Parent Review: Oktoberfest On Redstone Arsenal
Zicke Zacke, Zicke Zacke, Hoi! Hoi! Hoi! Oktoberfest kicks off the Fall season for our family. Typically in mid-September, Oktoberfest is a weekend German Festival in Huntsville hosted by Redstone Arsenal with something for everyone. Once inside, you’ll find rides, food, mid-way games, crafts, music and dancing; a little bit of everything that a festival is supposed to have!
Huntsville Oktoberfest 2019
When: September 12 – 15, 2019
Thursday: 5-10 PM
Friday: 5PM – 1AM
Saturday: Noon – 1AM
Sunday: Noon – 7PM
Where: Redstone Arsenal Activity Field – access through Gate 10 on Jordan Lane/Patton Road (map)
How Much: CASH ONLY! Tickets are $14 on Thursday/Sunday and 17$ on Friday/Saturday. Active Military will get $2 off on Friday night.
This year, we arrived in the late-afternoon. It was sweltering in the mid-90s. But, since it was on the warm side, we got the benefit of short lines. As the sun went down, the Rocket City showed up in style and it got pretty busy. At one point, we waited around 30 minutes to ride the Scrambler. My daughter prefers the slower rides and, over the course of the evening, she went down the slide about 20 times. Since she’s not focused on the “big” rides yet, we stuck to the smaller rides and she really enjoyed herself.
Admission is a flat fee for anyone tall enough to ride the rides (this year the rides were for heights 30” and taller), and the admission fee varies depending on the day (Thursday and Sunday are cheaper). The cost includes: parking with a shuttle service, free water (bring an empty bottle), real bathrooms (and some porta-potties) and unlimited rides. You have to pay separately for food, alcohol and the mid-way games; but this event is always worth it for our family. They also have a place where you can catch your Lyft/Uber/taxi; which is a wonderful option for those cheering: Zicke Zacke Zicke Zacke Hoi Hoi Hoi!!
The big white tent is where you can go for some authentic German food and a fabulous Oompah Band! You can volunteer for the hat dance or join in a round of Chicken Polka. It’s fun to dance and to people watch! We typically get the schnitzel and bratwurst, but our daughter prefers a foot-long corndog from the food vendors outside of the tent.
More Oktoberfest Activities
One of our favorite activities is the Home Depot Kids Workshop. They bring their activities, usually an in-store only event, to the Festival and you build for free! You receive an apron with your child’s name and a kit. We chose to build the yo-yo, this year, and it was a huge hit with both me and my daughter. It was the easiest build we’ve done there and she’s been playing with it regularly since we got home!
Oktoberfest Parent Pro-Tips:
- The grounds are semi-stroller friendly; it’s a big flat grassy field. I wouldn’t recommend an umbrella stroller, but one of the larger strollers looked okay.
- I think there is a changing table in the permanent women’s restrooms, but I didn’t look for it this time around. Can anyone confirm?
- Food was $6-$12; beer was $5-$20. And they had a beer tasting $25 for 4 hours. I think a family of 4 could reasonably expect to spend around $50 on dinner and drinks.
At the end of our evening, we had all had so much fun! Even with the crowds, we were still able to ride everything we wanted, enjoy dinner and soak in the spirit of the festival.
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Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.
Are there rides for toddlers?