Visiting the Napa Valley

Parent Q&A

How to find Babysitter for summer months in Yountville/Napa Jun 5, 2017 (2 responses below)
Kid friendly wineries in napa/ sonoma Oct 1, 2016 (6 responses below)
  • Hi!  We are going to be living up in Yountville/Napa for the summer months as my husband is working there.  I work from home and would love to find a babysitter to help me with my 5 year old little girl with special needs.  She does not have any medical needs, she has global delays and Autism.  We would also use someone for date nights out or day trips to wineries for both kids (we also have an 11 yr old).  Any ideas on where to look, recommendations, etc would be much appreciated!  Thank you!

    I have had great success finding wonderful and well qualified babysitters for my son (8 yo with ASD) by using One thing on the website that I found worked best is to post my job opening in both the babysitter and special-needs sections. This time of year, there seems to be many college-age girls home for the summer who are looking for work. I hope this holds true in the Napa area as well as the bay.

    We used Napa Valley Nanny when we stayed up there last summer.  They were actually the first babysitters we ever used for our son.  I could not have been more impressed.  The owner was extremely responsive and wanted to know every last detail about our son.  Both of the babysitters we had were incredible.  

  • Kid friendly wineries in napa/ sonoma

    (6 replies)


    I will have lots of family visitors over for the Christmas holidays.  I am looking for recommendations for kid-friendly wineries in Napa/Sonoma.  There will be a 3.5 yr old, 1.5 yr old, and 2 month old.  Nice ambiance and good wine preferred :)  Any suggestions?



    We are a big fan of the Coppola Winery up in Geyserville. It's probably too late for swim season (they have a great outdoor pool area), but they have a lot of strolling space, outdoor lounging/eating, and bocce ball. We've gone there with a ~1 year old no problem. 

     I worked for years in the wine country, and it's honestly not the place for kids. Your children will be bored, and when your kids are cranky and upset it ruins the experience for others. Invest in a babysitter. 

    Try Hagafan Winery in Napa, on Silverado Trail.  They're very laid-back, don't charge a fortune (unlike most other wineries in the area), and they have dogs and juice boxes!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions on This Page Advice on Other Pages

Romantic Getaway in St. Helena w/out Darling Kids!

December 2004

Thinking of taking the husband to St. Helena or nearby for a relaxing getaway from the kiddies. Any recommendations on a place you love, that won't break my bank? --Itchin' for a Vacation

We have always stayed at The Harvest Inn in St Helena. It is a beautiful B with a great continential breakfast. You can get rooms with or without a fireplace and many of the pricer rooms back up to the vineyards. It is a bigger B for those who prefer that set up. They have bikes to rent, a wine tasting in the evenings, a pool and hot tub. Definitely one of my all time favorites! And right before you hit St Helena! thehowards

Adult get-aways

April 2003

Hi, I am looking for a comfortable, affordable place in Napa/general wine country region for a weekend getaway. Any recommendations? Prefer non ''institutional'' setting. Have already consulted this site's archives. Esther

We've recently converted our beloved weekend home in Healdburg into a vacation rental. It's on Chalk Hill Road, very close to the spas, wineries, and restaurants of Healdsburg and Calistoga. You didn't say how many people you're looking to accommodate- our place is good for a couple or for a small family (one double bed, plus a pull-out matress). The property is on a creek, and you can walk 20 minutes to the Russian River for a swim. And because we've just begun this venture, it's very affordable! ($50/night, cheaper for a full week) Check out our website - - please email or call with questions (contact info on website). Tamarah

March 2003

Re: Romantic Getaway for Couples
For a romantic hotel/B you can't beat the Wine Country Inn in St. Helena, Napa. Fabulous. Pricey, however, esp. on weekends. JC

I know of a place in Alexander Valley (20 minutes out of downtown Healdsburg, in Sonoma County) that is a nice getaway. It's about 85 miles from the East Bay..........that translates to 1.5 hours usually.........but with traffic, it can take as long as 2.5 hours max. I believe you can get on the net and read up on Healdsburg........the downtown has been revitalized as of late and has a couple highly rated restaurants. Also, Hanna Winery is only a 5 minute drive away. ---lucia


From: Natasha

We've stayed at the Gravenstein Inn in Sonoma County (it's in Graton, I think). It's lovely and the food is good. Mostly we've stayed there because it's one of the few places that doesn't have a 2-night weekend minimum. There's a swimming pool, too. It's a beautiful renovated house that's easy driving distance to many wineries and Occidental.

From: Lori

I think that you would really enjoy the Country Garden Inn. As I recall it is right on the Silverado Trail. The room we got had both a fireplace and a hot tub in the room. They also have wine and cheese in the afternoon and sherry and dessert in the late evening as well as breakfast the next morning. A bit pricey, but well worth it, I think. Let me know if you go there, what you think.

Auberge Du Soleil, Rutherford

May 2005
Re: 10th Anniversary romantic getaway
If you're willing to spend a good amount of money for a get- away you will never forget, I suggest Auberge Du Soleil in Rutherford in the Napa Valley. ( It is the most romantic spot my husband and I have visited. The rooms are spacious with every amenity you can think of, the spa sits in an olive tree grove and the restaurant is first class. We enjoyed a couples bath in a private outdoor courtyard along with a couples massage that was so luxurious.

The property is so completely private, yet all that the Napa Valley has to offer is just a short drive (if you even WANT to leave the property--we didnt' move for 3 days!!) I think if it was raining that would make it even more romantic, so going in the winter shouldn't deter you. By the way, the new Coppola Food and Wine Center is very near by if you decide to venture out; Julia's Kitchen is deliciious.

Good luck and congratulations on your anniversary! Karen

Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford has wonderful rooms and suites, all of which have views of the Napa Valley. The restaurant is good, and other wonderful restaurants are nearby.

The Hyphen

March 2004

Re: One-Night Get Away for Gals (March 2004)
We stayed in a place many years ago that was okay with a one night minimum. It's been so long that they may have changed their policy, but it's worth a try. It was owned by a sweet couple, so you might even be able to beg them to make an exception. The other reason I mention it, is because it is definitely not a ''cuddly bear'' B It's in the hills in Napa somewhere (maybe Yountville)and has a nice pool and very nice bungalows. It's called The Hyphen. Have Fun! Nancy

Meadowwood Resort, St. Helena

March 2004

Re: One-Night Get Away for Gals (March 2004)
I just did this very thing with my best gal-pal--she was visiting from England and could only spare a night away from her family obligations in SF. Sonoma Mission Inn (now owned by The Fairmont) and another hotel in St. Helena were unable/unwilling to rent a room for one night. The day of our departure I called THE MEADOWWOOD RESORT in St. Helena, and they were very gracious and said that they had a one-night availability, that very night. In fact, two items of note: The girl who manned the phone offered us the nicest ''suite'' on the property, and when I asked if she could do better than the $540 room price, she quickly offered a $350 rate, citing that the room was unlikely to remain unrented between my call and that evening. (so it might behoove you to balk at the price)

Meadowwood is rustic elegance. Our room was kind of removed (not within view of the pool or croquette green), had a timbered high ceiling, and a comfy sofa in front of wood-burning fireplace. The room was set up into the trees and had the feel of a treehouse. The bed was a big king bed with Frette sheets. The bathroom was very nice with a curved-wall shower and comfy tub with a built-in lumbar support. The resort is as quiet as a cemetary--likely because the units are set apart from each other. The spa on the grounds is really the only place of ''congestion'' on the whole property (I would advise you to make any massage, facial, pedicure, etc. reservations well in advance of your reservation since the spa traditionally is booked a week in advance). The lap pool went virtually unused, and so Girlfriend and I had the whole pool and jacuzzi to ourselves. There are ample workout machines on the second floor of the spa, and a largely unused, empty workout room with weights, mats, and a tv with VCR (should you want to play/use your own Pilates tape from home, like we did).

You can either eat in town (we did) or eat in the Meadowwood restaurant (we did that, too) with its very green view of the golf course. The food is quite delicious, as well.

My husband and I have stayed at World Class resorts all over the world and were pleased to see that Meadowwood had none of the attitude that upscale resorts sometimes have. The personnel could not have been sweeter.

The experience was really quite blissful and peaceful. I plan to return with my husband, and, possibly, my very obnoxious children who would likely disturb the quietud ENJOY!

Napa with a toddler

Auguts 2002

On October 17 - 20 my husband has a business meeting in Yountville and spouses/kids are invited to attend. The company is not planning anything for kids to do, so I am wondering what my 2.5 year old daughter and I could do around there while my husband is in meetings. We will have our own car and are willing to drive up to 30 minutes for a fun activity. She wakes around 7 or 8, naps between 1 and 3 and goes to bed between 8:30 and 9, so we would need to be at our hotel in Yountville during sleeping times. -Lisa

Check out Train Town in Sonoma one valley west. is their website. Might be a bit longer drive than you mentioned but only a little bit. Fun miniature trains, and our daughter enjoyed the plaza in Sonoma as well. Trees, grass; I seem to recall there was even a little playground. Norm

Check out COPIA, the American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts in Napa. It's a kind of hands-on museum place with displays, gardens, classes, etc. It's big and not that cheap to get in, so it's best to plan to spend a chunk of time there and plan ahead for what you want to do (running around outside while kids are active, watching a film while they sleep, eating in between, etc.) I haven't been there recently, but have heard it's just fine with kids if you plan it right. Nicole

I'm not sure if your toddler is into animals yet, if so you can check out Safari West at - it's not very far away from Napa. It's kind of expensive for what it is, though. anonymous

There's a nice park in Calistoga. The morning we were there there was a moms' group meeting there with their kids and they were all very friendly. kj

While I don't know of any activities specifically for kids in the Napa area, I have a few suggestions for fun things that could be interesting to a toddler. All of these places are within a 15-30 minute drive from Yountville.
Gliders in Calistoga--down the main street on the right in Calistoga is a little airport where people go up in gliders. You can watch the towing plane and the gliders take off and land, and fly around up in the sky.
Hurd Beeswax Candle Factory--on Hwy 29 North of St. Helena--you can watch people making and decorating candles, and they have a covered window you can open up and see hundreds of bees all busily working making honey right on the other side of the glass in front of you.
Oakville Grocery--Oakville--they have many, many food samples out that you can test.
Sattui Winery--outside Rutherford (I think)--you can go in and buy deli snacks and have a picnic on the lawn out in front.
Bale Mill Park--I've never been there, but it's either a state or regional park and might have some woods or trails worth exploring.Perhaps someone can give you more info. Suzanne

At the North end of Yountville (it's all of about 5-6 blocks long) there is a wonderful park which has a GREeat toddler playgrouind. Enjoy! Andrea

Wine Train

Jan 2004

Re: Day of pampering for friend's 30th birthday
Try the Napa Wine Train as part of your girls day out. Is is so much fun. 3 hours on a wine train for just talking and relaxing with no interruptions. You get a gourmet lunch (or dinner)as part of the package. Can't seem to find the telephone number at the moment but the website is Have Fun! martha