winery, families can spend the day playing bocce ball, enjoying the picnic tables and lawn and sampling the estate’s olive oil.
Cline Cellars, Sonoma, Sonoma County
The park-like, historic grounds feature expansive lawns, ponds stocked with carp and turtles, vintage train cars and the winery’s Sicilian donkeys, Fancy and Pudding.
DeLoach Vineyards, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County
The winery features educational, family-friendly tours highlighting DeLoach’s history, winemaking techniques and farming practices. Families can also picnic in the winery grove.
Domaine Artefact, Escondido, San Diego County
Pack a picnic and play cornhole and giant Jenga, or visit with the ranch dogs and farm animals.
Fenton Herriott Vineyards, Placerville, El Dorado County
Enjoy the picnic area and play bocce ball on one of two full-sized courts.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, Sonoma County
Coppola welcomes families with two large swimming pools, a bocce ball court, a children’s library, a gallery filled with memorabilia from Coppola’s films, board games and more.
(Note: This season, pool access is only available through cabine reservations, which are currently sold out through October 2021. However, cancelations do occur, so check the website for availability.)
Frog’s Leap, Rutherford, Napa County
Dogs and kids are welcome at Frog’s Leap, which includes a barn, farm animals, and fruit and vegetable gardens. The winery also occasionally hosts specific family-friendly tasting times.
Fults Family Vineyards, Lower Lake, Lake County
Families at this kid- and dog-friendly winery are invited to enjoy the golf range and picnic tables.
Furthermore Wines, Sebastopol, Sonoma County
Parents can bring their kids and dogs along for a day of bocce ball and picnicking.
Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County
While parents enjoy a glass or bottle outside overlooking the vineyards, children can play giant Connect Four, giant Jenga and cornhole. Barton’s Kitchen Window serves lunch with many family-friendly options.
Heritage Oak Winery, Acampo, Lodi/San Joaquin County
Outdoor family fun includes picnicking, hiking down to the river, kayaking and occasional guided bird walks.
Holly’s Hill Vineyard, Pleasant Valley, El Dorado County
The winery offers an outdoor toy box for kids and family-friendly camping through Harvest Hosts.
Honig Vineyard & Winery, Rutherford, Napa County
Also dog-friendly, the winery caters to kids with juice boxes, Goldfish crackers and coloring books for $10 per child.
Iron Hub Winery and Vineyards, Plymouth, Amador County
This kid- and dog-friendly winery offers children’s activities — including cornhole, giant Jenga, coloring books and giant dominoes — while parents enjoy a seated patio tasting.
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate, Fulton, Sonoma County
Kids are welcome to play bocce ball, picnic and tour the extensive vegetable garden, which includes a chicken coop, bat boxes and a demonstration beehive.
Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood, Sonoma County
The winery has an expansive lawn and picnic area, plus a bocce ball court.
Napa Cellars, St. Helena, Napa County
Families can play bocce ball, ladder ball and cornhole. The winery also has a picnic area and often features live music.
Navarro Vineyards, Philo, Mendocino County
Navarro offers grape juice tastings of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer for kids, plus family-friendly vineyard tours and a picnic area.
Raymond Vineyards, St. Helena, Napa County
The outdoor Theater of Nature showcases the ways in which all of nature’s “actors” — including chickens and goats — play a crucial part in crafting quality wine.
Retzlaff Vineyards, Livermore, Alameda County
The winery has a picnic area and a lawn with big toy tractors for kids to play on.
Shannon Ridge Winery, Lower Lake, Lake County
This kid- and dog-friendly winery offers vineyard hikes, bocce ball and picnic tables.
Six Sigma Ranch and Winery, Lower Lake, Lake County
Meet Topper, the winery’s pot belly pig, who loves to have his ears rubbed. On select Saturdays, kids can help feed the livestock. The estate also includes vast picnic grounds, cornhole, and trails for hiking and mountain biking.
Sterling Vineyards, Calistoga, Napa County
Ride the gondola up the mountain to the winery, where families are welcome to take a self-guided tour. Kids are given snacks, juice and a coloring book package on arrival.
Zaca Mesa Winery, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara County
Families are invited to bring their dogs, and enjoy a picnic or play a game on the giant chess board.
We make every effort to maintain the accuracy of this list. However, policies do change, so please contact wineries prior to visiting to confirm their policies. Dog-friendly wineries require that pups be leashed and well behaved.
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