The amazing ladies behind Monday Sparkles went one giant step further than their Napa family faves to share the best most terrific family-friendly wineries that they go to not just for the wines. Yes, please and thank you! If you haven't checked out their fantastic subscriptions of delight and empowerment for tween girls, go on.
Living in beautiful Napa means we are surrounded by views of picturesque wineries, world class wines, great weather, dining, and shops. We also get to host lots of family and friends wanting to visit. Before we channel our inner tour guides and round up our favorite family-friendly wineries, here are some tips for when the kids are with us.
Tips for visiting wineries with little ones:
- There's an app for that. Check TripAdvisor and filter for kid-friendly
- Plan ahead and research the winery before visiting. Large groups may need appointments and some wineries may have a special treat (juice box, coloring pages) for the children.
- Feed the children beforehand. Some wineries will not allow outside or offer food for purchase.
- Pack small snacks and activities like travel games, and coloring activities. Most wineries will have places for children to explore but do double check which areas are off-limits. And expect some downtime for them.
- Bring sunscreen and hats depending on the time of day you visit. Napa gets HOT.
- Shop local. Many of the wineries will have gift shops that carry non wine items made from local companies.
Splurge-worthy Napa wineries to visit with family
These are our favorite places to visit when family and friends come from far away to really show off the best of Napa Valley.
Castello Di Amorosa
This awesome 13th century castle can be enjoyed two ways. General admission starts at $25/adult includes 5 tastings and $15/child age 5-20 includes grape juice. Guided Tours start at $40/adult and $30/child. If you are curious about the beautiful castle, we would suggest the two-hour guided tour. General admission has restrictive access. They also have a tasting room with a large dining table that has coloring pages and crayons available for children.
Fanny's daughter celebrated her 8th birthday with a trip to “The Castle” on a mommy-daughter date. She had so much fun exploring the castle! She said it was the best day ever.
Sterling Vineyards has a gondola ride that is an awesome adventure for the kids. This winery has been voted Best Napa Valley Experience for good reason. Perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga, you get panoramic views of Napa Valley from both the winery and the aerial tram that transports you there. Really stunning. Tours start at $29/adult and $15/child (3 and under are free) and include some wine and the tram ride.
We also like the self-guided tour where the kids are able to roam around a bit. Our kids are saving their allowance so they can splurge at the kid section in the gift shop the next time they get to go back.
Wineries to visit if you're making a whole day of wine country
These are great wineries to visit at if you are planning to squeeze in more than one vineyard in a day.
Very relaxing vibe. Our kids were treated to juice with crayons and coloring pages. The kiddos especially liked the fish pond and exploring the mini apple orchard.
Schedule a guided tour if you can so you can explore the entire property and learn about the history of this amazing winery. Located on the grounds of a historic equestrian center, kids will enjoy pawing the enormous horse sculpture. This kid-friendly winery is spacious and has room for the kids to explore. Sparkling grape juice and crackers are available for the kids.
Jamieson Canyon Ranch
Do a full tasting or just sample a glass. Enjoying the view at this winery is unforgettable. We can just sit for hours, relax, and gaze out upon the beautiful views. Until the kids start to run low on batteries, of course.
Check out their special events page to find out when they have their concerts. Our kids had the chance to pet some miniature horses at the winery.
Inglenook's Bistro offers both indoor and outdoor dining with informal tastings — which is a plus when tasting with children. For the designated driver or non-drinkers, the coffee drinks offered at the Bistro are delicious.
During the summer months, children can borrow wooden sailboats for the fancy fountain (designed to look like the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris).
Worth Playing Hooky For
Being local, our children look forward to this special treat every year!
Napa Valley Wine Train
We think the Santa Train is worth skipping school. The kids enjoyed the warm chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate while singing Christmas Carols in their coordinated holiday outfits. Taking a picture with Santa while on board a train, how cool is that? Book your tickets early because they sell out every time! Tickets start at $55
[Photo credits: Monday Sparkles for the ones of Patricia and Fanny, as well as the one for the kids; Napa Valley Wine Train: Napa Valley Wine Train website; Sterling Vineyards: Sterling Vineyards Website; Frog's Leap: Ine Tours; Black Stallion: Black Stallion Website; Jamieson: Winecountry.com; Inglenook: Inglenook Website; Castillo De Amorosa: Castillo De Amorosa Website]