You probably know that San Diego has some amazing breweries and wineries that serve really great beer and wine and delicious food to. But you may also avoid going to these places because you have kids! But guess what? You don't have to! On this episode, Sandra from @PlayDatesandPints is here to help us create the ultimate list of amazing wine and beer makers that are happy to welcome you and your kids. Join us as we go ALL IN on family friendly wineries and breweries!
Click here for the episode page, or read on for all the tips!
What Makes a Winery or Brewery “Family-Friendly”?
Sandra says that the most important part of a family-friendly winery or brewery is that they have some sort of outdoor space. Additionally, the staff is so important when it comes to a family-friendly winery or brewery. Certainly, there are the very authentic spots where the main motivation is not being family-friendly (and that’s okay!). But, if you go and the staff is smiling at your toddler, then it makes a huge difference.
Also, it’s not a must, but if a brewery or a winery has an actual kids menu makes parents feel that the place has thought about having kids there.
Stone Brewing is awesome because their Escondido location is super family-friendly. They have the Koi ponds and you can walk around (they even have a brewery tour that you’re welcome to bring your kids on and is a lot of fun for kids too!) and it’s a great spot. But they also have their location in Liberty Station, which is also super kid-friendly. It has the same food, same atmosphere and same great beer as the Escondido location, and it’s all enclosed. They also have grass and a Koi pond, it’s just smaller than the Escondido location.
Another great thing about Stone is that the food is accessible. You’re going to get a good cheeseburger at Stone, and they also have really great Mac N Cheese! Sandra says she loves the food at Stone Brewing because the portions are perfect. “I don’t feel like I have to buy all this extra food for my kids, so that’s really great about Stone too.”
Orfila Winery in Escondido (or Oceanside) is also amazing. The view from the front is amazing for a date night or wine tasting with girlfriends, but then they have a whole park in the back, which is created for families. They have picnic tables or you can bring a blanket, and there’s an outdoor bar. But, then your kids can play! So, you’re at a park with wine… what else could you need?
They’ve been very thoughtful about how they set up their outdoor space so you can stay awhile. For food at Orfila, they have food trucks on the weekends and you can see the schedule here. They have the essentials in their shop (cheese, crackers).
Belching Beaver Brewing
Belching Beaver in Vista is incredible. They have the most amazing peanut butter stout, which is thick, creamy and delicious but not too heavy. They also have really interesting appetizers such as wontons and a tater tot dam. But, if you walk into their back patio, they have picnic tables and it’s all fenced in. There’s a small space for kids to play and it’s a very kid-friendly environment.
We stumbled upon Viewpoint in Del Mar a few years ago. It is right near the Del Mar Fairgrounds so it’s a great spot to go if you’re going to a concert or the races. It’s right on the creek right there, so you have a beautiful view of water and the marshlands and there are birds flying everywhere. It’s a beautiful view! The back area is a whole grassy area that’s turfed, they have a couple of swings, and they have a walking path. Viewpoint has such a great environment. You walk in and before you know it you have kids cups for water and they’re inviting your children to play on the grass (as long as you make sure you’re keeping an eye on them!). Their whole environment is very kid-friendly, which is nice. It doesn’t hurt that their beer is also really delicious! They have a really good Saison, which is my absolute favorite.
Another great thing about Viewpoint is that it’s easy to access. It’s right off the freeway, but it doesn’t feel like it. You really feel transported from San Diego when you’re there.
Viewpoint has a great Mac N Cheese, but their kids Mac N Cheese isn’t as frou-frou (but still delicious!). They also have amazing friend chicken.
Gravity Heights in Sorrento Valley is this huge brewery in the middle of an office park. It’s a part of the Whisknladle Hospitality group, which is awesome because their chefs are really good and their food is really good. There’s a nice outdoor patio area, but then there’s an even better spot for families with three or four picnic tables and a fenced-in turf area. So, you can sit with your friends, tucked-away in the corner and your kids can runaround and they can’t go anywhere because they’re fenced in!
It’s a great spot for a girls brunch when everyone has their kids because they can all sit and talk, and the kids can play.
Bernardo Winery is Sandra’s favorite! She loves Bernardo Winery for a date night, girls brunch and with your family. You can do wine tasting and order food inside, but they have grassy areas and picnic tables where you can choose where you want to sit.
Bernardo Winery has a great take on Sauvignon Blanc that is delicious. And their food is amazing! They have everything from pizza (their pear and gorgonzola is refreshing!) to meatballs (shareable meatballs!). I love that you can go and pick where you want to sit with your kids and they are totally welcoming to families. They even have a little sweet shop there, which is a nice treat for kids.
They also have fun stuff for the holidays and a farmers market every Friday.
Coronado Brewery in Mission Bay has done some incredible updates since they were first a true-blue garage door-style brewery. But then they added food, a patio and beautiful murals. They have cornhole out usually and hey have plenty of space!
Their beer, is my all-time favorite. Their Orange Ave is light, refreshing perfect San Diego beer. Their food is great too! They have a California Pizza that has avocado that pairs really well with their beer.
Mike Hess Brewing in Imperial Beach
Mike Hess recently opened a spot in IB and it’s incredible. They have a huge outdoor areas, tons of seating, tons of picnic tables, games, cornhole… it’s just a super casual outdoor area. It’s very kid-friendly, it’s dog-friendly. They even have “kid-friendly” on their website, which is saying a lot! It’s been super fun to go with the kids and I couldn’t recommend it more.
Sara’s favorite is The Vineyard 1924 in Fallbrook. It feels like you have been transported to an adorable little postcard of the cutest winery you could ever think of. They have a little hut where you can get drinks. It’s not a huge menu, but they have a few wines and lemonade for the kids. But, it’s all about the atmosphere!
We took the kids in Fall, and they had pumpkins and wheelbarrows, and lots of fun stuff for the kids to climb on and play with. It’s just picturesque. They also have food trucks and live music sometimes, which is fun for the kids too.
Check out the whole episode here!
Sandra is a great follow on Instagram @PlayDatesandPints
Special thanks to Jeannie from the amazing San Diego parks site https://parksinsandiego.com/ for her help with this Blog post!