Trip Ideas

5 Family-Friendly Activities at Oktoberfest

The fall festivities at Helen's Oktoberfest are fun for all ages.

  • Oktoberfest

    Oktoberfest, Helen's biggest celebration, kicks off in September and runs through October, featuring German music, food and drinks.

    GDECD Photography

Helen is Georgia's hub for everything German, and in the fall, that means the alpine-style village is the place to be to celebrate Oktoberfest. Held from mid-September through early November, the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States is a fall festival that the whole family can enjoy. Taste Bavarian food and beer, learn how to dance the polka, and take in the colorful fall scenery of the North Georgia mountains. While you're in Helen for Oktoberfest, put these five activities on the top of your to-do list.

1. Have a night on the town: Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Helen’s downtown. Shop for souvenirs and gifts while listening to German music from outdoor speakers. Make sure to pick up sweet treats from a German bakery or visit Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen. Paint your own toy at Elfmade Toys.

2. Take your kids on an adventure: Zip lining through the North Georgia trees at Nacoochee Outdoor Adventures or Cool River Ziplines is the perfect activity for kids starting around age 9 and up. Take a hike from Helen to the Unicoi State Park & Lodge and immerse yourself in the changing colors of the leaves.

3. Experience Halloween: Take a haunted hayride, or find your way through a corn maze in the North Georgia mountains. Petting zoos and outdoor movies are also a must of the fall season!

4. Attend the annual Oktoberfest parade: A German parade kicks off Helen’s Oktoberfest and normally occurs on the first Saturday of the festival. Afterward, play a game of mini golf or walk around the town.

5. Experience Germany: “Oompah-central” is the hall where the bands play and people dance. Although it may be overwhelming for some parents because of the crowd, kids are allowed. It is the perfect place to try hot-off-the-grill German-style wursts or sausages, and dance to traditional German music.

Take the whole family to Helen and experience Oktoberfest and Germany without leaving Georgia! Hotels fill up quickly, so book your trip early.

For more family-friendly trip ideas in Helen, read the "Exploring Helen, Georgia With Kids" blog by Georgia's official Family Explorer Lesli Peterson

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