Yes, There Are Things to Do in Napa Valley With Kids

by Nikki M. Mascali
Originally Published: 
things to do in Napa with kids

If you love wine and gorgeous scenery, Napa, California should be high on your vacation destination list. There are more than 400 wineries in the region, and some of the best wineries in Napa boast spectacular views. Plus, the area has tons of spas, things to do outdoors and amazing restaurants. But, if you need a kid-friendly vacation destination, you should scratch Napa off your list, right? Nope!

There are plenty of ways to have family fun in Napa — including visiting many of its legendary wineries. Intrigued? Read on for the top things to do in Napa with kids.

3 Kid-Friendly Wineries in Napa

First things first. There are a surprising number of kid-friendly wineries in Napa. Here are three with neat things to do or see so you can truly enjoy your well-deserved wine tastings. After all, when in Napa …

1. Sterling Vineyards

One of the most unique things to do in Napa with kids is visit Sterling Vineyards. Everyone will be wowed riding the aerial tram up to this Calistoga winery. The views of Napa Valley are breathtaking. Take in even more gorgeous views and a self-guided tour at the top. A tasting of current release wines afterward is included. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $35, ages 21-up; $20, under 21. Read reviews of Sterling Vineyards.

2. Beringer Vineyards

Beringer in St. Helena is one of the oldest, continuously running wineries in Napa. Take the 30-minute Legacy Cave tour of the Old Winery. Kids will feel like sleuths going through its historic tunnels — and you’ll love the three wines you’ll taste along the way. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Legacy Cave tour: $30, ages 21-up; $15, under 21; free, ages 6-under. Read reviews of Beringer Vineyards.

3. Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga is one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa. The name of this authentic 13th-century, Tuscan-styled castle means “Castle of Love” in Italian. It’s a true castle complete with dungeons and drawbridges, which the kids will beg to explore. Even better, they’ll get grape juice during your included wine tasting. Open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: $30, ages 21-up; $20, ages 5-20 for partial-access self-guided tour + wine tasting; $45, ages 21-up; $35, ages 5-20 for 60-minute guided tours of castle + wine tasting (kids under 5 not permitted on guided tours). Read reviews of Castello di Amorosa.

Kids Attractions in Napa

OK, the best kid-friendly wineries in Napa are out of the way. So, let’s take a look at great kids attractions in Napa.

4. Safari West

Safari West in Santa Rosa is one of the best things to do in Napa with kids. From antelopes to zebras, there are more than 1,000 animals across its 400 acres. And its Wild Encounters puts you up-close-and-personal with many of them. The best part? All proceeds of the encounters go toward Safari West’s conservation efforts. Wild Encounters start at $275 for two people, $50 each additional adult and $30 each additional child ages 3-12. Read reviews of Safari West.

5. Petrified Forest

Take the family way back in time at the Petrified Forest in Calistoga. You’ll all be awed by the redwoods that turned to stone after a now-extinct local volcano erupted more than three million years ago. You can take self-guided or docent-led tours of the forest.

Open daily Memorial Day – Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Nov. 1 – March 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; April 1 – Memorial Day & Labor Day – Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: $12 adults; $8 ages 12-17; $6 ages 6-11; free ages 6-under. Read reviews of Petrified Forest.

6. Kids Party Central

No party is necessary to have family fun at Kids Party Central in Santa Rosa. Open play amenities at this indoor playground include a rock wall, slide, soft play area for babies, toddler ball pit and more. Open play hours change seasonally, check website. Admission: $8, free for adults. Read reviews of Kids Party Central.

7. Nimbus Arts

The family can unleash some creativity at Nimbus Arts in St. Helena. This community-owned arts center offers several drop-in classes perfect for kids of all ages and adults on a family vacation in Napa. Hours and prices vary. Read reviews of Nimbus Arts.

Outdoor Activities in Napa for Kids

With such gorgeous landscapes, you can bet there are tons of outdoor activities in Napa for kids. You’re welcome in advance for their conking out early.

8. Old Faithful Geyser of California

California’s Old Faithful geyser in Calistoga erupts a tower of hot water roughly every hour. In addition, there are farm animals, gardens and a museum. Open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: $15 adults; $13 students; $9, ages 4-12; free ages 4-under. Read reviews of Old Faithful Geyser of California.

9. Connolly Ranch

This working farm in Napa is fun and educational, so the kids won’t have family vacation brain drain. They can learn about farm life, sustainability and more. Most importantly, they can get up-close-and-personal with farm animals like chickens, goats, sheep and mini horses. There are lots of family-friendly events and programming, too. Open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check website for weekend programming. Read reviews of Connolly Ranch.

10. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom technically isn’t one of the kids attractions in Napa. It’s about 30 minutes away in Vallejo. But, it’d make a great treat if you were able to have a few Napa wine tastings without incident. As typical with Six Flags, there are a lot of rides for the whole family, animals, entertainment and food. Open daily, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. through late August; open mostly weekends after that with varying times, so check website. Admission: $57; free, ages 2-under. Parking: $30. Read reviews of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

11. Napa River History Tour

Get a whole new perspective of Napa with a Napa River History Tour. These leisurely kayak trips are great for beginners and kids 7-up. Have them keep their eyes out for critters like otters, beavers and others that call Napa Valley home. Plus, you’ll all learn interesting Napa history, too. Open daily. Admission: $71 per person for a tour; $59 for two-hour rental. Read reviews of Napa River History Tour.

Best Restaurants in Napa for Kids

There are many family-friendly restaurants in Napa. But, the first two listed here are frequently named the best restaurants in Napa for kids. So, other parents who’ve survived a Napa vacation with kids must be onto something.

12. Gott’s Roadside

You’ve “Gott’s” to try the burgers and fries at either location of Gott’s Roadside. There are salads, tacos, sandwiches and vegan and vegetarian options, too. Save room for soft serve, shakes and floats. Both locations open daily, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in winter, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in summer. Read reviews of Gott’s Roadside in Napa. Read Reviews of Gott’s Roadside in St. Helena.

13. Oxbow Public Market

Parents of picky eaters, get thee to Oxbow Public Market in Napa. Everyone is sure to find something to happily nosh at its many vendors. Enjoy the Napa River views on the deck as you eat and sip local wines. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., though vendor hours may vary. Read reviews of Oxbow Public Market.

14. Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena is the place for home-cooked comfort food. Every Monday is meatloaf night, but the kids’ and regular menus are fantastic, too. Open Monday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Read reviews of Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch.

15. Boon Fly Café

Warning: the family might want to eat at Boon Fly Café in Napa repeatedly. It’s adorable, and the homemade donuts are a must. The menu is ample, with great options for kids. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Read reviews of Boon Fly Café.

Best Hotels in Napa for Kids

There are plenty of family-friendly accommodations in Napa. But, the ones that made our cut for best hotels in Napa for kids have fantastic amenities for all.

16. Vista Collina Resort

Vista Collina Resort is one of the best hotels in Napa for kids. Suites have fully equipped kitchens, a living area, sleep sofa and big bathrooms — with deep soaking tubs for Mom Time. In addition, there’s a pool, a good kids menu, an on-site upscale grocery and lots of family-friendly activities. Read reviews of Vista Collina Resort.

17. Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is a charming family-friendly hotel in Calistoga. It’s a revamped, pet-friendly roadside motel with board games, hula hoops, cornhole and other kid-friendly activities. While they’re having fun, unwind in MoonAcre Spa. Plus, there are frequent pool parties and other communal events for guests. Read reviews of Calistoga Motor Lodge.

18. Carneros Resort and Spa

This family-friendly Napa resort offers suites and private cottages and homes. In addition, there’s an upscale grocery on-property, an adults-only pool and free bikes to borrow on a first-come, first-serve basic. Kids Night is every Saturday night in summer from 5 to 9 p.m. They’ll enjoy movies and games while you can nab some adult time. Bonus: One of its three on-site restaurants is Boon Fly Café. Read reviews of Carneros Resort and Spa.

19. Westin Verasa Napa

Thanks to its Family Kids Club, you can’t go wrong with Westin Verasa on your family vacation in Napa. Plus, they’ll love the outdoor saltwater pool and being so close to attractions in Napa. Read reviews of Westin Verasa Napa.

20. Safari West Glamping

Safari West isn’t just one of the best kids attractions in Napa. You can also spend the night in one of its luxury tents. Each one features a private viewing deck and en-suite bathroom. Since the walls are made of canvas, you’ll be able to hear the nighttime sounds of the Sonoma Serengeti. And, fair warning, likely your neighbors, too, so keep that in mind. Read reviews of Safari West.

Flying with kids to Napa? Don’t leave before checking out our guide.

MORE: Things to Do in Anaheim With Kids When You’re Done With Disneyland

What to Do in Santa Barbara With Kids

A Kid-Friendly Guide to Santa Ana

This article was originally published on