3 family-approved Oktoberfest celebrations

Pre-kids, Oktoberfest probably meant a stein of hearty beer after stein of hearty beer, rowdy German bands and tons of foods that ended in ‘wurst.’ Luckily, not much has to change post-kids when it comes to ushering in fall and celebrating German culture.

These three Oktoberfests are family approved:


Oak Park’s free Oaktoberfest had us at “kids’ root beer garden.” But also expect a great lineup of local and national musicians, hand-crafted microbrews, ethnic food and the popular zucchini races. Food costs extra. 4-10 p.m. Sept. 16; noon-10 p.m. Sept. 17. Between Marion Street and Forest Boulevard, Oak Park. (708) 383-4145.


When it comes to kids, St. Alphonsus Church pulls out the stops. At Oktoberfest Chicago, which features food, music and entertainment on three stages, kids get their very own celebration at KinderFest with face paintings, storytelling, inflatables, dance parties and art activities on Saturday and Sunday. $5. 5-10 p.m. Sept. 23; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 24; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 25. Southport and Lincoln avenues, Chicago. (773) 868-3010.


Arrive hungry to the Naper Settlement Oktoberfest, which salutes Naperville’s German heritage. Expect to eat a lot of authentic German cuisine while your toes tap to the live Oompa music. Plan to visit noon-4 p.m. Saturday when Oktoberfest goes family friendly. $15, $10 kids 4-12; $10 in advance. Food and drinks cost extra. 5-10 p.m. Sept. 30; noon-10 p.m. Oct. 1. 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010.

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