When most people think of Sonoma County, they think world-class wines, picturesque views and Michelin-starred chefs. Few people consider getting away to Sonoma County for a family vacation—but locals will tell you that there’s plenty to do for kids and adults.
From stunning natural landscapes to family-friendly recreation—and, of course, some wineries that welcome the littles—every member of your family will find something to love.
Activities for everyone
Delight the kids (and let them run off some energy) with these fun activities:
Sonoma TrainTown Railroad: What kid doesn’t love trains? Take a 20-minute old-fashioned train ride through tunnels, bridges and into a petting zoo. Plus, there are six other rides to try, including a Ferris Wheel and a carousel. Smaller children will be delighted.
Bodega Bay Kite Stores: If you’re heading to the beach, check out Candy & Kites and Second Wind, two of Bodega Bay’s charming kite stores. The windy Pacific Coast is perfect for kite flying. Don’t miss May’s Castles and Kites festival in Doran Regional Park.
Sonoma Plaza: Take a picnic to Sonoma Plaza, which features two playgrounds, a picnic area and a duck pond. This park is right in the heart of Sonoma and is surrounded by plenty of artisan shops, restaurants and local historical gems.
Spring Lake Swimming Lagoon Water Park: Hot summer days demand cool ways to stay refreshed. You’ll love this inflatable water park, which lets people ages 6 and up bounce around on floating play areas. It’s open Memorial Day to Labor Day on weekends.
Fundemonium: For kids and kids at heart, don’t miss this hobby, toy and game store. It’s so big (14,000 square feet) that it even comes with a snack bar, slot car track, LEGO station and other play opportunities.
Scandia Family Fun Center: Located in Rohnert Park, this park features two mini-golf courses, 18 batting cages, bumper boats and go-kart racing.
Howarth Park: Santa Rosa’s Howarth Park offers great playgrounds, an amusement park with kids’ rides and an animal farm, pony rides, a lake, picnic areas and more.
Charles M. Schulz Museum: If your family loves Peanuts, you can’t miss this famous museum—or the ice skating rink across the street. You’ll love the unique, nostalgic exhibits. Make sure you hit the gift shop!
Pacific Coast Air Museum: Located in Santa Rosa, this museum is perfect for history nerds and anyone who’s fascinated by planes. See historic aircraft, including World War II-era planes.
Safari West: Cheetahs, wildebeests, giraffes and lemurs? Santa Rosa’s 400-acre Safari West wildlife preserves offers open-air safari tours—and overnight safari tent stays, if you’re brave enough.
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve: Skip Muir Woods and visit Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, located in Guerneville. It’s less crowded, yet equally gorgeous. You’ll see trees over 1,400 years old and one that’s taller than a football field is long!
Sonoma Canopy Tours: Try this zipline tour through Occidental redwood forests—and reach up to 30 miles per hour on the fastest lines.
State and Regional Parks: Sonoma County has over 55 state and regional parks. Most are free, with a $7 parking fee. Enjoy horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, hiking and more.
Try these family-friendly wineries
Despite the adults-only beverages, there are plenty of wineries that are suitable for children. Many offer areas for kids to run around and play while the grown-ups enjoy a glass of the region’s finest varietals. Here are some of our favorites:
Alexander Valley Vineyards: Let the kids play in little wine caves and with the winery’s toy chest, while you sip on wines. This winery frequently hosts events like a grape stomp competition and bocce ball tournament.
Benziger Family Winery: Kids will love playing on the playground, taking a Biodynamic Vineyard tram tour, seeing the gardens, and wildlife habitats.
Buena Vista Winery: This is the oldest premium winery in California, and boasts a “history hillside,” wine cave, wine tool museum and tours.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery: Is it a winery or a luxury resort? You might not be able to tell if you rent a cabana for the swimming pool, which includes chairs, towels and wine tasting. Plus, the winery often offers children’s activities in the summer.
Landmark Vineyards: At the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in Kenwood, your kids will enjoy coloring books and crayons and playing in the bocce ball court.
Horse & Plow: The Sebastopol ranch boasts a stylish redwood tasting barn, art gallery, chicken coops, periodic “yoga in the grove” sessions, and live music on Sundays. Kids and adults alike can romp in the two-acre gardens, and picnic with cheese and charcuterie.
Bartholomew Park Winery: Surrounded by three miles of trails, the 375-acre historic estate invites picnicking and exploring. Check out the art gallery, too, with works by local talents.
Dutcher Crossing: An enormous lawn area welcomes rambunctious kids, and well-behaved dogs. Play bocce and cornhole, and savor a picnic overlooking the vineyards.
DeLoach Vineyards: The biodynamically farmed property is home to sheep, chickens and goats, fruit and vegetable gardens, and a 20-acre “Theater of Nature” self-guided trail tour.