What to do in Napa (with the kids)

Okay, so you are going to the Napa Valley and you are taking the kids.  This is not normally a place we would ever take our kids, in general, there is not much for them to do.  Really, there isn’t.  This is a destination I enjoy going to with my hubby and my girlfriends.  In my book, it is that kind of place.  Well, recently we were looking to take a little road trip with the teens and I heard about Napa Kayaking, so I thought this might be a fun activity to do with the kids while spending a night in the wine country.  A bit of fun for the kids, and a bit of fun for us after kayaking…..a bit of wine tasting.

We decided to book the two hour guided tour of the Napa River, but if you want to rent the kayaks on your own and go solo, you can do that as well.  The choice is up to you.  I know the river looks a bit murky, but the Napa River has never been cleaner.  Don’t let the color scare you off!

Before we headed out for our kayaking trip we fueled up at the Oxbow Market in Napa.  If you haven’t been to the Oxbow, it is a large indoor food market with over a dozen food stalls/mini restaurants to choose from.  There is something for everyone in your group!

Justin, our very sweet and knowledgable guide, who happens to be a Napa native, gave us a great history lesson about the Napa Valley during our relaxing two hour paddle down the river.

If you are looking for something to do with your family or out of town guests, this is the perfect way to break up a day of wine tasting and a fun activity that allows you to see another side of the Napa Valley.  Our teens were perfect angels during this paddle and they really enjoyed Justin’s history lesson!  I can’t say they were angels for the rest of the day! 😉

After our kayak trip we headed to Yountville where we stayed for the night.  If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you know we always stay in Yountville because I love everything the town offers.  Great restaurants, a great location in the valley, and it’s a lovely, walkable town.  While the kiddos were relaxing in the room we headed over to Girard for a bit of wine tasting.

An evening stroll through Yountville is one of my favorite things to do when visiting.  Walking through the French Laundry gardens at dusk is always a treat.

In case you missed my surprise visit to the French Laundry in March, you can read about that here.

One of my favorite remodels in Yountville.  So simple and chic with all of the right touches!  A cute screened in front porch is where you will often find the charming owner and his guests enjoying a bottle of wine.

Another nicely done remodel that blends in nicely with the surrounding neighborhood.

The bakers at Bouchon Bakery were busy at work on a Saturday night getting ready for a busy Sunday morning. Yum!

A delicious Sunday morning breakfast at Bouchon Restaurant.  Their omelettes are like little masterpieces…..almost too pretty to eat!

A to go bag of my favorite chocolate croissants for the ride home.

It was a fun 24 hours in the Napa Valley with the teens and I’m so happy we found an activity that we could all do together as a family.  Next time we might just rent the kayaks and go out on our own, but the tour was great for first timers navigating the treacherous waters of the Napa River….not. 🙂

I’m on the plane finishing up this blog post as we head out for our summer vacation to one of my favorite places.  I scored tickets to Hamilton “last year” and our show date is this week.  I can hardly wait!

Do you take your kids to the Napa Valley?

If so, what do you do with them?

Hiking?  Cooking classes?  Let me know…I’m curious?


About Ms B in the Bay Area

A San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle blogger Food-Travel-Fashion

8 comments on “What to do in Napa (with the kids)

  1. Always love waking up and seeing a new post!! Next time we get to Bay Area we will take the kids for a day trip on the river. Have a wonderful time on your next adventure.

    • Awww….thanks, Kirsten! Hope you make your way to the bay area soon! We can take all of our kids kayaking together! xo

  2. Great tips! We have taken the kids to Napa with us. Once we rode the gondola at Sterling Winery with them. We also visited the geyser in Calistoga with the kids before heading to the Castello winery so they could see a “castle”. We also like to stop at the old Taylors for great shakes, fish tacos and fries. The casual outdoor seating allows the kids to run around on the lawn. A dip in the pool is always a good end to the day.

    • Hi Mylinh, I have not been to Sterling or Castello, but they sound like great wineries to visit with kids! Thanks for the tips! Love the lunch idea, too! April xo

  3. Lovely post – sounds like your family mini trip to Napa and Yountville was the best of both worlds – fun for the teens and fun for you guys. I love the kayaking idea since it’s a good workout too! When we go to Napa we often take the dogs and then run around my brother’s vineyards, swim at their pool, and just do family stuff. I love your great ideas for outings! The Riverwalk in Napa is also fun…one time we saw a family carrying a baby pig – the girls squealed with joy over that. We like the General Store for brunch/lunch and the gelato place down the way. Pretty tile wall with fountain right outside is good for a photo opp. Thinking of you all now on your fun summer vacay! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    • Great ideas, Bita! So lucky your brother has a great place up there! That makes a night or a weekend in the wine country ideal! xo

  4. April, This sounds like a great idea with teens. I would love to get up to Napa area more, but it’s always a dilemma as kids don’t have so much to do there. This is a great idea, as my guys would love the kayak trip and the guide sounds fun too. Also my kids would be fine chilling in the hotel too while we hit a winery. I love Yountville so much. Where do you usually stay there?

    Can’t wait to hear all about your New York trip! xx Kim

    • Hi Kim, The kayak trip was a good find for sure! We have stayed at a variety of different places up there, but normally we stay at our friend’s house, which is in the heart of Yountville. We love it! Look forward to catching up with you soon! xo

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