There’s no need to forgo a merlot with kids in tow. Not only do these Hunter Valley wineries welcome kids, but they offer a little special something to make your cellar door experience a delight for everyone. From lawn games to fish-feeding and gelato, our top 9 family-friendly Hunter Valley wineries keep littlies occupied while the grown-ups enjoy a glass or two guilt-free. Pokolbin is a great start when it comes to the best kid-friendly choices, many of which also provide onsite cottage or villa accommodation and restaurants.
Scarborough Wine Co.– 179 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin
This family-owned label tops the child-friendly charts when it comes to Hunter Valley wineries – chardonnay experts Scarborough Wines are famously family-oriented. Their Gillards Road Cellar Door has a blackboard and large grassy area for kids to run around in. Hermitage Road is a little smaller, but still plenty of wriggle room to run around outside. At both cellar doors, kids activity packs and lawn games are on offer. Grown-ups can keep an eye on littlies while enjoying a tasting. Oh, and did we mention the hula hoops and skipping ropes?
Elbourne Wines – 236 Marrowbone Rd, Pokolbin
Elbourne Wines is a delightful example of experiences available at boutique family-run wineries. Tastings are by appointment only, as there is no public cellar door just yet (word on the street is that something exciting might be popping up in Lovedale next year!). You’ll get to meet the Elbournes themselves, and have the pleasure of a relaxed, authentic tasting experience on their front verandah.
The Elbourne kids generously share their large playground, sandpit and in-ground trampoline with visiting littlies. You can also meet the resident sheep, pigs, dogs, chooks, geese and pony! The small, single vineyard vibe is certainly charming but make no mistake – with multiple awards under their belt for chardonnays and Shiraz, Elbourne Wines pack a self-assured, family-friendly punch. Click here to book in via their website.
Misty Glen Wines – 293 Deasys Rd, Pokolbin
Misty Glen Wines has its very own Kidz Zone, complete with Play-doh and crayons. Play boules or croquet out on the lawn, and be sure to say a big hello to Semillon and Chambourcin, the two friendly dogs. Baby change facilities are available.
Tulloch Wines – 638 de Beyers Rd, Pokolbin
At Tulloch Wines, you’ll find indoor and outdoor games including croquet, Connect 4, Giant Jenga and more. But that’s not the best bit. While grown-ups enjoy wine samples and pairings, kids can try the Junior Tasting Experience with five snacks matched to non-alcoholic drinks. Do you prefer apple juice with pretzels or strawberries? Maybe chocolate milk is your overall favourite? Just like the grown-ups, learn how to identify different flavours and figure out what combinations you like best. The Junior Tasting mat is covered in activities such as a grape-themed Find-a-Word to complete.
Peter Drayton Wines – 694 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin
The Drayton family estate has all the lawn games you can think of – football, quoits, totem tennis and more. School holidays also bring a special program of events, such as an Easter Egg Hunt. With kid-friendly dining at the restaurant, you can really make a day of it.
RidgeView Wines – 273 Sweetwater Rd, Pokolbin
Have a hit of totem tennis outside to get your wriggles out. Inside the cellar door while grown-ups sample RidgeView wines, the kids can complete colouring activities, puzzles or play dominoes. Afterwards, feed the fish in the dam on the property.Roche Estate – Broke Rd and McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
As well as being home to Tempus Two Cellar Door and Meerea Park Wines, on Roche Estate you’ll find Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop. Savour a cheesecake, a pizza or one of the 36 in-store flavour choices from the Hunter Valley Gelato Company. Roche Estate also host concerts and gigs on the vineyard, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events.
Wandin Winery – 12 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale
Plenty of grass and a cricket ground – this is a cellar door with a difference! After running their wriggles out, kids can sit just inside the cellar door at an activity table while grown-ups are busy tasting their way through this Lovedale estate.
Calais Estate – 151 Palmers Ln, Rothbury
Kids can play games and do craft activities inside the cellar door while the grown-ups sample the alcoholic offerings. Then, the whole family can feast on a picnic pack outside. The estate grounds are home to some peacocks and geese you can meet.
The Hunter Region lies inland north of Newcastle, about 3 to 4 hours’ drive from Sydney. After a lazy, sunny afternoon exploring Hunter Valley wineries, be sure to check out all the other family-friendly options in the area. Hunter Valley Gardens are a huge hit, with a dedicated children’s garden inspired by storybook characters. You can also do Aqua Putt Putt, or visit the zoo. Check out 7 great activities to do with kids in the Hunter Valley.
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