Before I met my husband, I was strictly a Miller Lite, Boulevard Wheat kinda girl. Then he introduced me to the world of full-flavor saisons, farmhouses, stouts and oktoberfests. There was (almost) no going back.
Kansas City Bier Company was a favorite before we had kids, and after, well, it’s basically a family hangout at this point. We’ve been to KC Oktoberfest many times, first when it was at the brewery in Waldo, and then once it moved to its new home at Crown Center. The festival is a good time for adults and kids alike, and it’s back for 2022 on Oct. 7 and 8.
KC Oktoberfest location, tickets and parking
Advance tickets are $12 per-day until 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. After that, general admission at the door is $15 per person. Children under 12 are free.
If you want to make it a date night, a one-day Spezial VIP passes are available for $55 each for Friday night. That includes access to the VIP area, a mug and two beers, plus a $10 food voucher. The VIP pass is for adults 21 and over only.
Any ticket you buy will allow you to come and go as you please on the day of admission.
Parking is available in the Crown Center garages and is free on the weekends. The entrance to KC Oktoberfest is also close to the Union Station bus stop and the Union Station Streetcar stop, if you want to skip the garages.
KC Oktoberfest schedule
The festival gates open at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, and music plays until 11 p.m. Hours on Saturday, Oct. 8, are 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Entertainment starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, and there will be two stages for festivalgoers to choose from. Listen to polka and pop, and watch German dance performances. There will also be a juggler/stilt walker to wow the kids (and adults) on Saturday afternoon.
There will be competitions all weekend, but you’ll have to register. There’s a costume contests, stein-holding contests (It’s harder than you think), and a hammer strike competition. There will also be roving entertainment, and games you can play while in line for beers.
The food court closes at 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday.
Activities for kids
The things I love most about Kansas City Bier Company is how family-friendly it is. Oktoberfest is no different.
The event will have a giant Connect 4-style game, giant stacking blocks, corn hole, skee-ball and more. There will also be a race track with pedal carts and trikes. The best part – for my kids, at least – is there will be giant inflatables. My littles love a bounce house.
Kids can color at the coloring station, grab some free candy, and make a pretzel necklace, too. The children’s activities wind down at 9:30 p.m. both nights.
Biers for adults
The brewery is launching Bier Co. Light, a new light German-style pilsner, at the festival. If you’re taking it easy, this one is only 107 calories per pint. Also being introduced at the festival is a new German-style IPA called “Never Say IPA.”
Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the usual beers on tap at KCBC, such as Dunkel, Hefeweizen, and one of my faves, Helles.
The festival grounds have plenty of portable restrooms around. In addition, your ticket allows you to come and go, so you can use the restrooms (including the family restrooms) inside Crown Center as well.
Stroller and wheelchair accessibility
Ramps are installed at the festival entrances and near the music tent to allow accessibility to all levels of entertainment.
A majority of the festival grounds are on paved surfaces, but there will be areas set up on grassy areas as well.
Mom tips for KC Oktoberfest
- Wine will be available. There will be two German wines and a pear cider for sale if you’re not a beer drinker (but try a beer, you might be surprised).
- Bring chairs. Seating is limited and if you have a cranky little one, guess what? You don’t get to enjoy your beer.
- Baby wear. If you have a little one, wear that kiddo so your arms don’t get tired. Plus, that frees you up to carry your stein.
- Treat the kids. When we go to an event like this, I let my kids indulge in a little festival food. Pretzels, hot dogs, a cookie, you get it.
- Remember headphones or earplugs. There will be live music, and some kiddos, like my daughter, love that. Others are super sensitive to loud noises and will have a meltdown.
- Pack extra fun. Yes, there will be kid-friendly activities, but a toy or some fruit snacks stashed in your purse? That’s one more beer, as my friend Travis would say.
- Plan how long you’ll stay and stick to it. You don’t want to drink too much, and you don’t want you kids to go into sensory overload, either. Prost!