You may think that Oktoberfest is only a beer drinking festival that looks like something out of the movie ‘Beerfest’. While being in the tents definitely resembles the movie, the grounds outside the beer tents offer lots of fun and activities for the whole family. Aside from candy, doughnuts, pretzels, and whole chickens, there are loads of rides and games for everyone to enjoy. There are even roller coasters. But lets be serious, you are not going all the way to Munich to ride a roller coaster, you are there to sample the beer.
Despite all the fun and games that take place on the grounds, the beer tents are where the real action happens. The tents serve beer from 10 AM to 10:30 PM on weekdays and from 9 AM to 10:30 PM on weekends with tents closing at 11:30 (with a couple staying serving beer until 12:15).
The largest tent holds 10,000 people and many of the other large tents hold 6,000-7000.
Be prepared for a raucous atmosphere. As early as 10 Am there are brave people standing on tables attempting to down entire litres of beer. Be careful before you attempt this because if you don’t finish it quickly enough, the entire tent will throw food at you. But if you complete it fast enough, you could get a round of applause similar to this woman…
Lederhosen and Dirndls
If you plan on going to Oktoberfest, make sure you dress appropriately. A set of lederhosen (directly translated from German meaning leather pants) will cost you anywhere between 80-300 euros depending on the quality. Traditionally made from deer hide. Festival goers pride themselves in maintaining the quality of the material by eating half chickens with their bare hands then wiping them on the lederhosen.
Women traditionally wear dirndls. Be sure to know which side to tie your bow to make sure you are sending the right signal to the drunk crowds of hide bearing men. When you wear the bow on the left side it signals that you are available, the right side means your taken.
A Playground for Everyone
Whether you are going to sample the various types of German beer or check out the Carnival and roller coasters, Oktoberfest has something to offer children of all ages.
Oktoberfest 2013 started on September 21st and lasts until October 6th.