Wine + Kids = Family Fun!
While some Virginia wineries can be bustling with bachelorette parties or “sophisticated” gatherings, with elevated tastings; kids won’t get hushed at these local area wineries that put families first. The wineries below offer activities for children of all ages, from live music and games to juice boxes and even some with play rooms.
It used to be that the thought of taking kids to a winery was not at all enticing, but now many places are looking to attract parents who still want to do the things they did pre-kids or sans-kids with minimal compromise. I personally had no idea you could take kids to wineries.
This past weekend, we threw an intimate get-together for my MIL’s milestone birthday and her favorite things to do are relax and go to wineries. This has become a tradition, but we haven’t been attending since we had the kids. Let’s face it, the thought of taking THREE 3nagers to a winery does NOT sound very appealing!! Now that the kids are older and semi-self-entertaining, we were back in! As we were doing research on where to go, we realized that so many wineries were not only kid friendly, but also encouraged it.
We spent the weekend in Virginia Wine Country and stayed at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VA which is absolutely amazing! The spa, the hotel rooms, the scenery, the resort grounds, the kids activities, and the list goes on and on! If you are ever in the area and looking for a fun-filled family resort, this should definitely be at the top of your list! (They even do scavenger hunts for kids)!!
First order of business was of course spa appointments for the ladies (facials, massages, steam rooms and whirlpools) which when done, we all came out super relaxed!!! The hunger had now set in, so off we went to lunch at The Gold Cup Wine Bar and the food was delicious - the Crispy Sesame Cauliflower was amazing and a must try!! Next on the list was visiting one of the nearby wineries! It was ridiculously windy so we had to find a place indoors, so we decided to visit Boxwood Winery. Luckily this was one of the wineries on our list that allowed kids.
Boxwood Winery was really nice and the wine was really good! The place is a bit small indoors, but the ambience is really nice. You can see the barrels being filled and the distiller machine in action. This was super cool for the kids to see! We brought some games/books, but forgot them in the car and the winds gushing 60 mph, nobody wanted to try and venture back out to go get them :(!
So we entertained the kids by playing games, such as the memory game. Apple, Apple Banana, Apple Banana Kiwi - you get the idea! We were able to spend about 2 hours there and then headed back to the hotel as we promised the kids we would take them swimming in Salamanders indoor heated pool before dinner!! Another perk to staying at Salamander in March when it’s freezing outside!
The next day was the big birthday celebration!! We made plans to spend the day at Stone Tower Winery in Leesburg, VA!
This place is AMAZING! I knew it was kid friendly, but OMG was it kid-friendly! The place had tons of kids and even dogs were allowed! The music was playing and it was such an awesome vibe! We rented out a space upstairs and it was really cozy with tables and sofas and even a space in the corner for the kids to be kids! We were even able to bring in outside food, which many wineries don’t allow. Had it not been so windy, the kids could have run around their ample outdoor open space.
This time we were much better prepared with how to entertain the kids.
For starters, we made sure to have juice for the kids so they wouldn’t feel left out and think they only had the option of drinking water! If we were able to enjoy a glass or three of wine, they should enjoy themselves too! We brought finger foods such as a veggie tray, cheese/crackers, dips/pita chips, pretzels and of course mini tea sandwiches! It was an indoor picnic! Don’t forget to pack utensils, napkins, plates and small drinking cups for the kids!! Stone Tower was super accommodating to our party and even provided a host to make sure all our needs were met!
Food is always an entertaining factor for kids, but let’s face it that will only last so long. We also brought books and games for entertainment!! It’s important that the kids can sit in one place and be entertained so you can enjoy yourself too! My kids love to play tag everywhere they go, so having entertaining games for them is a must!
I thought a lot about what to bring and after looking at all their stuff, I decided to pack the following games: 5 Second Rule Junior and Mastermind for Kids CodeMaker vs CodeBreaker as well as Uno. Note: If you plan on purchasing any of these games, make sure to download Ebates to get an extra 10% cash back!
I didn’t want to take anything with too many pieces that needed to be stored separately or too many small pieces that would get lost because the kids would scatter them everywhere (like puzzle pieces)! I thought about taking coloring books and crayons/markers/colored pencils, but that would mean a lot of individual pieces to carry and also knowing that we wouldn’t be leaving with all of them :)!!
5 Second Rule is mainly a box of cards - yes, there are a lot of cards, but luckily they can be taken out one at a time. MasterMind has a lot of small pieces, but there is storage to keep them in place, so there is no dumping out needed, since all the pieces need to be used to play the game!!
I brought along some reading books and joke-telling books which were a hit as the kids loved reading the jokes to each other and laughing hysterically!
We spent almost the entire day at the winery (about 5 hours) and shut it down. The kids were fully entertained for the majority of the day, but of course by the 4th hour, they were asking for their iPads.. LOL. All in all, I would say that our first experience with taking the kids to a winery was a pleasant one and I will definitely venture to take them again!
I can’t wait to venture out in the summer when we can sit outside and there are more activities we can do with the kids in a bigger space! Some places even have human size games to play, like adult-size Jenga!
If you have been debating whether or not to go to a winery with kids, don't hesitate and just do it! If you have any additional suggestions on how to entertain kids at wineries, please pass them along!!
Other area wineries that are super kid friendly: