Guide to Sonoma County Family Fun

Safari West Giraffes
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Sonoma County is known for its award-winning wines, luxury inns, romantic honeymoon vacations and, yes, as the perfect place for an unforgettable fun-filled family vacation.

Many par­ents think their days exploring Northern California’s Wine Coun­try are put on hold while their kids are small, but that’s not nec­es­sar­ily so, espe­cially in Sonoma County. With a lit­tle plan­ning, cre­ativ­ity, and flex­i­bil­ity, the whole fam­ily can enjoy a vaca­tion in wine country.

With its exceptional variety of natural attributes — the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes, ancient redwood forests, and farm lands, you will discover unique and memorable adventures for the whole family.

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Beyond the wineries, Sonoma County offers  family friendly, exciting activities that will make the trip extra mem­o­rable. Here are just a few of these kid-approved experiences, listed alphabetically by city.

Arm­strong Red­woods State Reserve, Guerneville
Arm­strong Red­woods State Reserve is a great stop for your fam­ily to see some amaz­ing coast redwood trees. Some of their most pop­u­lar trees include the Ici­cle Tree, with its mys­te­ri­ous “burl” for­ma­tions, the Colonel Arm­strong Tree, esti­mated to be over 1,400 years old, and the Par­son Jones Tree, reach­ing heights of over 310 feet tall (that’s taller than a football field is long).

Sonoma Canopy Tours, Occidental
Go soaring through the treetops of a redwood forest. A zip line lets the magic of gravity do all the work. Fitted with a specially-designed harness, you'll reach speeds of up to 25 miles per hour on the fastest zips.

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory, Petaluma
Mrs. Grossman’s is the oldest and largest sticker company in the United States. The factory tours are free. Watch as millions of stickers get printed, packaged, and shipped. There’s a  sticker museum, a gift shop, and a class where kids — young and old — decorate postcards using Mrs. Grossman’s stickers. Reservations for tours are required.

Driven Raceway, Rohnert Park
For kids who are a minimum of 48" tall, you can try out the electric indoor go-kart racing in Rohnert Park, which offers the extreme experience for all your family parties needs.

Scandia Family Fun Center, Rohnert Park
Scandia Family Fun Center is a kid’s fantasy land which includes two 18-hole miniature golf courses with tiny buildings, bridges, and waterways. Also featured are 18 batting cages with slow pitch and fast pitch. Bumper boats, equipped with water sprayers, are a great way to cool off on a warm day. And the Lil’ Indy Raceway gives a racing experience with its straight track and banked turns.

Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa
If you hap­pen to have some Peanuts fans in the fam­ily, take a stop to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and research Cen­ter. This fun, laid­back museum has some inter­est­ing exhibits about the famed car­toon­ist and his beloved Peanuts char­ac­ters. Directly across the street is Snoopy’s Home Ice sta­dium for ice skat­ing with the family.

Pacific Coast Air Museum, Santa Rosa
Imag­i­na­tion takes flight at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. The museum displays historic aircraft and features antique World War II planes. The museum’s mission is to preserve aviation history and educate children. “Climb Aboard” special events occur throughout the year. In August, there is the “Wings Over Wine Coun­try Air Show.”

Safari West, Santa Rosa
Enjoy a “wild” time by tak­ing an open-air safari vehi­cle along this 400-acre wildlife pre­serve. You’ll catch sights of giraffes, lemurs, chee­tahs, and wildebeests. And it gets even better — you can stay overnight in one of their luxurious tents.

Candy and Kites, Bodega Bay
Candy and Kites specializes in kites, windsocks, flags, books, air toys, and beach toys. You’ll find just about every type of kite available including stunt, traction and single line. Come to Doran Beach Campgrounds in Bodega Bay on Friday evenings from 6-7 p.m. for the Friday Night Kite Fly with demonstration kites, or bring your own.

Sim­race­way Per­for­mance Dri­ving Cen­ter, Sonoma
If you need some excite­ment, check out the Sim­race­way Per­for­mance Dri­ving Cen­ter for a cool kart rac­ing expe­ri­ence (ages 13 and older), let your teens try rac­ing lessons or even take the defen­sive dri­ving course.

Sonoma Train Town Rail­road, Sonoma
This old-fash­ioned, scaled-down rail­road will delight young train fans. The 20-minute train ride goes over bridges, through tun­nels, and stops in its minia­ture town, “Lake­view,” which includes a pet­ting zoo. Kids will also get to enjoy six other rides includ­ing a carousel and Fer­ris wheel.

State and Regional Parks, throughout Sonoma County
There’s a wide array of family fun, including fishing, kayaking, and horseback riding along the Pacific Coast or Russian River, hiking and biking dedicated trails in more than 55 state and regional nature parks, or discovering Sonoma County and California’s rich heritage in several history parks. Using Sonoma County Regional Parks trails are free but there are parking fees, usually $7. Those are waived with a Regional Parks membership.

Family Friendly Wineries

Con­sider vis­it­ing winer­ies that offer a kid-friendly atmos­phere and some space, like a nice big lawn for them to run on. Lit­tle extras like a fish pond, pic­nic area, or gar­den to explore will help make the day fun. There are sev­eral winer­ies that go a step fur­ther by pro­vid­ing some spe­cific things to enter­tain kids dur­ing their visit. The fol­low­ing exam­ples will give you a taste of what’s out there.

Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola Win­ery, Gey­serville
This win­ery has a resort-like feel, with beau­ti­ful grounds, and lovely swim­ming pool (tick­ets required in advance) where you can reserve a cabine, which includes pool passes, lounge chairs, tow­els, and wine tast­ings. There’s live music on sum­mer week­ends, some kid’s activ­i­ties, bocce ball courts, and more. The whole fam­ily can enjoy the pool with cabines, but be sure to reserve your spot early.

Ben­ziger Fam­ily Win­ery, Glen Ellen
This organic win­ery has a play­ground, small bird zoo, beau­ti­ful gar­dens, pic­nic grounds, hourly tours, and fun Bio­dy­namic Vine­yard Tram tours in a tram pulled by a tractor.

Alexan­der Val­ley Vine­yards, Healds­burg
You’ll appre­ci­ate a toy chest in the win­ery, and there are wine caves that keep lit­tle peo­ple happy while adults have fun too. They also hold enter­tain­ing events such as the Har­vest Party in Sep­tem­ber, includ­ing grape pick­ing, bless­ing of the grapes, brunch, a grape stomp com­pe­ti­tion, music, bocce ball tour­na­ment and more.

Land­mark Vine­yards, Ken­wood
This beau­ti­ful vine­yard is located at the base of Sug­ar­loaf Moun­tain, where you’ll find a bocce ball court, pic­nic area, col­or­ing books and crayons in the tast­ing room, and horse-drawn wagon rides in the summer.

Lar­son Fam­ily Win­ery, Sonoma
The Lar­son Fam­ily Win­ery is an old rodeo ranch-turned-win­ery, which spells fun for fam­i­lies. This cowboy-style atmos­phere is very relaxed and comes with farm ani­mals, a bocce ball court, and grass area for pic­nic blankets.

Family Friendly Hotels & Campgrounds

Here is a selection of family fun hotels and campgrounds. Find all Sonoma County hotels and campgrounds here.

Flamingo Resort and Spa
2777 Fourth Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Dawn Ranch Lodge
707-869-0656
16467 Highway 116
Guerneville, CA 95446

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sonoma Wine Country
One Doubletree Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
707-584-5466

Petaluma KOA/San Francisco North
20 Rainsville Road
Petaluma, CA 94952
707-763-1492

Cloverdale Wine Country KOA Camping Resort
1166 Asti Ridge Road
Cloverdale, CA 95425
707-894-3337

Casini Ranch Family Campground
22855 Moscow Road
P.O.Box 22
Duncans Mills, CA 95430
(800) 451-8400

Spring Lake Regional Park
393 Violetti Road
Santa Rosa, CA
707-539-8092
See Outdoor Family Fun at Spring Lake Regional Park.

Spring Lake Regional Park, 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa. 707-539-8092 - See more at: http://www.sonomacounty.com/articles/outdoor-family-fun-spring-lake-regi...