Vacationing in wine country for adults is very special. It’s magical, awe inspiring, the landscapes wow everyone, and it’s so casual. This time, though, you brought the kids and you’re now at a loss… What to do with them?

Well, when in Rome, so what the Romans do, and begin by asking the locals. And, if you’re just going to drag them along with no consideration for what they’d like to do, you’re going to end up with some really misbehaving children… And, I can’t blame the kids. How many gardens are they supposed to look at, while you’re swirling, sniffing, and sipping? Don’t think so, here’s a quick reading of how I had to handle four really misbehaving children… in one fell swoop. Just know, this isn’t the usual. The only reason I could manage this one is that I was the director of Androscoggin Day Camp, while in Maine.

Click for: Rumble, Tumble, Fumble, and Bumble

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… what to do.

You brought kids to wine country,

now what do you do with them?

Here’s my Top 10 list of what to do with children in wine country.

1 — WHERE TO STAY: at Safari West [above photo] if you’re going to be anywhere NEAR Napa or Sonoma.

  • Go on a safari and see animals that have been rescued and are now living on 400 acres of land.
  • Stay and glamp camp: no kidding, off the ground, on platforms, in luxurious tents.
    • After a tasting, you can dine at their outside restaurant, surrounded by rescued wild animals and birds.
    • Wake up to a cacophony of sounds… The bird sounds alone will astound you all.
    • Glamping, by the way… Glamping, all the way.

2 — Check out the region to see if there’s a children’s museum in the area.

3 — Movie theaters are a hit.

4 — Lakeside and local park visits

  • Get off the wine trail for a day.
  • Let them burn off some of that energy… and just FOLLOW them.
  • Don’t try to lead or you’ve negated the experience.

5 — Museums that are for the whole family.

6 — Go to San Francisco for a day, if you’re within 60 miles.

  • Alcatraz – BUT BEWARE – get tickets two to three months in advance… NO KIDDING.
    • If you don’t heed this warning, or you don’t have time to plan ahead, you CAN take a boat tour around the harbor, and it’s almost as much fun.
  • Exploratorium
  • de Young Museum (Fine Arts Museum) has outdoor sculpture to entertain the non-art-loving kids.
  • California Academy of Sciences (Aquarium and Butterfly pavilion in one location, besides everything else)

7 — Train Town in Sonoma (or something similar that’s local to where you are)

8 — Historic parks

9 — Driving balls at a local golf course.

  • That will release pent up energies for all.

10 — Pacific Ocean

  • Do NOT plan to go into the water.
    • You’ve been warned. Locals know better than to go in the water.
    • Sleeper waves take lives on what seems to be a regular basis.
      • Never EVER take your small children to the water’s edge, as inviting as it seems to be.
      • Beaches have warning signs for a reason.
      • Fly a kite and/or collect shells.