For months now we have been subjected to Alexa ringing through our halls, Trolls soundtrack on repeat. With endless dance parties and pillow forts galore, the winter energy starts bursting out the front door. Aha, alas spring is here and the kids are bouncing off the walls, eager to get a moment outside. In California, our weather can quickly shift from spring to summer. With warm days on the horizon and a bucket list just begging for some attention and ideas, we figured we’d kick it off with the ultimate bucket list item, BottleRock!
As seasoned music veterans ourselves, it was only a matter of time before we introduced our love for the music scene to our son Hawkins. Hawk is a spunky three year old, with a deep love for music, dance and socializing. We chose BottleRock as his first music festival due to its epic chill factor and the low-key crowd. We have been to BottleRock in prior years and so we knew what to expect if we took Hawkins. The very first time we stepped foot onto BottleRocks venue, my husband and I both looked at each and stated, “We need to bring Hawk here!”
BottleRock, is a family friendly music festival that takes place in Napa, California in the later month of May. It is a three day festival filled with an array of trendy alternative to classic musical acts. The food at BottleRock is phenomenal! My husband and I have been to many different festivals and Bottlerock has won our foodie hearts. If you love great wine and beer, look no further. You will find it around every corner, and will get the utmost wine and beer selection. There is also a family center for kids with face painting and activities, plus lots of room to dance and run around throughout the venue. Give a kid music, ice cream and the freedom to grove is really giving them a little piece of heaven. This is a wonderful venue filled with endless things to see and indulge in, all while creating some incredible family memories that will last a lifetime.
Parents Guide for BottleRock with Kids:
What to Bring:
non aresol sunscreen
reusable water bottle
a blanket (you can also purchase one there, they are scotch guarded!)
a sweatshirt or jacket for the evening
toilet seat and kids potty supplies
wristband with ID (we used a road ID bracelet that had his name + our contact info)
extra change of clothes
Kids are free. Kids 6 and under receive free entry with a ticketed adult. A ticketed adult can bring 2 kids, that are 6 and under for free!
Getting To the Venue:
There are many different ways to get to Bottlerock, but the bus is by far the best system you can come by with kids! Plus, it is FREE! If you’d like a parking pass is is $35.00 and you will have to still walk over to the festival. You can Uber, but if your little one needs a carseat Uber will not take you and Uber will drop you off where you still have to walk in a bit. With the Vine bus system, you are dropped off right in the back of the music festival and enter there. When you are ready to leave, exit the same way and hop back on the bus. We parked in front of the Marriott Hotel & Spa, where there is a park and ride area.
Getting Around the Festival:
First off, download their App! It is great for seeing who’s playing on what stage at what time, it showcases all the food, booze, bathrooms, exits etc. Navigating through the crowds at BottleRock is a piece of cake, with the help of the Piggyback Rider! Seriously, if your kiddo is 2 or older this is a MUST! Not only for music festivals but Costco shopping, hiking, traveling, Disneyland etc. Our son loved being up high to see everything, including the Stage.
There are 4 different stages that play music from 12pm to 10pm. There is also the William Sonoma Stage with a culinary experience and a Silent Disco.
Little Rockers and Family Zone:
Open all 3 days from 11:30am-6:00pm. Kids have their own area to hang! Face painting, fun hair styles, temporary tattoos, fun activities and art!
Food and Drink:
Unfortunately, BottleRock does not allow outside food or drink in. However, I do suggest bringing a canteen or reusable water bottle. They have several refill stations on the grounds! You will spend money on food, it is worth it. There is a food truck area, a whole culinary garden, along with a variety of different food vendors lined throughout the festival. There is also a Wine Garden, a Bourbon and Beer area, the Miner Family Winery, Coors Light Silver Bullet Bar, Lagunitas Tap Room and Pacifico Porch.
Hey moms and dads, give yourself a sweet little break at the spa! BottleRock features a spa area with foot and body massage, mini facials, enzyme foot baths, flower hair braiding, glitter makeup, custom festival jewelry and hydration stations. Stop at the bubble bar for a glass of champagne!
Bathroom and Changing Stations:
If you use the Vine bus system, you will enter through the back gates. The restrooms over by this entrance are the cleanest and least used bathrooms at the venue.(hint, hint) We did bring a portable potty seat to the festival. Le Petit Elephant hosted a nursing, pumping and baby changing station located in the Kids Zone! Awesomeness!
As parents, you come to recognize that your expectations can be let down and things don’t always go according to plan. When it comes to music festivals and kids, everyones experience is going to be different. I have learned to let go of expectations and just embrace the adventures. Example, you haven’t partied hard enough unless someone poops their pants.
Doors open at 11:30am. Lockers, General store, ADA accessibility. Learn more at BottleRockNapaValley.com
Music festivals aren’t for every kid, there are crowds just like amusement parks, the beach etc. If these places overwhelm your child or does loud music, I would suggest introducing them when you/they feel ready.