Prost! (That’s German for “Cheers!”) Oktoberfest is here! We may associate the holiday as a celebration just for adults — and certainly there are some bar events and beer festivals just for the grown-ups — but we also have some family-friendly options that include all your Oktoberfest favorite features in a kid-friendly environment. Here are some of the biggest family-friendly 2014 Oktoberfest celebrations coming up in Northern Virginia:
Fort Belvoir’s Oktoberfest
Oct. 2-5 (Thursday-Sunday)
Fort Belvoir’s 19th Annual Oktoberfest at Fremont Field! Oktoberfest is a four-day festival, highlighting authentic German food, beverages, music and dancing! Enjoy an exciting carnival, the Krazy Krieger 5K challenge, the Volksmarch 10K Walk, kinder korner activities, prize raffles at sponsor tables and more. This is a fun-filled weekend for the whole family! Admission and all entertainment is free; a daily wristband must be purchased per person for all carnival rides (prices vary by day, $15-30). P;ease 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.
Oct. 4 (Saturday)
A traditional Oktoberfest estival 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, and lots of kids’ activities. Children’s entertainers include Rocknoceros and Noland the Magician. Other kids’ activities include rock climbing, a moon bounce, and a root beer garden. For the adults, you’ll find sing-alongs and contests in the beer garden, plus community and retail vendor booths.
Oct. 11-12 (Saturday-Sunday)
Produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, this large fall festival at Reston Town Center features the best in autumn brews with delicious traditional Oktoberfest fare from area restaurants. Enjoy food, wine, beer, live entertainment with traditional German music bands and a DJ, and a 3-day carnival. One unique aspect of the event is the “Guns-n-Hoses Chili Cookoff” between local police and fire groups. Admission is free; purchase tickets for food and carnival rides. Event hours are noon-11 pm on Saturday and noon-8 pm on Sunday with bonus hours of 5-10 pm on Friday (Oct. 10) for the carnival only.
For more fun, also be sure to see the Fairfax Family Fun:
- List of upcoming community, cultural, and fall festivals
- Huge Halloween guide with more than 100 events
- Regular website calendar of events