5 Local Tips for Family Fun in the Napa Valley

Will and Nikki met at a ceramics class back in 1997, and their shared passion became the foundation of their relationship and NBC Pottery. They work out of a home studio in Angwin, in the mountains above St. Helena, molding organic wares that grace the tables of area restaurants. With two young kids in tow, they enjoy exploring the Napa Valley’s natural beauty and creative scene. Read on for their favorite places, from a perfect picnic spot to a winery with outstanding art.

649 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Nimbus Arts has lots of programming throughout the week and on weekends,” says Nikki. “Parents can even drop their kids at a class then go out and have lunch or do a wine tasting.” Will adds, “Nimbus is not only terrific for locals but perfect for visitors who’d like to do something a bit different. There may be an art exhibit opening; an opportunity for you to play with clay, paint your own pottery, or try your hand at welding or fusing glasswork; or a ‘Sip and Paint’ session. You can even build your own art class. If you get a group of six or more people together, you can pitch your class idea to Nimbus, and they’ll set you up with an instructor to make it a reality.”
Angwin, CA 94508, USA
“We have an amazing state forest here in Angwin called Las Posadas,” says Will. “I love to take our kids, Gavin and Evie, and our dog, Sketcha, through the woods on walks and bike rides. There are so many amazing biking and hiking trails with wonderful views and even some waterfalls.”
“Crane Park in St. Helena is a great place to bring your family or have a picnic. You can drink wine; throw some horseshoes; play tennis or bocce; hit up the amazing skate park; and browse the farmer’s market. The park is off the main drag, so it isn’t typically crowded, making it an excellent place to kick back and just hang out. There’s plenty of sun and shade, and you might even catch a Little League game at the ball fields next door.”

Want more trip inspiration from Napa Valley insiders? Click here to meet local innovators.
4411 Redwood Rd, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Yes, the Hess Collection in Napa makes wine and sells it under the same name. But really, the brand is about something equally wonderful in entirely different ways: modern art. Owner and entrepreneur Donald Hess began collecting art in the 1960s, and the collection on display at the Mount Veeder winery and tasting room represents a small portion of the pieces he’s amassed since then. The three-story gallery is open to the public for free and displays work from artists Franz Gertsch, Francis Bacon, Leopold Maler, and others. Despite the high caliber of work on display, the Hess Collection gallery is relaxed and without pretense. Visitors can take self-guided strolls through the collection or sign up for a formal docent-led tour. This latter option provides guests with insider information about the art, and follows the tour with a private tasting of Hess Collection wine. Housed in a circa-1903 stone winery originally constructed by Colonel Theodore Gier, the building evokes the grandeur of yesteryear—especially in summer, when ivy covers the stone walls of the gallery.
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