When our friends invited us to join them in Germany for Oktoberfest to celebrate one of their birthdays, we immediately said Y.E.S!!! It was an opportunity to see them, to have a weekend getaway, and to cross a bucket list item off amongst friends. We then later started to think of the logistics and complexities of taking our son (who would be 10 months old). As the months passed and he became more mobile, my concerns grew stronger. Not only did I wonder if he would be good and enjoy it but I wondered if people would think we were crazy.
Naturally, I’m sure people do but I was amazed at the number of kids of all ages who were right there alongside their parents at Oktoberfest. Our tater was so happy to meet so many new people, try pretzels, and dance to German songs. He’s always been fine around new people so saying “hi” to them and even letting them hold him made no difference. He kept a smile on the whole time and loved being serenaded to sleep.
So, while people might think you’re crazy, you will fit right in, have a great time, and be able to show your child the photos later in life and have some good laughs.
A few tips for any other brave parents out there looking to enjoy Oktoberfest along with their little one:
- Strollers are not allowed on the grounds, so be prepared. Plan to wear your baby, if possible.
- Bring minimal items in your diaper bag and you will likely be able to take it into the grounds. It’s not a guarantee so have a back-up plan. Diapers, wipes, food, favorite snacks, and a teether or a toy will help with the times that other people and new surroundings don’t distract him enough.
- Layers! Outside can be cold or the sun can warm you up. Then, inside it gets quite warm once you get a ton of people packed in there without any breeze. Even outside, some beer gardens have heaters in part of it. You’ll feel like you are baking under them.
- There are tents that are geared toward families with kids so make sure to check those out.
- If you’re going in a group, it’s vital that you reserve a table well in advance. The tents can get quite full and crazy so having your seats arranged and away from the center of the tent will be helpful. If you don’t have reservations, you can still find seats but have to scout them out yourself and if you have a larger group, it might be almost impossible depending on the time of day you go. The beer gardens outside the tents are also great places to either start your day off, to grab a seat, or just to have a slightly more tame place to be.
- I also recommend staying close by. It might not be cheap whenever you decide to book it but nice to not have to walk far if your little one needs a break or even you for that matter.
- Be sure to introduce your little one to the delicious food….especially the pretzels! And more importantly, have a great time!