Perhaps you’re recalling Oktoberfest as not-at-all kid appropriate activity in October (read: lots of drinking) in those long ago pre-baby days. But wait: yummy food, costumes, polka, dachshund racing and chicken dancing sure sounds like something the kids would love. And yes, there is beer. Sunday is Family Day at the biggest and bestest Oom-pah-pah fests in town, so your kinder are most willkommen.
Oktoberfest at Alpine Village
Hans and Gretel are your hosts and each Sunday they pick a prince and princess of the festival. (Kid are only allowed here on Sundays.) There’s a Polonaise (it’s like a German conga line), plenty of Oompah bands, crafts, chicken dances, face painting, games and a yodeling contest. The food couldn’t be more plentiful or authentic, with giant Bavarian pretzels, brats (veggie ones are also available), schnitzel, sauerkraut, bratkartoffeln and cream horns. Plus, free hotdogs for the first 50 kids in the tent! There are stein holding and beer contests for the grown ups, too. Because what’s Oktoberfest without the beer?
Sundays from September 20 to October 23 from 1-6 p.m. October 23 is the Halloween edition, for extra fun.
Admission is $6 for adults (unless you come in costume, and then it’s free) and kids under 12 are free.
833 West Torrance Blvd.
Kinderfest For Kids
They call it the festival of beers, brats, bands and babes, and on Sunday Huntington Beach’s Oktoberfest has dedicated to family fun which means babes stands for wee ones, not grown up lovelies. At Kinderfest, kids can enjoy dog races, carnival games, face painting, a bouncy house and the chicken dance. The highlight of the afternoon is the Weiner dog races. There are pretzels and weiners (the kind you eat) galore and adults can enjoy the wide selection of German Beers. The last day of the festival, October 30, they hold a Doggy Dress Up & Kid Costume Party to celebrate Halloweiner, so bring kids and pups in their craziest getup.
Sundays from September 18 to October 30 from 2-7:30 p.m.
Admission is $3-$7, and kids under 5 are free.
Old World Village
7561 Center Ave.
photo: davitydave via Flickr
Montrose’s Oktoberfest Day
Take a trip to Bavaria, via Montrose at this all day street fair festival with an emphasis on oodles of family fun, with rides, games, crafts, face & henna painting and plenty of live music. The food (like bratwurst, sauerkraut, hot dogs, authentic German potato salad and turkey legs) is prepared by Schreiner’s Fine Sausages of Glendale. There are loads of German (and domestic) beers to sip while you watch the kids play… And definitely don your leiderhosen and dirndl, there’s a best dressed Mr. & Ms. Oktoberfest, Lil’ Miss & Lil’ Master and even a dog (weiner?) costume contest!
photo: Monica C. via Yelp
Putting on the Dog
Every Friday and Saturday night through October Wirsthaus holds their annual Oktoberfest festivities with live music, Dirndl and Lederhosen, Steinholding contests and free give aways. For a lower-key, but still festive feeling for this holiday, you can reserve a table and enjoy some brats and pretzels on the weekend or anytime.
Wirsthaus German Restaurant and Pub
345 N. La Brea Ave.
photo: Golden Road Brewing Co
Suds and Sippys
If you’re not up for a festival atmosphere, and aren’t in the mood to eat some Germanic fare, just grab a brew in a place that welcomes your kids. Visit one of our favorite spots where suds meet sippy cups, and raise a glass to the Rhineland! You can do the chicken dance at home.
Brats and beer? Drindls and pretzels? We’d love to hear your plans for celebrating Oktoberfest this year.