By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Prost! Autumn is here and with it come many Oktoberfest celebrations! Many (or probably most) such events in Northern Virginia, as elsewhere, tend to be oriented toward adults, of course. However, we have some celebrations in our area that are kid-friendly! At these festivals, adults can enjoy a beer garden, and everyone can delight in traditional German foods, German singing and dancing, and loads of fun. Not only are kids are welcome at these events, but some celebrations plan special activities for the young guests. Below is our sixth annual list of the family-friendly Oktoberfest events coming up in Northern Virginia.
Fort Belvoir’s Oktoberfest
Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 3-6, 2019
Fort Belvoir’s celebrates its 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 a search.
Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019
Another traditional Oktoberfest festival, this one is sponsored by the Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna. And 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 acts will certainly keep guests of all ages entertained, with more than 15 bands and entertainers. Other 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 more. Admission is free.
St. John’s Oktoberfest
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 11-12, 2019
St. John the Evangelist School hosts its 40th annual Oktoberfest in Warrenton, VA, with a celebration for the whole family. There will be German food and music, inflatables, rides (Friday night only), games with prizes, a silent auction, a beer garden, craft vendors, raffles, and more. Admission is free and kids’ activities are included in one price (see website for details).
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019
Tysons Biergarten in Tysons Corner has special Oktoberfest events throughout the month, culminating in the family-friendly finale on Oct. 19. It features live music, outdoor games, face painting, and themed beer and food. For $10 you can receive access to all of the beers selected for the festival and 5 tasting tickets (or $20 on the day of the event).