Breckenridge Oktoberfest has earned itself top podium positioning as the largest street party in the Rocky Mountains. This three-day weekend, (September 11-13, 2020) 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 and fun family tradition. Plan ahead with these smart fest-goer tips for a family friendly Oktoberfest!
Tickets: Entry to the event is free for all! But with a big day of eating, activities and drinking ahead, there’s one thing that’s important: Don’t forget some cash for all the extra fun! Most food vendors and the family play area activities will only take cash. Beers require tokens which can be purchased with cash or card at the entry.
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 at 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.
Steins: Pre-purchase your stein ahead of time online (they sell out every year) and simply pick them up at the event! Plus, you’ll get two beer tokens included allowing you to head straight to the beer booth.
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 at 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 (they sell out every year). When you arrive, simply head to the stein pick-up booth on the corner of Main and Adams across from Whiskey Star Smokehouse. Bonus: When you pre-order your stein online, you’ll also receive two beer tokens!
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.
Be an early bird
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 2:00PM on Friday and 11:00AM on Saturday and Sunday.
With dozens of food vendor at the festival, you’re sure to find something even the pickiest of kids will enjoy! Try a head-sized Bavarian pretzel to share, baked mac n’ cheese or a giant turkey leg! Don’t avoid the food booths with shorter lines. Yes, some of the most popular, authentic German cuisines will have a line through town, but every vendor has been hand-selected for deliciousness. Trust us. We’ve done the taste tests!
If you’re looking for a quick break, sit down for lunch at one of Breckenridge’s many family-driven restaurants or cool off with an ice cream break. College football fans: Chances are your favorite team will be playing on this lovely fall Saturday. Pop into Ollie’s, Fatty’s, or the Breckenridge Brewery to order some wings and lunch for the kids while catching a quarter or two. Here’s a list of our favorite sports bars in Breckenridge.
Dress for comfort
Wear your favorite walking shoes and pack layers, sunglasses, sunscreen, 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. For infants, wear your infant in a wraparound or front carrier so you’ll be hands-free for fun (just be careful where you spill your beer)! Older kids will love the Family Zone, dance floor near the stages and picnic benches to munch on snacks and soak in the sunshine. Parents will love that they can bring their beer into the Family Zone.
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 Center lawn to get those kiddos tuckered out! 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 and let the kiddos do cartwheels or jump from rock to rock in the Blue River. Parents: You can bring your stein and drink beer over here! Win, win.
Winter Stoke Time
While you’re over this way, head inside the Riverwalk Center building and hit the Breckenridge Ski and Board Swap. Score incredible deals on new and locally loved winter gear while supporting Team Summit athletes.
Other Kid-Friendly Activities
Take breaks from Main Street for family adventures and bike along the rec path, go on a mellow hike from town, or play by the river. Ride the free gondola to the base of Peak 8 and pencil in some Epic Discovery. You’ll find everything from alpine slides and a coaster to ziplines and mini-golf. Saturday is a perfect day to break away – most visitors are at the festival, leaving you with fewer crowds outside of Main Street.
This is also the perfect time for fall leaf-peeping around Breckenridge. We’re one of the first places in the U.S. you can watch the leaves change color – take a hike, stroll or scenic car ride through aspen fields.
Stay the Night
Beat the weekend rush by coming up to Breckenridge on a Thursday or Friday morning or by leaving on a Monday. Traffic can get heavy during peak times like Friday and Sunday afternoons. Stay a night or two- you’ll be able to add on some extra summer activities and enjoy prime pool and hot tub time as a family.
If you’re staying at a local lodge or hotel, utilize their free shuttle service into town or take the free bus system so you don’t have to worry about finding or paying for parking in town.
Most importantly, relax, take in the stunning mountain scenery, and enjoy this beautiful time of year in Breckenridge!