The Oktoberfest experience as a couple & family

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When you think of Oktoberfest you think of the biggest beer-drinking festival in the world, right? I admit it when I heard about it all I could picture was people staggering around, yelling drinking themselves into oblivion. What would our Oktoberfest experience be like?

If you think this, as I did, you are very mistaken! On 2 of our trips, we have visited Oktoberfest 3 times, with 3 different experiences. We visited without kids and we visited as a family travel experience

2006 – Night time, adults-only Oktoberfest Experience

oktoberfest experience
2006 at Oktoberfest as a couple

In 2006, we were lucky to be staying in Munich while Oktoberfest was on. At this stage, we only had Willow who was 11 months old. We were staying with a friend who is a Bavarian native and was very keen to show us the festival, the Oktoberfest experience. His wife desperately wanted to babysit Willow so we could go at night to see one of the beer tents in full swing! As this was the first time I had left Willow with anyone other than family I was very nervous but I agreed after promises that she would be fine! (First-time mum protectiveness was in overdrive)

We headed straight for Spatenbräu-Festhalle tent and we were greeted with music and heaps of happy (slightly intoxicated) people, laughing, singing and having a really good time. We wandered around the stage set in the middle of the hall looking in hope for three seats, which we found after a couple of laps. I was astounded at a number of people in the tent and the way everyone was being served! Steins of beer being lugged around by the dozen (all held in the strongest hands of some of the smallest woman I have ever seen!). If you want to look the part you can find Oktoberfest clothes here

We only waited a couple of minutes before Mark got himself a stein, once seated and I got one with massive intentions that I quickly realised were probably not going to be even half met! I loved the atmosphere and looked around at all the other people having a great time too. I actually think I did much more people watching than I did drinking! My Aussie colours came out loud and proud when the band started playing ‘Down Under’ just before we left.

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Oktoberfest Outfit for Woman and Men

In the time of 1500 through the1600s were a common sight in everyday life in Munich, People would wear them in all parts of life. You would see them in the cities and in the fields. Don’t be surprised to see people wearing the traditional dress when going out at any time of the year. I think this is great to keep the traditions alive.

What to wear to Oktoberfest Women: The base of any woman’s outfit at Oktoberfest in Munich is a white blouse. This sets up the outfit. The blouse is worn under a tight-fitting Bavarian dirndl (DEERN-dul) dress. Traditionally adorned with an apron tied around it. A dirndl dress can come either all in one piece or in two pieces with a separate bodice and skirt. The dirndls are made to fit snugly around your sides.

What to wear to Oktoberfest Men: Men’s Oktoberfest outfits tend to be more traditional.  You will the men at Oktoberfest wearing a button-up shirt (either white or checkered), leather Lederhosen shorts with suspenders, an Alpine hat, classic socks, and comfortable Bavarian shoes.

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Apparently, a table of Aussie’s had been harassing them to play it for a while! We left shortly after that because we were leaving early the next morning for a day trip. I remember I was surprised at how well everyone behaved within the tent while we were there. We decide to return in a couple of days to have a look around at the rides side of things. They all looked so amazing, we wanted to stay but had got the phone call that Willow had become unsettled!

oktoberfest experience
The first beer tent we went in at Oktoberfest

2006 – Daytime, with an 11-month-old in a stroller!

We returned in the late afternoon a couple of days later to have a look around. The Oktoberfest clothing is amazing, the traditional Oktoberfest clothing that is. We thought it would be good for Willow to have a look too with all the flashing lights and sounds, have her own Oktoberfest experience she may even be able to go on a ride! Getting the stroller around was not as hard as I thought it would be and because we had bought a huge helium balloon for her, we were easily spotted if we got separated. Most people happily got out of the way when they saw us coming and I was surprised at how many families were actually oktoberfest experiencethere.

I loved that some were all dressed in a traditional Bavarian dress, even kids in the Bavarian dress. The little children looked adorable! As we couldn’t take a pram into one of the beer tents as it was too dangerous (some people like to get into the tents when they open so it can be a long day for some) we asked one of the servers if we could sit in a small area towards the back of the tent. They said it would be oktoberfest experienceok but we would need to eat and go, as it was getting towards the busier time in the tent,

Which we didn’t mind. Reserving a table at Oktoberfest is the only safe way to get a seat Thankful, we folded up the pram and walked down to the end of the tent. We ate our meal and then asked if we could exit by the back of the tent which we were allowed to. We thanked the people for letting us sit and eat. Then it was off to get on some rides! Mark and our friend’s partner were the daredevils and lined up for some of the craziest looking rides I have ever seen. Willow loved watching them whizz around. She was still just too little to even get on the tiny rides but I think she still had a great time!

2013 – Daytime…with two children and a birthday!

oktoberfest experience

Well, 2013 was really different.

We have copped some flak from some people who don’t know that Oktoberfest is more than just a beer-drinking festival. We celebrated willow’s 8th birthday there as a family and had an absolute ball! How many little kids can say they went to the biggest carnival for their birthday. From some people we get..you took her to a beer-drinking festival for her birthday? We then let them know what it is about (If you don’t know Oktoberfest began to celebrate the Royal Wedding on 12 October 1810. Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12 October 1810.)


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Willow loves telling people she went to Oktoberfest for her Birthday. The girls tried heaps of rides and they spent the whole time amazed at all the different things there. They both loved the chocolate-covered fruit, the massive wurst in the tiny bread roll and the games to play. they both got a teddy from one of the stalls and ended up drenched from one of the rides we went on! It was just such a great day! Going during the day, we also got to see the horses that used to pull the barrels of beer.

The girls loved posing for the photos with these horses until one whacked willow on the head and then there was quick exit made! We did have lunch in one of the outside areas of one of the tents. both the girls loved the giant bretzen and there was another Stein for Mark. All in all, Oktoberfest is really a great day out for the family and I think it will become more family-friendly as the years go on. right now I think it is very family-friendly and kids are catered for in a great way!

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It also needs to be said that while we were there we didn’t see massively drunken people. yes, they were obviously intoxicated but there was no one absolutely legless and causing trouble. After all these years they probably have security down to a tee but it was still nice to see. The people you did see going crazy spoke English very well and you could nearly guarantee they were visiting from elsewhere.

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What on the Oktoberfest Menu

You will find many German foods at Oktoberfest waiting for you to try. We love German food, it is very much a meat-based cuisine. Maybe not so great if you are a vegetarian. Here are some of the food you will find on the Oktoberfest menu.

  • Giant Oktoberfest Pretzel
  • Cabbage Rolls
  • Fritz ( French Fries )
  • German Sausages
  • Weiner Schnitzel
  • Pork Knuckle
  • Potato Salad
  • Saurkraut
  • Roast Chicken

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in Australia at the moment we have so many problems with people drinking too much and becoming violent, the coward punch is an ever-increasing, serious problem and violence against women as well. Now I am not saying there was any violence or people drinking themselves into a complete state I am just saying we did not see that while we were there. Our country could learn from the Oktoberfest experience. It really poses the question… what can we do to make our nights out safe and our drinking culture to realise when enough is enough?.

Please find below other great Munich family activities:

The Oktoberfest experience is amazing whether you be single, married or as a family travel destination.

Getting to Munich:

  • Munich is the second biggest city in Germany.
  • Flughafen München Franz Josef Strauß is 28.5 kilometres from the city centre.
  • Munich is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers. For cheap flights from with Europe check Veuling, EasyJet and Eurowings. You can check the prices of international flights to Germany with cheapOair. Domestic flights can be booked with Expedia
  • By February of 2017 Flughafen München, Franz Josef Strauß features flights to 248 destinations, making it the airport with the fifth-most destinations worldwide.
  •  The S1 and S8 S-Bahn lines connect the airport with the centre of Munich, with departures every 10 minutes. The airport is also easy and convenient to reach by bus from the Munich city centre
  • Many international and domestic trains and bus service’s Munich terminating at Munich’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof)
  • You can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
  • You can book a rental car with AutoEurope and have it waiting for you at Munich Airport.

Getting around Munich for your Oktoberfest experience

  • Munich has an extensive public transportation system. It consists of a network of underground (U-Bahn), suburban trains (S-Bahn), trams and buses. … Tickets can be purchased at the blue vending machines, found at U- and S-Bahn-stations, at many tram and bus stops and newspaper kiosks.
  • There are different types of tickets: Single Tickets (called “Einzelfahrkarte”), Stripe Tickets (called “Streifenkarte”) and Day Tickets (called “Tageskarte”).
  • Before first embarking, the ticket must be validated – insert the ticket into the small stamping machines posted at the entrances to U- and S-Bahn tracks or on trams and buses. It’s a € 60 fine if you are caught riding without a valid ticket.
  • The Munich City Tour Card allows free use of public transport, plus discount and free admission to some of the best Munich sights. More information and booking click here
  • Another alternative for tourists is to buy a pass for the Munich Hop on hop off bus which takes you to all the sites in the city. Click here for further information and prices.

Where to stay in Munich:

  • Munich has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
  • Hostels in Munich can start from as little as 20 euro’s a night for a shared dorm room.
  • You can search Airbnb for their Munich accommodation offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE.
  • Hotels in Melbourne generally start from around $100 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars. Google states that 3-star averaging $144, 5-star averaging $469 for a night stay.
  • You can compare and book your stay on Agoda, Hotels.comHotels Combined and Priceline
( All coloured text in the Getting to Munich, Getting around Munich and Where to stay in Munich links to the pages mentioned for your information and booking convenience. We at Wyld Family Travel will make a small commission from any bookings you make. This money goes into maintaining our website. )

Please find 2 more article about Munich Germany below. We have been to Munich on 5 occasions and love the city. Click the image to be taken to the articles.

Munich tourist attractionsbus tour of MunichPIN ME ⇓


The Oktoberfest experience as a couple & family

21 thoughts on “The Oktoberfest experience as a couple & family”

  1. So fun to see the same place with different eyes! And great to read that drinking didn’t turn the crowds into a beast. I love a good beer and the cheer from alcohol, but find excessive drinking really disturbing – it takes away all the fun, makes people violent and it’s just, well, ugly. It seems like the Oktober fest found a great balance and lovely to see it’s so family friendly – might plan a trip there this year ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. I think we may go to Oktoberfest this year we went to the one in Stuttgart which is a lot more toned down… and closer to home.

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  3. Oh my. The fact that the tent was dangerous is weird to me. The birthday Oktoberfest is amazing though. Good for her for knowing the awesomeness and the humor of it, and for prodding the people that think it’s just drunk-land. ๐Ÿ™‚ (funny that you called out Aussies for being the drunks, I would’ve thought it was us Americans)

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    • Hi Rob. Sorry I think you misunderstood my comment with the tent being dangerous…I meant it was dangerous walking around it with a baby in a pram with everything that goes on in there! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment we appreciate it!

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  4. Beer, pretzels and liederhosen. Sign me up! There is a great Oktoberfest in Waterloo, Ontario near me as well. Maybe I’ll check it out this year.

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  5. I think Mark knows we love a beer! We’re huge Oktoberfest fans, having visited many times in our days B.C. Last year we took a reminiscent trip back (without the kids) and a lot that we loved was still there – nothing like dancing on the table and “prosting” with a table full of your new best friends!!

    We did observe that it’s simply too busy now. Week days early on are ok, but Saturday was just out of the questions, queues everywhere and the crowd more unruly. The only ones getting in still were the Bavarians who wisely book tables in the tents up to a year in advance; these families had children with them and it’s still a very traditional family event for them, not a piss up.

    The other thing we noticed on the weekdays though were how many family rides and attractions there are (people are always surprised it’s more than beer tents – I guess you don’t see these things unless you look). I’d happily take my kids back there on a week day – in fact Tuesday’s we’re told there’s big family discounts and freebies offered.
    Completely agree with kids or without it’s something everyone should experience.

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  6. I would never have thought of Oktoberfest as a family friendly event! I can just imagine the conversation..
    Someone: “So how did you celebrate your birthday?”
    Willow: “I celebrated it at Oktoberfest!”
    Someone: ????

    But reading this indeed reminds me of how we view the same things differently when we are with and without kids.

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  7. So interesting to see your two experiences – I hadn’t thought of it before, but I can imagine the daytime is actually really family-friendly. I lived in Germany for a year (not in Munich although I visited) and I agree, you didn’t seem to have the same culture of getting absolutely paralytically drunk there.

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  8. Two completely different experiences! Both sound incredible. I must admit I did not realise that Oktoberfest involved anything other than drinking beer, you have enlightened me:)

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  9. I also enjoyed our experience with the kids. I haven’t gone without them, but my mom was there so we got to experience both. People who haven’t gone thinks its all beer, all the time, when its beer eh 70% of the time. I loved watching the passed out people under the hill being watched over by friends and I esp. love how the politzei were there but no one seemed to be too crazy. Although a German guy got on our bus and ended up at the gate of the base (three hours away) in the wee hours of the morning. I have no idea where he was going or how he was going to get there. I miss traveling with my kids and I don’t LOL.

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  10. Wow! That’s interesting! I would have never thought that Oktoberfest could have been a family destination! I’m still at the life stage to think Oktoberfest=beers! Really funny to see your different experiences over time… in less than 10 years!! That’s great to have that capture in one post. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Thanks for posting this. I am shocked that Octoberfest is a family event. You only ever hear about people going there to get drunk so it is great to hear that there is another side to Octoberfest. I hope to experience this one day!

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  12. I didn’t realise Oktoberfest was so family friendly….great to know Incould take the kids in the future. Thank you for writing about your different experiences

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  13. Thanks for sharing! Like others have said I never really thought about Oktoberfest being kid friendly. Interesting to think about how it would be though during the day and night, and the two completely different experiences! Great post.

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  14. and here i am, wishing to experience Oktoberfest at least once in my lifetime. You are so lucky! beautiful family too <3

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  15. Ha! Thanks for providing a different perspective to Oktoberfest. Locals in Munich told me to go anywhere but Munich for the festival but I like what I’m seeing here! I had my own experience for my birthday in a tent in Linz Austria and absolutely loved it ๐Ÿ™‚ Prost!

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  16. Hehe, what a nice picture of Oktoberfest from 3 different angles! You have a lovely family, Mark, and thanks for sharing it with us! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Prost! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  17. I’m actually going to Oktoberfest in Munich this year and we can’t wait to experience it for the first time. Lovely blog! And such a precious family.

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  18. We went to Oktoberfest 2 years ago and had a great time. I didn’t realize there was so many family friendly acitivites there, I thought it was all about the beer!

    Reply

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