How to Make the Most of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati with Kids

The fun is happening at 2nd and 3rd street downtown!

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati brings in half a million visitors to downtown Cincinnati every year. In fact, the only Oktoberfest in the world that beats the Queen City’s attendance is Germany itself! With strong German-roots, it makes sense why we love wiener dog races, the chicken dance, Bavarian cream puffs, soft pretzels and beer. Prost!

Friday at Oktoberfest | 11a-11p

Put on your best dirndl and lederhosen, Mayor Pureval has announced a half holiday for Friday’s Oktoberfest! Bring the kids to the Turfway Park Main Stage at Second and Elm at noon for the annual Weiner Dog Races. 100 Dachshunds wearing adorable hot dog costumes will race 75 feet to the finish line before declaring an official winner.
The Gemütlichkeit Games (G-Games), starring mostly local media members, are friendly competitive games your child will love to watch! Games include a barrel roll, beer stein carry and more from 12-2:30p.
Through the weekend, several family-friendly bands will be performing in various tents around downtown. Bands include The Royal Klobasnecks, The River City Polkatz, Cincinnati Schnapps Band, Ein Stein and dozens more.

Saturday | 11a-11p

The official ceremonies kick off on Saturday. With the cast of Hamilton as the Grand Marshals, the World’s Largest Chicken Dance will begin at 5:30p on the Turfway Park Main Stage. This is especially the most fun for kids as chicken hats and silly dances bring out joy in us all!
The zelebration starts earlier in the day at noon where the rich German heritage of Zinzinnati is embraced. A procession of dancing, music and local German groups will dedicate each bier garten and fest tent before the Stein Hoisting Challenge at 2pm.

Sunday | 11a-9p

The World Brat Eating Championship at 12p will host Major League Eaters from all over the nation! Competitors will have 8 minutes to finish as many brats as they can. With Joey Chestnut’s undefended title, the competition will be fierce and fun to watch.

Food at Oktoberfest

The food at Oktoberfest is a highlight for Zinzinnatians! Brats, German potato salad, noodles, corned beef, goetta, potato pancakes and dozen more menu items fill the city streets. Almost 30 food vendors will highlight their German fare.
Schmidt’s at German Village
Bahama Mama: $8
Bratwurst: $8
Jumbo Frankfurter: $5
German Potato Salad: $4
Jumbo Cream Puff: $7
Sauerkraut: $2
Platter (German Potato Salad & Kraut): $4
Pompilio’s Restaurant
Sauerkraut Risotto Ball: $6
Spaetzle with a Parmesan Limburger Cheese Cream Sauce: $8
Sauerbraten and Noodles: $8
Peanut Butter and German Chocolate Cannoli: $5
Pennsylvania Dutch House
Schlamager Bratwurst and Mettwursts: $9
Reubens: $9
Platters: $13
Pierogies: $8
Funnel Cakes: $8
Feathered fries: $8
Loaded Fries: $10
Red Wine Sausage Wrap: $7
Gyro Wraps: $7
Giant Bavarian Cream Puff: $7
Royal Crown Cherry Cheese Cup: $6
Bessie’s Noodles
Chicken n Noodles: $10
Beef n Noodles: $10
Cabbage n Noodles: $10
Entree with Mashed Potatoes: $13
Mashed Potatoes: $7

What to Avoid with Kids

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati’s crowds may be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. Avoid Oktoberfest at night as the beer is flowing and crowds get too rowdy for children. For a calmer experience, Smale Park or around The Banks is a great option for families to enjoy their Oktoberfest food and dance to fun music. 

Road Closures

The following local streets will be closed to through traffic Wednesday, September 15 at 6:00am through Monday, September 20, 5:00pm:
  • Second Street from Elm to Walnut Streets
  • Vine Street from Third Street to the Central Riverfront Garage entrance, midblock between Second and Freedom Way
  • Race Street from Third Street to the Central Riverfront Garage entrance, midblock between Second and Freedom Way

The following local streets will be closed to through traffic Thursday, September 16, 9am through Monday, September 20, 5:00am:

  • Third Street from Elm to Walnut Streets
  • Vine Street from Third Street to Ogden Alley, midblock.Vine Street will become two-way from 4th to 3rd
  • Race Street from Third Street to Ogden Alley, midblock.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati takes place on 2nd and 3rd Street, downtown Cincinnati.

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