Only in Wisconsin? Family Trip to a Beer Garden

As I mentioned in my post “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” we dig Oktoberfest beer, so when my sister-in-law suggested we check out one local beer garden, we couldn’t refuse. Since the beer garden – or Bier Garten auf Deutsch – is in a park and next to a kid’s playground, we decided to make it a family picnic.

We broke out the big beer glass I bought from Oktoberfest more than ten years ago.  Here’s Daddy O. showing his excitement!

Holding beer stein

At the bier garten, I split a half-liter with my sister-in-law, and Daddy O. opted for a full liter of dark beer.  Apparently it is shipped from Hofbrauhaus Munich, and it was quite good.  We also shared a big pretzel (complete with three cheese blend spread), bratwurst, quark (type of cheese), fruit, and sandwiches for the kids. It was so fun to dine and drink on a beautiful, autumn day!

Bier Garten sign

Isn’t this the best sign?

After lunch, the kids played on the playground, leaving Daddy O. to finish his liter while sitting on a park bench.  A polka band with an amazing tuba player and authentic German beer hall songs made our afternoon outing even more perfect.  I think it’s impossible NOT to be happy when you hear a polka (but maybe that’s just me?)!


Initially, we felt a little crazy for bringing our kids to a beer garden, but it really was a lovely day!  Living in Wisconsin, adults can bring their underage children to bars, so why not a beer garden too?! Cheers / Prost!

Smartphones: Pretty Dumb on Playgrounds


I love Fall.  It is the BEST season, when nature creates its own fireworks display in the form of colorful leaves that hang around for our viewing pleasure before falling to the ground.  Sometimes I WISH leaves would disintegrate into thin air like fireworks to eliminate the constant raking we do in our yard….but I guess yard work is a great way to get outside, exercise, and enjoy the season – especially with my kiddos.

Mama O's kiddos playing in the leaves

We’ve been getting outside to enjoy the last few nice Fall days, and on a recent trip to the park, we saw another mom and son doing the same thing.  While pushing my son in a baby swing and running over to help my daughter hang on the high bar, I couldn’t help but notice the other mom sitting on a swing using her smartphone.

Her son bopped around the playground and would often yell, “Mommy, mommy, look at me.”

This sounded more to me like, “Get off that dumb smartphone mom, and come play.” 

Playgrounds are for playing – not emailing, web surfing, texting, tweeting, liking, pining, or plain old calling.  So get off your phones moms, and take time to enjoy your kids’ playtime set against the beautiful backdrop of Fall colors. Before we know it, the pleasant weather will be long gone, and we’ll all be yearning for that precious time outside with our kids.