Breckenridge Oktoberfest has earned itself top podium positioning as the largest street party in the Rocky Mountains. This three-day weekend (Sept. 7–9) of dancing, eating, lederhosen and all the Paulaner Bier you can drink is an absolute must-do.
For those with little lieblings in tow, there are special tactics to ensure your Breckenridge Oktoberfest is a memorable family tradition. Plan ahead with these smart fest-goer tips:
Visit Friday or Sunday for a calmer atmosphere
Front Range visitors have yet to arrive Friday afternoon and by Sunday morning, the folks who went big on Saturday are home sleeping it off, leaving you with next-to-nothing lines for mugs, food and beer. Better yet, purchase steins and drink tickets in advance. When you arrive, simply head to the stein pick-up booth on the corner of Main and Adams across from CB & Potts. Bonus: When you pre-order your stein online, you receive a free beer token!
Leave those fur babies at home.
Breckenridge Oktoberfest is a pet-free event. We all love our four-legged friends, but we kindly ask that you leave them safely at home or at doggy daycare during the event. While Oktoberfest is not a dog-friendly event, there are plenty of other pet-friendly locations in Breckenridge to visit.
If you visit on Saturday—the busiest day of the three days—many families follow the “come early, leave early” motto and dip out early afternoon before reveler shenanigans and beer lines hit high gear. Plus, you know, nap time. Spend the rest of the afternoon hitting the trails, cooling off in the pool, or discovering Breckenridge activities off Main Street. Oktoberfest starts at 2:00 pm on Friday and 11:00 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Dress for comfort
Wear your favorite walking shoes and pack layers, sunglasses and sun hats. The weather in September is typically sunny with crisp fall air mornings and evenings. Load the kids up with water and sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply yourself.
Carry for Comfort
Pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon through a crowd can be cumbersome. Hiking packs are best—the kids have an overhead festival view and the pack’s pockets hold all of your essentials, so your hands are free for steins and gigantic pretzels. Wear your infant in a wraparound or front carrier. Older kids will love the Family Zone, dance floor near the stages and picnic benches to eat and relax during the festival.
Do the Chicken Dance
Make sure little ones feel involved and not just towed from booth to booth. Head to the main stage in the center of town and dance together to oompah and polka tunes.
Family Fun For Everyone Zone
Walk across the river to the Family Fun Zone on the Riverwalk lawn. The open-air play area is available all three days with a free bounce house and other paid activities. Sprawl out on the lush lawn of the Riverwalk Center and let the kiddos burn off some energy. Parents: You can bring your stein and drink beer over here! Do it.
Winter Stoke Time
While you’re over this way, head into the Riverwalk Center and hit the Breckenridge Ski and Board Swap. Score incredible deals on locally loved gear while supporting Team Summit.
Kid Friendly Activities
Take breaks from Main Street and go on a gondola ride, bike along the rec path, go on a mellow hike from town or play by the river. Pencil in some Epic Discovery fun up on Peak 8 where you’ll find everything from alpine slides and a coaster to ziplines and mini golf.
Sit down for lunch at one of Breckenridge’s many family-driven restaurants or take an ice cream break. College football fans: Chances are your favorite team will be playing on this lovely fall Saturday. Pop into Ollie’s, the Breckenridge Brewery or the Canteen to order some wings and lunch for the kids while catching a quarter or two. Here’s a list of our favorite sports bars.
Back at the festival, don’t avoid the food booths with shorter lines. Yes, some of the most popular authentic German cuisine will have a line through town, but every vendor has been hand-selected for deliciousness. Trust us. We’ve done the taste tests.
Don’t forget your cash. Most vendors and the family play area activities will only take cash. Bathrooms and ATMS: Restrooms are located throughout the event (look for portable toilets off Main Street on sides streets and behind the main stage at the Riverwalk Center). Bathrooms are also available at the Riverwalk Center (150 W. Adams Ave.) and the Breckenridge Welcome Center (203 S. Main St.) The closest ATMs are located at Downstairs at Eric’s (111 S. Main St.) and La Cima Mall (520 S Main St). Additional ATMs are available at nearby 1st Bank, US Bank, Alpine Bank and Bank of the West, as well as inside Fatty’s.
Stay the Night
Book lodging and get there on Thursday or Friday to beat the weekend rush and enjoy prime pool and hot tub time as a family.
Most importantly, relax, take in the stunning mountain scenery and enjoy this beautiful time of year in Breckenridge!