(This arti­cle may or may not con­tain affil­i­ate links. What does that mean?)


While we’re not lush­es, my hus­band and I are big wine enthu­si­asts.  What’s not to love? Every glass is craft­ed into com­plex fla­vors using a com­bi­na­tion of sci­ence and art. 

We love vis­it­ing Cal­i­for­nia Wine Coun­try, not just because of the wine, but also because of the beau­ty, his­to­ry, and cul­ture of the region.  Napa and Sono­ma are, in my opin­ion, two under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed trea­sures of the U.S., with their unique ter­rain and Mediter­ranean cli­mate, charm­ing winer­ies, and fam­i­ly farms. 

Though we want­ed to con­tin­ue to vis­it even after we had kids, enjoy­ing all wine coun­try has to offer with small chil­dren in tow seemed like an impos­si­bil­i­ty. I could­n’t imag­ine that we could have fun and find fun things to do with our kids in Cal­i­for­nia Wine Coun­try.  But what I neglect­ed to under­stand, until I start­ed real­ly dig­ging into it, is that the wine-mak­ing cul­ture of Napa and Sono­ma are steeped in fam­i­ly his­to­ry and tra­di­tion.  They’re a cel­e­bra­tion of meth­ods and process­es that have been passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion.  As such, many vine­yards go out of their way to make your wine tast­ing expe­ri­ence also a fam­i­ly affair. They offer many amuse­ments to dis­tract kids while you enjoy their vari­etals. These are our fam­i­ly favorite winer­ies and the fun things they have to do for kids in both Napa and Sono­ma counties.






There are so many fun things to do with kids in sonoma and napa counties. California wine country has lots of activities that families can enjoy on a family trip to california wine country. Many wineries are welcoming to kids and dogs and provide fun things to do.



Frog’s Leap Winery


Frog's Leap - Morning, Truchard Vineyard, Carneros - August 2012

I bet you can find some frogs at this pond at Frog’s Leap. Pho­to cour­tesy of frogsleap.com.



Locat­ed just north of the actu­al town of Napa, in between the idyl­lic ham­let of Yountville and the bustling town of St. Hele­na is Ruther­ford, CA, home to Frog’s Leap Win­ery.  Known for their caber­net sauvi­gnons and mer­lots, Frog’s Leap is more than just a vine­yard — it’s actu­al­ly a work­ing farm, com­plete with orchards, veg­etable gar­dens, and ani­mals.  It’s both kid-friend­ly and dog-friend­ly, with tons of room to play and explore.  After sam­pling some of their wines in their tast­ing room, you can enjoy a stroll around the grounds and vis­it the chick­ens and sheep.

Tast­ings and tours are by appoint­ment only, and some do require par­tic­i­pants to be 21 or older.


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V. Sattui Winery


Just up the road in St. Hele­na is V. Sat­tui Win­ery, found­ed in the late 1800s by two Ital­ian broth­ers.  The win­ery focus­es on small-batch, small-lot wines that are both organ­ic and sus­tain­ably made.  With their Arti­san Deli and Mar­ket­place, BBQ food truck on the week­ends, and plen­ty of lush grounds per­fect for a pic­nic, this win­ery is ide­al for fam­i­lies who want to get out and enjoy the good food and pic­turesque set­ting of Napa.  They also offer self-guid­ed tours of their estate gar­dens, under­ground wine cel­lars, and muse­um caves, an ide­al option for fam­i­lies with small chil­dren who might not make it through an entire guid­ed tour.



Long Meadow Ranch


The Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch Napa

The Farm­stead is the per­fect place for your fam­i­ly to kick back and relax. Pho­to cour­tesy of longmeadowranch.com.


Also locat­ed in St. Hele­na is Long Mead­ow Ranch, a sprawl­ing win­ery with a restau­rant and gen­er­al mar­ket out­post called Farm­stead, in the heart of down­town St. Hele­na.  Farm­stead is the per­fect place to go, kick back, and enjoy fan­tas­tic food as a fam­i­ly.  With plen­ty of out­door seat­ing, areas for lawn games, and fire pits for those cool val­ley nights, it’s tru­ly a great spot.  We also loved walk­ing through the on-site gar­dens, point­ing out the dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles and herbs that we eat every­day, but don’t real­ly think about where they come from.  It’s a fan­tas­tic learn­ing expe­ri­ence for kids. 

Long Mead­ow Ranch also has a win­ery locat­ed on the “win­ery strip” just out­side of down­town St. Hele­na on High­way 29.  Between the win­ery and Farm­stead, they host sev­er­al fam­i­ly-friend­ly events through­out the year, includ­ing East­er egg hunts, pump­kin carv­ing, and cook­ie decorating.

If you’re not able to make it to the win­ery, at least swing by Farm­stead, play some corn­hole (or bags as some know it), and pick up some Long Mead­ow Ranch olives, hon­ey, or wine from their gen­er­al store. 


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Honig Vineyard & Winery


Honig Vine­yard & Win­ery is fam­i­ly-owned and oper­at­ed, cer­ti­fied organ­ic and sus­tain­able, and pow­ered by solar ener­gy.  As if that isn’t enough, they’re one of the more fam­i­ly-friend­ly estab­lish­ments on our list.  It’s not worth it to go to a win­ery if you can’t have a lit­tle qui­et time to enjoy the fruits of its labor, am I right?  At Honig, they not only wel­come kids, but they work hard to keep them enter­tained with puz­zles and col­or­ing books while you enjoy a glass or two of their caber­net sauvi­gnon or sauvi­gnon blanc.  Kids also get their own tast­ing menu of Gold­fish crack­ers and juice boxes. 


PRO TIP: For a fun and edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ence, make sure to call ahead and see if you can reserve one of their eco-tours, which takes you on a tour of their vine­yard and intro­duces you to the sus­tain­able grow­ing prac­tices they imple­ment­ed in their farms, includ­ing a vis­it to the Honig bee hives! 



Castello di Amorosa


Castello di Amorosa | Yountville

A kid’s fairy­tale dream come true. With wine, to make par­ents’ dreams come true too. Pho­to cour­tesy of yountville.com.



Castel­lo di Amorosa is def­i­nite­ly one of the more inter­est­ing win­ery des­ti­na­tions on our list, one that is sure to enchant both par­ents and kids alike.  Though the win­ery itself has a his­to­ry dat­ing back to over a cen­tu­ry in the Napa Val­ley region, it was relo­cat­ed in the late 2000s to a new­ly built but total­ly authen­tic repli­ca of a 13th cen­tu­ry Tus­can cas­tle in Cal­is­to­ga.  Com­plete with tur­rets, a moat, stone court­yard, ornate din­ing room, and suits of armor, your fam­i­ly will have a blast explor­ing all this win­ery has to offer.  There are even goats and pea­cocks that roam the win­ery grounds. 

Kids over five are wel­come on the guid­ed tours and even receive their own glass of grape juice to swirl and sip.  If you’re in the mood for more of a leisure­ly tast­ing, there are also spaces for the kids to hang out and col­or or enjoy a show on their tablet while you relax. 



Alpha Omega


Alpha Omega is a beau­ti­ful win­ery locat­ed on High­way 29 in St. Hele­na, and it’s both kid and dog friend­ly.  For kids of the human vari­ety, they pro­vide crayons and “Explor­ing the Napa Val­ley with Trav­el­er Ted­dy” col­or­ing book and a kid-friend­ly guide to Napa.  For your fur kids, they offer dog bis­cuits and fresh bowls of water.  And with a wide selec­tion of acclaimed Mal­becs, Caber­net Sauvi­gnons, and Chardon­nays for those of drink­ing age, it’s a win­ery sure to please the whole family.


Don’t miss “Wine Tast­ing — Dis­cov­er­ing Unchart­ed Vineyards”



ACORN Winery


If you’re look­ing for a down-to-earth, per­son­able win­ery expe­ri­ence, look no fur­ther than ACORN Win­ery in Healds­burg, CA.  Famous for their Zin­fan­dels, Syrahs, and Cab Francs, ACORN is owned and oper­at­ed by Bet­sy and Bill Nach­baur.  All of their tast­ings and tours are by appoint­ment only and are done by Bet­sy and Bill them­selves, so you’re guar­an­teed to have a pri­vate and very per­son­al expe­ri­ence.  Kids are wel­come to join on vine­yard tours and even have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to taste grapes dur­ing har­vest.  Dur­ing tast­ings, there are LEGO bricks, crayons, and corn­hole to keep kids enter­tained so Mom and Dad can enjoy some qui­et time. 

The win­ery also has expan­sive grounds per­fect for pic­nick­ing.  Reser­va­tions are required for all tast­ings and tours.      




Belden Barns Farmstead & Winery


Belden Barns

Tons of space to run and play. Pho­to cour­tesy of Wine Not Wine Country.


Belden Barns Farm­stead & Win­ery has con­sis­tent­ly been ranked as one of the top fam­i­ly-friend­ly winer­ies for sev­er­al years, and there’s good rea­son for it.  Not only does it offer a bas­ket­ball hoop, corn hole, and fun fam­i­ly events like their Fall Grape Stomp and Spring Cork Hunt, but they also wel­come kids and present them with a Belden Barns back­pack to use for the day.  Inside the back­packs, kids can find field guides to local wildlife, mag­ni­fy­ing glass­es, binoc­u­lars, crayons, and scav­enger hunts.  It’s a fun (and edu­ca­tion­al!) way to keep kids enter­tained while you’re hav­ing a glass of vino.  And the best part is the back­packs are total­ly free! 


PRO TIP: They’re avail­able to bor­row on a first come, first served basis, so make sure to call ahead to reserve one! 


If you’re think­ing of plan­ning a trip to Cal­i­for­nia Wine Coun­try, but are won­der­ing what to do with your kids, hope­ful­ly, this list will help you real­ize you can have your cab and drink it too.  Hap­py tasting! 



When You Go


Sono­ma to Napa is locat­ed between North­ern and Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia. From South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, you can dri­ve up the I‑5N to Napa Coun­ty. It’s 413 miles from down­town Los Ange­les or 455 miles to Sono­ma coun­ty. You can also fly into Oak­land Inter­na­tion­al Air­port which is 50 miles from Napa. There is also a small air­port in Napa.

We use CheapOAir to find the least expen­sive flights. The inter­ac­tive bar below will help you com­pare the most afford­able options of get­ting to Cal­i­for­nia Wine Country.



If you’d like to make a week­end trip to Cal­i­for­nia Wine Coun­try or stay close to any of these winer­ies, you can use the inter­ac­tive map below to find either an AirBnB or hotel close to the area in which you want to stay. We also use Tri­pAd­vi­sor to com­pare reviews of local hotels and find more prices to suit our budget.







There are so many fun things to do with kids in sonoma and napa counties. California wine country has lots of activities that families can enjoy on a family trip to california wine country. Many wineries are welcoming to kids and dogs and provide fun things to do.



Mor­gan is a brand design­er and writer who splits her time between man­ag­ing her cre­ative stu­dio, Atlas + Anchor, and writ­ing about her life­long love affair with trav­el. A wan­der­lus­ter at heart, she’s a big pro­po­nent of explor­ing the roads less trav­eled because they often lead to amaz­ing views, mem­o­rable sto­ries, and the most unas­sum­ing but life-chang­ing restau­rants. Orig­i­nal­ly from Ohio, Mor­gan now lives in the heart of Chica­go with her fam­i­ly and is quite pos­si­bly the only per­son with­in city lim­its who hates deep dish pizza.