In October 2017, I shared some photos from our family day out at Oktoberfest Brisbane. I had so many people messaging me what it was like for kids, so I thought I’d write an Oktoberfest Brisbane review full of my tips for Oktoberfest Brisbane on Oktoberfest family day, especially if you are attending with kids. Even if you aren’t based in, or moving to, Brisbane, hopefully this post will give you an idea about what to expect from the other Oktoberfest German festivals around Australia too as Oktoberfests run all over the place.
This post contains affiliate links. My tickets to the 2017 Oktoberfest Brisbane were provided.
Oktoberfest Brisbane is SO family friendly. It runs over two consecutive weekends every October at the Brisbane Showgrounds. In 2018, Oktoberfest Brisbane runs 5th – 7th October and 12-14th October. Sundays are the main family days though as they are a lot quieter which makes it so much easier to get around, find tables and get on the rides. Kids under 18 go in free every day of the festival, but on Sundays they also get two free rides which definitely saves money if you have a big family.
Oktoberfest Brisbane is a really family-friendly event. Yes, there is beer too but on the Sunday we attended it was packed with families having a good time. I personally had a great time BECAUSE we took our kids and got to enjoy it through them. They can’t stop talking about how much they enjoyed themselves and they even got me to send in lots of photos to their teacher so they can do show and tell about it.
Oktoberfest costumes Australia: What to wear to Oktoberfest Brisbane
As it was my first Oktoberfest, I was a bit unsure what to do about finding an Oktoberfest costume in Australia. Luckily Matt and the boys all had checked shirts and hats that passed as being a bit German-looking Oktoberfest costumes, and Matt managed to dig out some braces that made him look particularly German! I scoured the local Westfield shopping centre and found a perfect dress from Review in Myer that was in gingham and was just the right shape and style to pass as German while also being something I could wear again. I found lots of cute gingham outfits for my daughter in Myer too (from leggings and shirts to dresses and playsuits). Both my dress and my daughter’s playsuit were in the sale too which was perfect (so I’d definitely advise heading to Myer if you are trying to find something that you can get away with wearing again)! Although if you are looking for authentic German Oktoberfest costumes, then read on for my top picks.
Getting dressed up in a German Oktoberfest outfit isn’t essential. You won’t feel out of place if you don’t get dressed up. But equally loads of people there are dressed up in the full Oktoberfest outfits wearing dirndl costumes and lederhosen, so if you want to dress up for Oktoberfest Brisbane you will fit right in and I think you will enjoy the day all the more for it. If you don’t have time to buy anything in advance, you can shop at the official clothing partner, Schnucki, when you get there too.
If you have time to do a bit of line shopping before the big event, here are my pick of choices from Amazon Australia. You don’t have to spend a fortune to look like you fit in at Oktoberfest Australia – you can find cheap Oktoberfest costumes that work well too.
Oktoberfest costumes Australia
Ladies Oktoberfest Australia outfits
For ladies dirndl costumes for Oktoberfest Brisbane, check out these:
If a short dress isn’t your thing, then you could wear this German ‘I love bier’ t-shirt:
Men’s Oktoberfest costumes Australia
There are some great options of Oktoberfest costumes for men too available in Australia.
A German Oktoberfest hat will set off any outfit:
All men’s outfits at Oktoberfest should include braces (suspenders as they are known here):
An Oktoberfest-themed t-shirt makes an easy German outfit:
For men wanting to go the whole way, there are also some great lederhosen outfits that are perfect for Oktoberfest Brisbane:
Oktoberfest outfit for kids
Your kids can get involved in dressing up for Oktoberfest Brisbane too!
Oktoberfest girl’s outfits
There are lots of girl’s Oktoberfest outfits to choose from. I know my daughter would have loved to have dressed in a girl’s dirndl for the German festival.
Check out these cute German girl’s dirndl dresses on Amazon:
Boy’s lederhosen outfits for Oktoberfest Australia
There are some cute boy’s lederhosen available on Amazon Australia too:
What to eat and drink
Where do I start? The food at Oktoberfest Brisbane is beyond incredible. Budget plenty of money for eating because you will want to try so many different things. Most of the questions I’ve had from people have been around the types of food available and the price of food, so here is a rundown of what we paid for meals in 2017.
Matt had a pork knuckle which was $29 and he says it was just delicious (slow cooked and soft on the inside with crispy crackling – and it was HUGE!!).
I had half a roast chicken and chips for $16 which was also really tasty and juicy. The kids had a burger, schnitzel and sausage which varied in price but budget from $10 – $16 for most of those kinds of meals. Popcorn was $5. Pots of ice cream were $5 (the honeycomb was divine) and King of Cakes is my new favourite place – the jam doughnuts ($4.50) and flourless chocolate cakes ($6.50) were to die for. $4.50 would buy you a pretzel bigger than your head!
German wine was $11 a glass (I particularly loved the sparkling) and a stein of beer was $13 (you buy a stein and cooler when you enter or in advance when you buy your ticket online). Bottles of soft drinks were $4.50. We took a couple of refillable water bottles for the kids. The security staff sniffed it when we entered the Showgrounds to make sure it was water not alcohol and let us keep it but I believe some people emptied theirs and refilled them inside the venue.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the moves – you will learn them! Our 5yo thought the dancing was the best part of the day. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the smile on her face in this video:
She became a pro at the Fliegerlied by the end of the day (if you don’t think you know the song, search for it on YouTube and you will have heard of it!). They repeat the main songs through the day so as people get more used to them (and drink a little more beer) everyone gets more confident at joining the dance floor.
We only used the two free rides for the kids so I’m not sure exactly how much the rides cost but I think it was around $7/$8 a ride (there was an unlimited ride pass for $37 but I think buying individuals would be more economical unless you have kids that want to go on the same rides over and over as there weren’t that many rides – especially for little ones). Ours spent SO long on the jumping castle so the one ride ticket lasted them for about an hour and a half! (I’m not sure if this was just because we caught it at a quiet time – perhaps at busier times there is a time limit on it). We also went in the petting zoo which was a huge hit and now my kids all want a pet fluffy chicken.
There is a programme of shows on in the KinderZone so if you have little ones head there first and take a photo of the programme so you know when to head back. The Snake Boss show was a big hit for us.
Two of mine had their faces painted – it was $7 for a small face (which they both had) or $14 for a full face. We spent more money on a toy for each of them at the stalls and a light up flower crown but these were just extra treats that we could have avoided if we were on a budget.
Digital wallet at Oktoberfest Australia
The venue is cashless, so be sure to load up some money into your digital wallet before you attend. I set mine up the day before with my ticket numbers and then when you arrive on site you get a wristband which you hold onto a sensor to activate and then, voila, the money is automatically there ready to use. When you order anything, you tap your band to start and then again to confirm the price and it flashes on screen to tell you how much you have left which is really handy. You can read more about the Oktoberfest Brisbane Digital Wallet here.
Oktoberfest Brisbane parking
There are parking offers on around the Brisbane Oktoberfest, so if you are driving then look out for them.
Oktoberfest Brisbane tickets
Online tickets for Brisbane Oktoberfest are cheaper than at the gate, so pre-book in advance and buy your stein and cooler too to save money and avoid the queues. Buy tickets here.
Oktoberfest tips: Where to stay at Oktoberfest Brisbane
Another of my Oktoberfest tips is to plan ahead and arrange some accommodation for the night after the event.
We booked a hotel around the corner so that we could both enjoy a couple of drinks which I think was worth the effort. It does add more cost to the day but it made it so much more relaxing to know we could stay until 6.30pm and just walk around the corner and put the kids in bed.
Click to check out where to stay for Oktoberfest Brisbane: Check out the best Brisbane hotel prices here.
Tips for Oktoberfest: Making memories at Oktoberfest Brisbane
I’m a massive believer in doing things that create memories for our kids. While we did find a day at Oktoberfest Brisbane Australia could end up being expensive, this festival is going to be something our kids talk about for years as they had such an amazing time. The atmosphere, the music, the food – it was spot on for families looking to spend a fun and memorable day together. So my main tip for Brisbane Oktoberfest is to make sure you go along!
Oktoberfest Brisbane 2018
In 2017, I was working on Oktoberfest Brisbane and was hosted to attend. Even though this year I haven’t been working on the event, we will attend again because my kids had the best day ever and so did we. I can’t wait for this year’s event!
Did you find this post useful? If so, please share it with your friends! Most families I’ve met had never considered attending Oktoberfest Brisbane with their kids so it would be great to get the word out about how family-friendly it is.
This post contains affiliate links. I was hosted at Oktoberfest Brisbane in 2017 but all views are my own.