Temecula, just east of Camp Pendleton, is a beautiful and large stretch of Southern California’s Wine Country. Going to Wine Country may not sound like something you think you can achieve with little kids in tow, but there are a couple kid friendly wineries to check out. Longshadow Ranch is one of those locations. Turning off the main winery drag of Rancho California and onto Calle Contento, the US Marine Corps flag flying high above the winery sign is what brought us in.
When you first come down the drive, on the right you will notice tables and a firepit. You can bring outside food in and enjoy a family picnic if you desire. And perhaps share a bottle of wine among the over 21 adults. For the over 21 crowd, on certain days and evenings, the tasting room just near the playground equipment is open for tastings. Like any establishment serving alcohol only at the bar, persons under the age of 21 are not allowed at the bar itself.
The grounds are large and expansive – perfect for running toddlers and children. Outside of the tasting rooms there are pens for animals – like Shaggy. There is feed for purchase if you wish to feed the animals. There is also an outdoor play ground with a zip line!
We went in the summer, which is the height of wedding season for Temecula. There was a wedding set-up happening for a wedding that evening, so they opened the original tasting room which is located near the animals, playground and zip line. It was easy for the adults to rotate between tasting and helping the kids feed the animals. They also allowed two adults to split one tasting. We enjoyed trying a few local red wines, chatting with the tasting room associate (recently learned that is the title) and learning about the history of the ranch (bought and owned by a US Marine originally!). The chocolate boot with port would be a fun way to try a new and local port varietal as a dessert. While there isn’t an official military discount, when we purchased a bottle of wine to go home, she gave us the member rate as a discount which was a very kind gesture.
Enjoying the local fare is something we enjoy doing with each move, and it was a nice treat to have a chance to learn more about the area, it’s history and taste some local wine in an environment where the kids could explore and have fun.
Per their website, they have quite a few festive family-friendly fall events coming up including the Halloween Extravaganza this upcoming weekend (October 26 and 27). Per the website, the Halloween Extravaganza is a ticketed event with the cost of $5.00. We have not attended and did ask for more information but did not hear back before this post. If you go, let us know how it was and what it is!
Have you explored Temecula? Are you planning a visit? Check out our post on Wilson Creek Winery for another kid friendly winery in Temecula, and if you stay for the evening consider eating dinner at our favorite Luke’s on Front.