Enjoy a tasting without having to hire a sitter!
The past couple Sundays, I’ve skipped brunch, packed up my pre-schooler, and headed south for a wine tasting. After experiencing the delightful magic of kid-friendly wineries, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to waiting in a brunch line.
My family resides in South Beaverton, and to my absolute delight, Washington County has an assortment of nearby wineries. Unbeknownst to me, I’m a mere 10-minute drive from lush fields, mountain views, and helpful wine connoisseurs. Oh, and did I mention I can bring my kids along?
For our first outing, we met some friends at a local winery. The adults enjoyed a tasting while the kiddos ran on the grass and carefully examined a few bugs in the flowers. Here are the things we learned along the way.
Tips for a successful winery trip with kids
- Get there early
I aim for opening (usually around 11 am). This helps accommodate post-lunch nap times, provides slightly cooler temperatures, and generally means less crowded tasting rooms.
- When in doubt call ahead
Not every winery (understandably) is a good fit for kiddos. If you aren’t sure, give them a ring before heading out. It doesn’t hurt to double-check, even at the kid-friendly wineries listed below, as sometimes things change.
- Kids still need to be supervised
Common sense prevails here. You have to keep an eye on the kids, if nothing else, to prevent impromptu u-picking of the grapes.
- Pack a picnic
Some wineries offer simple meat and cheese selections, but typically food options are limited. Even if your kid does have the refined palette of a foodie-in-training, bring snacks. Many spots have picnic tables or large fields where you can enjoy them.
- Bring a few entertainment options
While grown-ups could probably pass the time by sitting, sipping, and chatting, the kids might need a little more stimulation. I would recommend bringing along a game of checkers, a soccer ball, or a good book (depending on kids’ ages.)
- With younger kids, set a time limit
Personally, I’m spoiled being so incredibly close to multiple kid-friendly options. However, my kids get cranky just like anyone else’s when they require a nap. With the pre-school and younger crowd, I try to limit our trips to about 2.5 hours total, including travel time. The exception here is very young babies (wear them to your heart’s content.)
- Invite friends
While I’m sure I would have enjoyed a trip with only my daughter, it was way more fun with friends (both hers and mine)!
- Pace yourself
Each sample in a tasting is about an ounce of wine (a standard glass of wine is five ounces). During the tasting, we took our time and ended up hanging out around the wineries for the better part of two hours and enjoying food as well. But if you are worried about the alcohol hitting you harder during the day, you can always skip a sample or two if you’d like.
Recommended Kid-Friendly Wineries:
Please note: We recommend messaging the winery of your choice to ask about the best time to visit with children and to double-check the kid-friendly status, as things do change. Also, some wineries allow children, and some welcome children. We’ve listed them all under the umbrella of “kid-friendly,” but feel free to contact the winery directly if you’d like to get a better sense of where they fall on that scale.
Abbey Road Farm (Carlton)
Adelsheim (Newberg) — They are kid-friendly and they have a few activities for children.
Ardiri Winery & Vineyards (Cornelius) — Kids must stay within immediate vicinity of parent’s table but are welcome!
Argyle Winery (Dundee)
Avidity Wines (Newberg)
Ruby Vineyard (Hillsboro)
Beacon Hill (Gaston) — They encourage families to bring something to keep their children occupied and to please keep activities confined to their spacious lawn (avoid private property). Pets are also allowed on leash.
Bella Organic Farm (Portland)
Brooks (Amity) — They recommend an outdoor table for visits with children (more space, less glassware), and the Lemonshade table area has a few outdoor games like ladder golf and cornhole. No kids menu, but popcorn and non-alcoholic beverages available. Some menu items may be simplified upon request. Be sure to reserve a seat for your children, too, not just the adults.
David Hill Vineyards & Winery (Forest Grove)
Domaine Roy & fils (Dundee)
Dominio IV (Carlton)
Durant Redridge Farm (Dayton)
Grateful Vineyard (Mount Hood)
J Rallison Cellars (Sherwood)
Lady Hill Winery (St. Paul)
Moulton Falls (Yacolt)
Oak Knoll Winery (Hillsboro)
Oswego Hills (West Linn)
Portland Wine Company (Portland)
Remy Wines (Dayton)
Sokol Blosser (Dayton)
Stoller Family Estate (Dayton) — Kid-friendly menus daily and dogs on leash allowed outside. Children must remain within 6 feet of guardians at all times.
Villa Catalana (Oregon City) — You must pay for a tasting for your child, but you will receive a credit that you can use for wine or pizza instead.
Please note that Hawks View is no longer kid-friendly.
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