Please sign in to post.

Oktoberfest Itinerary with Kids

Hi All,

Everyone has been very thankful with your recommendations for the rest of our Germany trip. A small part of my trip is 3 nights and 2 full days in Munich from Sep 28th to Oct 1st. (Would be arriving at night on the 28th and leaving first thing in the morning on Oct 1st)

I am trying to experience a little bit of Munich but also Oktoberfest. I read a lot of articles about going to Oktoberfest with kids and not too many negative reviews. It is me, my wife and our almost 3 year old daughter (she will be 3 10 days after we leave) She likes crowds so that wouldn't be a problem (and she will be vaccinated and already had covid)

we're planning to stay in Living Hotel Am Duschen which is at the other side far away from Oktoberfest, that might make it easier with the noise and to enjoy other things and this is what our itinerary will look like

Thursday 29th
Morning: Rick steves/ bigboytravel Munich walk with a visit to the Residence if there is time, if not skip the residence
Visit Oktoberfest tent for a copule of hours after Mila's nap
One of us enjoys Oktoberfest at night while the other stays with Mila in the hotel.

Dachau camp/ English Garden walk (I am really interested in visiting the camp, not sure it would be respectful with our kid, and there are no tours that include kids, any thoughts?) Either one or the other
Visit Oktoberfest again for a bit
The other parent enjoys Oktoberfest.

Depart to Salzburg at 9am

Would love to hear thoughts about any of my trip and also if there is anything to add or if anyone has any other tips. Thanks so much in advance. I really wanted to visit the Alte Pinakotec, but seems like there will be no time.

Posted by
7510 posts

Ok, Ive only been once, but I like to describe Oktoberfest as a giant state fair / circus: carnival rides, food, animals, music shows, games, stuffed animals, clowns, etc. It much much more than the beer tents. We were there during the day, and it was full of families walking around enjoying the spectacle. And its concentrated in one small area of the city. So I wouldn't split yourselves up to see it. Its much more civilized than anything similar would be in the US. Unless you really want the beer drinking, drunken singing experience.

Posted by
1788 posts

I agree with Stan. Lots of rides and fun things on the fairgrounds. Personally, just a peek in at the tents was enough for me.

Posted by
54 posts

Thank you so much! Now I'm more excited. I kind of do want to experience the drunk singing experience.

Posted by
114 posts

I agree with the others, attend Oktoberfest during the day. There is no need to split up in the evening.

I would not visit Dachau with a child and certainly wouldn't have the emotional capacity to attend Oktober fest afterwards. If you go, you'll need time to process. Perhaps save it for another time.

The Garden will be worth the visit and Salzburg will be amazing.

Posted by
6452 posts

I lived in Germany for four years and visited Oktoberfest three times in 1988, 89 and 90.

We never saw many children there, especially small children.

Oktoberfest inside the tents is not a great place for small children. This is especially true late afternoon and evening. It is extremely crowded, with almost everyone inebriated to some degree. Most people singing and many rocking back and forth. It is a lot of fun, just cannot see it for kids. If you go with kids, I suggest going early, perhaps lunch time and get a roasted chicken meal.

The parade at the beginning of the fest is great, but the side of the streets are very crowded and the only way a small child could see anything would be on the shoulders of an adult. That could become very tiring for an adult.

I don't recommend taking little kids to Dachau. Older teens, perhaps.

Salzburg, love it, take the Sound of Music tour and visit the Cathedral at the top of the hill as well as Mozart's house.

Posted by
54 posts

Thank you. I will skip Dachau for now.

@geovagriffith, Intersting... Most of the post i read bring their families. I guess also depends on the time. Kids are not allowed after 6pm. We're definitely not planning to go anywhere near as late.

Posted by
320 posts

SKIP Dachau! I saw a lot of kids in the free Biergartens outside of the tents at the Oktoberfest in the afternoon when the weather was nice. . Also, I believe there is a small area slanted toward children at the south end of the Theresienwiese. If you get to the 'Fest after Mila's nap around 2 I suspect you will be tired enough by
7-8 PM to go back to the hotel and crash. And if you want to get a look at the inside of a tent in the late afternoon- early evening (6 -7 PM), have one adult sit outside with Mila while the other wanders through the tent (10 15 minutes unless you find a seat to set down and have a Bier). You must have a seat to get a Bier inside all (except one) of the tents.

Have a great trip!!!

Posted by
248 posts

Dachau is no place for a small child. It is well worth a visit, but perhaps not with Mila.

Oktoberfest outside the beer tents is fun for kids. Inside, to get the full "drunken singing" experience, best to go after 7pm. The trick is getting a spot inside the tents, though a person going alone might have a better shot.

Visit the surfing wave and the English Garden for sure!

Posted by
941 posts

I lived in Munich 10 years ago and we always took our then 1-3 year old to Oktoberfest. Tuesday is typically family day but you see small children there on any day during daytime hours.

I've since been back to Oktoberfest every other year since moving back and I can confirm it is still child friendly (I'll be there again this year Oct 1-3 for the last few days of the fest). There are tons of rides and games for a 3 year old, maybe some pony rides too (ask around). Check out the Oide Wiesn area too as it is very family oriented.

I agree with the others that a small child at Dachau might not be the best idea. I personally would not have a problems seeing a child acting like a child there but I can see how others might have a problem with it.


Posted by
710 posts

Keep your schedule flexible. There could be unexpected inconveniences due to gas shortages.

More quietly, many local leaders are pondering which energy-hungry German traditions may have to be put on the chopping block, should the country be forced into energy rationing: Beer making? Christmas markets?
Mr. Hübschle said he believes Bavaria should shut down its famous breweries before letting its chemical industry face gas shortages.
Meanwhile, Rosi Steinberger, a member of Bavaria’s regional parliament, now works in a dark office to cut her consumption, and is debating whether to provoke the inevitable ire of Munich by suggesting it cancel its world-famous Oktoberfest. It is scheduled to return this fall after a two-year pandemic pause.
“I haven’t asked yet,” she said, with a nervous laugh. “But I also think that when people say there should be no taboos in what we consider — well, that’s what you have to think about.”

Germans Tip-Toe Up the Path to Energy Savings

Posted by
4935 posts

Going234 beat me to it. I've just read news reports that serious consideration is being given to cancelling Oktoberfest and Christmas markets due to the ongoing energy crisis. Berlin is already turning off street lights whilst Hanover has turned off hot water in all public buildings so expect things to get worse as colder weather approaches.

Posted by
54 posts

Thank you so much. This is very encouraging. A couple of things
• Yes to Oktoberfest with Mila, and don't go to late.
• No to Dachau Camp for now

Now, with the energy problem, I'm very excited about Oktoberfest, but it is not my main purpose, so if it's canceled, I'll be a bit sad, but not the end of the world. I can still enjoy Munich. My only problem would be that i pay for Oktoberfest hotel prices when I shouldn't have

Posted by
941 posts

They definitely will not cancel Oktoberfest this year, the construction is already well under way. I would not be surprised to see some energy saving measures but I'd bet a month's paycheque it's not going to be cancelled for energy savings.