Have you been putting off a weekend of wine country sights and tastings because you don’t have a place to park the kids? Well, you can stop postponing now because I’m about to tell you about three wineries where you’re encouraged to bring the little ankle biters!
FUN THINGS TO DO IN SONOMA WITH KIDS: 3 FAMILY-FRIENDLY WINERIES
PARADISE RIDGE WINERY
Take an art walk with the kids. Paradise Ridge Winery has an amazing collection of sculptures that will inspire conversation and spark imagination. My kids were touched most by the Temple of Remembrance, a place to leave messages for dearly departed loved ones. We sat together here for a while as they asked me questions about my grandparents and great grandparents. It was a sweet moment.
Eventually we moved on to Marijke’s Grove, a sculpture exhibit nestled in a four-acre grove of ancient gnarled oaks. As we walked the connected footpaths and examined the square, angular, and colorful sculptures, the art critics that live inside my sweet children came out. I kept wondering how the artists would feel about that, especially when my son compared a piece called Converse: The Onus in Bonus to Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots.
FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA WINERY
Francis Ford Coppola Winery has figured out the perfect way to draw families to the wine county: by throwing a pool party! Apparently, Coppola had seen children playing around the fountain at Inglenook Winery for years, pleading with their parents to let them to jump in. Sympathizing with the kids, Coppola thought, “Gee, the kids will want to go swimming, so let’s have swimming pools.” And what a pool scene it is: two pools totaling 3,600 square feet connected by a water way lined by inviting fountain spouts that are so much fun to play in.
While adults get to taste some of the vino produced on site, kids can participate in smoothie tasting, learning how to experience the different flavors and smells of seasonal fruits in the process. There’s also family-friendly dining on site in both the Pool Café and RUSTIC, the winery’s full service restaurant. When you read menu items like, “Pizza with no green stuff,” you’ll swear a panel of kid foodies designed the kids menu.
It wouldn’t be a Coppola production without some movie memorabilia of course! Kids, make sure your dad checks out Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather! The original automobile from Tucker: The Man and His Dream rotating on a showroom turntable is pretty cool sight as well.
BENZIGER FAMILY WINERY
Hop aboard the tram at the Benziger Family Winery for a tour of the property’s sustainable farming practices on the Biodynamic Tour. Points of interest include the barrel cave where visitors learn about the importance of wine barrels and their effect on the way wine tastes and get an explanation of crush pad equipment. Snap family portraits against lush vineyard backdrops when the tram stops in hills above the property.
Then visit informational gardens showcasing flowers and plants that aid in biodynamic farming. Kids love the insectary garden, which is home to numerous plants and bugs that are critical to the health of the winery’s vines, and the small bird zoo. Pack a lunch and enjoy the picnic grounds while kids play in the playground.
So come up to Sonoma Wine Country, take in the idyllic surroundings, enjoy world-class culinary arts, taste the internationally renowned wine, and bring the kids with you to do their own version of the foodie and wine country culture scene!
This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.