For those of us who are working from or learning at home, the novelty has probably worn off by now, even if it’s still better than the old rat race of commuting, dealing with coworkers, and racing the kids to soccer practice. Why not turn the COVID-era work-and-learn-from-home scene on its head with a trip to Sonoma Valley? Getting out of the house is a great way to refresh the family dynamic, offering families the opportunity for experiential learning, some fresh air, and some getaway fun. Our perfect fall weather, variety of historic attractions, state and regional parks, and, of course, wine blend into the perfect backdrop for business or education.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING AT ITS BEST

Nothing says learning like first-hand experience. Sonoma is the birthplace of California history, so be sure to plan a field trip to Sonoma’s Bear Flag monument and the historic Mission San Francisco Solano. Take American literature class to the next level with an excursion to Jack London State Park. And that’s just for starters.

For STEM learning, get an up-close and personal zoology class at Safari West, a 400-acre private wildlife preserve in Santa Rosa. Safari West offers a Sunday through Thursday package where kids stay free on the second, our third, or fourth, night of your adventure. After months of being cooped up and having to do school online, a little rest, relaxation and rhinos are just what the doctor ordered. Note that this special is only available by phone, so call direct to find out more: 800-616-2695.

WHERE TO STAY

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa’s School & Pool Package moves the classroom from the kitchen table to a dedicated guest room, while providing families an opportunity to immerse students of all ages into a dedicated learning environment. Forget the cafeteria, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn culinary team takes Farm to Fork dining to a whole new level, including special kid-approved menus, recess and after-school activities revolve around the resort’s geo-thermal pool and Friday evening music class (live weekly performances on the resort lawns with local musician Sean Carscadden). The School & Pool package is available with rooms from $199 with 50% off a second room, until December 23, 2020. Add a second room for 50% off. Details are online

Take the classroom outside and get free high-speed wi-fi at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park when you book four nights at the campground. Students can learn online all day and then participate in Phys. Ed. on the park's hiking trails and learn valuable Home Economics skills cooking over a campfire. Nearby Petaluma also has a great KOA Campground & R.V. Park that’s worth checking into.

If you want to move your Zoom Room to the “Sonoma Office,” then consider the “Work from Wine Country” package from the chic MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, a three-day minimum package which includes a 30% off discount best available rate, early check-in and late check-out to get in a few more minutes of “work,” upgrade to a suite, $50 daily resort credit, free internet property-wide and lots of small gardens, pathways, firepits and a swimming pool for the perfect video-call backdrop. If you want to take the meetings on the road, check out a free e-bike and head to the historic Sonoma Plaza just up the street.

At the retro-hip Flamingo Resort guests can book a cabana pool-side for the day, using WiFi and ordering from the restaurant throughout the day with the "Work from Pool" package. Families can avail themselves of the adjacent youth programs at the Montecito Heights health club. Stay overnight and you get 10% off for two nights, 15% off for three nights.

The Hampton Inn Petaluma’s Work From your Home Away Package combines a standard room with a workstation, Wi-Fi, “grab & go breakfast” and two bottles of water. Take a break after work and explore nearby Sonoma Valley wineries like Schug Carneros Estate Winery and Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards. 

If you just need to get away for the workday, The Sonoma Valley Inn is offering a special Work Day Rate of $49 plus tax per day. The room can be your office away from home between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. any day of the week, giving guests a break from a house full of potential interruptions (you know who they are). Afterwards, walk the block-and-a-half to the Sonoma Plaza for restaurants, wine tasting and shopping.

Feel like living like a local while you’re here? Check into Sonoma Valley’s amazing variety of vacation rentals and guest cottages for the true insider experience!