When thinking of New England, most people conjure up the tastes of apples, cranberries, and maple syrup, but local vineyards prove we can produce some tasty grapes, too. Stretching from Connecticut’s "wine trail" all the way up to New Hampshire's White Mountains, many of these vineyards aren't just great places to sip wine with your grown-up friends, but also to hang out with kids (yes, you heard that right!). Much like the local beer gardens that keep popping up in Boston and Connecticut, these wineries welcome families with beautiful, spacious grounds, and in some cases, apple picking, live music, wagon rides, and other activities.
Here are our favorite family-friendly vineyards and wineries in New England—from coast to mountaintop!
Families enjoy food truck snacks and picnics in Nashoba Valley. Photo courtesy of Nashoba Valley Winery
Family-Friendly Wineries and Vineyards in Massachusetts
Nashoba Valley Winery - Bolton
If you like fresh country air, expansive country views, and some quiet family time, then Nashoba Valley Winery is for you. With advance planning, they offer picnic lunches that can be enjoyed in their beautifully appointed picnic grounds. "Food Truck Fridays" are also a hit with families. Additionally, July to October is harvest season at the Nashoba Valley Orchard. A variety of apples and peaches will be available for picking.
Hilltop Orchards & Furnace Brook Winery— Richmond
Donuts, hiking, apple orchards, and wine—can you beat it? Hilltop Orchards is a perfect year round destination for the whole family (they even groom their trails for snowshoes and Nordic skiing). With a packed schedule of events that range from live music to tractor drawn trail rides, a trip to Hilltop may be come an annual tradition.
Cape Cod Winery — Falmouth
With a large outdoor space with kid-friendly games and an entire vineyard to explore, Cape Cod Winery can make all your vacation dreams come true. Mom, don’t miss out on their Manis & Merlot events throughout the summer. Most nights, you can hear live music starting at 5pm while sipping on that glass of vino.
Plymouth Bay Winery — Plymouth
Ah, Plymouth...pilgrims, a rock, and...vino?! Yes ma'am: And when there’s jam samples for the kids and wine for the parents, its a win-win! In addition to their wines Plymouth Bay Winery’s Tasting Room offers a full section of jams and cooking sauces for sampling. Reservations are encouraged for parties with six or more tasters.
First Crush — Harwich
This hidden gem located near Cape Cod’s Rail Trail has a relaxed atmosphere that's ideal when exploring "grown-up" places with kids. The family-minded owners' tasting room is open Tuesday-Sundays year round, but check their website for additional summer hours.
Music and food trucks make for an easy and relaxing family dinner. Photo courtesy of Preston Ridge Vineyard
Family-Friendly Wineries and Vineyards in Connecticut
Preston Ridge Vineyard —Preston
Parents will come for the wine and views, but the kids will beg to stay for the impressive schedule of local food trucks and live music at Preston Ridge Vineyard. Located in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner, Preston Ridge is part of the Connecticut Coastal Wine Trail and offers the perfect spot to end of day of sightseeing.
Hawk Ridge —Watertown
Enjoy a tasting while the kiddos bop around to live music. Hawk Ridge Winery has a packed schedule of live music and other family friendly events (can you say “Dessert Fest”?!?) that make this one of Connecticut’s most family-friendly wineries.
Jones Family Farms — Shelton
Most people think of Christmas trees or pumpkins when you say “Jones Family Farms”, but this family operated farm stand has a pretty impressive winery as well. Enjoy a summer Friday nights listening to live music at the popular “Wine Down” events that run through September. Make sure to check out their extensive “pick your own” schedule too!
Lawn games are on tap at Newport Vineyards. Photo by Sunway Photography
Family-Friendly Wineries and Vineyards in Rhode Island
Newport Vineyards - Middletown
Newport Vineyard’s brings the “Napa experience to Newport” with its easygoing, Left Coast vibe. In addition to its tasting room, Newport Vineyards also has a full service restaurant, Saturday farmers markets, and a pretty solid selection of live music.
Family-Friendly Wineries and Vineyards in New Hampshire
Seven Birches Winery — Lincoln
Seven Birches is part of the River Walk Resort at Loon Mountain. The tasting room is open daily in the afternoons and evenings. The stunning location with views of the White Mountains and Pemigewasset River make it easy to have some family fun.