There are a number of reasons to trek out to the DC area’s more rural parts this season: holiday train rides, pick-your-own Christmas trees, and festive parades in historic hamlets, to name just a few. Beat the chill from these outdoor activities with some quiet family time by the fireplace (and a good glass of wine!). Grab a few good books and maybe even a board game and head to one of these DMV vineyards to warm up and wine-d down.
Bull Run Winery
Located in Centerville, Virginia this winery is the closest to DC but feels a world away. The pastoral setting has plenty of space for kiddos to roam. Grab a glass or two and sit on the porch while the littles run around this wide-open space reserved for families. Take a walk as a family and explore the old homestead before your wine tasting and take advantage of the live music on weekends and food trucks that park nearby.
Barrel Oak Winery
Long-cited as DC’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.
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 DC, 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.
Paradise Springs Winery
This really is a little spot of paradise located right in Clifton, VA. Pack up a picnic lunch, plan a hike at the nearby Hemlock Overlook Regional Park and then recoup in the sunshine at this family-friendly vineyard. Small snacks are for sale, live music plays on Saturday afternoons and while tiny tots are not allowed on the back deck the outdoor space is perfect picnics and play time. They also feature fun events like movie nights and yoga.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Vineyard
The relaxed family-friendly vibes are immediate when you head out to in Dickerson, MD. A designated play area just for wee ones with an expansive space beyond encourages all the running, jumping and games of tag they can muster. No need to sneak in snacks you can buy small ones here or bring your own set of sweets and savories to munch on while you spend a whole day outside enjoying vino and Familia.
Port Potomac Vineyard & Winery
Want to feel as if you are on a bit of a getaway? Port Potomac Vineyard and Winery is the place to find a bit of Tuscany in Northern Virginia plus it has the Lil Buds room with space for the tiny tots to play with plus board games, checkers and chess with lounging couches for bigger kiddos cornhole outside. Get in on some grape stomping in the fall or take advantage of one of their other family-friendly events held year-round.
Quattro Goomba's Winery
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.
Rockland Farms Winery & 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.
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.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers with Victoria Mason and Hilary Riedemann
featured photo: David Kokainis via Unsplash