Ottertoberfest at the St. Louis Zoo

North American River Otter
••• North American River Otter. Photo by Christopher Carter, St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo puts its own spin on annual Oktoberfest celebrations. Each year, the zoo hosts an event called Ottertoberfest. It's a family-friendly celebration that's part German biergarten and part outdoor classroom.

When and Where:

Ottertoberfest is held each fall for several weekends at the end of September and beginning of October. In 2016, Ottertoberfest is October 1-2 and 8-9. The celebration is held each day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many of the activities are held near the Schnuck Family Plaza at the center of the zoo.

Admission to the St. Louis Zoo and to Ottertoberfest is free.

For the Kids:

Ottertoberfest offers plenty of activities for the kids. Zoo workers are on hand to help children play games, make otter tracks and create other otter-themed crafts. Another good option for the kids is the keeper chats. Each day of Ottertoberfest at 10 a.m., a zookeeper will host an informal, kid-friendly discussion about river otters at the Children's Zoo. A second keeper chat is held each day at 1:30 p.m., at the North American river otters exhibit on Historic Hill.

Beer, Bands and Brats:

Ottertoberfest also has more traditional Oktoberfest activities for adult visitors who want relax and enjoy the nice fall weather. There's a biergarten serving brews, bratwurst and other German specialties. And, everyone can enjoy live music from bands like Root Diggers and Fox Creek. Musicians play at the biergarten each day of the festival from noon to 3 p.m.

Other Zoo Events:

Ottertoberfest isn't the only popular fall event at the St. Louis Zoo. The zoo also goes all out for Halloween with Boo at the Zoo Nights from October 18 through October 30. Children can dress in costume and enjoy a spooky, but not scary, trip through the zoo. There's also a big Halloween party for kids on Saturday, October 29.

For a more complete look at what's happening at the St. Louis Zoo, see the zoo's calendar of events.

More Oktoberfest:

And for those of you looking for more ways to celebrate Oktoberfest, there are plenty of choices in the St. Louis area. Hermann, Missouri, is a popular destination for Oktoberfest. There are also annual events in St. Charles, St. Louis and Belleville. For more information on when and where to celebrate, see the Top Oktoberfest Celebrations in the St. Louis Area.