THE NEW YORK TIMES - Historically, vineyard visits rank high on the eye-roll list for children. But California’s Napa Valley is trying hard these days to attract families, aiming to entertain visitors of all ages with hiking, biking, camps and non-snooty farm-to-table experiences. Even some vineyards are getting into the game, offering lawn games and grape juice tastings.
According to Linsey Gallagher, president and chief executive for Visit Napa Valley, the effort seems to be working. In a 2018 study, nearly 20 percent of visitors to Napa Valley had children (18 years or under) in their travel party, compared to around 12 percent in 2016.
On a recent trip with my 13-year-old daughter, Brette, we certainly had fun there. I kept the itinerary simple: recreation-spliced days with foodie interludes to keep energy high and complaints low. Wine would be but a detail in an active mom-and-daughter getaway.
Here’s some of our highlights worth sharing:
Fun Family Lodging
The Vista Collina, a 145-room hotel about ten minutes from downtown Napa, offers a condensed Napa experience on its grounds, with a swimming pool, on-site tasting rooms, a culinary center offering Mommy and Me teas and cooking classes, and an upscale market with local products and prepared foods. A16,000-square-foot lawn offers rotating activities (barbecues, green markets, live music) and games (corn hole, giant Jenga, ring toss) to occupy the children while parents sample wine. (Select rooms come with kitchens and rates begin at $309 a night.)