When planning a family day trip this fall, vineyards and wineries may not be the first destinations that come to mind. Believe it or not, New Jersey is home to relaxing and scenic vineyards that welcome kids and even pets. These vineyards offer outdoor fun that includes food truck events, music, farm activities, spacious fields, and of course, the Garden State’s homegrown wines.
Not all local vineyards and wineries permit children on the premises, but raise your glass to those that do! Be sure to check the policies on children in the tasting areas before you visit.
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With so many activities for all ages, Terhune is a can’t-miss day trip destination and one of the most family-friendly farms in the Garden State. Throughout the year, its orchards offer a wealth of pick-your-own goodies, from berries to apples and pumpkins. Kids will have a blast visiting farm animals, taking part in various events, and enjoying farm-themed story times. Parents will enjoy sampling the 18 varieties of wine produced in Terhune's own orchards.
This family-owned vineyard and winery is known to be family-welcoming, offering fun events for all ages. The vineyard features "The Deck," open six days a week for food, wine, and music. If you choose to dine on The Deck, you can purchase food from the on-site cafe, or bring your own and picnic elsewhere on the grounds. Apple picking weekends are currently underway, and more special events include HalloWine Weekend and Christmas in the Country.
This vineyard has multiple locations, including its vineyard in Hammonton, but its Alstede Farms location gets the nod here for the inclusion of plenty of family-friendly on-site fun. A day at the farm can only be made better by a relaxing glass of Tomasello wine and we're particularly crushing on the night time events this harvest season.
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Bring the kids for a day at Hopewell Valley Vineyards.
Brick-oven pizza, prepared on Fridays through Sundays, is a big hit at this 70-acre vineyard. Enjoy live music, along with award-winning wines, a light fare menu, and old-world hospitality. Children are welcome but must be well supervised. Well-behaved pets are also permitted outdoors.
It's BYO chairs to this charming family-owned spot in Cream Ridge, where the wines are unique, ranging from a cherry wine to almond berry and many more unique flavors. Spacious grounds welcome visitors to set up their lawn chairs, blankets, and even tents, then kick back and enjoy the day sampling the wines, food truck fare, and making memories.
Burlington County's first winery, founded in 1996 and located in the center of the Pine Barrens, boasts an 88-acre vineyard that hosts family-friendly festivals and other events throughout the year. One of the largest wineries on the East Coast, it's got an on-site restaurant and an outdoor picnic area for guests to enjoy. Special events and food trucks appearances happen regularly.
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Bring the kids to the event-packed Laurita Winery.
Family-friendly food truck festivals, Saturday night fireworks festivals, singing competitions, a great kids playground—you'll find all these and more at Laurita throughout the year. The festivals offer a variety of delicious eats, vineyard tours, wine for the grown-ups, and fun activities for the kiddos. With all this, plus wine tastings and a gourmet food market, Laurita has something for everyone.
The only winery on Cape Island, Willow Creek Winery & Farm is set on a lovely 50-acre plot of land, and houses a lovely farm-to-table restaurant on-site. Book a reservation to dine indoors or out—Fido is welcome during quiet times, too. Blow bedtime to enjoy a Friday Night Firepit meal, with live music and a cozy fireside ending to the evening.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has since been updated.
Photos courtesy of the wineries/vineyards