By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Prost! Autumn is here and with it come many Oktoberfest celebrations! While many (or even most) such events in Northern Virginia, as elsewhere, tend to be oriented toward adults, we have some in our area that are kid-friendly. At these festivals, you can enjoy a beer garden, traditional German foods, German singing and dancing, and loads of fun, and kids are welcome. Here are the events coming up.
Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
Tysons Biergarten in Tysons Corner kicks off Oktoberfest with one of the most family-friendly and even pet-friendly celebrations in the area. The celebration begins with the “tapping of the keg,” a special Hofbrau Ceremonial keg sent specifically from Germany for this special day, followed by activities for all ages, including ive music, games and contests, face painting, a moon bounce, and more. There will be plenty of German food, food trucks, and beer. Admission is free and the event is from 1 pm to 6 pm.
Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
Celebrate Lovettsville’s rich German heritage with authentic German cuisine, live music performances, street performers, beer, wine and more. The Lovettsville Oktoberfest will kick off its 23rd year with a hearty pancake breakfast, followed by the tapping of the beer kegs. Enjoy traditional Bavarian music and dance performances under the Main Tent with the Alte Kameraden and the Alpine Dancers and watch the Weiner Dog Races to cheer on your favorite pup. The kids will enjoy an expanded Kinderfest with free games and activities including carnival and sports games, pony rides, face painting, and inflatables. There will be authentic German food of the Washington Saengerbund and more than 120 art, crafts, and service vendors lining the streets. Admission and parking are free, as are the trolleys and the all-day entertainment. Lovettsville is in northern Loudoun County.
Fort Belvoir’s Oktoberfest
Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 28-Oct.1, 2017
Fort Belvoir’s celebrates its 21st Annual Oktoberfest at Fremont Field. The Ft. Belvoir Oktoberfest is a four-day festival, highlighting authentic German food, beverages, and live music and dancing! You can enjoy an exciting carnival, a bazaar, the dog-friendly and stroller-friendly 5K/10K Volksmarch, kinder korner activities, prize raffles at sponsor tables, and more. This is a fun-filled weekend for all ages, and admission and all entertainment is free. The event also features a nice-size carnival; you can purchase daily wristbands (prices vary by day, $15-30) to go on the rides. Please note: this is the one time a year that this military base opens its gates to the general public. You must bring your driver’s license (100% ID check). Political activity is prohibited and all bags are subject to search.
Capitol City Brewing Company Oktoberfest
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017
Capitol City in the Shirlington Village in Arlington hosts a fun afternoon (noon-7 pm) with music and dancing, authentic German food, and beers from more than 65 breweries. Admission is $30 (includes 10 beer sampling tickets) and free for non-drinkers.
Das Oktoberfest Loudoun
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 7-8, 2017
Vanish Brewery in Leesburg celebrates Germany’s famed festival, Das Oktoberfest, with non-stop music, dancing, activities, food, and local and German beers. One-day passes are $20 for adults (includes two 16-oz. drinks) or $35 for a weekend pass (both days; four drink tickets), and $8 for children.
Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
A traditional Oktoberfest festival sponsored by the Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna, proceeds from this all-day event (11 am to 7 pm) benefit another celebration, the New Year’s Eve “First Night Vienna.” Oktoberfest Vienna features food, dancing, dance demos, a beer garden, entertainment on three stages, a German automobile showcase, and lots of kids’ activities. Live entertainment includes more than 15 bands, including popular children’s entertainers Rocknoceros. Activities include polka lessons, chicken dance contests, and German music sing-along. Kids also can enjoy moon bounces, a climbing wall, games, face painting, and a selfie photo booth with costumes. Admission is free.
ALSO NOTE: Oktoberfest Reston is no longer an event. Instead, the organizers have turned it into a new festival, Flavors of Fall, that features a broader variety of foods and beverages; the event takes place Sat., Oct. 7, 2017.
For more great options, also see the Fairfax Family Fun: