10 Kid-Friendly Wurstfest Survival Tips (From a New Braunfels Local)

Wurstfest With Kids

It’s almost time for Wurstfest! If you’ve lived in Central Texas for any period of time, there’s a good chance you’ve either heard of New Braunfels’ famous “10-day salute to sausage” or, better yet, been to Wurstfest. For those who don’t know, Wurstfest is a 10-day German festival—held at its permanent venue—around the bend from New Braunfels’ own Landa Park and along the banks of the scenic Comal River. Wurstfest features every incarnation of sausage and other assorted meats on a stick, as well as deep-fried everything. There is beer for days, fabulous shopping, festive German music coming from several different stages at once, and a carnival for the kids.

Like many, your trips to Wurstfest might have happened during those rosy, youthful, pre-children days of yore. You remember those days, right? Let me remind you: you’d throw on your cutest junior-sized jeans, grab your teeny-tiny purse, and head off to enjoy a late night of the overindulgences and general debauchery that Wurstfest celebrates. Those were the days, amiright?

But, now you’re a parent. You’ve got kids grabbing you all day, every day. You spend your days frantically searching for an interesting outing and adventure, AND the weather is at its prime in Central Texas in early November. What’s a parent to do? Load up the family and head to Wurstfest, of course! It’s more than just boobs and beer, y’all! 

I, too, have done Wurstfest in those pre-childrearing days, and while it’s fun, I’m here to tell you that it’s pretty awesome with kids also. Today is your lucky day because I’m about to share my 10 best tips for venturing to Wurstfest with kids.


1. Go early.

We typically go the first Saturday of Wurstfest. The gates open at 11:00 A.M., and we like to get there right as they open, if not a little earlier. Parking (in the lot across the street—I think it’s about $10 cash) is usually easy early in the day, and—bonus—you’re sure to be the first in line at everyone’s favorite kartoffelpuffer booth!

2. Grab a table.

There are picnic tables set up all over the grounds of Wurstfest. Grab a good one as soon as you walk in the gates. Designate a person in your party to “squat there.” We like the tables a bit away from the music tents, and the ones near the Comal River are our favorite. These picnic tables will be highly sought after about an hour after the gates open, so once you’ve claimed yours, make it your family’s “home base” and don’t leave it unattended until you’re ready to leave. It sounds crazy, but you’ll be glad that you have a place to head back to to sit and eat your sausage on a stick and funnel cake later.

3. That’s how we roll.

There’s a small hill near the Comal River that draws kids year after year. I don’t know what it is about this hill, aside from…well, it’s a hill, and kids love hills. Trust me: let your kids roll down the hill. It’s a right of passage at Wurstfest. You’ll even see kids donning their expensive, custom-made dirndls and lederhosen rolling down the hill, as well as the occasional teenagers (and, later in the evening, festive adults). Just let your kids do it. They’ll have a blast, and it’s a great way for them to burn off those deep-fried Oreos.

Ferris Wheel

4. Get the carnival wristband.

If your kids like rides even a little, purchase a wristband for the carnival. I believe they’re around $25, which is pricey, but even if your kid just wants to do the Ferris wheel or the fun house maze 52 times, the wristband pays for itself after just a few turns. Trust me. I’ve dug my heels in on purchasing the wristband in the past and kicked myself later.

5. Marvel at Landa Falls.

Just inside the gates to Wurstfest is Landa Falls, a giant waterfall that continually churns the fresh, aqua-blue water of the Comal River. The sheer force of the water will delight your kids, and the bridge that stretches across the falls makes for an excellent photo opportunity.

6. Leave as the crowds arrive.

In my experience, the rowdy crowds begin arriving in the mid to late afternoon on the weekends. After dark, Wurstfest takes on a much more “party” vibe, and the revelers begin arriving in the afternoon to “pregame.” In the past, our cue to leave Wurstfest was when we’d see the first person vomiting in a trashcan. #checkplease #teachablemoment

Wurstfest Hat

7. Get your kids a hat.

Wurstfest has a plethora of fun hats for all ages. Even though my kids aren’t particularly “hat people,” they can’t resist the allure of a wacky Wurstfest hat. Go figure! Bonus points: pull out the Wurstfest hat again during your school’s “Crazy Hat Day” during Red Ribbon Week.

8. Two words: decent bathrooms.

At most festivals, you’ll find only a row of sad, abused porta-potties when it’s time to potty. When you’ve got little ones who are in the throws of potty training, maneuvering a porta-potty is rough. The good news is that Wurstfest has ample and strategically placed permanent bathrooms around the grounds that make taking little ones to the bathroom so much easier (and, honestly, make mommies so much happier, too).

9. Plan ahead for picky eaters.

While Wurstfest has gobs of delicious foods, if you’ve got picky eaters who don’t do well with the idea of adventurous cuisine (like sausage), plan to feed them ahead of time. Feed kids a good protein-packed breakfast or lunch before you get to Wurstfest so that you can oblige them a funnel cake later in the day. This also ensures that no one gets “hangry,” causing you to cut your trip to Wurstfest short.

10. Take advantage of free days at Wurstfest.

This year, Wurstfest entrance fees are waived Friday, November 2; Monday, November 5–Wednesday, November 7, and then again on Sunday, November 11, beginning at 3:00 P.M., making it more affordable for families looking for a weeknight diversion. 

Wurstfest is something that my family looks forward to all year long. It’s a shining example of the community pride that is so prevalent in the once sleepy little town of New Braunfels. Don’t let the beer and rowdy revelers keep you and your family from attending, though. Wurstfest makes for an excellent adventure that the whole family will enjoy! See ya there!

Jenny is a 40-something, married mother of two (Anna, 2007 and Jack, 2009), who migrated to the Hill Country after doing a 14 year stint in Houston. When Jenny isn’t walking her slightly neurotic (and completely beloved) rescued Weimaraner, she enjoys writing, making to-do lists, and folding laundry (and sarcasm). Jenny holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University--Corpus Christi, and completed graduate coursework in Guidance and Counseling. She is a freelance writer who writes a weekly pet column for a Houston newspaper, and is a contributor at Dog Friendly San Antonio, New Braunfels Monthly and San Antonio Woman, as well as assorted other publications. You can also find her on Instagram (introvertsguidetosobriety). Favorite Restaurant: Bohanan's Favorite Landmark: The Alamo (duh) Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Wurstfest (not technically SAT, but closer to Jenny's stomping grounds).