Should You Take Your Kids to a German Beer Hall?

The further you stray from North America, the more you will discover far different views of alcohol consumption around children.

In Germany specifically, beer gardens and beer halls are woven into the culture of the region. While I would not necessarily suggest taking your young children to Oktoberfest, because your idea of drinking beer for days is hardly a family holiday, there is no reason to hesitate in taking them to a beer hall or garden.

(Sept. 2017 Update: For anyone also wondering “Should I take my kids to Oktoberfest?” I just learned that more and more the Munich Oktoberfest is striving to accomidate families especially during the day. It really is just a huge fair and even has a petting zoo these days. Just make it about the relaxed family time, not hours everyday day binge drinking.)

img_2183WHEN IN BAVARIA, DO AS THE BAVARIANS DO

A story was shared with us on a recent trip to Germany by a woman whose family used to take a picnic basket along with a pressed table-cloth and their finest cutlery to go and eat in the beer garden every weekend. As long as you purchase drinks, you are free to use the table for as long as you like.

We visited in late October and the weather was not ideal for sitting outside and eating and drinking for a couple of hours so we did not visit any beer gardens. We did visit a couple of Bavarian beer halls. These establishments can range from rowdy football fans gathering for beer and sausages after a big match, to a more subdued family restaurant atmosphere.

FOOD

The food at beer halls in our experience was surprisingly good and reasonably priced. Sausages and potatoes were prevalent as were other dishes with large portions of pork and ever-present pretzels. That is not to say that no options were available for people who were not happy with beer and sausage. We had a wonderful vegetarian spätzle with cheese and onions in one of the halls we visited. The beer halls we visited even had children’s menus.

img_2252DRINK

There was beer and it was delicious. There was also wine for those so inclined and a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages. No one would feel like they would have to drink, but in Germany more than any other place I have visited in Europe, the beer is substantially cheaper than soda in most places.

img_2258ATMOSPHERE

One of the halls we visited was very boisterous with lots of “exuberant” football fans. It was packed to the rafters, but everyone was hungry and it was an available restaurant. We were not the only people with young children there and our kids didn’t mind the raucous crowd. The second hall was more subdued but had a live polka band that the kids thought was great. At no point, in either place, were we uncomfortable about our kids being there.

img_2178THE RUNDOWN

The Germans have no hesitation about taking their kids to beer halls so why should you. Travel is about experiencing different cultures and that applies to children as well. If children see a healthy attitude toward alcohol consumption and that parents have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, this has been proven to help foster a healthy attitude toward alcohol later in life.

img_2190-2A last note, I hope I don’t need to clarify this, but hanging out for hours drinking with your kids present, is probably not an ideal holiday for anyone in your family.

To find out more about our travels in Germany, you know what to do.

A Family Friendly Berlin City Break

A Munich City Break With Kids

Happy and safe travels.

This post can also be viewed, along with some other great family travel posts at #fearlessfamtrav.

Advertisements

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Wherejogoes says:

    Good to know the answer is yes! My great grandfather was a German oompah band musician who travelled Europe. Thanks for sharing with #fearlessfamtrav

    Like

    1. Wow, that’s cool. Though life of a musician is never eay.

      Like

  2. In the uk we wouldn’t think twice about taking a child to a pub

    I think it’s worth doing just for that one pic alone

    Thanks for linking to #fearlessfamtrav

    Like

    1. But in Canada or the US a pub is more for drinking and adults…basically a bar with food. Depending on the type of alcohol liscence the place has based on the percentage of food:booze sales will dictate if kids can go in, or I think this is how it works. We tend to have a more uptight attitude toward kids and alcohol but we have also been turned away from pubs in our time here in the UK as well. In North America it is not hard to find family restaurants that will serve alcohol as well, they are just labeled as family restaurants or diners. Depends on the region as well as North America is a big place.

      Like

  3. I love the idea of taking kids into a rowdy German drinking establishment! We end only to go to very ‘family-friendly’ pubs with ours, generally for lunch on a Sunday. I think it would be a great experience for them to see something different. #fearlessfamtrav

    Like

    1. We went to at least a couple. Haufbrauhaus in Munich was great. It is very touristy, but if was a great experience. We also visited a very rowdy place and some football match had just finished, but we had been looking for a place to eat for a while. It was tight and we got friendly with the locals, but no problems with the kids whatsoever.

      Like

  4. Yes! Our two loved ordering a Spezi (Fanta and Coca-Cola mixed) and a wurst! #fearlessfamtrav

    Like

    1. I’ll leve that for the kids to try.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably best ot looks like sludge!

        Like

      2. When I was a kid and there was fountain soda where you poured your own, we mixed everything together and called it swamp water. It was great at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, totally agree! We took our baby to have some tapas in Spain. We had some red wine and cheese and there were lots of kids in that bar. So why not take them to a place where people drink beer 😉 #fearlessfamtrav

    Like

    1. We did the same thing in Spain! The tapas in Barcelona were amazing and the staff loved the little ones.

      Like

  6. daisythebus says:

    Of course the answer is Yes! 😉 We find that Beer halls in southern Germany (and similar places in Austria) are one of THE best places to eat with kids. They are relaxed, the food is great (and inexpensive) and we sometimes stumble across one with a kids’ corner or playground. Not to mention the beer itself… mmmmmm… Glad to hear that you had a similar experience! #FearlessFamTrav

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Even though I am not a beer drinker this is one of those when in Munich moments that just has to be experienced. I think the noise would act as a bit of camouflage for my kids raucous behaviour. Excellent work. #fearlessfamtravel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what we thought. It was nice not to struggle to keep them quiet.

      Like

  8. They look great! I wouldnt mind taking our boys…least no one would hear them making noise! haha! #fearlessfamtrav

    Like

  9. I have no qualms about bringing my kids to beer halls! Partly because I love visiting beer halls and the kids are with me whenever we travel and I don’t intend to let them stop me from the chance I’ve got to pop into one. So far I think my (boisterous) boys blend in pretty well with the atmosphere at beer halls! :p #FearlessFamTrav

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great attitude to have while travelling in general!

      Like

  10. Carl says:

    Great to know that Beer Halls welcome families and have a friendly atmosphere. #fearlessfamtrav

    Like

    1. They really are a great, fun atmosphere with a selection of food that made everyone happy.

      Like

  11. Reblogged this on Imps and Ramblers and commented:

    With Oktoberfest around the corner, it was time for a little update to one of my favourite blogs. There is now a small section on kids at Oktoberfest as well. Enjoy!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s