Top Wine Stories of 2007

Wine Country Travel Guide
Traveling with Children: Toddlers & Kids 5-10

by Courtney Cochran

It’s key with kids in this age group not to try to do too much. Generally speaking, checking in at a couple of wineries in a day is about the right amount, and it’s a good idea to leave plenty of time for activities of interest to tykes, too (and, when appropriate, nap time). For obvious reasons, finding spots to visit that offer activities of interest to both parents and kids will keep everyone happy. To wit, a handful of forward-thinking wineries – many of whose owners have kids of their own – have begun offering truly intriguing activities and attractions aimed at keeping kids occupied while mom and dad partake of tastes. Some of the more novel at-winery activities include:

  • Scavenger hunts
  • Swimming pools
  • Fish ponds, animals for viewing, petting or riding
  • Swings and other play equipment
  • Crafting

Many other wineries offer activities that aren’t kid-focused per se, but are often of interest to tykes:

  • Tram rides and tours
  • Vineyard walks and demonstrations
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Cave visits
  • Picnics

And, especially when it comes to keeping younger kids engaged, wine country offers plenty of cool things to do apart from winery visits. You might consider:

  • Apple picking (see farms in West Sonoma County’s Sebastopol)
  • Taking a train ride (Sonoma TrainTown, Napa Valley Wine Train)
  • Visiting natural wonders (Petrified Forest, Calistoga Old Faithful Geyser)
  • Exploring kid-friendly gardens and art installations (Cornerstone Gardens, di Rosa Preserve)
  • Visiting an amusement park or similar kid-oriented attraction (Vallejo’s Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa)
Traveling With: Traveling with Children: Do's and Don'ts

Traveling With: Teenagers 11-17