Families can enjoy the Willamette Valley, too!
Often times people don't think about taking a vacation to wine country because they have kids and they think What is there for kids to do in wine country?
There are actually quite a few fun activities that families can enjoy together while also making room for mom and dad (mom and mom/dad and dad) to enjoy some epic wine. Here's three great places I recommend. And of course if you would like suggestions of where to eat or what to taste, you can always email me
Third Street Pizza . McMinnville, OR
This is a funky, locally-owned place in downtown McMinnville that has great pizza, beer on tap, and a movie theater inside where you can watch a family-friendly movie while eating. It's a very unique experience that my family has enjoyed many times. I love their greek salads, and they also have killer sandwiches. You can visit one of several tasting rooms within a couple of blocks right before the movie for a great buzz during the show.
Evergreen Space Museum & Waterpark . McMinnville, OR
This one reaches the holy trifecta because it is within a mile of wine tasting, it is great entertainment for kids of all ages, and it is educational as well. The Spruce Goose, which was designed by the infamous Howard Hughes for the American army during WWII, is located here along with multiple other planes from different eras. And yes, there is a water park-inside. So even if it's rainy and chilly out during the winter, you can still get in your bathing suits and let the kids have a grand time. FYI- the Vinum FeRus tasting room is a mile away. Come and bring your kids before you go!
Big Al's . Beaverton, OR
This place was the impetus for this post. This place is so much fun! And I'm talking about for me as an adult. I'll give a little back story. Yesterday was my 9 year old stepson's birthday. We decided to have a family day and let him have a kid's party next week. We left McMinnville at 2, drove to White Rose for a wonderful tasting while Noah stayed outside where there was ample room to run around (he just read, though), and we brought Shannon and Jon's 3 month old, Stella, inside. Then we drove to Big Al's, had a great time there for two hours, then drove five miles to an amazing and authentic Korean BBQ place for dinner...and were still back home in McMinnville by 9 PM. It was such a fun family experience.
So Big Al's. Let me first say that they make a killer Moscow Mule, and you can take your drinks and food anywhere in the gigantic building. There's many many many bowling lanes on the bottom floor along with two bars that serve food, a restaurant with like 100 tv's playing all types of sports (yea dad, that's right), and an ice cream place. Upstairs is devoted to video games of all kinds and an adult bar that is closed off from kids with darts and a pool table. We played four way air hockey that made me laugh until I thought I was going to die. I started with Moscow Mule in hand, but that did not bode well.
Ponzi Estates is right down the road from here along with several Chehalem Mountains wineries. It's also right next to a great mall and only 20 minutes from downtown Portland.