Summer’s officially over, the leaves are turning a bright burnished gold and the weather’s requiring cozy sweaters and sweet peep-toe booties. Not to mention jean jackets, fuzzy shoes and our kiddos favorite football jerseys. So what’s a parent to do when the little ones long to play outside, but lounging poolside is no longer an option? Take an adventure of Grape-tastic proportions of course! Stuffy adults-only wineries are a snooze once the babes join the fam, so we’ve rounded up some of the sweetest spots to picnic, throw a Frisbee, take in the sights and sip some of the best vino this side of the Shenandoah Valley…all with little ones in tow.
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik via flickr
Just saying the name, Quattro Goombas is fun, so visiting is certain to be a treat. Wine, frozen sangria, craft beer, thick crusty pizza, tacos and beverage flights are all in a day’s visit. Whether you fancy bringing a picnic and lounging around while the kiddos play, letting Junior watch football while you sample craft beer flights, or joining in a few pickup games with other families on the expansive lawn, you can literally spend an entire day here without getting bored. There’s plenty of room to explore, vineyards to admire and of course – wine to drink!
22860 Monroe-Madison Memorial Hwy. (Aldie, Va)
Potomac Point Winery and Vineyard
Take a trip to Tuscany at this scenic Mediterranean estate just 45 minutes south of D.C. In addition to being an award-winning winery, Potomac Point also features a full-service bistro for lunch and dinner, all in a family-friendly setting. And when we say family-friendly, we mean it. They even have a Lil’ Buds Room where your littlest buds can explore and play while you fill your glass in the tasting room next door.
275 Decatur Rd. (Stafford, Va)
Barrel Oak Winery
Long-cited as D.C.’s top family-friendly winery, Barrel Oak unfolds against the backdrop of the beautiful Virginia Piedmont countryside, just a hop and a skip (one hour) from the District. Owners Brian and Sharon work hard to create a community atmosphere by welcoming parents with kids, hikers, bikers, and travelers from the other side of the globe. And their love of dogs is evident throughout the place, from the paw prints on the menus, to their resident staff member, Birch. Children love the all-inclusive, pet-friendly atmosphere; adults love the expansive patio views and whimsical décor. And then there’s the award-winning wines, 24,000 gallons right on the property. Tours are self-guided and tastings start at $3.
3623 Grove Ln. (Delaplane, Va)
Rocklands Farm Winery and Market
In addition to some of the yummiest pasture-raised meats, fruit, and veggies, this working farm pours some of the tastiest wines near the DMV. Swing by Thursday-Sunday for sips and family-friendly self-guided tours. There’s plenty of running around space for the littles and the rustic scenery makes for fabulous photo opps.
14525 Montevideo Rd. (Poolesville, Md)
Located on the Monticello wine trail near Charlottesville, Va, Keswick’s 400-acre Edgewood Estate is the quintessential manor with breathtaking views of the countryside and the Blue Ridge Mountains. While it’s a gorgeous spot for a high-class wedding, you’ll feel equally at home with your little ones in tow for a wine tasting and tour. Crayons, coloring books and games are available to keep them busy while you swirl and swish the goods. Check their website for summer family-friendly events featuring live music, food, and of course, vino.
1575 Keswick Winery Dr. (Keswick, Va)
Early Mountain Vineyards
If you’re looking for a majestic, comfortable place where the entire family can lounge around together, Early Mountain Vineyards is your place. Located just an hour and a half away from downtown D.C., the tasting room features overstuffed couches, a fireplace, and a convivial atmosphere where you can sip and discuss wine while the kids play board games. Here the kids can even join in the tasting with Okencroft Farm Juices, made from wine grapes, but without the alcohol.
6109 Wolftown-Hood Rd. (Madison, Va)
Are there any other family-friendly wineries nearby that we should know about it? Tell us in the comments section below.
—Hilary Riedemann and Jamy Bond