Todd and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary this weekend. We took a mini-honeymoon right after we were married to the Healdsburg area and thought we'd return again, this time with the kids. This sounded like a lovely idea at the time. In retrospect, I think I'd find weekend babysitting for the children as wine tasting isn't as fun with children, if you can believe that!
Tips that did work for us though:
1. Rent a house with some rooms and a yard! We rented a small cottage with two bedrooms and a cute garden off the back of the house. The accomodations weren't glamorous, but they did the job. We used VBRO to book our rental.
They had ripe grapes on the vine and invited us to pick and eat all we want from their veggies and their flower gardens!
The girls really enjoyed exploring.
The house we rented had a lot of chickens on the property and they left us a beautful dozen of farm fresh organic eggs!
This was the hard part- the girls are used to sleeping in their own separate bedrooms at home. So getting them to do this:
Took a bit of work and ups and downs and a lot of she's touching me's and a couple of hours. In the thick of it, we were questioning our logic for making this a weekend instead of a day trip! Thankfully the second night went a little better.
2. We selected wineries based on them having space and something for the kids to do!
Preston winery has a large organic garden, tons of friendly cats and shady picnic benches. This was a win. It did not work well to have the girls in the tasting room as there was way too much stuff to touch in there, so we sat them outside with cupcakes from Moustache Baked Goods while Todd and I took turns going in for mini tastes. We had the pumpkin woopie pie with cream cheese filling, a strawberry jam cream cheese cupcake and a chocolate cupcake filled with gooey carmel with chocolate frosting and seasalt. We all shared. It was sooo too delicious!
We brought drawing utensils to pass the time on the grounds. And that was it for wineries that day. We were also very cautious about how many sips we had and only had one glass of wine out during our tasting trip to make sure we were all safe.
The next day we learned about Bella Wine Caves from a family we met. They apparently are VERY family friendly and have activities and coloring pages for the kids to do on the weekends. If we ever go to the Dry Creek area again with children, we will definitely stop here!
3. Let the kids be kids.We made sure to stop at a super fun park, Giorgi Park, on our way home to let the kids wind down.
4. Try to eat kid friendly, but still enjoy! We took them to dinner at a restaurant called Campo Fina, which was very tasty and offered the kids chalk boards to draw on. There is also a bocce ball court out back!
Keeping the tots entertained.
Showing off their lollypops!
Jim Town is cute eclectic little store and deli with a killer Brisket sandwich! We ate soo much delicious food to always make sure we had plenty of food in our bellies. Wine and an empty belly is no good! We let the girls pick out a lollypop that they were allowed to have a Alexander Valley.
Enjoying their lollies. After they finished their lollies, they played with a huge pile of corks and stacked and counted them and knocked them over and built again!
4. Look for other kids! The only other winery we went to happened to have a very nice young boy in it! He was excited to see other kids, so we brought out our backpack of toys and the kids all played very nicely together while eating bunny grahams.
The winery had a really pretty fountain outside that the kids loved playing in and around. That was a plus.
Other than the above listed items, we walked around downtown Healdsburg and popped into shops that looked interesting and checked out the town square and ate more and more!
Now I feel like I need another mini-vacation!!
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