Here is the point where some of you may question our parenting. We bring our kids to alcohol tours and establishments that are alcohol related and they usually like it! The first time was a bit of an accident, but the rest were on purpose. Just remember we attempt to meet everyone's needs when we are traveling, and face it, the longer you travel with your kids, the more you probably need a drink!
When we first moved to Colorado we were heading to the mountains to enjoy a day of hiking. As we went up the first incline in the foothills we noticed that the car had no power and didn't seem like it would make it. Rather than scrap our day activity, we turned off and headed to Golden, Colorado, where low and behold, there is a free Coors Beer tour. We had no idea if kids went to this and were overjoyed when we randomly saw our new neighbors there with their out of town guests, including kids. We went through the tour, learned a ton about manufacturing and the science behind beer making and ended up in the tasting room, where they had root beer for kids! At this point, everyone was happy. We had all learned a bit and could enjoy a cold one after the tour. We have since brought guests on several occasions and my kids are always willing to go back (they breeze through the tour and head straight for the root beer).
The tasting room at the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO
Fast forward a couple years and we are in Breckenridge with my sister who doesn't ski, so we head to the Breckenridge Distillery with the idea that one of us could wait in the car with the kids while the other went on a tour with her. They happily invite our kids in and again, we are joined by other families with kids. Now the kids know the scientific aspects of distilling spirits and they got tastes of lemonade while we sampled the good stuff. They chose some maple syrup from the gift shop, we choose some whiskey and again, we are all happy.
Fun for all at the Breckenridge Distillery
Last summer we decided to detour our Europe road trip from Germany to Disney Paris, which was a much longer driving day than we had originally planned. The route happened to take us through the Champagne region of France, so of course, we couldn't pass up a chance to stop. We found a tour at Taittinger Champagne that coincided with our arrival time in Reims (France). Again, the science behind champagne was taught and we went below ground to cellars that dated back to the chalk pits of ancient Roman times (4th century) and were later part of a 13 century Abbey. It was fascinating and the champagne was amazing. Of course, it was France, so they didn't have anything for the kids, except a discounted price because they didn't get any drinks at the end.
Yes, those are stacked bottles of champagne aging in the cellar
This past summer, we ate numerous meals in German beer gardens. They have playgrounds at many of them, so obviously in German culture this is totally normal to have kids with you. We feel like this exposure is good for our kids. By educating them and by being around people who are drinking responsibly they see it's just a part of adult life and doesn't have to be a binge-thing that seems to happen in the US. They can contrast this to the people they see at the all inclusive resorts in Mexico that are making really poor choices and store it for when they are faced with personal decisions. We'll see if it helps! If not, at least we have had enjoyable adult experiences while traveling with our kids.
Overlooking the courtyard at the Hofbrauhaus' beer garden in Munich, Germany