Autumn is a great time to host a party outside. The weather is beautiful with comfortable temperatures, and there's even lots of visual interest in the fall foliage. Adults often enjoy this time of year with Oktoberfest parties, where beer and hearty food are the highlights of the day. And there's no reason kids can't take part in the fun with their own Oktoberfest party. Simply make a few tweaks to the menu and activities, and you can have a wonderful kid-friendly Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest Party Decorations
Because the autumn leaves and sunny skies already provide a great backdrop for this outdoor party, few additional decorations are required. You can use natural materials for decor, such as a wreath or garland of fall leaves, twigs, and berries. You also can supplement nature with a few other harvest-type decorations. Some standout ideas include:
- Cornstalks: Dried cornstalks are often available at farms and garden centers in the fall. Stand them against a wall, or tie them to a fence or porch railing. Cornstalks are an easy way to bring an instant autumn feel to your party space.
- Hay bales: Also available at many garden centers in the fall, hay bales add both decoration and seating for your party.
- Pumpkins and gourds: Pumpkins and gourds placed around hay bales give extra color and texture to your party. Also consider placing a few small pumpkins or gourds on your tables; they can hold down tablecloths and napkins in case of a strong breeze.
- Accents in fall colors: Coordinate all of your accent decor in fall colors, including oranges, golds, reds, and browns. A prominent spot to use these colors is in your tablecloths and dinnerware.
Kid-Friendly Oktoberfest Activities
Add some child-friendly fun to your Oktoberfest party by planning a few activities. Make sure there are enough adults on hand to supervise the activities; it can be helpful to hire additional child caretakers if you're expecting a lot of kids. Here are some ideas for party activities:
- Pumpkin painting: Set up a table that's strictly for crafts, and give each child a pumpkin to paint. Fill cups with washable paints, and supply lots of paintbrushes. It also can be helpful to supply old T-shirts the kids can wear as smocks, so paint doesn't get on their clothing. If the kids are old enough, you can have adults assist them in carving their own jack-o'-lanterns.
- Scarecrow making: Have kids make their very own scarecrow to usher in the harvest season. Depending on how many kids and materials you have, you either can allow each child to make a scarecrow or have a group of kids work on one scarecrow. Supply them with a child-size shirt, pants, and pillowcase (to form the scarecrow head), along with some hay for stuffing. Have an adult attach the stuffed clothing to a tall garden stake, so the scarecrow stands upright.
- Face painting: It can be fun to have an artistic adult you know or a professional face painter work at your party. Offer the kids choices of different autumn-inspired designs, such as fall leaves or pumpkins. You also can offer a German flag in honor of Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest Food and Drinks for Kids
Kids of course can't drink beer at their Oktoberfest party, but that doesn't mean they can't indulge. For instance, instead of beer, serve different kinds of root beer. Here are some other kid-friendly menu items that still fit with the Oktoberfest theme:
- Apple cider
- Käsespätzle (cheese noodles)
- Potato pancakes
- Cider doughnuts
- Soft pretzels
- Apple strudel