Oktoberfest am Bodensee with Kids

traditional German band What would a late-September stay in Germany be without a visit to Oktoberfest? The original fest is in Munich and began as a royal wedding reception in 1810. The Munich Oktoberfest is now one of the world’s largest festivals, with parades and carnival rides, music, games, and it’s signature attraction - beer.

When we first planned to spend a month in Konstanz, Germany, we thought we might make a weekend trip to Munich for an Oktoberfest experience. As we looked into it we decided against it for this trip, but hoped to visit another of Germany’s smaller Oktoberfest celebrations. Luckily, Konstanz holds it’s own festival, called the German-Swiss Oktoberfest as the fairgrounds literally border Switzerland.carnival fun house

We arrived at the fairgrounds just before opening time - 11:00 a.m. - today. Our first stop was the crepe stand for second breakfast and coffee. Then we hit our first ride, which scared me to death and made me sick to my stomach. It was not a big ride, but I am completely afraid of heights and very prone to motion sickness. It wasn’t horrible as long as I kept my eyes closed.

Band and audience in Oktoberfest tentWe walked around some more, to see what we could see. It is a small festival, with a much smaller midway than the Howard County Fair. Around noon we went into the Paulaner tent for beer and pretzels. The band was fantastic, led by an incredible tuba player with a killer mustache who drank from his liter stein of beer in between songs. After a couple more rides and games, we went back to the tent for lunch. I had currywurst, which I took a liking to back in Berlin. (Actually, it was on the ferry between Denmark and Germany where I got my first taste, and I still don’t understand why currywurst isn’t popular in the U.S.) Theo had deep-fried pig’s knuckle, Tori had a pretzel and white sausage, Gianna had short ribs, and Zoe had chicken nuggets. There was a new band - less tuba, more vocals - and it seemed they got the party started. People in lederhosen and dirndls stood on their benches, waving steins in the air as they sang and clapped. I joined the fun. Tori and Gianna did, too. When in Rome, right? Today was good fun!

mother with daughters at Oktoberfest

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