Ever since I got married, my husband and I thought that we would visit every tourist destination in the world before expanding our little family. However, a surprise blessing came to us a year after the wedding in the form of twin babies.
We loved the new additions in the family more than anything, but it also means that we needed to make room for the babies in our travel plans. Hence, we canceled a lot of hiking and skiing trips booked for the next couple of years. And because our kids were still so young, we decided not to go out of the country until they moved past pre-school. This way, their immune system would already be strong enough to fight off diseases.
The first two years were very easy. We only went to a nature conservation park in Los Angeles and at the Washington monument in DC consecutively, and they enjoyed it. When the twins turned three years old, they loved Disney characters so much that we flew to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. This year, though, I felt like we visited too many theme parks, and my family needed a change of scenery.
I asked my friends for some suggestions, and one of them blurted out, “Winery.” I knew that it was a joke, considering the children could never enjoy wine even if they wanted to, but I was open to the idea. The next day, I called Brew Masters and asked if they could allow young children in the property, and they graciously said yes. They also gave me a few pointers as to why visiting a local winery is suitable for families.
Drink Without Feeling Like Getting Drunk
The first advantage of going to a nearby winery is that you don’t usually feel like getting drunk. That is especially true when your children are around, and you know many of the customers or workers there. You don’t want them to perceive that you are a drunkard, so it is easy to step away from bottles of wine and stick to a couple of beers.
When I brought my family to the local winery, I did not drink much because everything seemed so interesting. We saw massive barrels filled with wine and watched the packaging process, which was done manually. If I was honest, if the little ones did not want to move along and eat, I could have stayed there all day.
Let Kids Play With Others
The winery that my family and I went to was a part of a large vineyard. Rows after rows of vines could be seen from a distance; it was slightly uphill, too, so it was incredibly beautiful. Then, the owners cleared at least 400 square feet of land between the restaurant and winery to put up a jungle gym. That’s how they enticed the young kids to stay in the property.
To parents like us, this setup is highly beneficial. During our visit, my children befriended at least ten kids. Some were older children in the neighborhood; others came from various cities. This experience allowed them to open up to others and learn how to socialize. And since the jungle gym was next to the restaurant, we could watch them play even if we remained inside.
Bond With Loved Ones
After our first trip to the local winery, I could not help but rave about it to my siblings at our weekly Sunday dinner. It has been our family tradition to gather at my parents’ house and cook there, but even my folks have been feeling tired of it lately. Mom said, “I am so bored at home. Can we go somewhere else?”
A week after that, I invited everyone to Brew Masters. My sisters with kids were a bit skeptical about it, but they calmed down when they saw how child-friendly the place was. In reality, you would see more drunk people at the park instead of the winery. It helped us reconnect in another location and enjoy food without needing to cook them for once.
Whenever I tell people that my entire family goes to a local winery almost every month, they often raise an eyebrow at me and probably question my parenting skills inwardly. I’ll say it once more — it is not too common for kids to be in such places unless you own it.
Despite that, the family trips to the winery have been great for us. The twins understood what friendship meant and became closer than ever; my spouse and I also befriended other couples/parents in town. Every time we came home from the winery, we would always huddle in the living room and talk about the new things that we found there or within ourselves.
For that reason alone, I think winery visits will become a new family tradition.