Whether traveling with kids to Munich during Oktoberfest or if you live here the idea of going to the biggest beer festival in the world with kids sounds crazy. Let me tell you it is possible to make the experience very pleasant. I have gone every year with my son since he was 18months old and we have both loved it every year!
The best place to take young children is the Oide Wiesn which is the only part of the Octoberfest that requires an entry fee. Oide Wiesn is Bavarian for old field, Wiesn is what most locals call the Oktoberfest. This keeps passersby’s out and the entry fee must contribute to the rides because all the rides inside the Oide Wiesn are cheaper than the rides outside.
I like to go with kids in the morning right at 10am when the Octoberfest opens. We head right back to the Oide Wiesn and there is hardly anyone around. You don’t have to worry about keeping your kid within arm’s length or managing a stroller through crowds. Last year we went on the first Monday morning of Octoberfest and we practically had the place to ourselves.
The Oide Wiesn has lots of rides that are for young kids, trains various carousels, and some really big swings that my 3-year-old was brave enough to get on last year. He may have been OK but I was nervous the whole time he was on the swings.
We also walk back and look at the old tractors they have display. Depending on when you go there might even be an old tractor moving around. There is also free puppet shows inside but we have never managed to make it to one yet. After riding all the rides and seeing the tractors you can go into the one beer tent located inside the Oide Wiesn there is plenty of seating and the service is very quick. I got a beer while the boys ate French fries. I got them out of there with no crying with the promise of a balloon as we left the Oktoberfest.
Outside the Oide Wiesn we like looking the Löwenbräu lion and going on the giant carousel wheel. Maybe this year my 4-year-old will want to do more rides outside the Oide Wiesn but I hope we can keep it to a minimum!
As you leave it is just starting to get busier for the day and you are done and ready to go home! The kids and I are all looking forward to our trip to the Octoberfest this year!
Here is a map so you can find the Oide Wiesn. Oktoberfest Map
The family days for Oktoberfest 2018 are Tuesday September 25th and Tuesday October 2nd. The rides and performaces cost less these days until 7pm. Definitely something to look into with older kids who go on the more expensive rides outside the Oide Wiesn.
The weekends are more crowded but if you are going on a weekend just avoid the times on the first weekend when the parades are scheduled to come through because it makes the paths between the tents very narrow and even harder to get through.