The name “Napa Valley” automatically conjured images of adult pleasures like wine tastings, wine and food pairing, and couples enjoying a breakfast in bed and a relaxing mineral bath at a five-star luxury hotel.
Brush off that old perception about Napa Valley. True, the “adult” activities are still there, but over the years the wine region has slowly become a family-friendly tourist destination. There are even Napa wine tour packages that can also appeal to the younger travelers.
With the majority of kids being glued to their smartphones, video games, and social media these days, taking them to the Napa countryside is actually a good idea. It will help encourage them to be physically active and discover the wonders of nature at their own pace. Just let them play independently, roam around the vineyards, and play with the farm animals while you sit back, relax, and enjoy a Chardonnay.
But there are also family-friendly activities in Napa as they also encourage a closer bonding between you and your children.
Probably the best time to embark on a Napa Valley family holiday is during the summer season, where resorts and public pools feature at least one kiddie pool with slides and fountains. If you and your family are more of an adventurous type, you can enjoy hiking together in Napa; the region boasts hundreds and thousands of miles of hiking trails that range from the easy to moderate, as well as natural parks — just right for the families with young children.
Going camping and “roughing it” in Napa? Absolutely, because there are numerous RV parks that provide an affordable and more flexible way to visit the Wine Country. Plus, your children will be engaged in fun and enlightening activities like fishing and starting a log fire for cooking and warmth.
A visit to Napa Valley should not go without a day or two at a winery. But if you’re worrying whether you should take your kids to a winery or leave them in your hotel suite, fret no more because there are several wineries that also accommodate much younger visitors.
These wineries include Castello di Amorosa where the massive castle — complete with dungeons, drawbridges, and towers — takes you back to the medieval era. There’s also a small farm on the premises where kids can play and feed the animals. Although your kids cannot join you in wine tastings, Castello di Amorosa also provides nonalcoholic drinks like the deliciously sweet sparkling grape juice made from Syrah grapes.
V. Sattui is also a great winery for families as it provides an ideal stop for picnics. The garden features outdoor tables and provides a stunning view of the vineyards. Frog’s Leap encourages visitors to spend a few hours of farm life with its historic barn, vegetable gardens, and farm animals. A hilltop winery in Calistoga named Sterling Vineyards, on the other hand, will thrill your kids with its short cable car ride that leads up to the entrance of the winery.
A hot air balloon ride will surely bring loads of fun for you and your family, and kids will surely be excited to go flying over the famous Napa fields. They will pretend to be exploring and surveying the vast Napa landscape, and excitedly point out the neat rows of grapevines, the estates, and the wineries look like little houses, and vehicles seem to be toy cars and trucks. They will be amazed at the sight of the majestic mountains, the rolling hills, and the deep valleys that make up the amazing Napa landscape.
We know that some parents are concerned whether a hot air balloon is safe for kids. Balloons Above the Valley happily informs parents, guardians, and other family members that their children can enjoy this one-of-a-kind adventure, as long as the kids are 12 years of age and under, and must be at least 40 inches tall so that they will be able to stand and see over the basket. They will be enthralled by the wonderful sights of the Napa Valley.
Before the hot air balloon adventure, the pre-flight breakfast will wake up to your senses. While you enjoy the freshly made coffee, your kids will surely love the freshly baked pastries and hot chocolate. As you arrive at the launch site, see how the balloons are being inflated. Your whole family will be amazed at how the balloons get bigger until they stand full and erect, and ready to be flown.
After the flight, you and your family will be greeted with a champagne brunch. And while the young ones won’t drink the sparkling wine, they will nevertheless enjoy healthy but yummy and kid-friendly buffet-style brunch with grape juice.
BATV offers Napa wine tour packages as well as group tours in case you want to bring the whole family on a hot air balloon adventure. It will surely bring tons of fun to you and the family and will fly you on the way to making great memories in your Napa holiday.