When my husband and I were first married, we spent many weekends driving all over Indiana with the goal of checking off all of the boxes in our Indiana Wine Trail Passport. We saw the most beautiful parts of this great state and drank delicious wines. Fast forward 15 years and we’re exploring even more of Indiana with four kids in tow.
Oliver Winery is Kid Friendly
The term “kid friendly” can be misused frequently, so I want to make sure you know what I mean before you pack your kids up in their carseats and make the 45 minute drive to this gorgeous property. When I say “kid-friendly”, I mean that children are welcome and there are things for them to do or places for them to explore. I don’t mean that the dazzling tasting room is child-proofed, it’s not. I don’t mean that there are puppet shows and playgrounds, there are not.
Oliver Winery has a pond with lily pads and frogs and dragonflies. There are birds and fish and wild grasses. My kids loved the short hike around the large pond and they had a great time skipping rocks and laughing with other kids on the wooden dock.
My kids danced to the live music, smeared crackers with cheese and popped fresh grapes in their mouth from our picnic spread. It was a very beautiful afternoon and each of us enjoyed ourselves.
Picnic Packages for the Whole Family
We reserved an Oliver Picnic Package ahead of time and even had reserved VIP seating on the patio on a busy Saturday. The picnic package for two was a great fit for our family of two adults and four young children. Next time, I would order extra baguette. Add your favorite Oliver Winery beverage to your picnic and you’ve got an amazing small plate spread. Picnic packages are available March – October.
The Picnic Package includes a souvenir wine tumbler for each guest, an assortment of gourmet cheeses and meats, baguette, chocolates, dried fruits and olives. The items provided may vary, but this is what we found in our picnic. You’ll want to reserve your picnic package at least five days in advance.
Saturdays and Events at Oliver Winery
On Saturdays, Memorial Day through the end of August, the patio is alive with live music and groups of families and friends enjoying the atmosphere, the entertainment and of course, the wine. Other fun events take place throughout the summer and fall seasons, from food truck events to festivals and children are welcome to most of them, but check the details because certain events will specify that children are not invited.
Wine Tasting at Oliver Winery
The tasting bar area is for adults ages 21+, so bring along another adult and take turns trying your new favorite wines. For a few dollars, you’ll have the opportunity to drink your way through a guided tasting experience. This is the perfect opportunity to decide which bottle you want to purchase for your picnic. Oliver allows guests to purchase one bottle of wine per person to consume on the grounds. If you want to buy more, you’ll just have to take it home to enjoy.
Oliver Winery Tours
On Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, Oliver offers a free 25 minute walking tour of their production facility and cellar. Check their website for current times, no reservations are required. My husband and I have participated in this tour in the past without our children, and while they’re welcome on the tour, it’s not designed for children. We’re waiting a few more years before attempting to take them on tours like this.
Pets at Oliver Winery
Pets on a leash are welcome to the winery but they are not permitted in the tasting room. While we were on the deck, we saw several dogs sitting with their owners.
Food at Oliver Winery
Guests are invited to bring their own picnics or reserve a picnic five days in advance. Oliver does not currently operate a restaurant or food service, but they do have a refrigerated section of meats and cheeses, plus a variety of dips and salsas and crackers. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available for sale, but you are welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages with you.
What to Bring to Oliver Winery
If you’re bringing your children along with you, consider packing bubbles, coloring books and other small activities. We spent a lot of time in the grass so I brought insect repellent and we wore sunblock (it was one of the hottest days of summer). I had a picnic blanket in my car and we used it to lounge around and watch the kids run around the pond. My daughter brought her camera and captured some beautiful photos of water plants.
If you’re one of those families that loves to relax and enjoy nature and other people, you must plan a visit to Oliver. Purchase a bottle of wine and enjoy it outside as your kids laugh and play.