Wineries, Breweries, and Toddlers

This was originally going to be a fantastically hilarious post (or book if I had enough to talk about) called Wineries, Waterfalls, and Toddlers. But finding waterfalls wasn’t easy. I was pretty sad about that. Prince Edward County had two on private property that opened up to the public once or twice a year.

I stayed next to a beautiful area called Prince Edward County. It was just a ferry ride away, and we spent a lot of time there.

It had parks, lakes, stores, food, wine, cider, and beer.

I know my toddler pretty well at this point. For instance, I know to expect the unexpected. I know that at any given moment in any place he can scream on the top of his lungs (just to hear his own voice), he can hit, he can bite, he can run fast away from where I want to go, or he will make fire engine noises forever.

My goal this summer was to find places that were child friendly. I did some research on the ‘ol Internet. I’ve read some posts from other people asking where to go. I’ve also read comments that say wineries are not a place for kids. I disagree. I was able to do it, but I did make sure I stuck to the ones that made both my child and I happy. Although all of these stops would have been more perfect with an extra set of hands.

We did a lot of things just for Anthony (but if he’s happy, I’m happy.)

Here are some of the places I went that were for both of us. Please note these were not all visited on the same day. It was spread out through an entire summer.

The Country Cider Company

This isn’t a winery or brewery, but it was the first place I went to when we first visited Prince Edward County. We already ate lunch before we got there so we skipped the restaurant. I picked a road to drive down, and eventually came across this place. First of all, sampling worked well. I paid to sample, and was able to hold Anthony the whole time. They even made a joke about him not being able to sample the cider. (I’m sure they’ve made it before.) Anthony is pretty good at pointing to what I’m drinking and saying: “Momma.” The cider was very good. I picked some up for Clint and I, but never made it back to get some more. The orchard is beautiful, and overlooks Lake Ontario. It’s also a place you can let your kid loose and walk through it. This was a heat wave day, so it was super hot, and of course on the hottest days, Anthony isn’t interested in walking on his own. He wants to be carried. It really was a stunning view though.

555 Brewing Co

I found this place by accident. It’s located in Picton. (In Prince Edward County). I didn’t spend as much time in Picton because I enjoyed the more remote places. I did love the feel of Picton though. It felt like a beach town. Cute stores, lots of tourists, everybody is happy. I was walking past this brewery when I looked in and saw a sandbox. My mind was made up, and Anthony loved it. They have tasty pizza, and lots of delicious beer. (Of course, being a mom on the go, one is my limit.) I went back once, but would have been there so much more if there wasn’t a whole world to explore. I also fell in love with a jalapeno lime sauce, and went back to buy it shortly before the drive home. Unfortunately, I waited too long, and they had stopped making it. I’m only telling you this because I was truly sad. The great thing about this one is that I was able to sit right next to the sandbox. Many child friendly places, I found were hard to be close to the playing child. This one was perfect. I think every brewery should have a sandbox.

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Huff Estates Inn and Winery

Oeno Gallery

On the grounds of the Inn and Winery was the Oeno Gallery. Anthony and I walked through it before we went to the winery. It has so many gorgeous pieces, and is a wonderful place for Anthony to walk around. He couldn’t touch any of the sculptures, but he didn’t try which was lovely.

Huff Estates Winery

Huff Estates Winery has an outside area with wine and pizza. And a Tuk Tuk. I hadn’t been in a Tuk Tuk since Thailand. Anthony LOVED the Tuk Tuk. Unfortunately, to buy the wine, you still have to go inside with your toddler. The inside of Huff Estates was not toddler friendly (it was full of wine). We went in quickly, but spent most of our time outside. The pizza was delicious, and they also had freezies for the kiddos. The only strange thing for me was that they offered wine with the pizza that they didn’t sell inside. I’d say Anthony had just as much fun at this one as I did. Any place that has room for my kid to be slightly free, is a winner. Buying the wine was fine as long as I didn’t let go of my handsome man (because I don’t trust him.) Haha.

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Sugarbush Vineyards

I saw recommendations for this one while searching kid-friendly wineries. I’m glad I did. We walked in, and they told me that around the corner was a desk with dinosaurs. It also had cars, and Anthony was busy and happy while I tried the wine, and made a purchase. I think out of all of the places we went, this was the best for trying wine. It was the easiest to taste test and buy. Anthony also got a freezie at this stop. He got a lot of freezies on this trip.

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Sandbanks Winery

This winery is bigger than others. It also has a few wines sold in liquor stores. I was more interested in trying the ones exclusive to the winery. They had wine tours as well, but that wasn’t something Anthony was interested in. The great thing about this place was the outside tasting area. (And the woman doing the tasting was amazing!) I still had to go inside to buy my favourites, but we got to be outside all the rest of the time. They also had freezies and water for Anthony. (That’s a photo of him saying “cheers”.) The tastings were free (a certain amount) if you buy two bottles of wine. I loved A LOT of this wine. It was definitely a great stop. There weren’t a lot of big things for kids, but it was still perfect. Outdoors and big chairs for Anthony to climb in. I bought the bottle with cars on for Anthony. He loves cars. And I loved Route 33!

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Broken Stone Winery

This wasn’t really made for kids, but it was pretty good. It was a smaller winery, and they had baby sheep behind a fence for Anthony to look at. (They weren’t meant as entertainment, I just wanted to point them out to Anthony.)

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I liked the fact that the tasting room was complete open. You could see the outside while tasting the wine (so if my toddler got out of my arms, he headed straight outside, and couldn’t get far.) It was a nice quick stop for us.

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Hinterland Wine Company

I had a list of places that I wanted to see (and crossed off quite a few). On this list I had Hinterland written down with the address. I had about five stars next to it. As I was picking where to go that day, I noticed the stars, but could not remember why. As soon as we walked up, I figured it out. Cars. I could try wine, and my son could drive around in the Flintstone cars. It was actually wine and cider at this place, and it was great. Anthony had a blast, and I had a blast. I bought a bottle for my sister, but didn’t get a photo of them.

(Just a quick side note, there is a road called Closson Road in Prince Edward County. It’s full of amazing things. There are stops everywhere. It’s not on a highway, just an awesome random road. This is where Hinterland and Broken Stone are located.)

Waupoos Estates Winery

My child was the happiest at this one. They had a petting zoo. We kissed the goats, and he chased ducks and chickens with an incredible amount of glee.

After that we went to the Clafeld Cider House and Marketplace. It’s on the same side as the winery. This little place was awesome. They had really unique ciders to try, and they had fresh fruit. Anthony ate some blueberries (that we bought) while I tasted some ciders, and decided which my family would like the best. It had nice gifts as well.

From there we went across the street. Attached to Waupoos Winery is a chocolatier. Can’t argue with Designer Chocolate. They also have a restaurant, but we didn’t go to it. Maybe next time we visit Prince Edward County because the whole place is amazing. The winery was super busy so I didn’t do any testing. I just picked the ones I wanted. Picked them for their picture and name alone. You’ll see why. Anthony was ready to go at that point. We did love this one, and if the trip wasn’t ending early, we would have returned just to chase the ducks.

The Napanee Beer Company

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This isn’t in Prince Edward County. It was the town, Napanee, our campground was next to. Remarkable customer service and remarkable beer. It’s just a small area, and I was happy Clint was with us so we could pass Anthony back and forth. This was just an unplanned stop, but sometimes those are the best.

Parsons Brewing Company

We stopped here as our last stop of the day in Prince Edward County. Actually, it was our last stop in Prince Edward County. It was a last minute decision. Anthony and I were seated at a table with others, and I asked if we could sit near the playground. They were good with that, so I got a flight to try, and a juice for Anthony. He LOVED the playground. The beer was also delicious, and the server did a great job of describing each one.

It was great, and would be a fantastic place for friends with kids to meet up. I only have one complaint. I think because we were far away from the rest of the crowd we were kind of forgotten about. After we were done we played for a bit. I had my bag and was standing up, but nobody came to check on us. I finally had to get Anthony and move closer to try to find our server so we could pay. When they saw us we paid quickly enough and left. Anthony was a bit crazy at that point so it was the right time to leave.

We had a good time though. They had so many great extras!

Bergeron Estate Winery

This was our last winery stop. It was on our last day. We went to our favourite spots closer to us. This winery isn’t in Prince Edward County. It’s on Loyalist Highway (or Bath Road). This is the road that leads to the ferry to get to Prince Edward County. If you go the other way, it gets you to Bath. I loved that town.

I had actually stopped here once before when we first arrived to buy a bottle of white wine because it was SO hot out. I had planned to come back for pizza and wine, but didn’t make it until the very last day of our trip. The owner is awesome! He always says hi and introduces himself. He asks where you’re from, and talks about his winery and pizza. You can tell he has so much pride and love for what he does.

They have outdoor seating which is great with a toddler. I always feel better when my kid can be outside. He has a little more freedom. Right away when they saw Anthony, they showed me the pizza menu, and made sure I knew they could make part of it just cheese for Anthony. He got bacon and cheese, and I got a potato pizza. Honestly, you don’t get the option to have potato pizza very often. I couldn’t say no. I wasn’t disappointed. The wine was wonderful, the food was wonderful, the view was beautiful, and the owner (Dave) and server were fantastic.

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It was the best last stop before we left.

I have decided the my new dream after getting my novel published (and writing more) is to own a winery. No big deal. Just need to win the lottery.

So that was my summer of tasting wine with a toddler. I have one more post about our visit with the none winery things we did (to continue on from the one I’ve already written about our summer.)

It is a beautiful area. The wineries made it more interesting, but I would have been happy either way.

You never run out of things to see even if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

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Thanks for reading.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

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