Heading to California wine country with kids? From family-friendly wine tastings to worthwhile kid activities, here’s your guide to the best kid-friendly experiences and wineries Sonoma and Napa have to offer
While fall may (technically) be the best season for a trip to wine country, families can (and should!) enjoy a kid-friendly trip to Sonoma and Napa any time of the year. With a world-class crop of family-friendly wineries in both spots (making the choice between Sonoma or Napa for kids even harder), we can guarantee that these wineries offer lots of kid-friendly activities, games to keep the little ones entertained, and loads of fun things to do nearby. You can feel good making any of these destinations a fantastic wine-centric family vacation.
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We’ve broken down the entire Northern California wine region and then some below—and if you’re looking for more, don’t miss our editor-approved guide to Santa Rosa, kid-friendly things to do in Healdsburg and our kid-friendly guide to exploring Calistoga. Click here to jump to Sonoma with kids recommendations below or you can jump to our favorite kid-friendly Napa Valley activity recommendations.
The Best Family-Friendly Wineries in Napa Valley (Napa, Calistoga, Yountville & St. Helena)
1. Frog’s Leap
This “green” kid-friendly winery welcomes children and four-legged furry friends alike (note: on a leash, please! The dogs, that is). After your tasting, you can stroll through their bountiful fruit and vegetable garden (no sampling, please!).
8815 Conn Creek Rd.
2. V. Sattui Winery
V. Sattui knows that there’s nothing that pairs better with a great wine than some delicious meats and cheeses. Their artisan deli offers something for everyone—over 200 cheeses, desserts including creme brulee and gelato, and on the weekends you can dig in to some barbecued ribs and wood-fired pizza. Kids will enjoy romping through the over two acres of picnic grounds making this Napa Valley with kids spot a no-brainer.
1111 White Lane
3. Napa Cellars
With bocce ball, ladder ball, and corn hole games to keep them busy, this Oakville spot is a natural choice for families. Live music and plenty of picnic tables will make you sit and stay a while, making this one of the best family-friendly wine tastings around.
7481 St. Helena Hwy. South
4. Costello di Amororsa
Nothing screams kid-friendly wineries in Calistoga more than an Italian castle replica from the Middle Ages. Book a guided tour that features everything from knight armor to a dungeon and a chance to meet the winery cats, dogs, and farm animals. Little royals can sip grape juice and enjoy coloring in the grand Knights Hall tasting room. Note: strollers are not allowed inside the winery.
4045 St. Helena Hwy.
5. Alpha Omega Winery
This family-friendly St. Helena winery offers the coloring book, “Exploring the Napa Valley with Traveler Teddies,” a kid-friendly guide to the Napa Valley, presented with a box of crayons to the youngest visitors. Dogs on leashes are also welcomed.
1155 Mee Lane at Hwy. 29
6. Honig Vineyard & Winery
For a leisurely-paced tasting in a gorgeous setting, this is your spot. Drive down the long driveway and opt for an outdoor table. Kids and dogs are welcome and they usually have snacks and coloring books to keep the little ones occupied.
850 Rutherford Rd.
The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Napa Valley (Napa, Calistoga & St. Helena)
1. Oxbow Public Market
The benefit of visiting this spot is that there is literally something for every taste available. Burgers, cupcakes, oysters, and more—grab your fave, pick a table and dig in.
610 & 644 First St.
2. Fleetwood at Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa
This ultra-kid-friendly spot should definitely be on your list when you visit wine country. They have an expansive outdoor eating area as well as an indoor dining area with a fun view of the open kitchen that the kids will enjoy. The menu of shareable items has something that everyone will enjoy. You’ll love the property’s retro vibe and the kids can play in the hammocks and sit by the fire pit while you savor your after-dinner drink.
1880 Lincoln Ave.
3. Boon Fly Cafe
The world-famous Boon Fly donuts are not to be missed on your next trip to Napa. A bucket of these babies for the kids and spicy bacon Bloody Marys for the grown-ups are the perfect way to start your day. Give the breakfast flatbreads a try. They won’t disappoint!
4048 Sonoma Hwy.
4. Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
Dine in this old barn with plenty of seating, an open kitchen to entertain the littles, and tasty farm-to-table cuisine that changes with the season. Enjoy live music on the outdoor patio when the weather cooperates and make sure you save room for the Scharffenberger chocolate cream pie—you won’t regret it.
738 Main St.
The Best Kid-Friendly Activities in Napa Valley (Napa & Calistoga)
Heading to Napa Valley with kids is a no-brainer thanks to trains, petrified forests and geyser to explore!
1. The Napa Valley Wine Train
Part living history museum and part culinary experience, the Napa Valley Wine train takes families on an idyllic journey up and down Napa all without the traffic. Train and food lovers alike will delight in this indulgent trip—this is one of our absolute favorite things to do in Napa.
1275 McKinstry St.
2. The Petrified Forest
Take a walk through this ancient forest where a volcano eruption turned trees into stone. You can explore on your own or take the docent-led 1.5-hour walk to learn about the area’s history.
4100 Petrified Forest Rd.
3. Old Faithful Geyser of California
Spend a few hours exploring the property and watching the geyser erupt. Grab a picnic table or enjoy a game of bocce ball. The kids will be amazed to see the property’s animals which include llamas, four-horned sheep, and the famous fainting goats!
1299 Tubbs Ln.
4. CIA at Copia
If you are looking for an epicurean experience to share with the whole family, book a Sunday family cooking class at the CIA at Copia in downtown Napa. Here you’ll get an interactive demonstration experience making dim sum, eclairs, mac and cheese, and more. Each class has a different theme and you just might get to sample your creations at the end!
500 1st St.
The Best Places to Stay in Napa with Kids
1. Meritage Resort & Spa
Family fun and wine country are perfectly paired at this family-friendly hotel. Poolside cabanas invite families to long, lazy days by the pool while a bowling alley will challenge little bowlers to get their strikes on. We loved the Village green with its food trucks and lawn games while the adults wine tasted at one of the four tasting rooms. Acres of a working vineyard on site lets kids roam freely and is absolutely gorgeous at dusk. A short hike up to the famous “Crusher” statue will reward you with sweeping views of Napa Valley at your feet.
875 Bordeaux Way
2. Carneros Resort and Spa
With cottages, suites, and residences, Carneros Resort and Spa is your go-to spot for a luxurious family getaway. During the summer months, parents can enjoy a night out while kids enjoy a delicious dinner, an array of fun and exciting games, and a kid-friendly movie. If you find you need a moment to yourself, take a dip in the adult-only pool while your partner takes the kids to the family pool.
4048 Sonoma Hwy.
The Best Kid-Friendly Wineries in Sonoma
1. Cline Cellars Vineyard and Winery
350 acres means something for everyone at this family go-to. And while the grounds don’t look like much driving in, once you’re behind the wall kiddos get treated to a breadth of pretty lawns, ponds, paths, and fountains, and the California Mission Museum with its historic display of all 21 missions built to scale in 1939. They’ll love the turtles, fish, and exotic birds while you’ll love the wine tasting in a charming 1850s farmhouse.
24737 Arnold Dr.
2. Bartholomew Estate Vineyards and Winery
Bartholomew Estate Winery sits within the 375-acre Bartholomew Park. Guests with children and leashed fur babies can purchase bottles at the winery and enjoy a picnic at the many gardens, lawns, and picnic areas. You can also purchase picnic blankets and to-go wine cups on-site. The park also offers over three miles of hiking trails to explore.
1000 Vineyard Ln.
The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Sonoma
1. Lou’s Luncheonette
You’ll love this stop as it has many kid-friendly favorites: fried chicken, biscuits, sandwiches, deviled eggs, pimento cheese, collard greens, and baked beans. Desserts include fried pies, milkshakes, and soft serve. Choose a spot on the patio where the kids can dig with the restaurant-provided dump trucks.
2698 Fremont Dr.
2. Sunflower Caffe
Right in the middle of Sonoma’s central square, you will find the simple, delicious food of Sunflower Caffe. Open for breakfast and lunch, the lines can get long, but it’s worth the wait to grab some farm-fresh eggs or the ever-popular grilled cheese sandwich. Their expansive back patio is full of water fountains and tons of spots to explore or sit for a bit.
421 First St. W
The Best Family-Friendly Wineries in Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, Healdsburg & the Russian River Valley)
1. DaVero Farms & Winery
This beautiful, certified biodynamic farm and winery is home to olive groves, a vineyard, fruit trees, an expansive vegetable garden, as well as chickens, sheep, and pigs. Stop over for a wine and olive oil tasting and bring your kids along as they can play in the garden or check out the animals while you sip on some of the best wines of the region.
1766 Westside Rd.
2. Truett-Hurst Winery
The Dry Creek Valley is home to this scenic gem that offers creekside Adirondack chairs and picnic tables where you can enjoy a glass of their Salmon Run Zinfandel and, if you are lucky, spot one of the namesake fish as they spawn in the creek. Ask the winery staff for their special glasses that make spotting the salmon even easier. Kids will also love the goats, chickens, and organic gardens on the property.
5610 Dry Creek Rd.
3. Matanzas Creek Winery
Plan your visit to this Santa Rosa gem when the lavender is in bloom. The calming scent takes over the property and you will want to spend the day sipping sauvignon blanc as the kids play cornhole under the massive oak trees. Swing by the lavender market if you want to bring home some lavender-scented bath products or even a bunch of lavender grill sticks for your next barbecue.
6097 Bennett Valley Rd.
4. Belden Barns Farmstead & Winery
While Mom and Dad taste wines at Belden Barns Farmstead & Winery in central Sonoma County, the kids can borrow the winery’s scavenger-hunt-style “adventure” backpacks and wander the 55-acre property in search of flora, fauna, and random or whimsical items—making this spot one of the best kid friendly wineries Santa Rosa has to offer. The backpacks are filled with field guides to local birds or insects, magnifying glasses, sketchpads, crayons, and a checklist of things to find. There are also plenty of games for kids to play. Wine tasting is by appointment only.
5561 Sonoma Mountain Rd.
5. ACORN Winery
Kids are welcomed to this Healdsburg winery with LEGO bricks, crayons, and cornhole to keep them 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. Reservations required.
12040 Old Redwood Hwy.
6. Landmark Vineyards
Hop aboard the complimentary Horse Drawn Carriage Tour. Led by third-generation Sonoma Valley farmer Pat Prather, this tour dives into estate viticulture practices, winemaking techniques, and Sonoma wine history. You can also take a tour of their beautiful building built in 1905.
101 Adobe Canyon Rd.
7. Furthermore Wines
This Russian River Valley spot welcomes your two-legged and four-legged children to join you for a day of bocce ball and picnicking at their Sebastopol winery. Known for its laidback vibe and outstanding pinots, Furthermore is definitely a spot to spend the day.
3541 Gravenstein Hwy North
8. Preston Farm and Winery
As the name implies, this winery is also home to animals like sheep, hens, and occasionally pigs. Kids will love the many cats that roam the property (but leave Fido at home for this visit). Grab one of Preston’s famed Rhône varietal wines and enjoy it with a picnic lunch on the grass. Grab some pastured eggs and ground lamb in the shop to take home with you (along with your vino, of course).
9282 West Dry Creek Rd.
9. Alexander Valley Vineyards
Kids can join in winery and cave tours with their parents, visit the vineyards, and enjoy the winery’s picnic area. They’ll also get a chance to meet the winery dogs.
8644 Highway 128
10. Francis Ford Coppola Winery
One of Sonoma County’s most popular family-friendly wineries, this spot has two pools, bocce ball courts, a movie gallery showcasing Coppola film props such as Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather and the original automobile from Tucker: The Man and His Dream. The dreamiest part: there’s a poolside restaurant where wine and food can be delivered to parents while the littles splash around. You can even rent a cabana for the day for your own private changing area and shower.
300 Via Archimedes
The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Sonoma County
1. The Barlow
This 12-acre outdoor market district features delicious food, wine crafts, and so much more from over 30 local merchants. Stroll the dog-friendly campus, that was once an applesauce cannery, sip some local wines while the kids enjoy some organic ice cream and romp around on the lawn.
6770 McKinley St.
2. Stockhome Restaurant
Husband and wife restaurateurs Chef Roberth and Andrea Sundell know what it’s like to dine out with kids. Parents to four kids themselves, they opened Stockhome in their Petaluma hometown with a keen eye on what would be convenient for families. Kids will especially love the massive-but-delicate Swedish pancakes with fresh berries and vanilla cream and the pita pizza. Bonus: you can be sure they’ll behave during the meal as you can bribe them with some of the restaurant’s authentic Swedish candies as an end-of-meal treat.
220 Western Ave.
The Best Kid-Friendly Activities in Sonoma County
Of course a trip to wine country with kids doesn’t mean all wine, all the time. From train rides to trampoline parks, check out these amazing, kid-friendly destinations in Sonoma County will have your kids begging to return.
Generations of parents have made a pit stop at TrainTown, located just a mile down the road from Sonoma’s main plaza. Take the 20-minute train ride around the park and then check out the other old-school rides—a carousel, Ferris wheel, dragon coaster, and more. Visit the miniature town and petting zoo before you head out.
2. Epicenter Sports and Entertainment Complex
This state-of-the-art fun and fitness center features a trampoline park, an arcade, a bowling alley, an indoor soccer field, laser tag, dining, and more. Put this on your list in case you encounter a rainy day on your wine-country weekend.
3215 Coffey Lane
3. Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy’s Home Ice
Kids of all ages will enjoy learning about long-time Santa Rosa resident and Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz at this museum with interactive exhibits, animated Peanuts specials, original comic strips, and more. Then head next door to the ice rink that Schulz had built in 1969 for some family skate time and snacks at the Warm Puppy Cafe.
4. Safari West
For a real adventure, spend the day in the Sonoma Serengeti at Safari West. This accredited zoo offers guests who are four and older a tour of the 400-acre property in a safari Jeep. Younger guests will enjoy a walking tour where you can meet a flamboyance of flamingos and a tower of giraffes. Extend your stay in one of the property’s tent bungalows and wake up to the sounds of wildlife.
3115 Porter Creek Rd.
The Best Places to Stay in Sonoma County with Kids
1. Wildhaven Sonoma
You are going to love this spot right on the Russian River! Safari tents with actual beds are available for families with communal BBQs on site. Walk a few steps down to the river and spend the whole day tubing, catching fish, and enjoying the sun.
2411 Alexander Valley Rd.
2. Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection
If you are looking for the ultimate luxury accommodations, this is the spot. Located in the quiet town of Calistoga, Solage has everything your family will need for their wine country stay. Cottage-style suites provide privacy for your family including outdoor patios to enjoy morning espresso or an afternoon glass of wine. Head to the pool to enjoy Picobar with poolside service. Bikes are available to borrow throughout the property and spa services are available on-site.
755 Silverado Trail N
3. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Camping in wine country! You can set up your tent, rent a cabin, or reserve one of the yurts that sleep up to six people at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. The park has a spring-fed pool that’s great for cooling off when the days get hot. Explore the park’s pioneer cemetery, hike to the Bale Grist Mill to learn about the milling process, and enjoy the trails and creeks. Old Faithful Geyser is just up the road.
3801 St. Helena Hwy.
4. The Sandman Santa Rosa
Right off of 101, The Sandman’s Santa Rosa location is super convenient for families visiting wine country. The welcoming staff and chill mid-century modern decor will make you feel relaxed the minute you arrive. Families will especially love the family suite—with plenty of room for everyone to spread out. Spend your days lounging by the heated pool where you can purchase snacks, ice cream, and their homemade Frozé (for the parents) at the Pool House & Bar. Summers at The Sandman bring their food truck nights and live music by the pool.
3421 Cleveland Ave.
5. Flamingo Resort
This family-friendly hotel is the mid-century modern resort of your dreams from the minute you walk into the gorgeous lobby. Families will love the deluxe family room that has a king bed for parents and a bunk bed in a separate room (with a door that closes! Hooray!). A mini fridge will keep your beverages chilled and the room’s electric kettle is perfect for morning tea or hot cocoa. Spa facilities are available onsite so definitely book your massage to take full advantage. You can also check out the yoga classes and other wellness programs offered at the health club.
2777 4th St.
6. Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country
This hotel has lots of great options for families including rooms that sleep up to four. The large pool lets kids cool down while outdoor fire pits in the evening and lawn games will keep them entertained. The charming downtown of Santa Rosa is nearby for window-shopping and delicious restaurants. We stumbled upon one of the best hand-crafted ice cream stores we’ve ever had!
170 Railroad St.