Family-Friendly Oktoberfest: A Comprehensive Guide to Kid-Friendly Activities at Oktoberfest

It’s time to take out your lederhosen and dirndls for yourself and your kids. Wait what? Did you say kids? Yes, that’s correct. It’s 100% acceptable to attend this festival with your kids, and no one will judge you. However, attending Oktoberfest in your German outfits with kids is safe, along with precautions to make your visit memorable and stress-free. 

The popular cultural event,” Oktoberfest,” is famous for beer-drinking events. However, that is not true and is a wrong perception. It’s not just about getting drunk and dancing; the fest is family-friendly, too, only if you know where to take your kids. On top of that, they also have a dedicated family day with so many discounted rides, food, and whatnot to make the holiday more fun in an affordable price range.  So, Oktoberfest is near the corner. Brace yourself into the Bavarian spirit and lederhosen costume and enjoy this biggest fest with your family and friends. PROST! 

Fun Fact: The Red Cross has organized a few beds for people that need to sleep off a hangover. You might think a few beds won’t work, but something is better than nothing.

Let’s look at the venues installed by the Oktoberfest organization in 2019. According to the survey by Statista, the following venues were arranged for kids at the Oktoberfest in Munich in 2019

S.No  Characteristics  Number of Operators and Vendors 
1 Carousels  7
2 Skyride  3
3 Carousel 2
4 Riding 1
5 Family Coaster 1
6 Bumper Cars 1
7 Fairy-Tale Train  1
8 Kasperle Theatre (Puppet Show)  1
9 Puppet Theatre  1
10  Railway

Did you know Oktoberfest is not a beer celebration day before but the anniversary celebration between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and his wife, Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen? 

14 Family-Friendly Activities in Oktoberfest 

  • Wear Traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl 

If you plan to visit the Oktoberfest with your family, remember to get yourself and your family a traditional German outfit for the fest. You must wear traditional clothes because German people take the attire seriously. It would be wrong to say that the Germans won’t judge you if you do not wear specific dresses for this occasion. For instance, lederhosens, dirndls, blouses, trachten wear, etc. You can buy or rent some Lederhosen costumes and Dirndl too. Also, you can check Lederhosens and Dirndl on Ledershosensales. They have some good quality stuff at reasonable prices.  

Pro Tip: Keep your eyes open for the sale whenever Oktoberfest closes.

  • Visit Beer Tents with Kids 

Trust me on this, but no one will judge you even if you enter the Beer tent with your kids because Germans are used to going with a baby strapped in one hand and holding a beer glass in the other. Moreover, it would introduce your kids to different kinds of frothy German beers at a young age. So don’t hesitate to take your family and kids to the beer tent. However, there are some specific timing and days for families particularly. We’ll discuss this further in this article. 

Did you know Oktoberfest is not a beer celebration day before but the anniversary celebration between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and his wife, Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen? 

  • Rides for Kids 

You will see so many exciting rides in the Oktoberfest. They have been managed for all types of ages to enjoy at the fullest. Do you want to go on roller coasters or Ferris wheels? Or if you want to enjoy the merry-go-round or crash your friends’ cars in the bumper cars? It also has labyrinths and so much more in the fest. Around 80 rides are present there. However, the rides are expensive. That’s the plot, you know? Kids always want to go on the rides! 

Did you know that hundreds of children attend Oktoberfest every year? So lots of rides are installed, like a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, fun games, and traditional Bavarian parades.

  • Go for Carnival Games 

So many carnival game stalls are available at different locations, which people of any age usually play. Here is a list of games you would like to know are usually played at Oktoberfest:

  • Stein Holding Competition 
  • Polka Dance Competition 
  • Best Costume Contest
  • Bavarian hat-making contest (origami) 
  • Barrel Rolling Competition

Being a parent, it’s understandable how it feels to see your kids throwing away your hard-earned money. But you’ll when you see your kids happy. The whole ground is filled with these carnival games, and it would take only a few euros/dollars to play one game (I wonder if the kid will ask for other games as well, lol). 

  • Must Visit ‘Oide Wiesn’

The word ‘Oide Wiese’ is abbreviated as Old Oktoberfest. It is located far from the main entrance. It’s one of the must-go places with kids as there are traditional rides, roller coasters, and other performances. The Oide Wiesn takes you back to the old times and makes you feel like you dated 200 years ago. You’ll have carnival rides, a petting zoo, and a small beer tent, also called Festzelt, that offers traditional dishes and beer made from original recipes. 

Oktoberfest Fact: Don’t get offended by this, but Germany’s Beer-Drinking age is 16 years. 

Moreover, there are three tents with different agendas. Following are the three tents: 

  • Festzelt Tradition

It is the largest beer tent at the Oide Wiesn. It is commonly referred to as the musicians’ tent, and it features a cultural program that features various traditional dancers, musicians, and performers.

  • Herzkasperl-Festzelt

They are not much traditional and have more diverse music and vegan dishes on their menu card. 

  • Zur Schönheitskönigin 

This tent has become very popular in folk music. If you go to this tent, you should practice your German folk songs. At Oktoberfest, Bavarians love to yell out their Oktoberfest tunes.

Did you know that Albert Einstein once worked as an Electrician to set up electricity in one of the beer tents in 1896?
  • Bavarian Parade

The opening ceremony of Oktoberfest represents a colorful parade with horse-drawn beer wagons, marching bands, German lederhosen & Dirndl, and marching bands. It’s a great historical moment to watch with the family and enjoy. 

  • Get Souvenirs and Ornaments 

You can get some souvenirs or ornaments from the Oktoberfest for memories. There are numerous stalls of helium balloons, magnets, beer-shaped hats, beer glasses, and also, and gingerbread hearts. You’ll see these mementos at different places during your visit to the fest. 

  • Walk around the Festival Grounds 

You would love to wander around the festival grounds as it beholds the sight when the sun sets; however, you wish to return home before the drunk partygoers come out of the beer tents. But this situation usually occurs late in the afternoon. This site would give your young ones to admire the neon lights and the lively environment. 

  • Taste all the Oktoberfest Street Food 

You’ll think you must get into the beer tent to find some Bavarian cuisine. But if you keep your eyes open and heads up, you can easily find food on the streets that are mouthwatering and sweet. When you search for street foods, you will see lots of juicy sausages, steaks, sandwiches, crispy pork, handle, glazed fruits, steamed German buns, pancakes, etc. Alongside the Bavarian or German cuisine, there are kid-friendly options in the food stalls. The stall and vendors also offer pizza, pasta, fries, ice cream, and much more options.

  • Visit Cafe Kaiserschmarrn 

The front of this kooky-looking dessert tent named Café Kaiserschmarrn appears to be ecstasy. That’s why you won’t be able to miss it. It appears to be a massive, distorted gingerbread palace. In other words, if you can’t get drunk, get sugar high. Order a Kaiserschmarrn (chopped pancakes with applesauce) or Apple Strudel and indulge in the divine taste.

  • Live Music and Performances 

There are various stages set in the Oktoberfest where live performances and live music occur. You’ll enjoy the traditional Bavarian music and dance performances. It’s a good entertainment point throughout the ground.

  • Bavarian Culture and Folklore

In this section of the Oktoberfest, you will witness German outfits, which include Lederhosens, Trachten wear, Dirndl, and different accessories associated with Lederhosen costumes, listen to folk music, and learn about the traditions and customs of Germany. You can check Lederhosensale to get you something in your budget. 

  • Fairground Games

There are already so many games managed by the organizers. However, some more games include ring tossing, shooting galleries, and balloon darts. The winning gifts or prizes are exciting for the kids.  The games are well-managed, and the kids love to play. Most games require forming teams with at least 2 members, and the winning team gets a prize or a gift.

Did you know that Oktoberfest is popular for the fairground? The first roller coaster was installed in 1908 – the first roller coaster in Germany

  • Face Painting and Temporary Tattoos

Many stalls offer face painting and temporary tattoos for kids, allowing them to add a festive touch to their Oktoberfest experience and compliment their German outfits. Popular designs often include Bavarian flags, pretzels, and traditional symbols.

5 Key Tips to Consider When Going to Oktoberfest with Family/Kids 

Everyone says that Oktoberfest is only for grown-ups. I tell you that it’s a myth. You can always visit this one of the biggest festivals with your kids and have a good time there. We have a few tips if you want to take your children to the Oktoberfest; consider the following points: 

  • Go on Tuesdays and Thursdays

If you plan to go to Oktoberfest with your kids, you must choose Tuesdays and Thursdays as these days are tagged with Familientag, or you can say a family day until 7 pm. In addition, you will see discounts on rides and amusement parks and the great German cuisine might have some discounts. 

  • Less Public 

Tuesdays and Thursdays are less busier than the normal days. So, taking your child’s stroller and easily pushing it around the festival is a great idea. You can also check with the Oktoberfest Barometer to see when the festival gets busier and on which days it is easy to go with the kids. Well, weekday mornings and early evenings are the best times to go to Oktoberfest. 

  • Kids in the Beer Tent 

It is allowed to take your kids to the beer tent. Besides, there are some rules you need to abide by before entering the beer tent. The rules are as follows: 

  • All children under 6 have to be out by 8 pm.
  • Children between 6 to 16 can stay if they are long an adult.
  • Among all the beer tents, Augustiner Festhalle is one of the famous halls in Oktoberfest, which takes pride in being family-friendly. 

Additionally, keep an eye on the surroundings! 

  • Strollers and Prams 

Before going to the festival, you need to know the dos and don’ts of the festival, right? Although you can bring the prams and strollers to the festival grounds till 6 pm from Sunday to Friday. However, it’s not allowed in the festival on Saturdays and October 3rd, as it is a public holiday and is quite busy. 

  • Family Zone 

Oktoberfest hosts all their guests, including those who came with their kids. So, there is a street known as Strasse 3 Ost. It is just off the main amusement street and opposite the beer tent. You will find lots of dodging cars for kids only, a beer garden with a garage to park the prams, a diaper-changing area, and a microwave to heat the milk or any other food for the kids. 

Is Oktoberfest a good idea for kids?

Yes, definitely. It is safe for kids. Everyone is enjoying their time, either small or big. Besides, remember that it has become a beer festival, so your kids might witness humankind at its worst, like coming out of the tent crawling or whatnot. Imagine the worst scenario. Be ready to give a creative explanation to your kid about the situation, though. However, it’s better to leave early with the kids than let them witness all the scenarios that happen in Oktoberfest. That’s the reason the preferred family timings are mornings on the weekdays. 

Best Time to go to the Oktoberfest

People who want their kids to visit the greatest cultural event in Germany. The best time to visit is around 10 in the morning. It is quieter then (at least that’s what we know), and everyone is still sober. The ride queue is still shorter than usual or maybe near non-existent. That means you do not have to deal with your kids’ tantrums while they get impatient for their turns. Also, you will get all the freshly cooked food or freshly roasted chicken with some mashed potatoes. 

Fun Fact: People of Germany usually take two weeks or their annual leave off to attend Oktoberfest every day. 

Dos and Don’ts of Oktoberfest 

Here are a few things to do when you are going with your kids to the Oktoberfest: 

  • Wear comfortable shoes. If you wear heels, you might walk barefoot in the festival with your kid. 
  • Pack as little as possible, and if you could drop anything that isn’t a must, then drop it.
  • Beverages are available other than beers at the festival.
  • You can get your child apple juice or Spezi (Coke mixed with Fanta). 

Bottom Line 

Remember, while Oktoberfest can be family-friendly during the day, it tends to become more adult-oriented and crowded in the evenings. It’s essential to plan your visit accordingly and choose the appropriate activities for your family. This article has made the prospect of attending Oktoberfest with children more appealing to you. The entire family can have a fantastic time with a little planning and understanding of what lies ahead. The best part is that your kids will enjoy the world’s largest cultural event and hold on to some great memories for years. It’s worth noting that Oktoberfest can be crowded, especially on weekends and during peak hours. To ensure a smoother experience for your family, consider visiting on weekdays or during quieter hours. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to establish a meeting point in case anyone gets separated in the crowds. Remember to get yourself dressed in the traditional German lederhosen to collaborate with the festival. If you are looking for a good quality German outfit in an affordable range, then Lederhosensale would be a good pick.