Wineries all across California have been exploring the merits of combining family fun with grown-up indulgences. Touring the nation’s Wine Country is no longer reserved for those legally stamped with drinking approval. The result is a holistic experience for adults and kids alike. Children of all ages can indulge in kid friendly activities and an early education in wine production while the parents happily run amok the proffered selection of wines and other festivities. From the tasting room to the playground, these three California wineries stand out for offering the best of both worlds.
The Larson Family Winery in the Carneros region is known for their laid-back atmosphere, unpretentious ways, and family-friendly motto. The winery offers the perfect diversions for the little ones from a country-esque setting to plenty of rides and games. Kids can occupy themselves with a round of bocce ball and horseshoes, take a ride on a tractor or horse, and hop over for a visit to the on-site petting zoo. Parents can enjoy their wine tasting experience in peace while the underage visitors sip on juice, munch on snacks, and take advantage of the coloring book station. Afterwards, the entire family can settle down outside for a serene picnic or play time with the winery’s three labradors.
A Sonoma destination, Cline Cellars provides a family-run winery experience that is appropriate for both adults and children. The winery adds to the family-friendly atmosphere with beautiful grounds perfect for picnics, playtime and sightseeing. Kids can have their share of fun by feeding snapping turtles, checking out the bird zoo and fish pond, and taking a tour of the California Missions Museum. If that’s not enough to hold their interest, children can run around scenic fields and meadows as parents soothe their taste buds with a free tasting.
Oft lauded for their biodynamic farming practices and extensive tours and tastings, the Benzinger Family Winery in Sonoma County is an ideal destination for a family outing. Children may find interest in the tram tour that guides passengers to and from each destination of the winemaking process. The main ground also offers attractions for the more active crowd with a playground and exotic peacocks to entertain the young ones while the adults make their tasting rounds.
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