This post is sponsored by Airbnb
Thanks to an ongoing partnership with Airbnb, last week during Henry’s spring break we escaped to Sonoma Valley for a family getaway. Bonus was that while we were away, our kitchen and studio were getting a little makeover. Wine country is not known for being an ideal destination for travel with kids, but we found so many fun things to do with them there! Here were some highlights of our trip…
Thanks to Airbnb for sponsoring this post and putting us up for the week.
The vibe up in Sonoma Valley is super chill so it’s all about finding a great home to relax in. You can find the family-friendly home Airbnb put us up in for the week here right here. It was a perfect spring/summer break kid-friendly property: pool and hot tub, lots of outdoor eating spaces, lots of movies for the evening, big windows, privacy, and gorgeous views. It made the week SO relaxing!
We stay in Airbnbs almost every time we travel and just love it. More traditional ways of traveling can get really tricky with a family. There’s usually very little space or privacy and it can often be more expensive. Renting a whole home can be surprisingly a more affordable option in a lot of areas, and you really get to experience real living in the area you’re staying.
Sometimes Airbnbs are stocked with toys, sometimes not. Kids need something to fiddle with when they’re away from their stuff so we always bring a bag of our favorite toys when we travel by car. Right now this involves Magnatiles, legos, books, and the Blutrack (pictured above) with a handful of matchbox cars.
A pool and hot tub is key for a family friendly Airbnb listing. It was a little chilly for my kids but we were in and out of that hot tub constantly! We just lowered the temperature so the babies could float and play as well. We did bring rope with us to play a few games of tug of war over the pool! I kept on being the one that feel in.
We had two families that joined us and stayed for a couple days each. One came at the beginning of the week and stayed for a night, and another family came towards the end and stayed for a couple nights. One night we had our nanny come up so we could enjoy a nice dinner out sans kids with our friends Gaby and Dom. We went to Girl and the Fig in Sonoma which was really lovely. It was great having some company to look forward to and good friends to spend time with.
The outside of the house was covered with wisteria, it was stunning and smelled amazing.
I wanted things to be really chill, but still get out of the house every day. So I did a little research on kid friendly things to do in the Napa/Sonoma area and made it a point to just do ONE thing everyday.
One of the first days we went to Cornerstone in Sonoma which we had been to before and I always love. It’s filled with gorgeous gardens commissioned and designed by different companies. They are always stunning and super innovative and creative. You can read more about them here. They’re constantly changing so you can always see different ones and there’s always a kid garden filled with things to do and play on.
At first Henry was a little grumpy about the idea of walking through gardens (ha!), but he cheered up pretty quick after playing a game of Caps for Sale in the trees
Okay, so the BEST kid-friendly thing to do in Napa/Sonoma area is Train Town! We’ve been going here since Henry was a little. It’s an hour drive from San Francisco so totally do-able for a day trip. And we LOVE it. Super charming old train that winds through Redwoods and takes you to a mini village where you can feed animals and explore all the kid-sized buildings.
But Train Town also has rides! A ferris wheel, airplanes, mini rollercoaster and carousel. Such a simple, easy fun activity to do with kids. It’s open every day in the summer, but only fri/sat/sun during the rest of the year.
This was Dot’s first time on the train!
Because Train Town is right next to downtown Sonoma we always stop for ice cream or dinner afterwards.
It’s also really close to local wineries which have gorgeous grounds to pack a picnic above the vineyards (we love grabbing food from Cafe Boulangerie in downtown Sonoma).
Our Airbnb listing was right by Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Kenwood so one afternoon we took a hike there with the kids. It was so pretty and they had a fun treasure hunt for the kids with clues which led them to a locked box at the end of the hike filled with gift certificates for an ice cream sandwich at the visitors center! Great motivation for keeping those kids moving along on the hike.
Another afternoon we went to Connolly Ranch. Normally it’s just open for school groups and not the general public, but the first Wednesday afternoon of each month from 3-6 they open their doors to everyone and it’s free! We did egg dying, pet adorable baby goats, face painting, grinding corn to feed the chickens, etc. The grounds are really beautiful, very well kept and educational signs everywhere. They have after school programs and camps for school aged kids. It makes me wish we lived closer!
A couple of days were rainy so we one afternoon we went to see Beauty and the Beast, and the other afternoon we went to the Children’s Museum in Santa Rosa. It was incredible, the best children’s museum I’ve been to! The outdoor area is gorgeous (Edie is doing some shopping at the farmer’s market above), and they also have a little art studio as well (Edie window painting below with Gaby’s daughter, Juniper).
We also loved the bubble area! Above I’m making a giant bubble around Juniper and Eleanor. So fun to be in the middle of a bubble!
Something really simple that we did a couple of mornings was this pretty hike right by the house we were staying in. It wandered up pasts old horse stables and creeks high up into the Kenwood hills. We picked lots of wildflowers and spotted a few bunnies along the way!
Such a relaxing spring break week! It was the longest we’d ever stayed up in the Sonoma/Napa area and only made us want to hurry back to explore more.
Thanks again to Airbnb for comping our stay and being our go-to spot for family vacation rentals.