Firstly, let’s talk breakfast. Our favourite spot for brekkie with the little ones is Red Door Espresso in Tanunda. There’s a beautiful, lush green courtyard at the back of the café that’s completely enclosed and even features a blackboard wall for budding artists, with lovely shady seating and lots of highchairs. Patti and her team create some of the most extravagant baby-chinos getting around, which feature as part of their dedicated children’s menu. Also included are cute options for a ‘Baby Breakfast’ plus sure-to-please staples like sourdough toasties and kid-sized pancakes. Their adult friendly breakfast options are also fantastic. Salted caramel banana waffles? Yes, please!
Pindarie has the most stunning views over the Barossa, and there is a quiet sense of history that permeates the beautifully restored old stone buildings. The kids will be kept occupied by a giant climbing hay stack, sandpit and indoor play area, and Patch the dog might even wander over for a pat.
Down the hill and onto the valley floor you’ll find Peter Lehmann Wines with sweeping lawns dotted with picnic tables and towering gums. It’s a wonderful place to explore a bit of Barossa history in a glass and if the little ones get peckish before lunch a legendary Weighbridge Platter will surely tide them over.
Our lunch stop today is a little bit cheeky, as technically it’s a third cellar door, but I’m all about multi-tasking so off to Z Wines we go! Owned and run by sisters Janelle and Kirsten Zerk, Z Wines pays homages to their Barossa forebears, while delivering a fantastic, fun food and wine experience. The kids will adore their “Tasting Plank” with milk, fruit juice and water ‘matched’ to a range of Barossa delicacies such as fritz, Apex Bakery fairy bread, cheddar cheese and pretzels while the adults can enjoy a regional tasting platter that pulls together some of the finest food producers in the Barossa for your grazing pleasure. Add a glass of Janelle’s award winning wine and you can’t go wrong.
If it’s time to burn off some of that fairy bread, just a short stroll down Elizabeth Street is one of our favourite playgrounds. Located next to the Tanunda oval there’s plenty of room to run, while the smaller ones will love the Barossa themed play equipment with a grape weighing station, as well as the usual swings and slides. I also wanted to give an honourable mention to the Lions Playground on Hill Street in Kapunda. The twenty minute drive from Tanunda is absolutely worth it – and you’ll journey through some of the most beautiful countryside in the Barossa to reach it.
Once everyone has been revived with a bit of fresh air, it’s time for… the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company (of course!). Watch the chocolatiers in action through the glass-walled chocolate factory, taste an array of delights, enjoy an afternoon tea hot chocolate or even do a wine and chocolate pairing class. Just prepare yourself for the sugar rush!
If you feel you have the stamina for another cellar door, I’d recommend Whistler Wines. There’s play equipment galore, climbing trees, shady grass, an inside play area with art supplies and Cooper the winery dog to keep a steady eye on everything. Whistler prioritise sustainable practices and runs their vineyards according to biodynamic principles, producing a range of wines that are generally lighter in style but big on flavour. Keep an eye out for the funky labels.
And finally, as the sun starts to head towards the horizon and thoughts once again turn to food, head back to Tanunda and check out Char Barossa in the main street. A great bistro menu, fantastic Barossa wine list, dedicated children’s menu and a welcoming, buzzy atmosphere means you’ll have a great meal to top off your Barossa day with kids. Cheers!